Detailed ReviewTHE new Gleneagle is instantly easier on the eye, being both sleeker and six inches lower, which brings the additional advantage of a slimmer overcab pod, compete with standard Skyview panoramic opening sunroof.
Step through the central habitation door and you’ll find two settees (each of which is over 6ft long) to your left and a huge L-shaped kitchen ahead of you and to your right.
Facing the kitchen is a dresser unit, and between that and the kitchen a sturdy door (with an oval mirror mounted on it) that leads through to a palatial end washroom.
A lower roofline means that the eye-level lockers are just that, so you no longer need a step ladder in order to reach their contents. Perhaps more importantly, the upper cupboards all now have centre push-button locks in their handles to keep the lockers’ contents securely stowed.
The cab seats swivel to face those long settees and you can either invite a few couples in for coffee, or be blissfully anti-social and just luxuriate in having so much room to put your feet up and relax with a DVD.
After all, the re-designed dresser unit now includes a 15-inch flatscreen TV, which pulls out from behind a silver tambour door on a bi-fold arm so that everyone in the lounge can see it.
New and mainly LED 12V lighting means typically up to three times more life from your leisure battery.
Also, even after the swivel spotlamps in our test model had been left on for a couple of hours, they remained cool enough to the touch to twist into a new position.
So, the lounge is impressive, but the kitchen is more impressive still. You’ll struggle to find a motorhome with more worktop space than this – ever!
There’s an L-shaped galley and large dresser, while the forward end of the kitchen has a large and sturdy folding worktop extension and the end of the ‘L’ incorporates a swing-out unit that stretches the kitchen to over two-thirds of the vehicle’s width.
Make sure you visit the bathroom before the chef gets too carried away, though, because it’s more of a step-through than a walk-through from the lounge with the kitchen extended.
Kit-wise, the chef gets an all-singing, all-dancing domestic-style cooker and a sink big enough to bathe in, plus a separate (and equally large) drainer, a big cutlery drawer, a cocktail cabinet, plate and cup racks and a microwave oven.
The microwave is at a sensible height, so there’s no risk of you dripping hot soup all over yourself.
The final icing on the cake is a bigger fridge/freezer – now with 175-litre capacity, frameless door and SES operation (which chooses its own power source).
It’s hard for the bathroom – sited across the whole of the rear of the Gleneagle – to posses a greater wow-factor than the kitchen, but it does try.
There’s a reasonably generous separate shower (albeit with doors that wouldn’t close properly on this prototype) and the latest generation swivel cassette toilet, but what really stands out is the storage space and the amount of room in which to get robed or disrobed.
Come night-time, you’ll have a choice of bedroom formats.
The easiest one is to stow the backrest cushions in the cab and use the settees as single beds. I’d recommend, however, that you pull the forward sections of the settees together to make a three-quarter double, still sleeping lengthways. You’ll have more bed to stretch out in but it’s still just as easy to get out to go to the bathroom.
Alternatively, you can arrange the cushions in the same way and sleep across the vehicle in a good-sized double that leaves a seat on each side where you can sit to undress. Finally, you can go the whole hog and turn the whole lounge into a 6ft 9in by 6ft 3in king-size double.
The Gleneagle has always been a worthy flagship, but it now gets the lowline look it’s always deserved.
• A full version of this review first appeared in the October 2008 issue of Which Motorcaravan magazine. To order a road test reprint contact Tina Beaumont on 01778 391187. To subscribe to the magazine, click here.