Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
Access to the front seats of the Mercedes V-Class Marco Polo is easy thanks to large, wide-opening doors, and the rear seats are even easier to get to thanks to the vast sliding door on the driver’s side.
If you want twin sliding doors, you’ll need to look at a Ford Transit Custom Nugget. Usefully, the Marco Polo’s sliding door and heavy tailgate are both power operated as standard. You can get the former as an option on the VW California, but neither that or the Nugget are available with a powered tailgate.
The bench – which has lots of head and leg room – also has pneumatic bolsters that you can pump up for additional side support or deflate in bed mode. Even so, we’d recommend a mattress topper (the California’s lower bed is flatter and therefore comfier).
A second bed reveals itself when you raise the electrically powered roof. It’s bigger and more comfortable than the lower one, although as with the California, you’ll need to clamber on to one of the front seats then pull yourself up there. The Nugget makes access slightly easier by providing a ladder. If you’re not using the bed, you can clip it to the underside of the raised roof, effectively raising the ceiling and giving you far more head room below.
That makes cooking in the standard kitchen a little easier, whether you’re nosing about in the fridge, making a cup of tea on the gas hob or washing up in the sink. Water is supplied by a fresh water tank and drains into a waste water tank, while a 230v hookup is standard.
The Marco Polo's internal electrical socket is a Euro plug so requires an adapter, unlike the three-pin equipped Nugget and California, and no toilet is available. If you want one of those, you’ll need a long-wheelbase Nugget or the far larger VW Grand California.
Overall, there’s a decent amount of storage inside, with a couple of big cupboards in the back, a couple more underneath the kitchen unit, a big drawer under the rear seats and an overhead locker in the back, too.
There’s not quite as much storage space as you’d find in a California, and the Marco Polo’s boot isn’t as big, either. That’s because a removable table and two folding chairs are stored in a sling rather than cleverly hidden in the tailgate and sliding door like the California's. You can push the seat bench forwards for more space behind it.