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Why I won’t be buying a Marco Polo

Method7

Member
Sorry @Toothlessjon I understand you have had a terrible shopping experience and I feel your frustrations. I have been running a V-class for the past 15 years and on a number of occasions experienced the lack of knowledge MB car dealerships have regarding this commercial crossover. One quick visit to our local showroom confirmed that the Marco Polo was no exception.

I do sympathise with you but the fact remains, my MP is parked on the driveway quite simply because I wasn’t prepared tor my time to be wasted by these idiots.
 

BabaJen

Active Member
Yes that is very poor, I wasn’t really referring to this particular experience, but again it does go to reaffirm my point that these “assistants” have other priorities.
Their priority should be earning a living. The only way that they are going to earn a living is to sell vehicles. They should do that. The only "excuse" I can think of is that they find it more rewarding to sell a V Class van which is simple and often sold in fleet numbers compared to a MP which is far more complex and sold in singles.

The MP is still in it's infancy in the UK. Those dealers that will rise to the top by being well versed with the vehicle and hungry to sell them have yet to rise to the top. Then it will be like VW dealers, those to avoid are well known and those that are good sell loads of them.
 
BabaJen

I think the simple fact is most Mercedes cars sell themselves. I am told that Mercedes dealerships have to sell 3 Marco Polo’s each per year, that’s a very easy target to achieve. The sales reps can also sell 3 cars in the time they spend trying to sell an MP.

We have bought numerous Mercedes and the service level at the purchase stage has been poor in each occasion. So why did we buy them? Simply that they nice cars. Having said that we did move away from Mercedes for a number of years because of the poor services.

I think if Volkswagen put out a long wheel base version of the California, upgrade the drivers safety features, smarted up the Cab they could kill off the MP. Although the stylish body of the MP and the badge will help it’s sales.

Just a thought?
 

BabaJen

Active Member
BabaJen

I think the simple fact is most Mercedes cars sell themselves. I am told that Mercedes dealerships have to sell 3 Marco Polo’s each per year, that’s a very easy target to achieve. The sales reps can also sell 3 cars in the time they spend trying to sell an MP.

We have bought numerous Mercedes and the service level at the purchase stage has been poor in each occasion. So why did we buy them? Simply that they nice cars. Having said that we did move away from Mercedes for a number of years because of the poor services.

I think if Volkswagen put out a long wheel base version of the California, upgrade the drivers safety features, smarted up the Cab they could kill off the MP. Although the stylish body of the MP and the badge will help it’s sales.

Just a thought?
To be honest there is so little between them it comes down to personal choice. When I was deciding between the two the cabin of the MP actually went against me. I'm buying a van, I want a van interior. I've just finished spring-cleaning Alfie and it's amazing what I stow up front in the cabin area. There is a lot to like in the MP but there is no doubt the what keeps the VW selling in thousands is the "devil you know" factor. Having had one then everything in the MP has to compete and at the end of the day the slip back into comfort zone and buy what's competently done the job before often swings it.

I personally am well pleased that there is at last a choice and very difficult to put a pin between them. Had there been a 4WD equivalent of the MP when I was looking then I would have certainly teetered on the brink. The habitation area of the VW looks quite dated now compared to the MP. The vehicle is also my daily driver second car and I found the VW suspension to be a bit more rustic than the MP. However, I spend over 100 nights a year in the thing and drive thousands of miles and have no complaints.
 

Dan

New Member
I worked out the spec I wanted from research - a lot here, plus various Facebook groups. Far more knowledgable, friendly and helpful that a salesperson.

Then ordered via Drivethedeal.com - they quote an instant discounted price for MB Finance or cash sale. It will then be delivered to your home address from whichever dealership sources it. Ordered previous two cars from them. Hassle free purchase and competitive price.

10% discount on RRP.

Ordered end March, originally quoted early June delivery, currently standing at late May.

Feedback all round has been that dealerships know very little at point of sale or when collecting vehicle, so may as well skip that part out.

Worth considering perhaps?
 

ishi051

New Member
I lean towards the service side I’m afraid. If you are buying a 60k camper you need a good sales experience and service! MB are all about the cars... I’ve posted elsewhere on this forum about my woes with MB and despite loving the MP product we went with a specialist conversion of a VW van in the end because the sales team knew the product inside out.... Our handover took 3 hours for a start!! In contrast to our MB dealership who knew nothing about the MP and in the end it was all a bit of a disaster... My view now, probably slightly biased, but based on experience of both the MP product and a VW conversion is:
- MP: over-engineered seats and electric roof. Really no need to be electric at all.... On a tilt you can’t even open the electric roof!! (Or if the battery is low you can’t open the roof or lower the seats at all which is ridiculous).
- MB: no expertise in repairing the Westfalia conversion in the UK if something goes wrong
- MP: LWB is a pain in car parks. A SWB VW actually makes quite a difference driving and with a well designed conversion you don’t notice the missing 30 centimetres inside....
- VW: there are some really excellent conversions out there. Small practical things to look for: front opening fridge rather than top opening fridge in the MP. Table takes up a lot of room in the boot in the MP.
- MP: the drive is excellent being Mercedes. It doesn’t feel like a van more like a luxury SUV. Had the camper part works for us then I would be commuting in my MP as well as going away in it.
Finally - aren’t there Westfalia dealers in the UK that *do* specialise in the camper conversions of a Mercedes V class?? We had already gone down the VW route by then so too late for us but would be interested in hearing about any experiences at Westfalia dealers....


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rovimor

Member
I lean towards the service side I’m afraid. If you are buying a 60k camper you need a good sales experience and service! MB are all about the cars... I’ve posted elsewhere on this forum about my woes with MB and despite loving the MP product we went with a specialist conversion of a VW van in the end because the sales team knew the product inside out.... Our handover took 3 hours for a start!! In contrast to our MB dealership who knew nothing about the MP and in the end it was all a bit of a disaster... My view now, probably slightly biased, but based on experience of both the MP product and a VW conversion is:
- MP: over-engineered seats and electric roof. Really no need to be electric at all.... On a tilt you can’t even open the electric roof!! (Or if the battery is low you can’t open the roof or lower the seats at all which is ridiculous).
- MB: no expertise in repairing the Westfalia conversion in the UK if something goes wrong
- MP: LWB is a pain in car parks. A SWB VW actually makes quite a difference driving and with a well designed conversion you don’t notice the missing 30 centimetres inside....
- VW: there are some really excellent conversions out there. Small practical things to look for: front opening fridge rather than top opening fridge in the MP. Table takes up a lot of room in the boot in the MP.
- MP: the drive is excellent being Mercedes. It doesn’t feel like a van more like a luxury SUV. Had the camper part works for us then I would be commuting in my MP as well as going away in it.
Finally - aren’t there Westfalia dealers in the UK that *do* specialise in the camper conversions of a Mercedes V class?? We had already gone down the VW route by then so too late for us but would be interested in hearing about any experiences at Westfalia dealers....


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Hi ishi051

I couldn’t help noticing that your profile lists your vehicle as a V250 AMG - so I assume you did run an MP for a while and just haven’t updated the page. You have therefore presumably got good grounds for your views.

I have never owned a VW California but did look at a lot and test drove one, and also looked at a whole load of VW conversions. But in the end we went for the MP (a V250AMG as it happens) because for us the small extra length inside does make a big difference, the driving experience is great, we have no hassles parking in normal car parks (helped by a 360 degree camera), the beds are very comfortable, the table itself takes very little space (ditch the chair holder - it is just a matter of undoing the Velcro), and the electric roof and seats make setting up camp very easy (we have had no issues with roof or seats but admittedly haven’t tried camping on any significant slopes).

We also liked the fact that it is a little bit different - we have only ever seen a couple of others on the roads compared to the 100’s of VW’s that are everywhere. And the clincher (and I accept we might be lucky here) is that our local Mercedes dealers were keen, knowledgeable and made the purchasing experience a pleasure (despite the delays caused by the WLTP issues last year). Our handover was well over 2 hours and gave us some good initial confidence in the vehicle systems. I run another Mercedes car as well and have only had good experiences with the dealership over the past 10 years.

What does this prove - absolutely nothing - it all comes down to personal preference and the relationship (or not) that gives you faith in the local dealers/suppliers. Did we make the right decision? Definitely for us, but everybody else has to assess what’s right for them. I hope you are having as much fun in your VW as we are in our MP because at the end of the day that’s what it’s about.

Oh and I forgot to say that occasionally just for a reality check we take our 1971 VW early bay out for a spin or camping trip and that just reminds us how much easier it is to drive and camp with a modern campervan (VW or MP) - I think your post and mine is making the same point - just choose what’s right for you.
 

ishi051

New Member
Rovimor - a brilliant post - many thanks for coming back. A lot of your views resonate with me as an ex-MP owner. Had it not been for the service and disastrous experience with the seat we had I would still be a very happy V250 AMG MP owner. The camping experience in both MP and VW vans are fantastic. The MP offers a superior drive but there are more practicalities on the camping side in the VWs in my view... A tough choice really for new buyers but I’ll stick with my original comment: the MP product is lovely but the sales including the handover and after service (should you need it) at this price point needs to be very good!.... I’m off to update my profile!
 

Cumbrians

New Member
We went to a couple of dealerships that were hopeless and didn’t know anything about the vehicles. Trying to get a straight answer about heaters was particularly difficult and it seems to be standard to let the leisure battery go flat so nothing works.
Went to Carlisle Mercedes and the rep, Katie, was excellent. She ended up getting us a demonstrator in the spec we wanted from the other end of the country. Unfortunately we’ve had some issues with it but customer service and knowledge has been very good.
 

rovimor

Member
Rovimor - a brilliant post - many thanks for coming back. A lot of your views resonate with me as an ex-MP owner. Had it not been for the service and disastrous experience with the seat we had I would still be a very happy V250 AMG MP owner. The camping experience in both MP and VW vans are fantastic. The MP offers a superior drive but there are more practicalities on the camping side in the VWs in my view... A tough choice really for new buyers but I’ll stick with my original comment: the MP product is lovely but the sales including the handover and after service (should you need it) at this price point needs to be very good!.... I’m off to update my profile!
By the sound of things many Mercedes dealers need to up their game. Good service should be a given when you buy any vehicle let alone a MB.
 

Znakecharm

New Member
The reason I went for the MP rather than a California, is the fact that I found finish and interior quality far superior on the MP.
I've only considered second hand vehicles as buying a camper in Denmark can be a costly affair.
That said - in Denmark there is an extreme hype around the VW campers tuning the prices for second hands up to an obscene level, where the MPs are rarer, but more price/quality related.
Still - when I compare the interior of the two: VW california vs MB Marco Polo - they are miles apart.
Having seen quite a few of them with some miles on the meter - the VWs practically all had problems with the sliding doors of the cupboards.

So - the reason I chose the MB was primarily due to the fact that I expect to use it for years to come and I want it to last, and the "few" extra centimeters of space definitely mean a lot also.

I must confess - the 3.0 V6 diesel engine also adds to my positive experience, even though I wish that it had a DSG gearbox rather than a traditional automatic gearbox. (mine is a Viano 2006 model)

A small note on the roof not opening when not level.
Why would anyone pop the roof if the car isn't level ?
You can't sleep in it if it isn't level and I guess cooking wouldn't be a nice experience either. So - level the car first (always) - then pop the roof.

But most importantly - never regret your choice :cool:

All the best

Jorgen
 

Shah62

New Member
Being a bit of a geek I found out pretty early in my life that sales people generally have no idea about the products they are selling. All these products on the market are sold as lifestyle accessories, you are not expected to care about the specifics or even know the details. This concept was cemented in the late 80s Dixon’s while attempting to purchase HiFi and camera equipment, I just wanted to discuss advantages and disadvantages of specific functions, I wanted a geeky fix to fulfil and maximise the joy of making a (seemingly) significant purchase.

To be fair sales people, estate agents and any other front of house operative in general do not have the capacity to digest and understand all this data, their primary purpose is quite simply to do the admin. Their prime concern is not to serve the customer, it is to run the cash register.

For me it is the responsibility of the buyer to fully understand their needs and how, or if that fits within the market. This must include the product the options available and potential after market capabilities. Good homework, research and being pragmatic about all the things you discover will almost certainly help narrow down your options.

I no longer expect a visit to a showroom, exhibition centre or shop to fulfil my academic requirements, I don’t expect the person who presents themselves as a assistant to know more about the product than me, it’s great when they surprise me but I don’t expect it because I already know, I have already made my decision and I suspect this is the same for most of us.

Agreed, a knowledgeable and accommodating experience can swing the deal when we doubt ourselves but without that we have still made our decision. I think we have pre-conceived expectations when we visit these points of sale and this is hugely influenced by the value of products being considered.

Pop to the shop for a news paper or pop to the showroom for a 70k van, I’m not sure the experiences should be different, I know we expect it to be different but why should it?

I’ve not had any other main dealer experience and cannot really fault MB, we knew what we wanted, we found a vehicle 260miles away made some phone calls exchanged videos and photos and made a deposit. 7 days later, I jumped on a plane sales man picked me up at the airport we completed the deal and I drove off.

I didn’t buy a MP because I was expecting other pople to know more about it than me, I didn’t expect it to be a fun, enjoyable experience, spending that kind of money hurts.. For me the pleasure in this process lies in the research and decisions, the choices and turning my back on that really quite good MB dealership in Manchester.

I think if you are after a service experience then maybe consider booking into a health spar or The Fat Duck.
This is good advice and from personal experience with a recent MB dealership experience I back your comments wholeheartedly!
 
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