Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo Review 2024

Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo At A Glance


+Premium alternative to the standard camper, plush interior will sleep four, electric sliding door and tailgate fitted as standard.

-High starting price, automatic only, quality of optional side awning could be better.

The Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo is the premium alternative to the Volkswagen California and - like its German rival - provides a smart combination of upmarket family transport and five star accommodation. 

Mercedes-Benz doesn't the enjoy the same camper van history as Volkswagen, but the Marco Polo more than makes up for lost time, with its interior and high levels of standard equipment providing a notable edge against the similarly priced Volkswagen California Ocean

Converted by Westfalia - a German specialist that made its name by converting Volkswagen vans in the 1970s and 1980s - the Marco Polo provides a home from home experience, with kitchenette that features twin gas hob, running water and a fridge. The rear bench adjusts electrically into a flat and comfortable double bed, and two more can sleep in the raised roof, which is also electrically operated. 

Like the California, the Marco Polo gets external connections for power and fresh water, with the latter providing a supply for the compact sink and taps located next to the gas hob. The leather interior also gets swivelling driver and passenger seats, a foldable table and three-zone climate control. A removable camping table plus two chairs, with storage bag, are located in the boot.

Everything is easy to use and find, with LED ambient lighting and soft closing cupboards and drawers giving the Marco Polo's living space a smart and modern feel. Both the side sliding door and tailgate are electric, while the options list includes an auxiliary heater that will provide warm air when you're parked up for the night. The split tailgate is also a useful feature, allowing you to access the boot in a car park when space is limited. 

Under the bonnet of the Marco Polo is a 2.1-litre turbodiesel engine. The four-cylinder diesel is the same unit found in the V-Class and is available in two outputs – 163PS and 190PS - and both will officially return 44.8mpg. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard across the range. 

Given its premium feel, beautifully crafted interior and high levels of standard equipment, the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo edges ahead of the Volkswagen California on almost every level. On the downside, there is no four-wheel drive option and some of the optional extras are a little disappointing in quality - the awning is particularly poor - but small niggles aside the Marco Polo is the best compact camper van money can buy.  

Driven: Mercedes-Benz V-Class Marco Polo

Upmarket and packed with luxurious kit - which includes yacht-style wooden flooring - the Marco Polo feels every inch a Mercedes-Benz. The fit and finish of the interior is exquisite, and the car-like refinement makes a real difference. 

Read our first drive here >>

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Ask Honest John

Is the Mercedes extended warranty worth the money?

"My Mercedes Marco Polo will be 3 years old in March. I would like to extend the warranty. What are the pros and cons of the Mercedes warranty (£804 for 2 years) compared to third party offerings? "
The Mercedes-Benz Extended Warranty is a third party offering itself - it's marketed by Mercedes but is provided by Allianz Assist. It's a good package, though. Indeed, it's about as comprehensive as an aftermarket warranty can be. We'd suggest looking around and comparing the extended warranty market before committing as other providers may offer a better deal, but the Mercedes one is definitely well-rated. Do also check out Warranty Direct, Warrantywise and Motor Easy and make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully.
Answered by Craig Cheetham

What are the VED rules for camper vans?

"I purchased a Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo in December 2017. My V5 document has it in taxation class as diesel car but it is in fact a camper van with fitted beds, table and cooker. I understand that many purchasers are now getting it taxed as a motorhome, which would be more accurate. What are the differences and what does this mean financially? On another point, many seaside resorts are stating that motorhomes are not allowed to park in many places. As my vehicle is registered as a car am I correct in thinking it is ok for me to park in these non-motorhome parking spaces? "
Camper vans registered between 2017 and 2020 have VED applied in one of two ways. If it is an M1SP category camper van - which most campers are - and has a CO2 emissions figure on its type approval certificate, then you will pay a flat £155 VED rate plus an extra £335 a year if the list price was over £40k. The 'premium car tax' however is applicable for five years (from the second year the van is taxed), which means the VED will fall to a flat £155 when the vehicle is seven years old. If your camper van is not in the M1SP category or does not have its CO2 emissions on the type approval certificate, then VED is applied by the same rules for older vehicles (£280 a year) although there will be very few that do. In regards to parking, you'll need to check with the local authority on what their definition of a motorhome is. In my experience, camper vans are usually ok. But the exact rules for parking are usually detailed on a sign close to the place you want to park.
Answered by Dan Powell
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