Stars are a familiar sight in Tuscany – be it art and culture, wine and cuisine, or towns and landscape, the Italian connoisseur region has a host of stars to its name. Anyone travelling through this classic touring region in a Mercedes-Benz Viano Marco Polo brings yet another star to this perfect setting.
And thanks to the manoeuvrability of the Viano Marco Polo is ideally placed to discover hidden gems off the normal tourist track. The journey is an end in itself courtesy of the comfortable, safe suspension and the powerful yet economical drive system. Thanks to the ingenious, high-grade fittings and furnishings every stay is a bonus. And you can also relax and enjoy spending the night – ideally under a starlit sky – in a Viano Marco Polo.
Viano Marco Polo: big shot among the compact camper vans
The figures alone are testimony to its success: while new registrations of camper vans in Germany increased overall by 18.1 percent in the first six months of 2011, registrations of Mercedes-Benz camper vans rose 24.5 percent. And growth internationally has been equally solid: in the first half of 2011, new camper-van registrations in Europe increased by 10.4 percent to 49,624 units. The compact Mercedes-Benz Viano Marco Polo camper van even managed to comfortably better these excellent figures: sales in the first half of the year rose by 82 percent to some 900 units.
Comfortable and practical: Mercedes-Benz Viano Marco Polo
The concept of the Viano Marco Polo is just right: its dimensions are compact and perfectly suited to everyday use for a camper van, measuring exactly 5.0 m long and 1.9 m wide. With the roof closed it remains under the two-metre height restriction which is important for everyday usage. Cockpit, drive system and suspension are entirely on a par with high-end passenger car standards. The interior with its fully fitted kitchen and cupboards on the left-hand side, the moveable individual-style seats and the rotated front seats have been purpose-designed and honed down to the very last detail. Mercedes-Benz and its experienced conversion partner Westfalia have also come up with numerous refinements, which are only available in a Viano Marco Polo.
Minimal scope for improving the hallmark features
The tried-and-trusted arrangement of the living area in the Viano Marco Polo is a classic, with its spacious fully fitted kitchen and cupboards on the left-hand side, as well as the unique movable seat design with electrically adjustable individual seats and electropneumatically inflatable seat cushion bolsters, leaving minimal scope for improvement.
The fully equipped living accommodation for the Viano Marco Polo is a compelling proposition: pop-up roof (as an option with electrohydraulic EASY UP function), comfort roof bed resting on special flexible spring elements, seat that converts into a bed with electric adjustment and bed extension, wardrobe and roof stowage cupboard along with a drawer in the seat base, kitchen with dual-burner gas stove, compressor-type coolbox and sink as well as stowage compartments, external power socket and charger for the separate on-board battery, hot-air auxiliary heating with timer and temperature control, table, all-round privacy curtains and a valuables compartment – the Viano Marco Polo is ideal as a compact camper van, for impromptu overnight stays as well as for weekend excursions and long holidays.
Viano Marco Polo in detail: well-thought-out fittings and furnishings
You just need to open the easy-glide sliding door to appreciate the special qualities of the Viano Marco Polo as you catch your first glimpse of the living accommodation. The fronts of the furniture sport silver surfaces; the integral decor strip with its burr walnut-look finish takes its cue from the strip in the cockpit. In this camper van, the basic vehicle and the living accommodation, the Viano and the Marco Polo fittings and furnishings form a harmonious whole in terms of style and materials. The surfaces and decor strips with their high-quality look and feel convey the hallmark quality of a Mercedes-Benz.
The seating consists of the two-seater bench with individual seats in the rear, the attachable table and the swivelling front seats. Thanks to the space-saving foot-operated parking brake and joystick-style shift lever in the instrument panel, the seats can be effortlessly swivelled, providing unimpeded access from the cab to the rear. The seat base on the co-passenger seat features a lockable valuables compartment, with a stowage net on the side of the base – just two of the many practical details on the Viano Marco Polo.
The high-quality, homely fittings and furnishings on the Viano Marco Polo rest on a hard-wearing, easy-to-clean foam-backed floor covering. As an option, the floor is available in a wood-look finish, similar to the decking on a luxury yacht. It looks homely yet at the same time exquisite. Additional everyday flexibility comes courtesy of the option of an additional individual seat.
Fully fitted kitchen and cupboards: practical and spacious
The fully fitted kitchen and cupboards do not just provide a visual highlight: in the Viano Marco Polo, the stowage and cutlery drawer can be accessed at any time. Thanks to the roller fronts, the contents of the spacious stowage compartments are conveniently to hand. With a compact camper van like the Viano Marco Polo with its versatile uses it is these kinds of clever details that make all the difference. For instance, plastic clips secure the removable shelves in the cupboard while on the move. One of the many examples of why the sturdy fixtures and fittings do not produce lots of noise even on poorly appointed roads.
The kitchen in the Viano Marco Polo is fully equipped with a dual-burner gas stove, a compressor-type coolbox with insert, and a sink. The 40-litre capacity of the coolbox is sufficient to store more than enough Tuscan delicacies as food for the journey, such as the typical exquisite sausage products. A gas-operated strut lifts the cover on the coolbox and on the stove/sink unit.
The know-how of the experienced camper van manufacturer is reflected in the detail: the raised cover for the cooker/sink unit not only serves as a splash guard; it also includes a fold-down draining board for dishes. And the designers have even thought about a waste bin. A 12 V power socket as well as a clothes hook are fitted in the trim on the roof frame in front of the cupboard. Insect screens on the sliding windows help keep unwelcome guests at bay.
Bench seat: electrically adjustable, electropneumatically inflatable bolsters
The unique bench seat on the Viano Marco Polo is mounted on rails so it can be moved. The two electrically adjustable individual seats in the bench come with electropneumatically inflatable seat cushion bolsters. They improve seating comfort noticeably, provide lateral support while on the move and a comfortable flat surface at the destination once deflated. ISOFIX anchorage points can be used to secure child seats. A large drawer under the bench seat as well as the roof stowage compartment in the rear can be used to stow luggage – every last centimetre in the Viano Marco Polo is used for the benefit of those on-board.
This also applies to the table, which is stowed away in the sliding door trim while on the move. Once the vehicle has been parked, the tabletop can be slotted into a rail on the front of the kitchen, the foot into a bench seat rail – and away you go.
The bench seat converts into a bed at the push of a button
As soon as it is time to turn in for the night, an electric motor effortlessly transforms the two individual seats into a double bed at the push of a button – an unrivalled feature. Deflating the seat cushion bolsters creates a comfortable, perfectly flat bed that is two metres long. Here too is another clever feature: the bench seat is raised automatically a few centimetres as it is being folded out, preventing the belt buckles from uncomfortably poking out into the bed in the Viano Marco Polo.
Comfort is a priority with any Mercedes-Benz, and for a camper van in particular: the bed extension which forms the head section above the luggage compartment on the Viano Marco Polo can be raised in stages using a loop and a support. This feature further improves the already high level of comfort.
Additional luggage can be stowed under the bed extension – or those little souvenirs from Tuscany. Whether it is two cases of good Chianti or even a fine Brunello di Montalcino, maybe a few terracotta objects from Impruneta, there is more than enough room in the Viano Marco Polo. If you need to transport bulky items during everyday use, the users can simply position the bed extension vertically. The cargo section can simply be enlarged by moving the bench seat forward. Removing the bench seat transforms the camper van into a fully fledged van. Load securing lugs are testimony to the vehicle’s credentials as a cargo carrier.
Open stowage compartments in the roof-mounted cupboard and the laundry cupboard can be used to stow small items of luggage in the rear. Other practical features include the connection for an outside shower, the power socket in the luggage compartment as well as a collapsible shopping crate together with bracket – ideal for shopping in the market.
Roof bed: no different from your bed at home
The pop-up roof on the Viano Marco Polo fits seamlessly onto the body. When closed it is securely fastened using two locks on the left and right. It opens manually using a gas-strut mechanism or optionally at the push of a button using the highly convenient electropneumatic feature. Integrated guide rails keep the roof bellows section taut and automatically retract the bellows section as the roof closes.
There is another bed under the roof, also around two metres long. A look under the foam mattress reveals a combination of slatted base and a flexible spring system, making for the sort of night’s sleep you get at home. A positive ventilation outlet at the front and two other outlets at the side let air and light into the upper deck. A protective net prevents children or objects from falling out.
On-board systems: high-quality, efficient and fully complete
The efficiency of the Viano Marco Polo is typical of the brand down to the very last detail: the two LED lights, each with five individual bulbs inside, in the rear provide a bright light as soon as they are switched on, illuminate the interior fully and only consume minimal power – an important factor when venturing off the beaten track where facilities such as mains power are not available. Additional reading lights in the rear make reading a pleasure. Two reading lights above the bed extension as well as two lights near to the roof bed round off the lighting.
In any case, the Viano Marco Polo comes with extremely reliable on-board systems, just as you would expect. A powerful auxiliary gel battery powers the vehicle’s electrical system. The camper van also comes with a 230 V external power socket and a battery charger. The fresh-water tank has a capacity of 36 litres, the waste-water tank 32 litres. Both tanks are mounted in the interior of the vehicle to protect them against frost. Standard equipment also includes a fuel-powered auxiliary heater including timer and temperature control. The powerful heating capacity of 2.5 kW maintains the living area pleasantly warm even on cold days.
The camper van’s gas supply is limited to a gas bottle for the stove. When it needs replacing, the bottle can be accessed by swinging out the laundry compartment – one of the many clever ideas in the Viano Marco Polo. Other ingenious touches include the standard-fit power socket at the rear for a repeater lamp on the optional bicycle rack.
Passengers control and manage all the key functions on the clearly laid out control panel in the centre console on the Viano Marco Polo. The panel displays the interior and exterior temperature, battery capacity, operating status of the coolbox and the level of the water tanks. The control unit for the auxiliary heating is also integrated.
Fresh look emphasises the character of the Viano Marco Polo
Seen purely from the outside, the current generation of the Mercedes-Benz Viano Marco Polo can be recognised with its striking headlamps – picking up on the style of the current Mercedes-Benz passenger cars – featuring powerful reflector headlamps, integrated daytime running lamps, and a radiator grille with three silver painted louvres with chrome surrounds. Bi-xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lamps, Add-Light System and headlamp washer system are also available as an option. Single-piece lamps with black glass-look mouldings and the deep-set bumper catch the eye at the rear.
The exterior mirrors with integral indicator lamps provide a large field of vision. Wide-angle sections are integrated in the mirrors on both sides – a major improvement to safety not just while manoeuvring in Italian old towns where space is tight.
For the 2012 model year, Mercedes-Benz is freshening up the looks with the new “hibiscus red” and “dolomite brown metallic” paint finishes.
The cockpit: comfortable and user-friendly
From the driver’s and co-driver’s view from the cockpit, the Viano Marco Polo instantly appeals to the senses as a camper van. The rim of the multifunction steering wheel and the shift lever knob are trimmed in nappa leather which is pleasant to the touch. The driver operates the standard-fit trip computer via the buttons on the steering wheel. The trip computer provides information on parameters such as average fuel consumption and range. The instrument cluster with its white scale illumination is a new feature for the 2012 model year. The precise, easy-to-read instruments resemble a chronometer. All the pushbuttons are arranged clearly at the top of the centre console.
The cockpit boasts high-grade Softtouch surfaces. A decor strip emphasises the masterfully crafted character of the Viano Marco Polo. As standard, the decor strip is finished in a brown burr-walnut-wood look and is optionally available in a black burr-walnut-wood look. The comfort seats come as standard with seat angle and armrest adjustment. A host of stowage facilities and drinks holders are ideal for storing snacks and refreshments for the journey.
Thanks to extensive insulation measures, passengers enjoy low noise levels. Amenities such as air-conditioning, electrically adjustable heated exterior mirrors, electric power windows, height and angle-adjustable steering column, fog lamps and remote-control central locking all come as standard.
Clean and economical with BlueEFFICIENCY technology
A holiday close to nature without harming the environment in a camper van need not be a contradiction with Mercedes-Benz. Supreme efficiency for low emissions and fuel consumption lie at the heart of the current generation of the Viano Marco Polo. All model versions meet the EU 5 emissions standard. The drive system is not only outstandingly environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient: it also accelerates with consummate ease and boasts outstanding refinement.
The four-cylinder diesel engines with a displacement of 2.15 litres and the V6 with its 3.0 litres are at the heart of the line-up. CO2 emissions and fuel consumption achieve record-breaking low figures. Behind these figures is not just the advanced engine technology in the Mercedes-Benz four and six-cylinder engines including particulate filter, but also the BlueEFFICIENCY technology, which comes as standard on all Viano models. BlueEFFICIENCY includes on-demand ancillary units, an ECO start/stop function, gearshift display, ECO power-steering pump, low-rolling resistance tyres and – a new feature – generator management. The generator is designed to charge during braking and is governed during acceleration.
A badge below the A-pillar is testimony to BlueEFFICIENCY. Mercedes-Benz is setting new standards with this technology: no other manufacturer adopts so many measures to reduce fuel consumption as part of its standard specification. Just what you are looking for when touring through the kind of unspoilt landscapes you find in Tuscany.
Powerful, smooth-running diesel engines with four and six cylinders
The smooth-running four-cylinder diesel engines in the Viano Marco Polo cover output ranges from 100 kW (136 hp) to 120 kW (163 hp). In addition to output, torque of 310 Nm and 360 Nm respectively is also formidable. Maximum torque is already available at very low engine speeds of 1400 rpm or 1600 rpm respectively. All of which ensures good performance, smooth running and low fuel consumption. NEDC fuel consumption in the two output classes Viano CDI 2.0 and 2.2 Marco Polo is just 7.2-7.4 l/100 km.
The unique V6 CDI in the Viano CDI 3.0 Marco Polo with four overhead camshafts and aluminium crankcase delivers effortlessly superior performance coupled with superb refinement thanks to output of 165 kW (224 hp) and impressive torque of 440 Nm. The standard-fit automatic transmission teams up seamlessly with this powerplant for those who appreciate the finer things in life. The result is surprisingly low NEDC fuel consumption of 8.5-8.6 l/100 km. All four and six-cylinder diesel engines come with balancer shafts, which together with the dual-mass flywheel, guarantee superb smooth running.
The Viano 3.5 Marco Polo is available for customers who want even more, a 3.5-litre petrol engine developing 190 kW (258 hp) of output. This unit is also fitted with an automatic transmission as standard.
ECO Gear manual transmission reduces engine speed, fuel consumption and emissions
The six-speed ECO Gear manual transmission plays a large part in the good acceleration and low fuel consumption of the Viano Marco Polo. Fitted as standard with the four-cylinder diesel engines, its large gear-ratio spread reduces emissions and fuel consumption. The transmission guarantees acceleration when moving off as well as nonchalant coasting with low engine speeds and low emissions, not to mention low fuel consumption at high cruising speed.
Suspension: ride comfort, driving pleasure and handling safety
The combination of ride comfort, driving pleasure and handling safety is the hallmark of the agile suspension with rear-wheel drive on the Viano Marco Polo. It not only handles extremely safely and is manoeuvrable, but is also very comfortable. Suspension, damping and road and tyre vibration are compelling even when venturing off the beaten track.
Precise, sensitive steering comes into its own on the winding side roads of Tuscany. Overall the compact camper van always handles precisely, predictably and safely. At the same time it sets the benchmark for comfort, road and tyre vibration, and noise levels.
Whether on gravel or snow: the Viano Marco Polo with the all-wheel drive system 4MATIC is available to meet the most discerning requirements. The electronic traction system 4ETS automatically brakes the spinning wheels individually, increasing the drive torque at the wheels with sufficient traction. The all-wheel drive system 4MATIC is always combined with an automatic transmission. The result is extremely comfortable all-wheel drive even when the going gets tough: accelerate, steer and brake is all you need to do at the wheel of a Viano 4MATIC Marco Polo, the technology will look after everything else.
The exemplary safety features on the Viano Marco Polo
The Mercedes-Benz Viano Marco Polo boasts an unrivalled range of safety and assistance systems as standard. The Electronic Stability Program ADAPTIVE ESP with anti-lock braking system ABS, acceleration skid control system ASR and Brake Assist BAS features detection of load and weight distribution. It is compulsory for all models. The brake lights automatically start flashing during emergency braking; the hazard warning lamps automatically come on once the vehicle has come to a stop.
As an option, start-off assist AAS, an automatic tyre pressure monitoring system, the parking and manoeuvring aid PARKTRONIC as well as a reversing camera enhance the extensive comfort and safety features on the Viano Marco Polo.
Versatility itself: the Mercedes-Benz Viano Fun
When flexibility is the name of the game, the Viano Fun truly comes into its own. This vehicle provides an ideal combination of everyday and leisure characteristics – a family or business vehicle that can instantly be turned into a weekend home on wheels. The outstanding versatility of the Viano Fun is presaged in the availability of both compact and long variants. The compact version comfortably houses five occupants. The front has swivelling comfort seats for the driver and front-seat passenger, with a fold-out table and seat bench for three passengers in the rear, which can be slid along, removed or used as a highly comfortable bunk. A cushioned bed extension provides valuable added sleeping space.
The long version of the Viano Fun has an additional bench seat in the middle, and is also fitted with one additional individual seat as standard equipment, or two as an option. The individual seats can be slid along a rail system, either in or against the direction of travel, and can also be removed using the convenient grips provided for this purpose.
The optional pop-up roof, in the Easy-Up electrohydraulic version if desired, makes the Viano Fun more like a mobile home. This option offers generous standing space, and a comfortable roof bed can also be added for further sleeping accommodation if required.
The “Comfort Fun” equipment package makes the Viano Fun even more comfortable to drive. Ambient lighting, cockpit with soft-touch interface and a multifunction steering wheel with trip computer, electrically operated pop-out windows for the second rear seat row, fabric cushioning in the side wall panelling, an additional heat exchanger in the rear plus a raft of other detailed features help to create a convivial on-board atmosphere.
Service that knows no limits: Europe-wide service package at no extra charge
Anyone taking a Mercedes-Benz camper van on holiday is never alone: with over 2600 service centres throughout Europe, Mercedes-Benz offers a close-knit network of workshops for vans. In an emergency the free Service 24h hotline will arrange assistance in no time at all, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Should your Viano Marco Polo actually break down, Mercedes-Benz MobilityGo will keep you mobile: the free guaranteed mobility package includes rapid on-the-spot breakdown assistance as well as the reimbursement of taxi fares, and the provision of a replacement vehicle if the repair is likely to take more than two hours. MobilityGo is valid for all Viano models for the first two years following initial registration with no limit on mileage.
Source: Daimler AG