Andrew McPhee

See other motorhome reviews written by Andrew McPhee

If size matters, be sure to read Practical Motorhome's review of the Auto-Sleeper Midas EL

Overview

The Midas is the largest ’van Auto-Sleepers has ever produced. The £47,495 price tag may seem a bit steep, but it reflects the quality of materials used and the inclusion of original, well-designed equipment.

Inside, it has all the classic elegance you would expect in a motorhome from this Cotswold-based company. Outside, the lasting impression is the sheer size of the Midas. Happily, the minimal, understated, graphics and pleasant, simple, styling result in a very smart-looking leisure vehicle.

Design

When you gaze at the exterior two words spring to mind: big and smart. However, it’s not a brash or ostentatious ’van but rather a simple and elegant motorhome which received admiring glances and compliments wherever we went. However, we began to grow tired of quips about our motorcaravan having “the Midas touch”.
One small exterior locker behind the driver took our pitching kit, while our folding chairs were accommodated the full-width locker at the rear. The water filler was too close to the mains socket for us to be confident about the electrics remaining dry when we used the filling hose.
wearing.

On the road

The Midas was a joy to drive. Its combination of an Al-Ko chassis and a Peugeot Boxer front end delivered stress-free handling through the narrow lanes of west Wales, with plenty of power from Peugeot’s largest engine. The ’van holds the road very well and remained nice and steady on the long run down the M4 motorway, in weather so windy that there was a speed limit on the Severn Bridge.
The driving position was comfortable, although the height of the driver’s swivel seat means that the handbrake is positioned a little too low for comfort. Once or twice we thought we had fully released the handbrake, but it turned out we hadn’t.
We loved the Boxer’s stubby little gear stick – it’s more Morgan car than Peugeot van and is a stylish little number. When we picked up the Midas it had just five miles on the clock and so the gear change was a bit stiff and notchy, but a thousand miles down the road it was improving all the time.
The worst aspect of the drive was the level of wind noise. At motorway speeds it seemed to emanate from the tops of the doors, and on long legs of the journey the noise became very wearing.

Lounging & dining

The huge, U-shaped, rear lounge was just as comfortable for using a laptop PC as it was for watching the wall-mounted TV that is part of the standard equipment. It was so comfortable, in fact, that we ate all our meals in this space.
The lounge would provide an ideal space for hosting a dinner party for four people, but it could accommodate even more for drinks at a club rally. When entertaining, the Midas benefits from plenty of natural light, which floods in through the extensive offside, and large rear, windows.
The diesel-powered warm air system quickly heats up the whole motorhome, even if you do need a degree to work the over-complicated electronic programmer. Our only other criticism of the heater is that it’s noisy, but at least most of the noise stayed outside the ’van.

Kitchen

Only the disappointingly small fridge and a badly designed cutlery drawer – which removed the sink waste pipe at regular intervals – stopped this from being a five-star kitchen. It has a great hob with three gas burners as well as an electric hotplate. The oven and grill also seemed reliable and sturdy.
The storage space is nicely arranged and the Midas provides some interesting pull-out and flip-up extra worktop space. A large roof light gives plenty of ventilation and natural light.
The cover for the sink and draining board is made of special Chinchilla glass that is so strong it can be used as a chopping board. The cooker rattles on the road but then in what ’van does it not? Keep buying those tea towels…

Sleeping

The rear lounge is easy to convert into an extraordinarily large and comfy king size double bed. However, we were surprised that there is no privacy curtain to section it off from the rest of the ’van’s living accommodation.
The dinette opposite the kitchen makes a large single bed while the overcab sleeps two in a good-sized double.

Washroom

At first sight, the washroom looked small for the size of the ’van and this proved to be the case as the swivel toilet and large washbasin intruded slightly into the shower space.
On the plus side the room has multiple shower drains, which result in a dry tray even if the ’van isn’t perfectly level, and the waterproof lockers mean you can really splash about.

Storage

The ’van has lots of interior lockers but the ones under the seats are accessed from the top, via hinged seat bases, rather than from the front.
The overhead lockers held most of our kit and food, and the large locker under the front-facing rear seats proved particularly useful. There is also a drinks cabinet filled with fine crystal glasses.

Technical specs

Sleeps6
Travel seats4
MTPLM3850kg
Payload477kg
Length7.44m24′5″
Width2.52m8′3″
Height2.93m9′7″
Waste water60L
External Options
GRP sidewalls, Awning light
Kitchen Equipment
4-burner gas hob, Oven, Separate grill
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet, Shower curtain
Heating
Truma Electric/Gas water heater, Webasto space heater

Verdict

This is a classy motorhome, built to impress and entertain your friends on the rally field. Despite its six berths, though, it seems made for a couple with the time and money to tour in comfort and luxury. If you did want to travel as a family there is plenty of room, and the all-important forward-facing seats, with seat belts, make it easy to tour with two grandchildren.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Driving characteristics; huge rear lounge; kitchen

Cons

  • Wind noise; small fridge
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