If on-road performance is high on your checklist, you won't find much better than this, which sets new standards in the world of coachbuilt motorhomes. In fact, no other motorhome we've driven can compete with the Hymer B-Class MC I 580 on the road.
Base vehicle: Mercedes Sprinter Price from: £77,000 Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Length: 6.99m Width: 2.29m Height: 2.96m Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 510kg
Hymer was the first manufacturer to launch motorhomes based on the latest Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and is, to date, the only one to build on the front-wheel drive chassis-cab, although we understand that others will follow in 2020. The most famous of all motorhome brands used its strong relationship with the three-pointed star to develop a whole new range of both low-profile and A-class models under the B-Class ModernComfort (B-MC for short) heading. All models use Hymer’s own lower, lightweight SLC chassis at the rear.
As well as a flat floor through the living area, the special chassis boasts a double floor incorporating storage and winterised water tanks with generous capacities (180 litres fresh, 150 litres waste), as well as a flat underside for reduced noise on the road. Even the Truma heating is mounted low in the double floor for quieter operation and better weight distribution.
There’s a weight saving, too, of 16% compared with a conventional chassis, so this 6.99m A-class can offer a realistic payload at 3.5 tonnes. Watch that the many options don’t eat too far into this, however – the list is long and tempting. It’s not unusual for a new B-MC to top £100k.
The standard Euro 6c engine offers 143bhp, but there’s a 177bhp option, and both are available with a superb nine-speed automatic gearbox (not offered on rear-drive Sprinters). Other sophisticated extras include adaptive cruise control, cornering lights and the 10.25in MBUX multi-media touchscreen with sat-nav, reversing camera and DAB radio.
Then there’s the option of an electronic parking brake – so no lever to hinder swivelling seats. However you spec your ModernComfort motorhome, though, you’ll be left in no doubt that the Mercedes sets new standards in the coachbuilt motorhome world. No other motorhome that we’ve driven can compete on the road. And even the standard spec includes a passenger airbag, ESP, keyless starting, EBV (electronic brake force distribution) and Crosswind Assist.
The B-MC range offers 6.99m, 7.19m or 7.39m body lengths, with the usual German selection of fixed bed arrangements – transverse double, island or singles. Crucially, though, Hymer’s extensive diet programme means that all are available on a 3,500kg chassis, although heavier versions (right up to 4,500kg for huge payloads) are available. All layouts also have a garage that can carry up to 350kg (upgradeable to 450kg).
This 580 model has single beds above that hold (claimed dimensions 1.92m by 0.86m). As an option, one bed can be extended to 2.15m to cater for tall buyers, while those with families can deploy the drop-down bed in the cab (1.94m by 1.45m as a double, or there’s a twin bed option here, too). The rear bedroom has easy access and good lighting but only a privacy curtain, rather than a room divider, and overhead lockers prevent sitting up in bed.
Unusually for a continental motorhome, it’s possible to specify the kitchen with Thetford Caprice cooker (with separate oven and grill). And even with that fitted, the galley still boasts five soft-closing drawers. There’s a 142-litre tall/slim fridge with automatic energy selection, too, so the only thing lacking is much in the way of worktop space – but this is a sub-7m motorhome.
Up to three people can be accommodated in comfort in the L-shaped lounge with swivel captain’s chairs. The A-class cab, of course, adds a feeling of space compared with low-profile versions and the TV storage can take up to a 32in screen.
The B-MC is a pricey motorhome but it’s a highly desirable one, especially for those who enjoy the journey as well as life on site. Spec it carefully (especially if you want a 3,500kg motorhome) and enjoy for many years to come.