Good build quality and a sub £30,000 price makes the Eurostyle cracking value for money. The Ford base is good to drive, too.
Eurostyle T63 2007
AT under £30,000, this low-profile motorcaravan is well within the reach of many who dismiss buying a new ’van as merely a pipe dream.
Meanwhile, others will presume that at this price it must be basic, badly built or lacking comfort.
The Eurostyle hails from Dethleffs – a company that also offers top-of-the-range A-class models that will set you back over £67,000.
So the Eurostyle is screwed together as firmly as any other German motorhome – quality won’t be an issue. There are lots of home comforts too, and it’s well insulated, making this a motorhome for all-year-round use.
This is the first new-generation Ford I’ve got my mitts on – but variety is the spice of life as I’ve spent most of the summer piloting various Fiat and Renault-based motorhomes.
It was off to a bad start, though, as I deplored the Transit’s seating position. This is purely as a result of the T63’s swivelling seat base, which lifts the driver’s seat to an uncomfortably high level for those who, like myself, are vertically challenged.
The second surprise was the lack of a sixth gear – although you get a six-speed ‘box with Ford’s larger engines, this Eurostyle sticks to the smaller 2.2TDCi unit.
The new dash-mounted gearchange was slick, though, and the loss of that extra gear mainly went unnoticed – although you do need to stir the cogs frequently. But this little engine chugs along beautifully, despite the ’van’s bulk, and it cruises comfortably at the legal limit. The chassis handles nicely around the country lanes too, with very little lean around corners or jolting over bumps.
All-in-all, the Ford got the thumbs up, especially as my test vehicle came with the optional (£995) Flex Pack, which includes cab air-conditioning, electric windows and a CD/radio.
The only real downsides are the lack of central locking in the cab and the non-retracting caravan step which, when you turn the engine on, screams a warning buzzer at you until you get up and press the button beside the caravan door to fold the step away.
A more positive surprise – especially at the price – is the cruise control with steering wheel-mounted switches.
The T63’s layout is one I favour – a front half-dinette that combines with the swivelling cab seats and an inward-facing settee – this all turns into a large double too, making this a proper four-berth motorhome with the correct number of seatbelts).
Behind the seating is the caravan door on the offside (the ‘wrong’ side for the UK, remember) and the galley. Bringing up the rear is an exceptionally comfortable longitudinal double bed, with a corner bathroom alongside.
Living in the T63 proved a pleasure, and it lacked for nothing as far as comfort is concerned – unlike some budget coachbuilts.
Here, there’s plenty of seating for a family of four, although two of you will need lap-trays as the sliding table doesn’t extend length-ways for dining.
Storage is copious too, with deep shelves above the cab and plenty of positive-locking eye-level lockers (with more enclosed shelves beneath) stretching back from the lounge to the motorhome’s rear wall behind the bed.
What is missing in the lounge is a dedicated TV cupboard – but more importantly the nearest three-pin plug is in the kitchen, so you’ll have to weave the gogglebox’s wire over the kitchen unit to the dining table. This is less than ideal, especially when cooking.
And you may well be inspired to spend more time in this galley than in many European motorhomes as not only do you get a three-burner hob (manual ignition) and a large Dometic fridge, but also a Smev oven – if not a grill.
There are only two complaints here, both concerning the sink. This seems to be set too far back into the kitchen unit for comfort (although my burgeoning baby-bump at the time didn’t help matters), and there’s no drainer either.
The washroom is similarly well equipped.
If you’d have told me the Eurostyle was £5000 more expensive I’d still have been impressed, but at this price it seems remarkable.
A full version of this review first appeared in the November 2007 issue of Which Motorcaravan. To subscribe to the magazine, click here.