The McLouis is unlikely to offend anyone with its looks. Practically speaking, it’s not so inoffensive. For emptying waste, it fares badly due to its handle being positioned under the rear skirt. This makes tank emptying a pretty unpleasant business. The McLouis also has to make do with a pair of recessed steps behind the door. This makes the initial step into the ’van more of a climb.
On the road
Inside the cab, a full electric pack is present and correct, with windows, mirrors and a CD/radio unit as standard. It also has speakers mounted in the doors, not the dashboard, which means bigger speakers and a richer sound.
The Lagan boasts the full set of Fiat electrics – electric windows, mirrors and a CD/radio unit as standard – but no remote central-locking or dashboard oil level indicator. You do get key-operated central locking and feature silverscreens (rather than curtains), which are better at retaining warmth in the ’van and also mean that cab visibility isn’t hindered. Its 2.3-litre JTD turbo-diesel is very desirable in a ’van around six metres in length.
Lounging & dining
The Lagan has lots of lights dotted around, which illuminate the dinette area well. With a massive bench seat running along the offside, there’s a good space in which to stretch out. Only four can sit for dinner, but at least they’ll be comfortable, thanks to plenty of room and supportive seats. There are four seat belts here, too, with rear-facing lap belts and front-facing three-point belts, allowing you to travel with the same number of people as there are berths – not something every six-berth can boast.
The obvious facet of the kitchen is that there’s very little worktop space. There’s a three-burner effort with an integrated grill, but you will need matches to light it. A 58-litre Italian-built Vitifrigo is standard, which is considerably smaller than the 80-litre Dometic fridges found inside most rivals.
You get a fixed overcab bed, a dinette bed which converts into a double, and a long single bed running along the ‘van’s offside. The overcab bed is generously proportioned but there are no base slats and the ten centimetre-thick mattress is unlikely to prove comfortable during a long tour. The single bed is the pick of the berths and a good size, with a firm, 12 centimetre-thick, mattress.
The dinette bed is a little compromised – it’s a bit time-consuming to make up, the mattress isn’t completely flat and it’s not that wide.
The corner washroom is surprisingly spacious at the rear, and feels very usable. The quality of washroom plastics is not high, although the separate shower controls feel sturdy.
There’s enormous storage space beneath the single bench seat, which runs along the offside of the ‘van, and external access to the locker from a long, horizontal, door. The nearside has the fresh water tank and Truma boiler monopolising space underneath the dinette seat bases. Elsewhere, the overhead lockers are a good size, although the inclusion of interior shelves would be useful. As it is, your gear needs to be piled up inside and you have to hope that the contents don’t rain down on you when you open the door at the end of the journey. There’s the bonus of ready-fitted mountings for a Fiamma bike rack, which means you can add this facility without taking a drill to your pride and joy.
The extra features of a gas burner, integrated grill, cab carpets and lively, attractive interior make this ‘van an impressive package. Given its low price, its faults are forgivable.