Benjamin Davies

See other motorhome reviews written by Benjamin Davies

Read Practical Motorhome's review of the Autocruise Pace

Design

There's a single, sliding door on the UK nearside and tinted windows at the rear to shield your possessions from prying eyes.

Our Pace test ’van has a fixed, rear step for easier access through the rear doors, but it does add a few extra inches to your overall length.

It sensibly sites its water inlet, hook up point and Thetford locker on the offside, away from the entry door, outside which summer lounging will most likely take place. There's an easy-to-reach mid-mounted waste-water drain valve, although it extends far enough out to be threatened by high kerbs.

On the road

The Pace is based on the Peugeot Boxer LWB panel van and uses a 2.3-litre Multijet 120 diesel engine, which generates 120bhp. Its 236 lb/ft of torque is developed from 2000rpm.

Lounging & dining

Cab swivel seats create a roomy lounge for four. The single-leg lounge table is rather on the small side, though (90 x 50.5cm), so the occupant of the passenger cab seat may find it awkward to join in with the merriment.

When the side doors are opened, the table can be unclipped from the lounge and placed on railings located behind the kitchen unit, allowing it to be used for al fresco cooking and dining. There's a roof light and a large window next to the half-dinette, meaning that the lounge is well-lit during the day. The Pace also has a light fixture and single, swivel spotlight.

Clever touches include a bottle opener in the rear of the kitchen unit for outdoor use, and a pair of sturdy coat hooks to the left 
of the side door.

Kitchen

With the side doors slid open and the ’van parked up in a nice spot on a sunny day, the kitchen will be very pleasant to use: the cook will have a nice view, feel involved in the fun and be able to easily hand food out to the hungry masses. However, the real test begins when conditions outside are less than perfect, and the ’van becomes a refuge.

The Pace uses a smaller kitchen unit, which makes it easier for the cook to move around and get things out of the oven, but there is less workspace and less room for pots and pans on the two-burner hob (which has no electronic ignition). However, the workspace issue is mitigated by a handy fold-up worktop extension on the side of the kitchen, and since this is a ’van for two it’s unlikely that you’ll need to cook for more people than that very often.

A small fridge-freezer unit is located under the wardrobe.

Sleeping

The Pace has a big (184 x 133cm), transverse rear bed, which sports a 13cm-thick and comfy foam mattress. The mattress has two folds in order to accommodate the lifting action of the bed.

While this two-fold design is better from the point of view of storage, it also means that the bed is likely 
to be less comfortable than mattresses with only one fold because the folding points can often 
be annoying to sleep on as they don't provide the same levels of support 
as the rest of the mattress.

Having said that, the 
Pace has a good lighting arrangement in the bedroom area, using two swivelling spotlights and a ceiling light fixture that is conveniently operated by a switch located near the head of the bed.

There is a roof light in the bedroom area, too, together with an all-important power socket, allowing you to charge your mobile phone nearby while you sleep, for instance.

The dinette makes up 
into a single bed, which is generally fine for youths but on the short side for adults. It measures 169cm long and just 92cm at its widest point. The only saving grace is that it's very easy to make up.

Washroom

Of course, any habitation design that has to be crammed into a panel van suffers from compromises, and the washroom often bears the brunt of that.

The Pace's small washroom is almost a joint shower-toilet cubicle, using a curtain to divide the two spaces. The foot space for the toilet is the shower stall floor, meaning that the floor may still be wet when you want 
to make use of the toilet.

Storage

Storage space is the big attraction of this layout. Once the rear beds are lifted, the Pace will will easily accommodate two bicycles, although care will need to be taken to ensure that the floor and the underside of the bed don’t end up covered in mud. There are anchorage rails in the rear.

The problem with this design is that when raised, the bed blocks access 
to the offside overhead lockers in the bedroom area. The Pace solves this problem by using 
a twin-fold mattress design (mentioned earlier) so that 
the area of the bed base which gets lifted is smaller and does not block the lockers. The downside of this is a narrower load area, but the Pace makes up for it by having a profusion of useful lockers built into the bed base.

There are useful partition sections that can be popped into place to keep luggage from sliding towards the front of the vehicle when on the move.

The wardrobe is above the fridge, and is shallow but usable. There are also little cubby holes in the floor, under the lounge table.

There are four overhead lockers in the rear and two above the half-dinette, with doors held in place by metal struts.

Technical specs

Sleeps3
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload605kg
Length5.99m19′8″
Width2.05m6′9″
Height2.58m8′6″
Waste water50L
Kitchen Equipment
2-burner gas hob, Separate grill
Washroom
Shower curtain
Heating
Truma Electric/Gas Blown air heater

Verdict

The Pace stands out from the opposition with its clever design, attractive interior, decent level of equipment and sensible price.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Spacious kitchen; user-friendly washroom; anchor points in rear storage area

Cons

  • Small rear double bed; inconvenient gas locker
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