Detailed ReviewAuto-Trail Cheyenne 696G
This latest Cheyenne 696G SE might be the motorhome that marks the beginning of a change to Auto-Trail’s reputation for building thoroughly traditional British motorhomes. It marks the debut of the first ever full-size garage-equipped Cheyenne, complete with a high-level double bed located directly over it.
Externally, this brand-new model’s biggest change from last year is obviously the new Fiat Ducato base vehicle (you can opt for the latest Mercedes Sprinter base if you prefer). Elsewhere, Auto-Trail has wisely chosen to leave the rest of the Cheyenne’s chiselled external looks well alone.
You can order your 696G with one of two lounge layouts, with Auto-Trail’s show model sporting more traditional twin parallel settees. I thought the 696G’s lounge felt just a little small compared to the overall size of the vehicle, although each settee can easily seat two full-size adults and the swivel cab seats mean six of you can relax or sit down to dinner. Those on the cab seats might be better off sharing the smaller round table, though.
The fixed carpets are a bit of a surprise, but the feeling of sheer luxury hasn’t been lost, with beautifully made two-tone cabinetry, sumptuously plump upholstery and lavish levels of lighting allied to many little thoughtful design touches such as the LED marker lights indicating the step up into the washroom area.
Speaking of which, this part of the vehicle works well overall, with the shower to the left as you look towards the rear of the motorhome, and the toilet/washroom to the right. This latter is a little tight for space around the toilet, but simply closing the room off from the rest of the vehicle opens up acres of space. As one would-be buyer noted at the show, however, the gap between the door and its frame in this position is big enough for the occupant of the toilet to be actually visible.
As you’d expect, the kitchen is well-equipped and enjoys ample worktop and locker space, although having a 90-litre fridge looks a little mean in a motorhome this size, while having the hefty main power unit located high in one of the roof lockers is positively peculiar.
And the bedroom? Sensibly, there’s just one side window – at the foot end of the bed – while lighting and mattress size/thickness are more than up to scratch.
More elegant than ever, and the luxurious Cheyenne’s traditional British feel works well with this more European layout.
Model: Cheyenne 696G SE
Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato 40 Heavy 130 Multijet
Price from: £44,576 on-the-road
Length: 7.40m (24ft 3in)
Width: 2.31m (7ft 7in)
Height: 2.97m (9ft 8in)
Gross vehicle weight: 4,000kg