THE 9048dF is one of the stars of Rapido’s impressive 2007 range and it is probably one of the most Brit-friendly designs in the whole of next season’s imported A-class sector.
It’s the sumptuous lounge area that appeals most, but with massive storage and generous standard kit – from cab air-conditioning to the AES fridge/freezer – as well as the new Fiat chassis (enhanced by Al-Ko), it seems to tick all the boxes on a typical motorcaravanner’s wishlist. Yes, the oven is rather high and the test ’van suffered a few un-Rapido-like glitches that we are prepared to consider as ‘prototype’ in nature, but as an all-rounder the 9048dF is a winner.
Ironic isn’t it that potentially one of the best new ’vans of 2007 looks so like its predecessors, while next season offers so many radical new models from more adventurous and image-conscious rivals?
- MODEL: Rapido Le Randonneur 9048dF
- BASE VEHICLE: New Fiat Ducato (X250) 130 Multijet with Al-Ko chassis
- STARTING PRICE: £49,760 on-the-road
- AS TESTED: £49,760 on-the-road
- PLUS POINTS: New Fiat base vehicle, Al-Ko chassis, double floor with full-width underfloor storage, external shower, stylish rear view, caravan door with deep window, windows with one handle locking, pleated blinds throughout, huge and comfortable lounge, easy to swivel cab seats, Techno-Tower with giant AES fridge/freezer, excellent kitchen and clothes storage, rear speakers, choice of six upholsteries, provision for second leisure battery, cab air-conditioning, fully winterised, gas and mains heating
- MINUS POINTS: Oven located rather high, step does not automatically retract, untidy headrest covers, lounge double bed unsupported at one end, styling a bit too familiar, inadequate seals to external storage lockers