Bright, modern interiors, great payload and keen pricing make the new Sun Living range stand out, but it’s the top-notch Adria build quality and the clever ‘hideaway’ washroom design that are the real reasons to buy
Berths: 3/4 Travel seats: 4 Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 818kg
From 2018, however, this could be a marque to watch. Much of the parent company’s presentation to UK dealers and press revolved around the complete redesign of the Sun Living range. And the new look gives the brand a flavour that will not be mistaken for entry-level opponents.
Furthermore, the dealer network is already growing, with Adria hoping to take 7% of a sector that it says accounts for 2,000 sales in the UK (you do the maths!). In addition to existing dealers, Geoff Cox and Family Travel Centre in England and Scot Motorhomes in Scotland, Highbridge has now taken on the franchise at its branches in Somerset and Devon. And, with on-the-road figures starting at just over £40k, the Sun Living range will be well placed to pinch sales from brands increasing their prices more significantly in this Brexit era.
The bold diagonal blue and grey graphics are especially eye-catching, while the all-white body benefits from a colour-coded front bumper with the Comfort Pack. Inside, there’s a lot of white, giving a bright feel, despite the lack of any supersized Heki vents. The cupboards are handle-less, too, with slots that you poke your hands through to release the positive locking catches. They work well, and look great. Even the grey and turquoise Mercurius fabric is in keeping with this fresh, simple approach to décor.
Slightly baggy trim on the cab seats aside, this Sun Living reassured with a lack of the flimsiness sometimes experienced in entry-level models. On-road rattles, too, were few and the driving experience is typical Ducato – competence enhanced by the wide-track chassis.
Sandwiched between the offside single bed and the door, the galley itself isn’t big, but it does use the space wisely. The L-shaped integrated hob and sink unit is a good design which frees up a little worktop and the oven/grill is a standard fitting for the UK. Cupboard space is more than adequate, too, because cereal packets and other bulky items can overflow into the large, shelved cupboard under the foot of the offside bed.
The only downside is the lack of convenient mains sockets. The one mounted on the base of the travel seat would require you to place your kettle on the floor, while the alternative socket over the habitation door is only any use at all for appliances with a very long lead.
The half-dinette has automotive-style head restraints that cater for tall passengers, while the raised floor here won’t leave legs dangling if you’re not in the lanky league. Both cab seats swivel easily, though it’s worth noting that only the driver’s is height-adjustable. The only twist to the tale is the pull-out perch that emerges from under the wardrobe. The sturdy, wall-mounted table has an equally substantial slide-out extension leaf. Then, after dinner, you’ll be impressed that Sun Living has not stinted on the lighting, even providing touch-on/off reading lights for each cab seat.
The twin beds are a good size; fractionally longer on the nearside but both at least 6ft 3in. They are flat, with one-piece mattresses and, whilst firm, gave a comfortable night’s sleep.
Reading lights are provided for both beds but, while you can enjoy your MMM lying down, you can’t sit up fully for breakfast as there are cupboards above your pillows. These shelved lockers are not so obtrusive that you’ll bang your head every morning but they do provide ideal stowage space for folded clothing.
At shoulder level the twin beds merge, with a central cushion acting as somewhere to leave your specs and bedtime book. An even bigger bed can be created, however, by sliding forward the base support here and slotting in an infill. The centre section of the bed now measures 1.61m (5ft 3in) long, so a youngster could occasionally be accommodated here between their grandparents. Alternatively, the space could now be used as a giant transverse double bed measuring 2.14m (7ft) long. You’ll probably have to carry a portable step for access to this bed, though, as the built-in steps are now covered.
Another berth (a transverse single measuring 5ft 7in/1.70m long) can be made up in the lounge but our test vehicle was missing the necessary extra cushions.
Lighting throughout is far better than you’d expect in an entry-level motorhome, while ventilation is taken care of by small roof vents above the bedroom, lounge and bathroom, plus a large overcab sunroof.
Finally, privacy is provided by simple pull-down blinds. Cab blackout, meanwhile, is effective but slightly fiddly as it’s provided by reflective curtains that press stud into place and have to be rolled up back into their stowed positions.
With the options packs fitted, the Sun Living’s price is competitive and the spec comprehensive. There are some interesting factory options, however, including Isofix and a heated floor (adding to a ’van that already seems well winterised, with heater ducting alongside the rear beds and an inboard fresh water tank).
If you enjoyed this review, you can read the full version and more in the October 2017 issue of MMM magazine.
You can get a digital version of this latest issue of MMM magazine here.