Base vehicle: Mercedes Sprinter (FWD) with SLC tag-axle chassis Price from: £106,980 Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Length: 8.99m Width: 2.35m Height: 2.96m Gross weight: 5,000kg (5,500kg option) Payload: 1,010kg
Bigger than a ModernComfort, better than a SupremeLine, the MasterLine is the newest and best B-Class from Hymer and, arguably, the B-Class is the original European A-class motorhome.
That’s quite some billing – and the I 890, and its I 880 single bed sister model, are the largest, most expensive motorhomes that Hymer builds. These are all but nine metres long, have six wheels and boast up to a five-and-a-half tonne gross weight.
Ignore that starting price, too – the one we viewed at Erwin Hymer Centre Travelworld was fully optioned up to nearly £150,000.
The current Hymer range is heavily biased towards the three-pointed star, from the T-Class S low-profiles upwards, with just Exsis and the B-SL (along with some campervan models) using Fiat chassis.
At this level, not only is it Mercedes-Benz mechanicals but a tag-axle SLC (lowered, lightweight) chassis – as developed by Hymer in association with Al-Ko – that underpins the vehicle.
Of course, that means this is a front-wheel drive Sprinter with the 2.1-litre 177bhp engine and (optional) nine-speed automatic gearbox. And Hymer wants you – and your friends – to know that this is a Mercedes; it wears the three-pointed star both front and rear.
The optional Crystal Silver Metallic exterior finish here sets off a conservatively styled but rather handsome A-class that is perhaps best witnessed from the rear three-quarters, where you’ll see the hybrid LED tail-lamps neatly integrated into a subtley curving rump.
Only the 5.5m awning looks like an unfortunate afterthought on this cleanly styled motorhome.
Of course, you can expect a big garage on a big motorhome like this and the variable bed height allows headroom in the locker of between 0.94m and 1.13m. The bed goes up and down electrically, controlled by a switch in the garage where you’ll also find chequerplate flooring, lights on either side, plus two 230V sockets and one 12V.
Maximum load here is 350kg, while the 5,500kg chassis version allows an overall payload of one-and-a-half tonnes before options.
You’ll not be surprised to find that there’s a double floor offering up to 350mm depth, with top-hinged loading hatches on either side. Step through the 600mm-wide habitation door with deep window and you’ll soon spot a multitude of floor hatches into the basement, too.
These hide the RCD, leisure battery (lithium optional), charging unit and fuses, as well as storage. The 180-litre fresh and 150-litre waste water tanks are in the double floor, too.
The 10.25in MBUX display is the star feature of the cab, which comes with keyless starting, ESP, Active Brake Assist, automatic headlights and Crosswind Assist. It’s easy to spend more, though. Would you be tempted by full LED headlights, LED foglamps with cornering function, automatic wipers, alloy wheels, Thermotronic fully automatic climate control, Distronic+ adaptive cruise control or a leather steering wheel?
In the lounge, it’s the round table that’s the star feature but that’s another optional extra. As, of course, is the full leather seating (available in a choice of three colours). The hide trim is very luxurious and that 795mm diameter circular table extends with a delightfully simple pop-up centre section, extending its length to 1.10m for family dining.
The 32in Hymer-branded LED TV that rises electrically from behind the L-shaped sofa is another option, but the shoe locker under the settee, the unusual, rather homely, reading lights and the headrests that remove when you’re not carrying passengers are all nice standard features.
The kitchen has a UK-style cooker (yes, optional) with three burners and a separate oven and grill, but no mains hotplate. A gas/induction combination hob is another alternative. The ceramic worktop with spillage-catching lip is another extra-cost item (and one that you’d expect to be standard) but the two XXL soft-closing drawers and the double-door, 153-litre fridge/freezer that opens from either side are standard.
Also included is the tall pantry unit that slides out alongside the fridge, while the galley also features a bin, an integral draining board and a small, second sink.
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If the lounge and kitchen are merely as big as you’d hope, the bathroom is HUGE.
This vast space includes a truly domestic-sized shower with 1.93m headroom, a full-width clothes/towel drying rail, and duckboard. Alongside, the rectangular designer basin has the look of a boutique hotel and three drawers beneath provide plenty of storage.
Opposite, there’s an impressively large double-doored wardrobe with shelved section, two drawers and two hanging rails. Alongside that is the toilet cubicle with ubiquitous Thetford loo and an Alde heated towel rail. A ceramic toilet bowl is optional, but not a marine toilet.
Sliding doors close off the rear bedroom, which has picture windows on each side and slim his and hers wardrobes abutting the island bed. Recesses at the bed head are useful for night-time essentials but, oddly, the USB ports are not here but overhead, along with 12V and 230V sockets.
The bed itself measures 1.96m by 1.54m (max) but the radiused foot of the mattress seems disappointing in such a large motorhome – check it carefully if you’re tall. With the bed in its lowered position, however, access is very, very easy – you can practically fall into bed, it’s so conveniently low! That also means there’s loads of headroom to sit up in bed.
You can also slide the bed back to create a chaise longue-style arrangement and then you can still sit up in bed (if you’re careful) with the bed in its raised position. As you might expect of a Hymer A-class at this price level, the whole bed system (whether it’s sliding manually into a chaise or rising/falling electrically) feels beautifully over-engineered in the best of German traditions.
If you need more sleeping space, the usual drop-down bed in the cab measures 1.90m by 1.45m and comes with a reading light at either end. It is manually operated as standard, with an electric version as an option.
So, the ultimate Hymer has a lot to offer, a lot of options to consider and an overwhelmingly spacious feel. And, if you want most of this (bar the XXXL bathroom) in a slightly more manageable size, the I 790 (at 7.89m long) might fit the bill.