Sum up the 2010-season Auto-Trails in one word? Wow. Following a considerable line-up revamp, the Savannah heralds a new name, but not quite an all-new model. Instead, this is the ‘old’ Cheyenne 740S, significantly updated (the Cheyenne range has gone, with the most popular models moving into the more prestigious Frontier line-up).
On the road
Fiat’s 2.3-litre engine is standard issue (the 3-litre is optional) and on a brief test drive, pretty much unladen, it offered a refined yet eager performance. Handling, steering, braking, even the gearchange, they’re all up there at the top of the base vehicle class for this size of ’van.
Lounge & dining
It's a dedicated two berth, with facing sofas upfront, behind the swivel cab seats. There's a circular lap table for the cab passenger seat, and a separate freestanding table, that stashes in its own dedicated locker alongside the entrance door, which is sufficient for dining with guests.
The Savannah shown here boasts two key options packs: Platinum (£599, featuring cab upgrades like metallic paintwork); and Media (where £899 brings you a TV, stereo, reversing camera and more). There are half-dinette (for extra travel seating) and Hi-line (overcab sleeping) alternatives.
The only thing at a premium in the L-shaped kitchen is workspace, although there are worktop infills for the combined sink and drainer which can be used during food preparation. The undersink cupboard is spacious, and comes complete with a moulded cutlery drawer. Across the galley is the large fridge freezer stack.
Only the hard-hearted will be unimpressed by the extensive LED lighting and soft-shut drawers, plus bound-edged carpet pieces on a cushioned vinyl flooring.
Twin single bed arrangements like this haven’t quite caught the UK motorcaravanning public’s imagination in the same way as fixed doubles, but there’s a major reason why: in a worthy attempt to maximise storage below, the beds were often simply too high for easy access. The Savannah overcomes this with aplomb: there’s still plenty of stowage space underneath – easily accessible, too – and the beds are at a height that allows you to easily tumble into them. The sizes are 1.87/1.83 x 0.70m (6’2”/6’ x 2’ 4”).
The washroom and toilet are separated either side of the motorhome, and sited within the rear bedroom area they form an ensuite. There's plenty of space around the swivel bowl toilet, although we felt an opaque window in this room wouldn't go amiss.
We've mentioned the stowage space beneath the rear single beds, but other clever storage touches include a cantilevered locker that houses the leisure battery (with room for a second one), plus mains hook-up, and there's even space to stash the lead itself.
The 2010 season Auto-Trails have the lot. A top-drawer motorhome with so many goodies, such as alloy wheels, a locking ladder, exterior gas and shower points, clever lockers, a locking spare wheel carrier and solar panel. Savannah epitomises luxury.