Berths: 2/3 Travel seats: 4 Base vehicle: Mercedes Sprinter Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 450kg
La Strada made its name in the UK in the late 1990s with models like the original Regent L. Bigger than most van conversions of the day, it was based on a Mercedes (for extra badge appeal) and came with a drop-down bed in its substantial high-top roof.
Now, after a few years away, La Strada is back in Britain and with its return comes the latest Regent L. It’s still based on a Merc (though the latest Sprinter is a huge improvement on earlier examples) and it still has its main bed in the roof, but, at 5.93m, others have caught up in the size stakes.
The length is typical of a modern ‘full-sized’ van conversion, though the Sprinter is a little narrower than the ubiquitous Fiat Ducato and La Strada’s roof makes it quite lofty – thus creating decent headroom for that ‘upstairs’ bed (which measures a claimed 2.00m by 1.40m).
It’s not just the sleeping arrangements that are unusual here. The rear kitchen is up a small step (thus creating underfloor storage that’s accessible via the rear barn doors) and beyond the galley is a full-width washroom, complete with separate shower. There’s no entry to the vehicle from the rear but a bathroom of this size and quality is surely more than enough recompense?
The galley includes a three-burner hob and sink in an integral stainless-steel unit, while the 80-litre AES absorption fridge is opposite in a range of full-height furniture.
The front lounge incorporates both cab seats, while the L-shaped settee offers seatbelts for two rear passengers. With its location adjacent to the sliding side door, this will be a pleasant place to relax on a warm summer’s day.
Other standard features include a 100-litre fresh water tank, 70-litre waste water tank, 100Ah gel leisure battery and 4kW Truma Combi heating.
There’s a huge range of base vehicle options, right up to four-wheel drive, while 14 different exterior paint colours are available. The standard power unit is Mercedes’ 163bhp Euro VI motor, while 16 or 17-inch alloy wheels are offered.
Inside, there are six fabrics to choose from, or you can upgrade to one of five leather options. Then there are nine wood finishes for the furniture and seven colours for the locker doors (including some very bright ones). La Strada motorhomes are clearly more bespoke than many of their rivals.
Prices of these top-quality van conversions will be subject to fluctuation due to exchange rate variations, but at time of writing Webbs has a Regent L in stock at £82,651. If you prefer a more conventional fixed bed layout, then the company also offers the Regent S.
If you enjoyed this review, you can read the full version and more in the April 2017 issue of What Motorhome magazine.
You can get a digital version of this latest issue of What Motorhome magazine here.