AT A GLANCE
Price from: £89,595
Price as tested: £111,815
Travel seats: 4
Type Approval: European Whole Vehicle
- Great drive
- Choice of décor
- Large shower
- Fully winterised with deep double floor
- Good-sized drop-down bed
- Very high build quality
- Comfortable lounge
- Brit-friendly kitchen
- Big garage and plenty of payload
- Limited worksurface in kitchen
- Small wardrobes
- Microwave oven set high
- Toilet room tight with door closed
Niesmann + Bischoff
With body lengths from a tad under six-and-a-half metres to nearly nine, the 15-strong Arto range covers many of the layouts offered in modern A-class motorhomes.
Our award-wining 66F is one of the smaller and most unusual offerings, whilst this 83F is a great example of the marque, offering a large comfy lounge, well-equipped kitchen and that desirable island bed, served by en suite bathroom facilities.
Exterior and Construction
Outside, inside and underneath the Arto provides enough high-quality finish to please the fashionista and the engineer in your average motorhoming couple.
External styling is nicely Germanic. Fellow campers will be well aware that your 'van definitely isn't entry-level. It and its visage just looks so much 'more' than the surrounding vehicles.
Double floor, Al-Ko chassis and top-notch construction impress, whilst the living area is warmed above the double floor cavity by Alde's wet heating system.
Fitted with optional 3-litre motor and Comfort-Matic automated transmission, our Arto was simple to drive, with coach-type mirrors and a reversing camera adding to the ease.
There's plenty of power and torque from the big motor, allowing extended fourth gear driving in manual mode.
With cab seats swivelled, the lounge is an eight-seater. The cab seats and offside sofa are the most comfy, but the rear travel seats and nearside bench are still good enough.
Mealtimes should prove fuss-free as the fixed table slides in all directions and has a pop-up central leaf.
The entertainment system includes a TV, located in a niche adjacent to the habitation door, rear speakers and subwoofer located in the double floor and a cornucopia of LED-powered lamps.
Two things make this kitchen stand out and one of them is specifically designed with the UK in mind. The 'Great Britain Pack' offers a triple tier tower of white-goods on the offside where you might expect to find a big fridge/freezer. Here, the stack is topped with a microwave, oven/grill and fridge on the bottom.
The oven is set at chest-height for easy use and it's Thetford's latest model, featuring a neat open-and-slide-away door.
Below the fridge, a decent sized drawer sets the scene for the other side of the galley, with more than enough storage present.
The hob is a standard three-burner affair, though there is annoyingly no extractor here.
A two-stage process means pulling a lever, then a knob to flatten the two cab seats, allowing the drop-down bed to descend. Importantly the bed is a good size, 6ft 3in long, and leaves the rest of the lounge, minus of course the cab seats useable.
A sliding door gives access to the rear bedoom, where the popular island bed is situated. The rear bed is a little high, but that's due to the huge bonus of having a 1.06m high garage outside.
The beds are both more than comfortable enough, with thick foam mattresses riding on the Froli system.
Bathing facilities are integral to the bedroom setup, in so much as they cannot be seperated from it.
The toilet/washroom has a door and this can be opened across the aisle toward the living area, but the shower is open to the bedroom. This means that as large as the shower may be, the toilet is rather compact with the door closed.
To read this review in full, please pick up the July 2013 digital copy of Which Motorhome.
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