Van and Commercial Vehicle Awards 2022: Best Camper Van
With impressive road manners, a generous amount of standard kit and an intelligently laid out interior, we reckon the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo is the ultimate camper...
Mercedes V-Class Marco Polo
Priced from £63,425 (incl. VAT and OTR) Economy 34.9-36.2mpg CO2 emissions 204-211g/km Power 161-234bhp Torque 280-369lb ft
A Mercedes camper van might sound like an odd concept, but because the brand has been producing the Marco Polo since it bought camper conversion specialist Westfalia in the late 90s. So it should come as no surprise that the current Marco Polo is an intelligently crafted and beautifully put together camper.
For example, there’s no need to pull at a heavy tailgate or a sliding side door to gain access to the living area like you have to in the Ford Nugget or Volkswagen California; in the Marco Polo, both of those openings are electrically operated. We also love that the kitchen and living area are combined, enabling you to stick the kettle on while you sit on the rear bench. This isn’t possible in the Nugget; if you want to use that ‘van’s rear-mounted stove, you must first raise the roof in order to use the kitchen.
The Marco Polo’s seating and bed layout is intelligently designed, too; the two-seater bench simply slides back and forth on runners and folds flat to become a double bed. It reclines electrically, and compared with the cumbersome benches in the California and Nugget, sliding it takes very little muscle power. You’ll also find that a second bed reveals itself when you raise the electrically powered roof.
The Marco Polo is based on the popular Mercedes V-Class MPV, and when we tested it against the Nugget and California, we found its 161bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine to be the quietest and smoothest engine in the group. It also felt significantly more stable than the Nugget in corners, while also delivering the smoothest ride. So, despite not being the cheapest camper to buy, we think it’s worth every penny.
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