Andrew McPhee

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The Practical Motorhome Bürstner Aviano i 684 review from the experts

Design

The Aviano's gold coachwork presses all the right buttons – pure eye candy. Fit and finish on all exterior panels is above the industry norm and the superb, high-gloss paint finish is in a class of its own, considered to be better than that found on many competitors’ motorhomes costing up to twice as much.

The Aviano tries to mitigate its rather slab-sided ‘box-on-wheels’ profile by curving the cab sidewalls inwards slightly and fitting curved side windows – it is clever and effective.

Stepping inside, we find a central kitchen and forward lounge. Burstner has fitted contrasting handles on most of the doors, and added a grey finish to its high-level obscure-glazed kitchen doors, which lends an air of luxury. Factor in the sculpted, buttoned upholstery trimmed in a rich, traditional fabric and it is easy to see just why it looks so opulent. The contrasting soft-furnishing fabrics work well and the brown piping used on every cushion successfully integrates them all.

On the road

The Aviano uses the 40 version of the Fiat Ducato chassis-cowl (‘Ducato Heavy’), with a 4000kg MTPLM and 16in wheels. Currently, it cannot be driven by someone with a ‘car’ driving licence – it requires a group C1 rating. There are also implications for speed limits to bear in mind.

The big 160 MultiJet engine is standard equipment, as is Fiat’s Comfort-Matic ASM (automatic) transmission. The cab is air-conditioned, and the mirrors provide a good field of view, but do Burstner think that we Brits love getting into the cab on the passenger side and then climbing across to reach the driver’s seat? It must be true – it couldn’t be that they don’t value the UK buyer enough to move the door to the other side, or just put two in, could it? This might be acceptable on lower-priced motorhomes, but less so on a more expensive model like this.

Lounging & dining

Ergonomically designed and multi-adjustable, the cab seats are the best in the house. The inward-facing settee would be significantly improved if the backrest were a little higher, though.

The Aviano boasts an extending table, but its design seems potentially unstable as there appears to be no way of locking the extension in place; the combination of a hot cup of tea, an unrestrained swivelling table top and kids does not bear thinking about.

Kitchen

The kitchen has an ‘L’-shaped base unit holding the hob and sink on the offside, with the fridge opposite, across the central aisle.

One of the most precious commodities in a motorhome’s kitchen is the worktop; yet this ’van has none. It does have a two-door domestic-style fridge-freezer, part of a Dometic TEC tower unit, with a too-high-for-comfort combination oven/grill above.

There’s no such thing as a kitchen with too many drawers, and Burstner’s designers agree. There is also an extractor fan with task lighting.

Sleeping

There are six quoted berths in this motorhome, but as it only has four dedicated travel seats, perhaps it is best considered as a four-berth ’van with a choice of sleeping areas. The permanent low-level corner-double bed at the rear will be big enough for most folk, and has individually switched reading lamps.

The cab drop-down double bed requires occupants to sleep transversely, which means that one partner might become ‘trapped’ by the other. It has a pleated privacy blind instead of the more usual curtains.

Then there is an additional, narrow, transverse double bed made by converting the dinette.

Washroom

The washbasin is located in the forward corner, with cupboard underneath, and there is a bench-style loo at the far rear with the shower area in the middle. It all looks pretty good, with the glazed doors serving far better than a clingy shower curtain, though the windowless compartment is quite gloomy.

The door is one of those grey, plastic, tambour affairs which live-in tests have shown to be of variable reliability.

Storage

There is sufficient storage space here for four to six people, but insufficient wardrobe space for six. You will find storage space under the inward-facing settee, though without slide-out baskets or access flaps. Access to the vast under-bed storage area is by lifting the base (on gas-assisted struts), or via an external access door.

The ’van has exterior access doors for the gas lockers and will accommodate two 13kg cylinders. Burstner has also added more exterior access doors to storage compartments, which will prove handy when putting away levelling wedges, hook-up cables and the like.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats4
MTPLM4000kg
Payload850kg
Length6.95m22′10″
Width2.3m7′7″
Height2.8m9′2″
Waste water90L
External Options
Aluminium sidewalls, Electric step
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill, Extractor fan
Washroom
Thetford C-402 bench toilet, Separate shower cubicle
Heating
Truma Electric/Gas Blown air heater, Truma Electric/Gas water heater

Verdict

Class, class and more class – a truly upmarket motorhome.

Conclusion

Pros

  • A premium product with great coachwork; upgraded chassis with a top engine.

Cons

  • Sky-high placement of oven/grill combo in TEC tower.
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