This test is of a model in Sport trim and powered by the more powerful version of the 2.1-litre diesel engine, which still costs the better part of £15,000 more than the equivalent V-Class, but obviously replaces what it gives up in seats for bed space and the sort of kitchen facilities that make many a modern flat look sparsely appointed.
Even so, at more than £55,000, there’s still a few spots in the UK that you could buy a flat for this money. Can a camper van ever justify such cost?
What's it like?
The first clues in answer to that question hit you as you climb aboard, either through the front seats or the sliding side door (which it’s worth noting is on the Euro-friendly driver’s side, meaning rear passengers will be entering and leaving on the road side in the UK).
The interior of the Marco Polo is nothing less than a delight. The two-burner hob, fridge, sink, pop-up table and storage space arrangement is compact, easy to access and cleverly orientated so that, for instance, the bits you’re more likely to access while standing are located below the point the roof will raise to its highest.
The as-standard yacht flooring lifts the ambience, while the sliding rear seat bench, which converts to a double bed at the push of some buttons, is comfortable and easy to move fore and aft. The front seats also rotate round, making turning your kitchen/car into a living room the work of moments, albeit slightly fiddly ones as you manoeuvre the chairs into the right position so they will swivel without catching anything. The roof sleeping area opens and closes at the push of a button and is released via two simple clips.
Compromises are few and far between, albeit with the glaring exception of the USB ports between the front seats, which are located underneath the protruding Comand controller for the sat-nav, radio and other functions. It’s a minor blip on an otherwise well resolved interior. It’s worth noting, too, that USB and power plugs are located all around the interior, so only the driver or front seat passenger are likely to be impacted.
The driver's high seating position is excellent, however, delivering very good forward visibility, while the standard parking sensors and rear-view camera make light work of tight parking situations. The Marco Polo is big, but not unwieldy.