What is it like on the inside?
This is what counts. And boy does the Marco Polo make an impression. That might suggest this could go either way and that’s because it all depends how you view your camping experience. If you want it to look happy among the hippies then the VW is the one for you. The Marco Polo is a little more ostentatious.
You knew that already because it’s only available in Sport and AMG Line trims and wears 18-inch wheels, but it also features heavily tinted glass as standard (does mean no-one can see in when you’re getting changed, though), a yacht-style wood floor, and an ambience that’s more urban A-lister or rock-band tour bus. There’s a lot of chrome and metal finishing.
Whether you buy into that or not, it’s good to know the finishing is beautiful. The quality of all the fittings and fixtures is not only top drawer, but the drawers and cubbies themselves are better thought out than the VW’s. OK, so 90 per cent of it is the same, but the other 10 per cent is better in the Merc. Apart from the picnic table and chairs. In the VW these are tucked secretly and cleverly into the side and rear door cards. In the Mercedes they take up space in the boot.
I’m not sure you need electric rear seats and I guarantee the electric rear tailgate will have a hissy fit if you try to carry mountain bikes on the optional rear-mounted bike rack, but for the majority of the time these little tricks will make your life a fraction easier and delight any kids that might be in the vicinity.
The pop-up roof is also electric, has very quiet motors and there’s less risk of pinching material in the hinges. The bed upstairs is very comfortable. Downstairs you absolutely must have the optional mattress topper if you want to get a good night’s sleep – the flattened leather chairs are firm and lumpy. The same applies in the Veedub, too.
You’ll soon get to grips with it, learn where you can and can’t store stuff, learn what positions the front seats have to be in so they can be swiveled round, get everything to your taste. Personally, I think the lux vibe jars slightly with the healthy outdoors camping ethos, but you might like that hint of overt style and I’m not about to tell you you’re wrong.