Andrew McPhee

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It's certainly eye-catching, but how does the Bürstner Quadro it 674G perform in the tough Practical Motorhome review?

Design

“The new Quadro – the next step in partial integration…” Sounds like some kind of rehab for offenders making their way back into society – maybe it lost something in the translation from German – but that’s the description Burstner came up with for its new Quadro motorhomes in 2008.

Kidding aside, Burstner's prefixes point to the 'van class: 'i' is for integrierte, meaning integrated, the German term for an A-class, and 't' is for teilintegrierte, or part integrated, the German term for a low profile. For the Quadro, 'it' is clearly a marriage of the two. Essentially it's a low-profile that also has a full-size drop-down double bed in the lounge, as per an A-class model.

If you go the whole hog and specify the optional Jubilee Pack (as here), which really sets off the whole vehicle, you get the 'Fire' paintwork, alloy wheels and, inside, Novalife upholstery. This little lot adds £425 to the price.

On the road

By motorhome standards, performance is every bit as good as it looks. A mix of fast A-roads, a bit of motorway and country byways was enough to remind us just how well this Ducato base vehicle performs: handling, steering and braking are all seriously good. From the odometer we gauged around 23mpg fuel usage, but we would expect 25 as a minimum from a run-in engine and a slightly more careful owner.

Fiat’s excellent, electrically adjustable door mirrors really help with the all-round views. Burstner has left the interior mirror on the windscreen, and while you won’t see out of the back it is a handy warning tool if you’ve left any interior doors unlatched.

The dealer had tried everything to stop our Quadro's bed mechanism from rattling and thought they had succeeded, but it returned quite quickly, complemented by a rattle from the table!

And one other minor detail: the caravan door step doesn’t retract automatically when you drive off, although there is a warning light on the dashboard – which, for many, will be obscured by the steering wheel. What the cab does benefit from, over and above those of some rivals, is air-conditioning, cruise control and a passenger airbag, all as standard.

Lounging & dining

Lounging is never going to be the strong point of a layout such as this, but the rear seat is one of the most comfortable around, thanks to lots of padding and a slightly angled backrest. You can’t exactly sprawl out – and the swivelled cab seats are higher than the settee they face – but we had few qualms about overall comfort levels.

There’s an adjustable bracket for a flatscreen TV just inside the caravan door, so you can watch from either the lounge or the rear bed (at a pinch).

Lighting is halogen throughout, with some rather stylish strip lights in key places such as the steps up to the rear bed. We’d have liked a couple of reading lamps directly over the swivelled cab seats, and maybe a general light for the rear bed area, though.

Dining will need to be a pretty organised affair, purely because of the compact nature of the lounge, but the swing-out table extension is a bonus, and the kitchen is within easy reach.

Kitchen

Arguably not the Quadro’s strongest card, but the kitchen is nonetheless more than adequate. Actually, we rather like the practicality of the all-in-one, stainless steel three-burner hob and sink; it just seems rather basic in a motorhome of this stature. Plus, if it were set back ever so slightly, there would be a couple more inches of valuable worktop space.

No quibbles about the storage space, though. The rest of that kitchen unit is devoted to a massive, shelved cupboard, and cornflake packets would not be a problem to store. A generously sized cutlery drawer sits above two other drawers (with wire racking inside). The table extension will no doubt double its duty to help out as a worksurface.

Surprisingly, the Quadro settles for a medium-size, 104-litre fridge as standard, where there’s certainly space for more (Dometic’s 150-litre fridge/freezer is on the options list). And disappointingly, the oven/grill above it is far too high to be practical – or indeed particularly safe in use.

Sleeping

Oh yes, you really can’t beat a permanent bed with one-piece mattress for overnight comfort, and the Quadro has two of them! So, even if there’s only the two of you, this arrangement could well find favour in terms of supreme comfort in two separate beds.

We're not sure which would be the one to choose as the main bed if 
living in this Quadro for longer periods. For example, if you’ve got children with you, it may make sense for the adults to use the lounge for as long as possible before pulling down the bed here.

Incidentally, the drawer that doubles as a step up to this bed is one of many clever, thoughtful touches. And the single, heavy-duty bolt is easy enough to release before swinging this bed into position for the night. Both mattresses are pocket-sprung and come with anti-allergenic covers. They are just so comfortable. However, the lack of a headboard means that it’s not easy to sit up and read (in either bed) – and just the single, albeit adjustable, reading light for the rear one seems a bit parsimonious.

Washroom

Very clever and, as you’ve come to expect by now, all very stylish. The pleated curtain arrangement here doesn’t work so well – it makes the shower area too small. But the handbasin is a good size, and we do like the way you simply swing it to one side to allow yourself as much space in which to shower as possible.

There’s bags of storage space in here, too, ideal for all your washing stuff. Plus, there is a swing-out towel rail over the showerhead fitting in addition to a couple of towel (or even coat) hooks.

Storage

Check out the Quadro’s solidly made drawers. There are plenty of them, for a start, abetted by a large locker under the fridge, three overhead lockers in the bedroom area, open shelving over the cab, twin lockers on the underside of the bed, and a three-drawer unit behind the settee (the lowest drawer here doubles as the step up to the lounge bed).

Adjacent to the rear bed is a wardrobe with full hanging height on the offside, and a similarly sized, shelved unit on the nearside.

Bulky items go straight into the garage of course, which has only the one access point in standard trim – although you can pay £299 extra and specify a nearside door. But if you are really going to store heavier items in the garage area, do make sure that your rear axle and overall payload can cope – again, there is always the option of a heavy- duty chassis.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload475kg
Length6.74m22′1″
Width2.3m7′7″
Height2.58m8′6″
Waste water90L
External Options
Electric step
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob, Separate grill
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet
Heating
Truma Gas/Electric heater

Verdict

Stylish, well built and effective – it's hard not to be wowed by the Quadro’s panache.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Stunning looks inside and out; clever, separate drop-down bed and washroom arrangements; good to drive.

Cons

  • Smallish lounge; kitchen lacks worksurface space; too many rattles while in transit.
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