An interesting addition to the Zefiro range that looks set to further enhance Roller Team’s growing reputation for impressive coachbuilding, generous specification and keen-as-mustard pricing.
Berths: 4 Travel seats: 5 Base vehicle: Ford Transit Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 425kg
It’s in the cab where the Ford comes across as a more premium product than its rival. The plastics seem a better quality, the switches more positive, and there’s just that bit more trimwork to help lift things above standard commercial status. Here, already decent cab storage (bottle and cup holders each end of the dashboard, shelving on top of the dash’, a decent glovebox, rather too low door pockets) is bolstered by a relatively unobtrusive overhead shelf in four sections.
The lounge is a typical continental format, with a half-dinette/travel seat behind the driver and single inward-facing seat aft of the cab passenger area. The table is a decent size, sturdy and although it has fore and aft as well as height adjustment, what it really needs is a swivel facility to help getting through the lounge from the cab seats.
Carpets are an option that most of you will decide to forgo, I’d suggest, in favour of adding your own cut-offs and mats at a fraction of the price. There’s plenty that you do get for your money, however. Colour rear view system, flyscreen door and 120W solar panel are all in the 2017 Zefiro specification, adding to what was already a generous list of kit.
Cooking facilities are kept to a three-burner hob and a small oven that’s really no more than a warming area. I certainly missed not having a drawer or other obvious place to put cutlery. There’s no drainer, either. And, to be honest, overall kitchen storage is a little bit compromised. The kitchen’s saving grace, however, is the latest-style, large capacity, narrow fridge. There’s also bottle storage in the kitchen’s floor-level locker, while vertical and horizontal LED strips provide more than adequate lighting and a single mains socket is conveniently to hand.
Those singles are generously long, albeit narrower than some and – to me, at least – perfectly comfortable with their one-piece mattresses and sprung-slatted bases. If you like to sit upright in bed you’re going to be disappointed – there are lockers along the wall beyond the singles and no real padding for the drop-down double.
General lighting is excellent. Internal thermal screens for the cab windows, roller blinds (with flyscreens) plus Roman-style blinds are fitted to all the windows except the one in the door, which has a similar concertina blind to that of the cab sunroof.
The drop-down double offers the same slatted base, one-piece mattress formula, with a French bed-style cutaway which, nevertheless, still obstructs the main doorway when lowered. It all glides right down with just the one lounge cushion – the backrest for the single seat – to pop out of the way beforehand.
The ladder offers two height settings to correspond to where you want the bed. The lowest level is still a good 1.30m from the ground. Whichever setting you use, sitting upright for reading in bed is not really viable. There’s just the one strip light up here, too, although you can reach down to the switches for the kitchen and overcab lighting.
Storage in the overcab area is actually a bit too ‘open’ for my liking – there’s lipped shelving to all three sides, but I’d always be a little wary of what I put up here when it comes to travelling, in case it flies out while rounding a roundabout.
Locker space extends to units on the underside of the drop-down bed. The single beds host a wardrobe, a couple of drawers and more, all with easy access (both bed bases are also on pneumatic struts). And then there’s that massive garage – not forgetting there’s also that four-bike rack on the back, so maybe you’ll just load loungers, barbecue and more here. Note the homologated weight limit for the garage is only 100kg, taking into account overall weight distribution, although Roller Team says its structural limit is 200kg. Total payload is 425kg on a 3,500kg chassis, with no factory upgrade option.
The Zefiro’s shower cubicle sits over the offside rear wheelarch, which – depending on your point of view – gets in the way or provides a neat seat/footrest area when showering. Also here is possibly the highest warm air heating outlet I’ve ever witnessed.
Across the corridor from the shower, the toilet room is pretty spacious, scoring high for upper and lower-level locker storage, too. There’s a window here – it’s opaque, but it doesn’t get a blind – plus a permanent roof vent. The latest model C233-S swivel-bowl toilet from Thetford saves just a bit more space and the fixed basin is a decent size for more than just washing your hands.
I came away from this Zefiro pretty impressed with the Ford side of things, but also with a feeling that it’s just a little too crowded in the living quarters. In particular, that table needs to tuck away more neatly to aid access past it from the cab seats.
The garage is one of the best bits as it’s simply huge. Its large doors each side also mean it will effortlessly swallow all your stuff.