Base vehicle: Mercedes Sprinter (RWD) Price from: £66,499 Berths: 2 Travel seats: 2 Length: 7.12m Width: 1.99m Height: 2.82m Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 270kg
Lunar is no stranger to converting a variety of base vehicles, having built on Fiat, Mercedes, Nissan and Renault since its return to the motorhome market. In fact, its first full-sized leisure vehicle (rather than the ‘camper car’ Vacanza) under the current ownership was a large Mercedes van conversion, called Landstar. Now, for 2019, there’s a new Landstar, brought about by Mercedes’ introduction of a new Sprinter panel van.
Like the previous Landstar, this is a bigger-than-the-norm van conversion – measuring over 7m from bumper to bumper. Unlike the earlier generation, which came with RLS (rear lounge) or EW (end washroom) floorplans, it’s now Hobson’s choice when it comes to layout. But, then, the RLS has a proven format that is one of the most popular designs for larger campervans.
New here are the furniture and décor, but more importantly, of course, the latest-generation Mercedes-Benz base vehicle. It is worth noting, though, that the Landstar is still based on a rear-wheel drive Sprinter. It comes with the 163bhp engine, 7in MBUX touchscreen, keyless starting, Attention Assist, cruise control, Bluetooth, driver and passenger airbags, adaptive ESP, Crosswind Assist, cab air-conditioning, 17in alloy wheels and up to 30 years’ breakdown cover!
Key options are the seven-speed automatic gearbox (£2,287), upgrade to the 10in touchscreen (£2,215) and the Parking Pack with 360-degree camera (£1,760). Even in standard form the new Merc cab sets new standards in the van world, with stylish features like the turbine-style vents and practical touches such as the extendible seat squabs.
It’s an easy walk through from the cab to the living area, too, as full standing room extends right up to the dashboard. Do check the driver’s seat if you’re very tall, though, as the washroom is right behind and may limit adjustment.
That bathroom has a proper separate shower. The only possible criticism of this coachbuilt-sized room is the limited amount of storage. Pity, then, that the water tanks are rather small.
You’ll have to look relatively hard to find fault with the extensive kitchen, too. There’s masses of worktop at the forward end and an extension flap at the settee end creates even more prep’ space. The Thetford cooker has a mains hotplate as well as a separate grill and oven and there’s a high-level microwave, too.
The Dometic 8-Series fridge lacks automatic energy selection but its 95-litre capacity should be OK in this purely two-berth ’van, so that leaves just the single kitchen drawer as our only bugbear.
Bearing in mind that couples-only remit, the lounge is huge, with a pair of 1.90m-long sofas – it’ll feel even roomier with the back doors open on a summer’s day. The nearside settee base also offers a great deal of storage (easily accessed from above or via a drop-front door), while the offside has some free space despite housing the leisure battery, charger and Combi 4E boiler. Of course, the settees are also long enough to act as single beds – or you can pull out the nearside seat to create a huge double bed (1.90m by 1.77m).
With two wardrobes and two tables (a rectangular one for dining and a small round coffee table for use in the cab or the rear), plus a 4m Thule awning as standard, the new Landstar seems to have most bases covered. Just consider the downsides of a vehicle that is much longer than most van conversions and the relatively slim payload (270kg) if you’re tempted.