Price from: £66,980 Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Length: 6.99m Width: 2.22m Height: 2.77m Gross weight: 3,500kg (optional 4,250kg) Payload: 570kg
The Exsis has been around in its current form since 2012, extolling the virtues of a slimmer A-class (2.22m overall) and introducing Hymers to a wider audience as the entry-level line, as well as offering realistic payloads combined with a 3.5-tonne gross weight. For 2020, though, there’s a new model in the range – the 580.
It’s based on Fiat’s own low-frame chassis with wide rear track (rather than the Al-Ko chassis of other Exsis models), thus helping to reduce the list price by over £3,500. Of course, it also benefits from the latest Euro 6d engines (120bhp is standard) and the option of the nine-speed automatic gearbox. New assistance systems include Full Brake Function (FBC), Blind Spot Assist (BSA) and High Beam Recognition.
Also changed this season is the furniture, which brings the Exsis’ design up to date with its Sauvignon Oak finish. This is a younger-looking Hymer, as well as one that boasts 1.98m headroom (despite a low overall height of 2.77m). There are new features, too, such as the recess in the washroom wall (behind the half-dinette) that’s designed to accommodate a 32in TV.
Naturally, the Exsis has the Hymer family look on the outside, in addition to PUAL 2.0 construction that’s 100% wood-free and suffers no thermal bridges.
On site there’s L-shaped seating facing the door as you enter, plus the Aguti swivel captain’s chairs. The Fiat dashboard is neatly integrated into the wider A-class cab, with a switch for the step alongside the driver, while the drop-down bed above demonstrates Hymer’s decades of A-class-building experience with its slick operation. A step in the lounge floor ensures a comfortable sitting height for all, while a deep window in the door and wind-up sunroof stop the area seeming gloomy.
The angled kitchen ensures a wide walkway through to the rear, while four soft-close drawers are each labelled ‘max 15kg’ – how German. But there’s also a full cooker here with separate grill and oven – very British. And the décor mixes white high gloss with lots of grey and elements of pale wood – very contemporary. A 142-litre tall/slim fridge completes the galley spec.
The layout at the rear focuses on twin beds. These are 1.88m and 1.90m long and the previous overhead lockers have been deleted, making it easier to sit up in bed. The multi-zone cold foam mattresses are on top of a membrane layer, which is lighter than slats but still adds comfort. Under the bedroom is a garage with 1.19m headroom and carrying capacity of 350kg, while a massive wardrobe is located under the offside bed (there’s a second wardrobe next to the fridge).
Finally, there’s a one-piece washroom on the nearside with shower doors that pull around on a track in the ceiling rather than just unfolding. The shower tray with twin drains and neat storage cupboards with elasticated straps are further pluses of an excellent washroom.
If the only thing that’s stopped you buying a Hymer A-class previously has been rather conservative design, the new Exsis-i 580 is for you.