Articles - Discreet charm of caravanning - Marco Polo Horizon

Articles - Discreet charm of caravanning - Marco Polo Horizon

Marco Polo Horizon offers two parking spaces, and comfort for 7 people during the journey photo: Rafał Dobrowolski

The bodywork is a 7-seater lounge, and a bedroom for 5 passengers at a standstill. Ever since Marco Polo Horizon has enriched the range of Mercedes-Benz Vans compact camper vans, it is tempting to have it in the family. This is the shortest summary of our experience with the company's latest offer in the recreational vehicle class.

The above value makes the Horizon an ideal tour car. The compact recreational vehicle based on the V-Class is above all surprisingly roomy. After all, we are talking about only 514 cm of body length and 199.5 cm in height. This second dimension turns out to be invaluable when we want to use the vehicle on a daily basis, carelessly using garages or multi-storey parking lots. Shopping hastily in crowded parking lots? You do not need to reach for the key to activate the automatic tailgate opening, since you can only open the glass pane. In turn, the exceptionally configurable interior and comfortable sleeping conditions for up to five people make it a suitable proposition for young families, sports and active recreation enthusiasts. How did this slogan come out during our test lasting several days? We tested the model in the recreational car segment in terms of ergonomics and the feeling of the highest visual and sensory quality at a distance of 1,200 km, arranging accommodation - and of course - at campsites, but also road tests with a trailer.

First impressions

We received the Marco Polo Horizon 250 d for testing - a model with the most powerful 190 HP diesel engine, tuned to an automatic transmission. It differs from the top-of-the-range 4Matic by transferring the drive only to the rear wheels. The noble bronze of the paintwork in the Mercedes specification is known as "dolomite brown" - it would look elegant in the light of restaurant gardens. Apart from the awning, it is difficult to see the tourist qualities of the van, which can be an advantage for the unfettered temptation to stay overnight. After all, it is not necessary to activate the roof-top bedroom to make the interior sufficient for 2–3 people overnight.

At the touch of the handle - the automatic sliding of the side doors on both sides of the body - we gain comfortable access to the interior for passengers. After dark, the deck is illuminated by a series of lights. The eye is attracted by the perfect interior design with noble materials and a stylishly designed cockpit. If you do not want the parking light and a short acoustic signal to be activated each time the door or the tailgate is opened (also closed), it is worth selecting the "extinguish" option in the settings panel. In addition, the central control panel is topped with a large screen that can serve as navigation, multimedia system management, and from there we control all comfort devices. A pleasant surprise - we communicate with the car in Polish. This is an important convenience. It is also much easier to use the multimedia tutorial than to rely on the paper version of the Marco Polo guide. By the way, the reading is about 400 pages long, and we discover with satisfaction that the vast majority of comfort systems turn out to be intuitive to use.

Two-bedroom touring van

Due to the imposed priorities - after all, we are talking about a fast lounge - the program providing us with a "house on wheels" has been limited to an absolute minimum. The priority at Marco Polo Horizon is the overnight function. Let's admit, however, that the overnight stay on board was treated professionally.

A bedroom under a lifted roof turns out to be the most convenient and quickest to implement. It is enough to release two locks to open the roof with a brisk movement, because the effort of lifting the sleeping roof shell is taken over by the actuators. Climbing the mattress is pure fun for the youngest - after all, leg support can be literally anything, e.g. folded second-row seats, inverted driver's or passenger's seat cushions. The comfortable bed for two people measures 205 x 113 cm and consists of a high-quality mattress with point-elastic springs. Since there is a bedroom for two people, a reading lamp is available to everyone. On the bent headband, the LED light sources can be adjusted in several power ranges and beam diffusion or focus. Ingeniously simple, but what an ergonomic solution!

The permissible load of the upper bedroom is 200 kg, and there is nothing to prevent the installation of a system for transporting loads up to 50 kg on the raised roof.

Stylish and comfortable inside

High flexibility and economical use of the interior volume was achieved thanks to the use of an adaptive system of guides for fixing the seats. And here we come to perhaps the most interesting discovery. Well, a 7-seater living room can be a bedroom for 2-3 people at the same time, so getting an overnight stay does not mean having to remove two armchairs (seats in the second row). Not without significance, they can be folded in any case - regardless of whether to rotate the driver's and passenger's seat by 180 degrees, or just push both of them as far as possible into the cab. Due to the easy-entry type mounting, the release of the seat lock does not require forceful solutions. It is a bit different with the table module. Preparing the nearly 2-meter-long floor requires the use of both hands, since two locks fall out, each on both sides of the plastic housing. The next step on the way to the accommodation in the Marco Polo Horizon interior is to move the 3-seater sofa to the front as much as possible. This operation requires getting into the habit of overcoming the inertia of the ball bearings of the yoke moving in the guides, because we are dealing with a weight of 75 kg. The last step is to place an upholstered fragment that extends the sofa, as a result of which we gain a plane measuring 193x135 cm. The tinted side and rear windows can be covered while sleeping, gaining the intimacy of the bedroom arranged in such a way.

Two spacious drawers under the sofa turn out to be a valuable asset. Each can be loaded with a load of up to 9 kg, so we can easily put a set of bedding here.

It opens up horizons at a stop

Ergonomic and easily rotated driver and front passenger seats, in the center a height-adjustable table top and two seats opposite. The stylish and comfortable character of the car encourages you to turn the interior into a cozy, relaxing corner at any time. Since the Horizon inherits the tilting roof from its predecessors, the maximum interior height here is as much as 235 cm. It is enough to attach the mattress frame under the raised roof with two tapes with an eyelet to enjoy the standing position in the interior of the vehicle, which is not afraid of garages or underground parking lots, limiting access for vehicles up to 2 meters high. Well, the camping equipment of the Marco Polo family is developed in collaboration with a proven partner - the company Westfalia. The proof of well-thought-out solutions is also an awning with a width of approx. 2.5 meters. The value of many motorhomes proves to be an uncomplicated quick roof that protects against rain or sun rays.

Being ready to travel requires an uncomplicated operation in two steps. Nothing prevents you from folding the roof alone by activating the telescopic lock - from the inside, of course, since we have to pull the capsule down at the same time. A marker was deliberately placed in the sheathing of the bedroom, used to activate the telescopic supports, to activate the locks again after a few seconds. In short, the Marco Polo Horizon turns out to be perfect for any occasion and any adventure - it is the perfect means of transport for young families and for people who like to play sports and spend their free time actively 365 days a year.

Artykuły - Dyskretny urok caravaningu - Marco Polo Horizon

Thanks to the built-in heating technology and sophisticated ventilation systems, the car is always well-conditioned. Our favorite feature is the electric sunroof, which is available on request. Sliding and tilting ensures that the cabin is always properly lit. Transparent glass with an area of ​​about 60x33 cm and the possibility of moving it away by a maximum of 25 cm ensure perfect ventilation and air circulation, e.g. during sleep.

Caravanning in winter?

Speaking of the lounge on board the Mercedes brand, let's mention the heated seats - not only for the driver or the passenger, but also for those in the second row. When it comes to heated seats, it is worth paying more attention to the flexible power cable with a spiral coil, and certainly during the operation of moving the seats. When we want to remove the seats, e.g. when changing the van into a large transport van, you have to open the can lids in advance, in which you will find 12 V sockets to disconnect the power supply.

When it comes to the optional equipment package, in addition to air conditioning, we can order an additional heat exchanger at the rear, additional air heating with parking heater function, and even a radio remote control to operate additional water heating or additional air heating. The auxiliary heating can be programmed at any time or activated via a mobile phone thanks to Mercedes me services. At the same time, it is worth adding that on hot days, the parking heater acts as ventilation, when it can be turned on at any time in order to ventilate the heated interior of a car standing all day, e.g. on a campsite.

Since we have a flexible interior at our disposal, because with a system of guides that allow individual sliding and removal of individual seats or sofas, nothing stands in the way of far-reaching individualisation of the Horizon.

A tourist refrigerator? There are half a dozen on board 12 V sockets, and the tilt windows in the passenger compartment are a sufficient incentive to retrofit, for example, a stove during holiday trips. It can also be different.

Harnessing the Marco Polo Horizon

440 Nm sounds promising and for good reason - the Marco Polo Horizon is designed to be driven in a set with trailers weighing up to 2,500 kg. Also cautiously, on the right side of the boot upholstery there is a carved cover, under which we find a ball joint. The complete trailer coupling turns out to be very easy to assemble and is the result of cooperation with the company Westfalia-Automotive. The hook is automatically released vertically after releasing (pulling) the lock. Once mounted, it is worth protecting it against theft with an appropriate key. For the purposes of road tests, we combined our model with a trailer weighing 2 tons. The newest van from the German concern turns out to be a very strong workhorse in fact, as it can cope even on grassy, ​​quite wet ground. The aerodynamic silhouette does its job. Sometimes only on bumpy roads it makes itself felt, let's admit it right away - for a short while - the awning that resonates, because the interior details perfectly fit perfectly in the test set. However, whoever thinks more seriously about caravanning with a trailer, we definitely recommend the 4Matic, permanent all-wheel drive.

A ready-to-go car weighs approximately 2,300 kg. Easily and with all the passengers on board, it reaches 200 km / h, satisfying the demand of 8–9 liters (at a travel speed of 140–150 km / h). A much more enjoyable discovery is the fact that exceeding 11 liters per hundred turns out to be a more difficult challenge. The 70-liter fuel tank allows you to enjoy a great sense of autonomy. The start-stop system saves a few percent of fuel, which is also carefully monitored by the central computer. When you delve into the graphics of the charts, you can approach the eco-driving recommendations methodically.

Let's add that the drive meets the Euro 6 standard, so every 7-8 thousand. km, the 11.5 liter AdBlue tank must be refilled.

A safe travel companion

Of course, we did not put it to the test, but a glance at the extensive safety features of the Marco Polo Horizon makes it a benchmark in the motorhome and recreational vehicle segment. Take the Mercedes-Benz emergency call for example - when activated on the roof control panel, it is part of the Mercedes me connect basic services. Standard equipment includes Crosswind Assist and Attention Assist, which alerts the driver when it recognizes the usual signs of fatigue.

Among the systems that improve safety, we have, among others Collision Prevention Assist, Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist, which make driving even safer and more comfortable. We like the so-called parking package with 360 degree camera. The four cameras of the system are located at the front in the radiator grille, at the side in the exterior mirrors and at the rear in the handle bar of the tailgate. The camera image is shown on the center console display. It is a great help when we start to try on tight parking spaces or to reverse with the idea of ​​safely attaching the trailer drawbar!

Marco Polo Horizon 250 d

Rafał Dobrowolski

The article is from issue 4 (77) 2017 of Polish Caravanning