Base vehicle: Mercedes Sprinter Al-Ko (FWD) Price from: £119,470 Berths: 4/5 Travel seats: 4/5 Length: 8.05m Width: 2.27m Height: 3.10m Gross weight: 4,500kg Payload: 725kg
Ignore the £119,470 list price. Like most motorhomes at this level, that’s just the starting point. From there you need to consider a whole host of options and packs, on both the chassis and living area.
On the Benz base, this show model featured £1,500-worth of 177bhp engine upgrade and £2,375 of nine-speed automatic gearbox. It’s worth noting, though, that reinforced front springs, a wide-gauge front axle, two airbags, Crosswind Assist, Hill Holder, ESP and keyless starting are all standard.
The big expenses are from Carthago, including £2,775 for the Silverline coloured exterior, the 32in TV at £1,470, £2,775 for ivory leather and £8,600 for the all-encompassing (and essential) Super Pack. In total, this show model carried a £164,060 price tag – not uncompetitive, just a long way from the entry figure.
For that you get a front-wheel drive Mercedes with Al-Ko chassis and 4.5-tonne gross weight (a 5-tonne tag-axle version is another £7k). It’s a GRP outer shell for the body with RTM hard foam insulating core and 10-year water ingress warranty.
There’s massive, heated double floor storage (up to 70cm deep) and a central through-loading space and a garage that can take up to 450kg (internal height is 1.12m). Just inside the entrance, a trapdoor reveals a place to keep your walking boots and wellies, while there’s a slide-out shoe rack under the sofa.
Inside, this is the single bed layout (51 QB – for ‘queen’s bed’ is the alternative) and the shortest of the Merc-based models. The bedroom features two beds, each over 2m long and with mattresses on plastic springs for extra comfort.
If you extend the section in between the beds then the steps slide forward, too, so there’s no need for a ladder. A TV locker at the foot of the offside bed can house a 24in screen and there are very large wardrobes under the foot of each bed, plus a third wardrobe (with upper and lower hanging rails) next to the toilet.
The ablutions are split across the vehicle, with the nearside shower featuring a brick-style wall finish and both a rain shower and a conventional spray. Opposite, the multi-mirrored toilet room is typically Carthago.
The Corian worktop kitchen is as stylish as you’d expect with a slide-out unit that reveals a bottle rack and two bins. There are a further six drawers, too – unless you order the new low-mounted oven option developed for the UK – this German-market ’van had the less practical high oven, over the fridge/freezer. The latter has 153 litres of capacity and doors that open from either side.
The front lounge’s TV hides away behind the offside sofa, while the stylish circular table is moved around by operating a foot pedal. ‘Ship’s clock’ gauges below the cab’s drop-down bed add more class, but it’s the extra driving visibility offered by the sloping dashboard that’s key – Merc-based A-classes often offer inferior driver vision compared with Fiat chassis’d models.
We could go on to talk about the double-glazed cab windows, additional in-cab heating, Alde warm water gas/230V heating system, 235-litre inboard fresh water tank, twin 80Ah leisure batteries, etc, etc...