Price from: £44,498 Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Berths: 2/3 Travel seats: 4 Length: 5.99m Width: 2.05m Height: 2.65m Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 688kg
The German market is quite happy with low-spec campervans (and the lower prices that result), but British retail customers like their models with all the bells and whistles.
Carado’s addition of Clever + Edition versions of its van conversion range seems well suited to UK tastes, then, and it’s no surprise that Travelworld has ordered all its 2021 models in this spec.
The layouts are familiar, but you get more equipment for your money (just over £46k as tested). The extra spec starts with the base vehicle – a 3,500kg Fiat (not the 3,300kg version) with a 140bhp engine and Start & Stop.
It comes only in on-trend Campovolo non-metallic grey with colour-coded bumper and alloy wheels, so it certainly doesn’t look entry-level, while Traction Plus and Hill Descent Control are also fitted as standard.
Soft furnishings – duo-tone grey, called Nebula, with a quilted effect on the cab seats – is changed for the Clever + models, too.
A roll-out awning and cab blinds are further welcome additions and the vehicle is pre-wired for a reversing camera.
In addition, the Chassis Pack, Chassis Comfort Pack and Basic Pack – which, combined, would usually add £3,877 – are all included, so you get a lengthy list of tasty trim, such as a height-adjustable passenger cab seat, cab air-con, cruise control, leather steering wheel, glossy black grille, a large rooflight over the lounge and a flyscreen for the sliding door.
It’s a pretty comprehensive package for an extra spend of £5,590 over the most basic V600.
However, the example seen here had even more kit – an insulated and heated waste water tank (£489), TV preparation and bracket (£269), and an upgrade to Truma Combi 6 heating with the mains electric element (£489).
We wouldn’t bother with the kit to turn the lounge into a third berth (£269), though, as it robs you of too much under-bed storage.
The V600 also comes with the classic continental camper layout with a half-dinette lounge (complete with Isofix for two child seats) and rear transverse double beds.
Pluses of the Carado over some rivals include a lack of tall cabinets along the offside, resulting in a more spacious feel. There’s plenty of kitchen worktop, too, and the 84-litre Thetford compressor fridge is positioned for easy access from inside or outside the campervan.
Unusually, the wardrobe is located at low level behind the half-dinette but the clever bit (no pun intended) is when you enter the washroom and discover the worktop and basin that sit over the wardrobe, making for a better-than-usual bathroom.
An opening window, as well as a rooflight, and a fold-down drying rail are further pluses.
The rear bedroom shows more good design with moulded trim panels and a window just on one side. Reading lights are mounted on rails, so they can be positioned to suit, and the transverse bed has a generous 1.95m length – some rivals are much shorter.
It’s that sort of attention to detail, along with the usual Carado durable quality, that gives this latest campervan its appeal at a realistic price.