Andrew McPhee

See other motorhome reviews written by Andrew McPhee

Read the Practical Motorhome review of the Auto-Trail Miami 740S

Overview

The sleek, low-profile Miami is Auto-Trail’s first conversion on the Renault Master. The rest of its range sit on Mercedes and Fiats, so will this newcomer break the popular, but conservative mould that has served Auto-Trail so well?

Design

The white GRP body with green and blue stripes presents a fresh, clean look. Design time has been invested at the back of the ‘van, too, with its circular brake lights.
The nearside gas locker can accommodate two 13kg LPG bottles, and there are two large lockers on the offside.
An optional Fiamma awning slots snugly into place on the nearside, maintaining the motorhome’s smooth lines.

On the road

The 2.5-litre turbo-diesel engine, was a pleasure to drive. The automatic Quickshift gearbox (optional) took the stress out of manoeuvring and the torquey power plant made motorway travel a breeze.
The captain’s chairs, with armrests and inflatable lumbar support, added to the driving comfort. And there are belted seats for two rear passengers.
Splash out an extra £799 and you get a Smartnav system, a colour infrared reversing camera and a flat-screen TV monitor on which to watch your reversing manoeuvres.

Lounging & dining

Most buyers will use the Miami as a luxury two-berth ‘van, but there’s room to accommodate guests on-site, or for trips with the grandkids.
The lounge space comprises an L-shaped bench seat and another, slightly smaller bench seat. With the cab seats swivelled 180˚ it is possible for six people to lounge in comfort, but leg room is compromised with more than three people on the sofas at once.
With the flat-screen TV flipped down and a DVD playing, the lounge area is extremely pleasant. Spotlights illuminate the corners above the seats for night time reading, with a panoramic rooflight and a cab sunroof flooding the space with daylight.
The lounge easily becomes a dining room. The table is stored in a narrow cupboard by the habitation door and sits on a metal pole (that lives behind the passenger seat). The table has enough room to fit plates and cutlery for four.

Kitchen

Though its footprint is similar to dozens of other L-shaped kitchens in fixed-bed low profiles, there are some intelligent design touches that will please British cooks. For example, a slide-out section of worktop placed over the sink, doubles the available space.
A large locker above the cooker, and a cupboard below the sink accommodate food and kitchen paraphernalia. A further locker, to the rear, is just the right size for a microwave or a small flat-screen telly for the bedroom.
The cooker has an oven, grill, three gas burners and an electric hotplate. The 90-litre fridge, which is fine for the basics, for two or three people, is positioned at a good height above three drawers, giving easy access to your provisions. A 150-litre fridge/freezer is also available for an extra £450. Accessing the cutlery drawer below the fridge, however, puts a strain on your back.

Sleeping

The two rear single beds, at 0.73m x 1.85m, are a little narrow and could pose a problem for any one over six feet, but they have comfortable mattresses and soft headrests, which clip to the back wall. There are also speakers and adjustable spotlights above each bed, so you can read and listen to music from the cosy confines of your duvet.
The odd size and awkward cushion arrangement made the dinette bed less comfortable. It’s not quite big enough for a couple, yet sleeping on it alone, down the centre of the space, leads to the cushions spreading. It is easy to make up though: with its slide out sections and drop-down legs, assembly took no more than a couple of minutes.
Ultimately, the singles are the dedicated sleeping space, while the lounge area works best as a large single, or as two singles for small children.

Washroom

The end washroom is clearly a feature that Auto-Trail is proud of, and rightly so. The ‘van is well over seven metres long to accommodate this room. Its outstanding feature is the separate shower. This is big, with plenty of elbow room all around, and it has a powerful, adjustable showerhead. The water output is plentiful, and more than hot enough for a steaming shower.
There’s a large wardrobe opposite the shower, which includes a hanging rail. Above the sink is a small cupboard, which is just big enough to store toiletries or a wash bag.

Storage

For two to three people on tour there is plenty of storage space in the 740S. The kitchen has enough cupboards and drawers to serve your food, pots, pans and cutlery needs.
For clothes there are two large cupboards above each single bed. Underneath each bed is a deep cupboard, and if you lift the mattresses and the slatted bases you can access the contents of the exterior lockers.
In the lounge there is storage under the nearside sofa (where there is space for an extra leisure battery), room for
a few pairs of shoes under the L-shaped sofa, and a large cupboard above each of them. The one above the L-shaped bench includes a wine bottle holder, complete with a Velcro strap to secure your drink while you travel.
No space is wasted in the Miami. The low-profile front, which curves subtly above the cab seats, has recessed trays for your magazines and maps. There are also elasticated nets to hold those awkwardly shaped items.
Outside the motorhome, two large lockers at the rear – one on the nearside, and another on the offside – are large enough to hold chairs, barbecues and most other essential on-site equipment.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats4
MTPLM3800kg
Payload700kg
Length7.39m24′3″
Width2.31m7′7″
Height2.85m9′4″
Waste water50L
External Options
Awning light
Kitchen Equipment
3-burner gas with electric hot plate, Oven, Separate grill
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet, Separate shower cubicle
Heating
Truma Electric/Gas Blown air heater, Truma Electric/Gas water heater

Verdict

The single bed layout makes this a great two-berth that's suitable for long-term touring. The odd-sized lounge bed means it isn't good enough for four, though. Still, it looks great inside and out and, if you can ignore some build issues, you'd be very happy with it.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Layout; comfort; attractive exterior; plenty of storage facilities

Cons

  • Lounge legroom when entertaining; some build quality issues; small dinette bed
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