If generous garage capacity and a fixed bed floorplan are high on your checklist, this, one of five models Italian brand McLouis has available in the UK in 2019, deserves closer inspection.
Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Price from: £52,995 Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Length: 6.99m Width: 2.30m Height: 2.95m Gross weight: 3,650kg standard (3,500kg and 4,400kg options) Payload: 593kg (443kg and 793kg options)
This Italian brand returns to the UK for 2019 with a range of just five models, all low-profiles based on the Fiat Ducato. As well as the expected island bed and twin bed layouts, there are two transverse-double-over-garage designs, following a continental format that has disappeared from a number of brochures in recent years.
However, the Fusion range includes both the 5.99m-long 331 and the 360 seen here, which is a metre longer. Key features of a model like this are not only the large garage area for bikes, etc, but also the fact that you save almost half-a-metre of overall length compared with other types of fixed bed floorplan.
Like all of McLouis’ Fusion range, the 360 is built using its WPS construction technology, which is a wood-free system with synthetic resin replacing timber. Inner and outer walls are polyester and in the middle of this sandwich is Styrofoam insulation. There’s a glass-fibre skin under the floor, too, as well as a 33mm-thick hail-resistant roof. A 120W solar panel is mounted on top and the windows are the superior framed type.
The base vehicle is the ubiquitous Fiat, with the usual 130bhp motor. However, the standard 3,650kg gross weight can be downplated to 3,500kg if you don’t have a C1 licence (and the resulting 443kg payload, instead of 593kg, is adequate). If you envisage really loading up your ’van, though, there’s also a 4,400kg Heavy chassis option.
Alloy wheels (16in) and a colour-coded front bumper enhance the external appearance, while inside the cab you’ll find air-conditioning, cruise control, ESP, Traction Plus, a DAB radio with Bluetooth and steering wheel controls, plus a Skydome opening window overhead.
The forward lounge is down a small step from the cab and features the usual half- dinette, as well as a two-person side settee and central pedestal table. A fifth travel seat is available as an option while an electric drop-down bed above (said to be 1.95m by 1.30m/1.10m) is a standard feature, making this a practical family ’van.
Centrally mounted, the kitchen comes with a triangular three-burner hob with extractor above, while below is a small oven/grill. Worktop space is rather limited but alongside is not only a tall 142-litre fridge but also a useful slide-out pantry unit.
Opposite the galley, the bathroom provides all the ablutions facilities in one area, rather than split across the aisle (as is currently fashionable). Despite that, the washroom incorporates a proper separate shower, while useful worktop alongside the white basin and an opening window are further pluses. Both fresh and waste water tanks have a 100-litre capacity in this model.
The rear garage is generously sized and can carry up to 300kg. That feature will be a key reason for choosing this model, as will the large double bed above. Transverse double beds like this may be harder to access (although there is a built-in step here), with the issue of climbing over your partner to get to the loo, but, taking advantage of the full width of the motorhome, they suit taller buyers well.
That’s especially true here, where the bed measures 2.06m by 1.40m (manufacturer’s figures) and is rectangular, with no loss of width towards the foot. There’s no impediment to sitting up in bed, while a large rooflight and a window at the foot of the mattress cater for ventilation.
Heating in the McLouis is from Truma’s 6kW gas/electric Combi with blown-air.