The Compact’s slim body makes it easier to drive in towns and on narrow lanes, while the new DL layout and the Supreme spec’s Sky-lounge create a remarkably spacious interior. With a comfortable bedroom, well-equipped kitchen and practical washroom, this is a superb all-rounder for a couple wanting a motorhome that’s not too big to get off the beaten track. A star of the 2020 season.
Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Price from: £53,700 Berths: 3 Travel seats: 4 Length: 6.99m Width: 2.12m Height: 2.85m Gross weight: 3,500kg
The Compact has long been part of Adria’s line-up, designed to cater for those looking for something slim of width, but not necessarily under 6m in length. Like its predominantly German, narrow-bodied, fixed bed rivals, it comes in transverse double or twin single bedroom flavours but, for the new season, it has been completely redesigned.
At the UK preview of the Slovenian company’s 2020 range, the Compact stood out as one of the stars. One reason it caught our eye was the new Supreme spec, which means all-silver bodywork from bumper to bumper. The Plus models continue (at £2,000 less) but this is the first time there’s been a choice of trim level for the Compact. There’s a new layout, too, called DL. Unlike the shorter SP floorplan, which carries over from the previous Compact, the newcomer has a side settee lounge.
Of course, it would be difficult for the new Compact Supreme DL to feel confined inside with probably the largest overcab sunroof we’ve ever seen. The (non-opening, doubleglazed) Sky-roof not only makes up almost all of the cab’s ceiling but it actually stretches back over the beginning of the lounge (where there’s also a much smaller sunroof). Add in the Supreme’s Sandy White interior scheme and you have a surprisingly spacious feel throughout the motorhome.
The only possible downside of the lounge is that it’s on two levels. The front seats swivel to face a short sofa on either side and it’s noticeable that the cab chairs are higher, as is the cab floor. The settees are well shaped for comfort (with knee-rolls and curved backs) and the table itself folds in half and measures 700mm square when unfurled – more than adequate for a couple and reachable from the cab chairs when required. After dinner, you can recline in those front seats with feet up on the settees and the TV drops down in front of the offside window, its bracket hiding in the top locker forward of the habitation door.
Any rear passengers will appreciate the possibility of ventilation on the go that a sliding window offers but, while the nearside settee converts easily into a forward-facing travel seat with good legroom and visibility, plus a threepoint belt and car-style headrest, the offside bench adapts into a rearfacing seat with just a lap belt. The conversion is, again, relatively simple but the wobbly backrest support doesn’t inspire confidence and no one is going to want to sit here facing the washroom wall for long. That wall is adorned with a grab handle (the single, internal step up into the ’van is no bother) and a leather-look trim panel incorporating a pocket so shallow as to be virtually useless. What this area needs, though, a couple of coat hooks.
The twin-bed-over-garage format here is a classic and the equal-length (1.93m) beds have comfortable, not overly firm, mattresses on slatted bases. You can also extend the centre of the mattress with a sliding panel and an infill cushion to create a transverse double that’s 1.96m by 1.55m. The only privacy is provided by an unlined curtain that only reaches down to mattress level. That might matter if you use the Compact’s third berth, created in the lounge area by lowering the table and rearranging the seat cushions. The resultant berth is adult-sized, but shaping of the seat cushions makes for a lumpy bed.
We always like to see a galley that has drawers, rather than cupboards, so the Compact’s not-overly-compact cooking quarters are off to a good start. Adria also goes its own way in the cooking department, with its L-shaped three-burner hob and sink in stainless steel leaving a useful rectangle of worktop in front of the hob. This area can host the removable draining board when the time comes, or it can sit over the closed glass hob lid. There’s a built-in extractor over the hob but that’s not your only cooking option as there’s also a Thetford oven/ grill mounted just under the counter. Finally, the fridge is a good size (90 litres but it looks bigger) and mounted above worktop level for convenience.
A wide tambour door makes for easy access into a washroom that is practical and makes excellent use of space. There’s as well as a couple of shelves with substantial lips for storage, a roof vent for ventilation and a rail on which to hang wet coats or towels. The swivel loo is mounted at a sensible height and the oval basin is backed by a large mirror. An unusual touch is the hotel-style push-down/pop-up plug for the basin and everything in here seems well planned. For showering, the basin and the curved wall behind it swing around, over the toilet, to create a curtainfree shower cubicle that should be big enough for most users.
A generous fresh water tank of 140 litres increases your independence on tour, but the waste tank (underslung but insulated and heated) is a relatively modest 85 litres. The drain taps for the water tanks are conveniently sited in the garage and the waste outlet is of a sensibly large bore, so you won’t be parked at the service point for an interminable time.
The garage itself has been an area of focus for Adria across its motorhome portfolio for 2020, so you’ll find good lighting inside as well as adjustable tie-down points, heavy-duty flooring with two drain holes, and 12V, 230V and USB sockets.
On the road, then, the Compact felt much like many other low-profiles. The lower ‘camping-car’ chassis ensured a stable and surefooted drive but the hard ride, as ever, elicited a few rattles from the living area. Where the Compact feels different is on narrow country lanes and, perhaps even more so, in towns where the slim body (barely wider than the cab) makes the little Adria seem a much less stressful proposition.
If you enjoyed this review, you can read the full version and more in the October 2019 issue of MMM magazine. You can get a digital version of this latest issue of MMM magazine here.