THE swoopy Adria-sourced shape is as smart, separate and downright good-looking as ever, and you’ll no doubt be pleasantly surprised to discover that the polyester walls and handsome alloy wheels come as standard-fitment.
But look again, and you’ll note that it looks rather long for a single-axle caravan, and seems to have a superabundance of windows to boot.
In actual fact, there’s a very good reason for both of these latter qualities, for not only does the Symphony have a whopping six berths to bear, but two of those berths come in the form of a fixed longitudinal double bed.
From a purely showroom floor appeal perspective, the Symphony gets off to something of a winning start, as it feels truly different and special as soon as you climb aboard.
The 4ft 5in-long settees up front aren’t long enough to make up into a pair of single beds, but the U-shaped seating is thoroughly sociable and big enough for mum and dad to entertain a couple of guests. The sprogs can make merry in the offside pullman single dinette.
Ideal for the children
The overall ambience, too, strikes just the right chord, with the standard ‘Boomzanzi’ upholstery set off nicely by the ‘Boomtex’ faux leather trim and rich, warm cabinetry, complete with proper unitary locker doors.
Then again, this caravan might just appeal to couples who want the luxury of a permanent bed, together with the versatility of a layout that provides entirely self-contained dining and lounging, and don’t mind sacrificing a separate shower compartment in the washroom in order to get it.
Perversely, the sort of buyer I can least imagine swarming all over the Symphony is anyone with a six-strong family.
Mum and dad and two offspring will be just fine in their respective beds, but I can’t imagine children of six or seven (or older) wanting to share a double bed come night-time, even in sleeping bags.
You could bed the extra two children down in an awning, I suppose, but they can get mighty cold in the winter months, leaving this as an option that’s only really viable during the summer months.
In reality, I’d say that families of four are most likely to gravitate naturally to the Symphony, with the extra two berths held in occasional reserve for visiting family and friends, and viewed in this light, the Symphony makes the most sense.
Said family would need to accept that they’ll need to down steadies on a full-facility site, however, as while the kitchen is more than up to the job of cooking for four (or even six), the washroom, which lives in the far offside corner and has the bench-type cassette toilet, washbasin and shower tray all lumped in together, is definitely for occasional nocturnal visits and morning tooth-brushing only.
That kitchen really is a cracker, though, with lockers, cupboards and drawers seemingly everywhere you look, and an embarrassment of worktop space that can be augmented still further by folding down the large flap which opens through into the end bedroom.
You also get a digital Thetford fridge and some thoroughly smart plexi-glass roof locker doors, while the ‘floating’ light over the cooker looks the business, and provides ample illumination.
The bedroom at the rear of the caravan is one of the best of its type, too. The old bug-bear of a chopped-off mattress (to allow easier through movement into the washroom) remains, but there are knick-knack shelves galore, and each occupant of the bed gets a dedicated reading light and a proper padded headboard.
I’m all for caravan manufacturers coming up with new and innovative ways of getting people comfortable in lounge, dining and sleeping terms, and while some ideas, which seemed good at the time, in reality failed to grab the buying public’s attention and faded away over time, the Symphony actually has quite a bit of promise.
• A full version of this review appeared in the March 2007 issue of Which Caravan. To order a road test reprint contact Tina Beaumont on 01778 391187.
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