Are you green with envy? Or does that vivid, vibrant paintwork turn your stomach?
Either way, this was one of the most talked about motorhomes at last October’s NEC show – along with the more subtly painted but even more revolutionary slide-out model that IH also launched.
Not everyone wants silver or white, it seems (there’s a rumour of a bright metallic yellow IH to follow), but you can save money by sticking with standard Fiat paintwork if you prefer.
The N-Class is about much more than standing out from the crowd, though. It’s about blurring the divide between coachbuilt motorhomes and high-top van conversions. If Bürstner’s Brevio is the coachbuilt that’s closest to being a campervan, this IH is the nearest thing to a fully fledged motorhome built within an all-steel van body.
With new investment in a restructured business, work began on new products as late as last May. That’s when the N-Class was conceived. And the key feature of all N-Class models (there are four – two rear lounges, two front lounges, one of them with the slide-out) is the ‘Entrance Module’ for which IH has applied for a patent.
That’s a grand term for replacing the Fiat sliding door with a Hartal door, as seen on many coachbuilts. But the work involved is considerable – and only IH would do the job as thoroughly as this. It is genuinely difficult to see where Fiat’s work stops and IH’s starts. But why go to all that bother?
‘Rrrrrr, bang’! That’s the sound of a sliding door shutting on a campsite near you – and plenty of people hate it. Especially as it’s often followed by ‘rrrrrr, bang’, ‘rrrrrr, bang’ as the first – and second – attempts to close the massive door fail.
Every N-Class also has a redesigned rear panel with a bigger aperture for the top-hinged boot door. It still looks just as integrated as before but the storage possibilities have been increased, especially with this RG (rear garage) model.
Pulling the slatted seat bases together to make a comfy 6ft 1in by 4ft 5½in double bed with tight-fitting cushions (and so no gaps opening up in the night), I couldn’t help noticing that IH’s quality of finish extends into the under-seat bases where others might not worry so much.
And there’s plenty of room for your duvet and pillows in the nearside seat base, with still some room opposite despite the (neatly boxed in) boiler and water pump.
Up front, the swivel cab seats remain available if your partner fancies a lie-in and you could even leave the bed made up and have breakfast here; on the driver’s side there’s a shelf that can double as a coffee table, while the worktop flap on the end of the kitchen could serve as a table for the passenger seat.
Of course, the flap also provides much needed preparation space for the cook (and you can still get out through the Hartal door if you’re fairly slim).
Also featuring here are a domestic-style cooker (including a mains hotplate) and a sink with integral drainer and folding metal tap under a glass lid. Down below are two huge drawers, while smaller items (condiments and spices) can go in a cupboard behind the sink. Recessed into the top locker are 12V and 230V sockets (one of each) but you’ll need the sink lid closed to place a kettle here.
This article is an extract from a longer piece in February 2014 MMM magazine. To order your digital copy, click here.
For great digital Which Motorhome subscription deals, click here.
For great digital MMM subscription deals, click here.
More useful Motorhome pages:
Motorhomes for Sale | Motorhome Reviews | Sell Your Motorhome | Motorhome Advice | Motorhome Buyers' Guide
Motorhome News | Motorhome Articles | Motorhome Forums
MMM (Motorcaravan Motorhome Monthly) Magazine | Which Motorhome Magazine | Motorhome Shows