It may be budget, but this is no poor cousin of an Adria - as long as you aren't expecting ultimate luxury in the kitchen and washroom.
Berths: 2+1 Travel seats: 4 Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato XLWB panel van Gross vehicle weight: 3,500kg Payload: 513kg
Sun Living’s parent Adria may be promoting a special Silver Collection for its 50th birthday, but, despite the colour, this ‘van is nothing to do with that. It is instead a special offer dealer Geoff Cox is running that gets you a Flexo SLX on the road for £42,592 – a price that includes the near-essential Driver’s Pack, comprising cab air-conditioning, passenger airbag and cruise control, and the Comfort Pack, which brings you matching cab seats, a colour-coded bumper and a Truma 4E gas/mains heating system. The dealer has also thrown in a Pioneer DAB radio with Bluetooth, a reversing camera, and a Thule awning.
Despite all these changes it’s still a Sun Living underneath (whose basic price is £38,595) so it’s worth seeing how it compares with its Adria equivalent. The Twin 640 SLX (see the Ultimate Showdown in our June 2014 issue) currently retails at £43,090 – and that’s before the £1,699 Driver’s Pack is added.
The cost savings aren’t immediately obvious. The exterior may look institutional, but what budget ’van comes with its own awning? The base vehicle is a standard Fiat Ducato – the same as with the Twin.
The differences are mainly interior features that would have entailed the ’van spending much less time on the factory floor than its Twin equivalent. The Twin SLX, for example, has one of those extendable washrooms that comes out into the corridor. None of the drawers or locker doors on the Sun Living are soft close. And while the window furnishings on the Twin include both a cassette blind and a Roman blind, on the SLX you just get a Seitz cassette and some voile. Finally, the kitchen features an all-in-one two-burner hob and sink, and UK-spec Twins include an oven and grill, which isn’t an option here.
On the Twin there are medium-sized rooflights both over the dinette and over the beds at the rear. In the Sun Living you only get regular vents. This is one reason why the rear includes four directional spotlights over the beds, when only two are needed. Apart from one LED light that the bed shares with the wardrobe area, there is otherwise no lighting here. The dinette includes another LED light and two directional spotlights, one of which you can swivel towards the cab.
With its matching upholstery and captain’s seat armrests, the cab itself is a notch above your standard budget campervan, especially thanks to the DAB radio. It was a smooth ride, but not the quietest: the kitchen locker in particular gave off a low-pitched hum.
The dinette is comfortable for four, although whoever sits in the swivelled driver’s seat will have to be long in the leg, as there’s a step down here. Right by the habitation door is a useful set of cubbyholes, while immediately above it is a control panel that includes a ‘kill switch’ for all the lights.
In addition to the two overhead lockers, one of which is shelved, there is a cubbyhole under the clip-on table for boots. Two heating ducts under the table keep your toes nice and warm.
This table can be lowered to make a third berth, but it was a struggle to put together and would only ever be an occasional bed. The table can also clip onto the offside edge of the kitchen unit.
A keen motorhome cook have to decide if they can really live without an oven and a grill. As a result of not having such luxuries, this kitchen is great for storage. There’s a large cupboard under the sink, and a drawer and two cupboards under the hob, as well as the overhead lockers.
Towards the back of the galley the corridor narrows to just 50cm. This is alleviated by having a washroom door that folds back, although having the 70-litre fridge here could cause problems for taller people.
The already reduced washroom (in comparison to the Twin) looks very basic. The loo is high, but the basin, whose tap doubles up as a showerhead, does slide away to make way for a roomy shower area with two drain holes. And there is a roof vent and an opaque window.
As with many van conversions of this type, you can lift up the offside single bed to access a spacious storage area underneath which has its own heating duct, as well as internal access to the gas locker. The SLX also includes a lockable front access door to this area, to stop items flying forward.
Immediately in front of the beds on the offside is a large wardrobe, with a ledge that doubles up as a useful bedside table. On the other side are a couple of large drawers, while the larger of the two bed steps can also be used for storage.
The beds themselves are very comfortable, and it’s relatively easy to turn the singles into a giant double – although the infill cushion used to do this is too easy to nudge off.
There is the usual problem of a lack of headroom caused by the overhead lockers. But if the person sleeping on the offside sleeps with their feet towards the back, there is a small lockerless area above where you will also find a mains and TV socket.
This is an abridged version of the full review appearing in the May 2016 issue of What Motorhome. Buy it now.