BASED on the Fiat Ducato’s lowline camper chassis, the Terrestra range takes advantage of this new frame, offering a capacious double floor and full winterisation.
Curvy styling fits the new Fiat cab well – the enormous overcab juts out, shading the Ducato’s steeply sloping windscreen.
Here, the Ducato comes as standard with cab air-conditioning, cruise control and radio/CD in addition to the expected driver’s airbag and electric mirrors and windows.
Inside, the cab remains entirely separate from the living area as front end pullman dinette and rear U-shaped lounge offer plentiful sitting, dining and sleeping space.
Six berths are on offer – in three double beds – with the overcab in starring role.
Once you scale the access ladder, you discover why this luton juts out so much outside; the double bed up here is so big that I could sleep lengthways.
I’m not much of a fan of overcab beds, but this one could lull even me off to a good night’s sleep, such is its space and comfort.
Another stand-out feature is the offside kitchen – its colourful cabinets (in deep burgundy) set it apart from the rest in fine style, while ranks of strongly-made drawers provide almost too much storage space.
There’s no oven here though, and the ignition-less hob makes for a moan too. Oceans of worktop redeem the galley somewhat, but the modest fridge – in this family-sized ‘van – does not.
At the rear a compact wrap-around lounge includes the kind of continental table that kneels to help make the transverse bed and, inevitably, gets in the way when you want to relax.
The washroom includes a semi-separate shower with rigid screen. There’s a decent vanity basin in here too, but only the white of the Thetford loo relieves the décor – ‘true blue’ could become ‘too blue’ for owners after a while.
With a double floor and big locker under the lounge, the A 690HS is capacious, but there lies the rub.
In standard form – on the 3,500kg chassis – it offers precious little payload for its recommended four occupants; add three 75kg passengers and you are left with a paltry 125kg of payload.
The answer to this problem? You should only order this ‘van with the 4,000kg chassis option, which comes with a much more useable 810kg carrying capacity.
Big and Teutonically-tough this Terrestra looks and feels good, but it’ll only function properly on the larger capacity chassis.
Make: Eura Mobil
Model: Terrestra A 690HS
Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato chassis-cab, 130bhp
Price from: £43,139 on-the-road
Length: 7.06m (23ft 2in)
Width: 2.30m (7ft 6.5in)
Height: 3.24m (10ft 7.5in)
Gross vehicle weight: 3,500kg (optional 4,000kg)
Payload: 350kg (optional 810kg)
Travel seats: 4, including driver
• This review first appeared in the April 2007 issue of Which Motorcaravan. To subscribe to the magazine, click here.