Base vehicle: Mercedes Sprinter Price from: £69,995 (£73,995 with Premium Pack) Berths: 2 Travel seats: 2 Length: 5.98m Width: 2.26m Height: 2.90m Gross weight: 3,200kg (3,500kg option) Payload: 354kg
With the arrival of the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter cab last year, an old favourite disappeared from Auto-Sleepers’ range as there was no suitable chassis available. Now, a short-wheelbase version of the Sprinter chassis-cab is back, so the Stanton returns for 2020.
Basically, this is the same motorhome as the Nuevo, so, if you want the most compact of Auto-Sleeper coachbuilt motorhomes, there’s now a choice of three possible base vehicles. The Nuevo comes on a Peugeot Boxer with a 2.2-litre, 165bhp engine and manual gearbox or a Fiat Ducato with 2.3-litre, 140bhp engine and nine-speed automatic – each newly updated to meet the Euro 6d emissions standard and both front-wheel drive.
Meanwhile, the reborn Stanton’s Mercedes chassis comes with rear-wheel drive, a seven-speed automatic gearbox and a 2.1-litre, 163bhp motor. Under the new system it also attracts a considerably lower rate of road tax (VED) than the Peugeot/Fiat-based models.
While the Merc is a Stanton, rather than a Nuevo, the layout is the same – and this season both have the lighter-toned Santani furniture as standard. New cab and ever-improving spec levels aside, the Stanton is also essentially the same motorhome as the Marquis Devon special edition launched back in 2008, so it’s something of a classic – and a successful one, too.
Typically, it has gradually evolved and improved in the time-honoured Auto-Sleepers fashion. The latest models have a full GRP coachbuilt body with platinum-coloured sides and LED tail-lights, as well as an external TV socket, barbecue point and 230V socket. Mud flaps, an electric step with automatic retraction, rear corner steadies and a Maxview TV aerial are standard, too, while the optional Media Pack adds a fully automatic satellite system.
Inside, swivel cab seats join side settees behind the cab (shortish ones because this is a short motorhome) to make a comfortable lounge with a free-standing table for dining, while the kitchen (with fitted microwave, oven and grill, mains hotplate and three gas burners) is across the back wall and the bathroom sits in the rear offside corner. There’s a choice of Catalan, Casa Mila or Sagrada fabrics in a choice of colours.
This may be the most compact of Mercedes motorhomes, but it has the same spec as its bigger brothers. So that includes keyless starting, an electric parking brake (no manual lever to obstruct walk-through or seat swivelling any more), the 7in MBUX touchscreen with DAB radio and sat-nav, a multi-function steering wheel with gearshift paddles, adaptive ESP, Crosswind Assist, and Highbeam Assist (which automatically dips the headlights for you).
And, despite its dinky size, the Stanton doesn’t want for much inside – as long as you can forgo a fixed bed. You can choose from making your lounge into a transverse double or twin singles (with your feet resting on the cab chairs). And, although the washroom lacks a true separate shower, its swing-wall design (where the basin and the wall it is mounted on rotate to create a cubicle) is the next best thing.
Then there’s a spec list that (with the Premium Pack) includes a 25-litre underslung gas tank, 80W solar panel, overcab Skyview sunroof, Thule canopy awning, alloy wheels and even a crockery set and crystal glasses. Clearly, the spec list here is as long as the body is short, while for Merc fans this is a one-of-a-kind model.