If the lower-spec Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo models are like staying at a Best Western or Holiday Inn for the night, then the newly revealed Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo Horizon is akin to a night at the Radisson or the Westin.
That’s probably the best way to understand the differences between the more basic standard Marco Polo and Marco Polo Activity models and the new Horizon version, which has made its debut in Europe at the Caravan, Motor, Touristik show in Germany this week.
The new pop-top camper model is based on the V-Class people-mover, and the company claims that the Horizon version can move up to seven people and sleep five - no, not at the same time. Mercedes-Benz claims the vehicle’s flexible seating configuration allows owners to have lots of options for how they use their vehicle.
The seats are removable, and the front seats swivel so they can face rearwards. Depending on the requirements, the rear bench seat can be folded down for a bed measuring 1.93 metres by 1.35m, which is close to a standard double bed (1.88m x 1.37m) “for up to three people”. Clearly the inference is parents and their young child, not anything rude.
There’s a roof-mounted bed in the pop-top, too, which is suitable for two occupants and measures 2.05m long by 1.13m wide, close to the same measurements of king single bed (2.07m by 1.06m) – and the capacity is 200 kilograms.
There are curtains to darken the cabin at night, and because the roof area is recessed into the body, the vehicle measures just under two metres tall, meaning car-parks with low clearance shouldn’t be a problem. And while there are no images of these specifically relating to the Horizon version, Benz claims every Marco Polo has a kitchenette and wardrobe, as well as under-seat storage.
There are a range of turbo diesel engines on offer in Europe, including the same 2.1-litre four-cylinder unit we get in the V-Class people-mover here – that powerplant has 140kW of power and 440Nm of torque.
There’ll be rear-drive and 4Matic all-wheel-drive versions available depending on the market, but all models will be sold with a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
“With our new Marco Polo Horizon we appeal to customers who want the handling and high-quality design of a passenger car but need a flexible vehicle for their active leisure pursuits,” said Mercedes-Benz Vans head of marketing and sales
Mercedes-Benz has confirmed the mid-range Marco Polo Activity version will be sold here, and there'll be a demo that we'll try and get our hands on from about April this year.
As for the Horizon? Well, the company's local vans arm has told CarAdvice that "at the moment it is not earmarked for Australia but we will continue to monitor its likelihood for our market".
Click the Photos tab above for more images of the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo Horizon.