V-Class Merc becomes five-star camperComment on this story
Dusseldorf, Germany - Undoubtedly the star of the 2014 Caravan Salon is this luxurious camper van by Westfalia, based on the new Mercedes-Benz V-Class MPV, and named after famed explorer Marco Polo.
Elegantly finished in cream and brown with black piano-lacquer trim and laminted wood flooring, it seats four in a comfortable kitchenette -complete with two-burner gas stove, sink and 40-litre fridge - and, at night, sleeps four in comfort that would do justice to a boutique hotel.
The kitchen cupboard module has a large self-closing drawer with extending worktop, two smaller self-closing drawers that can also be opened when the bed is folded out, and a large stowage compartment with a sliding door. The gas stove, sink and refrigerator have toughened-glass covers, so light can still come in through the windows when the covers are open and functioning as splashbacks.
The folding table is attached to the kitchenette and can be moved in and out on a sliding rail, providing space for four - two on the bench seat and one each on the driver and front passenger seats, which can swivel 180 degrees.
The rear section of the passenger compartment has a large wardrobe with sliding doors, a clothes rail and an illuminated swing-out mirror.
The two-seater rear bench slides fore and aft on rails, and provides excellent lateral support thanks to inflatable side bolsters; the split backrest can be individually electrically adjusted on each side or, at the touch of a button, converted into a single bed, or a double bed measuring 2.03 x 1.13 metres.
The electric pump for the bolsters automatically deflates the bolsters and raises the squab above the level of the seat-belt buckles to create a genuinely flat surface - a rarity in folding camper-beds. The bed extension can even be pivoted upwards to form a padded headboard.
And under the pop-up roof (which can be power-operated as an extra-cost option) there’s another bed the same size, with a high-quality foam mattress on a slatted base with sprung slats, and a detachable cargo-net to stop people falling out.
And when the upstairs bed isn’t in use the base and mattress can be swivelled up into the fibreglass roof section so that the pop-up provides comfortable standing room in the kitchenette area.
Standard features include an electric vent window on the rear right, tinted glass in the rear for privacy and protection from heat built-up, and roller blinds in the rear. There’s even a curtain for the windscreen and front side windows.
In a bag neatly stowed away in the luggage compartment under the bed extension, you’ll find two camping chairs and a folding table, for alfresco dining - or just watching the sunset with a tall glass of something cold at hand.