Mercedes-Benz and motorhome? Yes, this noble manufacturer has also introduced two variants of camping vehicle bearing the name of the great traveler - Marco Polo.
In the past, stationary computers assembled from different components of many companies enjoyed quite a popularity. The whole thing was about putting together totally different parts. The problem was that the elements connected to each other quite accidentally didn’t always work well. That was probably one of the reasons why stationary computers have been replaced by laptops - also built of components of different brands, but assembled together and tested by a specific manufacturer. Okay, but what does this have to do with motorhomes?
Quite a lot. A typical motorhome is built by a company that on the chassis of a particular car model puts its body, then puts various items of equipment inside and combines them into one whole. Usually, everything fits together, but I have to admit that I have personally more trust to the models that have been designed as motorhomes almost from scratch, with the participation of cars manufacturers. Such solution gives us a confidence that we get a coherent whole.
A storied van
And that’s in the case of Mercedes Marco Polo and Marco Polo Activity. I deliberately mention these two names separately, because both models clearly differ from each other.
If you are interested in a complete camper-van, which can be taken straight out of the manufacturer’s salon, you may consider model Marco Polo. Mercedes didn’t create this version himself – they cooperated with a well-known company in the caravanning industry, Westphalia, which had created famous tourist versions of Volkswagens.
Outside, Marco Polo actually doesn’t differ from the V-class Mercedes. The only difference is the roof, which looks like it’s double. The issue clarifies, when users raise the top up. The roof is lifted (electrically or mechanically - depending on the version), so that the interior can reach the height of 2.35 m.
As befits a modern motorhome, roof was made of plastic reinforced with fiberglass (GRP). In addition it has (and here manufacturer’s quote) "a folded bellows made of a breathable, waterproof fabric (...). Thanks to an innovative system of joints, rear part of the roof rises much higher, thus providing more space for legs ".
In case you need it floor can be converted into a double bed equipped in foam mattress with resilient elements.
The bed is also on the bottom and double sofa unfolds electrically. This creates a completely flat surface. The bed has two independent, adjustable backrest.
Mercedes with kitchen
But if we want to treat Marco Polo as a real motorhome, you won’t be satisfied even with the most comfortable mattress. Fortunately, Mercedes has also thought about the kitchen annex. In the car we find an elegant sink with a battery and a gas stove. There’s also a thin table, which (after extension) adjoins to the kitchen counter.
Tanks for water and sewage are not too large, but at least they are. The capacity of the first is 38 liters, second - 40 l. Marco Polo also has a 40-liter compressor fridge (freezes to -20 degrees), kitchen cabinet with drawers, cabinet with illuminated mirror, LED lighting, 230V socket and USB output .
For a surcharge you may get, among others, additional air heating with heating function during parking. Windows can be covered with well-fitting blinds and curtains. The list of equipment is long and even includes a wooden yacht floor. The quality of the materials seems to be worthy of Mercedes.
Active have less needs
I’ve mentioned that the offer also includes version Activity. But this is not, as one might think, an expanded version of Marco Polo. Activity’s standard doesn’t have the kitchen part (furniture, kitchen sink or stove).
It’s a more modest model that in the basic version could hardly be called a motorhome. But it has one significant advantage over the "full" Marco Polo - thanks to the lack of furniture, there’s more space, and thus on the lower level up to three people can fit in.
There’s also a convenient, retractable table, which through a simple movement can be lifted up and folded out.
Three engine versions
Marco Polo customers have a choice of three versions of 2-liter CDI engine with an output of 136 hp, 163 hp and 190 hp. We heard that there’s also version 3.0, which achieves an output power of 224 hp. According to “Auto motor and sport", the base price of Viano Marco Polo is 217 305 PLN (52,343 EUR).