Mercedes-Benz V-Class Marco Polo: A Glamping Champion

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Aptly named after a 13th century Venetian explorer who went on a decades-long expedition from Europe to Asia, the Mercedes-Benz V-Class Marco Polo is in its own right a travelling champion.

This plush camper van comes with plenty of comfort features which are part and parcel of having that three-legged star on the grille. Unfortunately, the real Marco Polo wasn’t so lucky to have a 190bhp twin-turbo diesel engine pushing him along either, but a lot has changed in 700+ years.

Want to find out how this Volkswagen California competitor performs in the traveller van space? Read our full review of the Mercedes-Benz V-Class Marco Polo to find out whether it’s the right option for your family staycation.

Mercedes-Benz V-Class Marco Polo trim comparison

The current line-up of V-Class Marco Polos includes four different variations. Mercedes, in true premium manufacturer style, has notably added its AMG Line sporty arm to the range for extra dynamic styling further up the range you go.

Take a look at our prices and specs table below for each V-Class Marco Polo model to find your ideal model.

Camping capabilities

It’s what’s on the inside that counts. A phrase which you should apply when finding a romantic partner and a camper van. After all, you’re going to be spending many weekends living out of this vehicle and therefore want all the necessary amenities and little comforts that are synonymous with the home.

What’s great about the Marco Polo guise of the Mercedes V-Class is that it’s been designed to impress the moment you step inside. Your eyes will be instantly drawn to the yacht wood flooring, carbin and metallic trims in the cabin, plus the comfortable leather upholstery in the front and back.

Even in manual form the pop-up bed in the top is very straightforward to set up and it’s very comfortable. Downstairs, the main bed is created by flattening the rear three-seater bench and two seats in front. You get the option to add a mattress topper to the bottom bed if you wish, which we recommend to take out a few unwelcome bumps on the seats.

The seating configuration means there’s enough space to seat seven, but the sleeping arrangements cater for five. So, you may want to think about adding a trailer to the back of your V-Class or packing alternative sleeping arrangements (AKA a tent) in the back if you’re carrying six or seven.

Practicality

The Mercedes V-Class is up there with one of the best in class for practicality.

Starting with the boot, there’s 610 litres with all seven seats in place. Fold the rear bench down and you’ll have access to a massive 1,030-litre space in the rear.

Not only is the cargo area impressively spacious, but the same can be said about the cockpit and passenger areas. There are loads of cubby spaces and drawers littered throughout the interior, including a sizeable front passenger glovebox and a smart pocket area suitable for a phone or loose change behind the gearbox.

Where the Merc does fall short of the VW California is with the picnic table and complimentary chairs. Unfortunately they have to be stored in the boot, whereas in the California there’s a clever way of tucking them away into the sides and door cards in the back.

How well does it drive?

You don’t need us to tell you that driving quickly and having amazing handling isn’t what you look for when searching for a camper van. However, the Marco Polo guise of the V-Class is considerably slower than the cheaper VW California alternative, though your extra money goes towards better stability and comfort while you’re driving.

There’s a lower driving position when you’re sat in the Merc, plus a better suspension setup means there’s a lot less body roll when you’re going around corners.

Two 2.0-litre diesel engines make up the choice of powertrains. The entry-level unit is the V250d which will be enough for most when the car is fully loaded with passengers and cargo. Its mid-range torque is ideal for motorway travel and long journeys in general, which is what this type of van will be doing most of the time. To cap it all off, you’ll even make a good saving on fuel with a WLTP economy figure of 48mpg.

Should you want extra punch under the hood, the range-topping V300d is the go-to. It comes with 239bhp and a 0-60 sprint of just 7.9 seconds which is incredible for a vehicle weighing more than three tonnes.

The main thing you’ll need to consider is manoeuvrability, because this is after all a very big van. No amount of swagger inside or out can hide the fact that all V-Class models are nearly two metres tall, so careful decisions will need to be made when it comes to picking a parking space.

A 360-degree parking camera is available as an optional extra on all V-Class models which is worth investing in if you want complete peace of mind behind the wheel.

Looking for the perfect staycation vehicle, but don’t want to fork out lots of money upfront? Why not consider leasing one? Check out our latest Mercedes-Benz V-Class Marco Polo lease deals to find one which suits your budget.

Want to keep up to date with the latest car news, reviews and entertainment? Head over to the Moneyshake blog for more.