Price from: £69,995 Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Length: 7.53m Width: 2.32m Height: 2.79m Gross weight: 3,650kg Payload: 432kg
Some motorhomes shout ‘entry-level’ before you’ve even felt the upholstery or opened a cupboard door. Others manage to exude top-notch quality but carry an eye-watering price to match. Happily, the Knaus Live I motorhome – an all-new range of just two models this season – treads a path that combines a surprisingly keen cost with a look that belies its relative affordability.
Of course, £70k is a lot of cash, but it’s pretty much the starting point for a decently equipped A-class in 2020. And the Live I motorhome certainly doesn’t want for kit, at least in UK market trim. For these shores a whole factory full of extra gear has been added, all as standard.
So, this seven-and-a-half-metre motorhome gets 16in alloy wheels, a 3,650kg chassis (necessary for a respectable payload), cab air-con, cruise control, luxury Grammer captain’s chairs, DAB+ radio with sat-nav and reversing camera, an electric step, flyscreen door, gas/electric heating and even a head-up display on the dashboard.
That doesn’t leave a lot to pay extra for, although you might want to upgrade from the standard 120bhp motor (the show model had the top-of-the-range 178bhp engine and super new nine-speed automatic gearbox but that combo adds £7,159 to the tally).
Before you mull over which engine to go for (we’d choose 160bhp), the Live I will impress with its LED headlights and chrome grille, which make for an imposing front end that’s more premium than budget.
Unsurprisingly, the 700 MEG comes with a rear twin bed layout (the most popular floorplan in Germany) and a generous rear garage. Slightly more unusual is that the only alternative (the 650 MEG) is just a shorter (6.99m) version of a similar layout. Here, the garage (with 1.17m headroom) is an important reason to buy.
Above that garage, the next key feature is a pair of generously sized beds – 1.91m long on the nearside and 1.98m on the offside. There’s a stylish curved section between the beds and wardrobes under the foot of each – both with front and top access. There’s a third wardrobe next to the fridge, too, but this could be the narrowest motorhome wardrobe we’ve ever seen – no matter, you’re not short of hanging space.
You won’t lack fridge capacity, either – there’s a 177-litre Thetford unit with doors that open either way (and an oven is mounted above). Alongside is the L-shaped galley with three-burners-in-line hob and two soft-closing drawers. Between the kitchen and lounge is a neat serving shelf, which hides the head restraints and opens up through vision when they’ve been removed.
The best aspect of the lounge is the Grammer captain’s chairs, which swivel around through a full 180 degrees as there are cut-outs in the sofas. The cab chairs even have adjustable squab depth (great if you have long legs), height adjustment and integral seatbelts.
Finally, there’s a washroom incorporating a separate shower, as well as featuring a Dometic toilet and shallow moulded basin. A 1.91m by 1.51m drop-down bed in the cab makes this a practical four-berth, too, but it’s the high-quality feel that leaves a lasting impression.