German made with a pleasing interior, the TEC layout works well and offers great bang for your buck. Only the washroom disappoints.
TEC FreeTEC XS 594 2008
LIKE the Carado, TEC’s brand-new XS range raised more than a few eyebrows by appearing to offer an awful lot of motorhome for not a lot of cash.
Less than £33,000 for a proper family berth German-built motorhome that can sleep five and transport four sounds suspiciously low, and set alarm bells ringing inside the cynical minds of the assembled press.
But also like the Carado, there doesn’t seem to be a catch. For one thing, it’s a startlingly handsome-looking machine, with a cab finished in a different hue to the plainer white conversion and a front bumper that is colour-coded at the factory.
Simply put, you’d need to be really in the know to realise that this is anything other than a luxury range model.
A closer look inside reveals cabinetry and high quality catches that seem little different to those we remember being fitted to our more upmarket former long-term test TEC FreeTEC, soft furnishings that look good, feel good and are perfectly comfortable in use and a level of lighting that wouldn’t disgrace a middle-ranking British coachbuilt.
The layout is very traditional, with a full pullman dinette allied to a surprisingly long offside settee, although the design is such that neither cab seat swivels. They don’t need to – this is one BIG lounge area, in which you can truly lounge.
Out back, Brits should approve of the kitchen (across two-thirds of the ‘van’s width), which is a bit short on worktop space, but well equipped with sundry lockers and cupboards, while plexi-glass door fronts and a fridge panel (concealing an 86-litre fridge) to match the surrounding woodwork break up what can often be an otherwise rather dull-looking area.
The large dresser by the door is the intended (if less than ideally placed) home of the family’s resident TV, with a reasonably accommodating single-fronted wardrobe located opposite.
The remaining corner of the TEC is taken up by the washroom, which, given the above-average standard set elsewhere in the motorhome, is a slight disappointment, with a tiny semi-separate shower allied to a trendy salad bowl washbasin and little room in which to manoeuvre.
This is a well-built vehicle for the money and TEC have a new UK importer (Techleisure), so expect to see much more of the brand in ’08.
This review first appeared in the December 2007 issue of Which Motorcaravan. To subscribe to the magazine, click here.