Practical Motorhome reviews the 2014 Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK, a four-berth overcab coachbuilt 'van priced from £53,995

Overview

Priced from £53,995 OTR (£56,790 as tested), the Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK sleeps four and has travelling seats for four. This overcab coachbuilt is based on a Peugeot Boxer 2.2-litre turbodiesel, 130bhp.

It's 6.28m long, 2.32m wide and 3.05m high (20’7”/7’7”/9’10”), with an MTPLM of 3500kg and a payload of 374kg.

Panel van conversions may have been the priority for 2014, with three new models launched this season, but coachbuilt motorhomes still account for two thirds of Auto-Sleepers sales.

Given the focus elsewhere in the portfolio, changes to the coachbuilt models for this season were minimal, including the introduction of a Winter Pack (£295), which adds concertina cab blinds in lieu of curtains and an upgrade to 6kW Truma Combi boiler (from 4kW). The fresh-and waste-water tanks get heater blankets.

Design

A choice of five new interior colour schemes has been rolled out, too.

As denoted by the initials, the Broadway EK features an end kitchen and a midships lounge, the seating of which converts into a spacious double bed. A further two berths are available above the cab, making the EK attractive to couples who occasionally take friends or family on tour with them.

The habitation body is made from scratch- and impact-resistant GRP and customers have a choice of two colours. Grade-three insulation supports year-round use, credentials that will be boosted by the Winter Pack – opting to add it is a no-brainer. The smart graphics and Auto-Sleepers logo will make the ’van stand out on site.

On the road

The EK is based on the Peugeot Boxer 2.2-litre Multijet engine, producing 128bhp, with a six-speed gearbox. The low-frame chassis will assure an even ride, and the standard specification includes safety features including ABS, ESP and ASR.

At almost 6.3m long, the EK will fit on most driveways. The Premium Pack (£2500) adds desirable items including alloy wheels, cab air con, a canopy awning, a reversing camera, daytime running lights and a solar panel.

Lounging & dining

The lounge features a pair of facing seat benches on the offside; the forward-facing one has two belted travel seats. For mealtimes, a folding leaf table can be retrieved from its stowed position in the wardrobe and popped between the seat benches to create a dinette.

All lounge seating, including the long seat bench on the nearside, has reflex-foam upholstery for maximum comfort.

Kitchen

As you enter through the habitation door, the kitchen is immediately in front of you and to the right. Cooks get the benefit of a dual-fuel set-up: three gas burners and an electric hotplate, plus a separate oven and grill. A microwave and an extractor fan are also fitted as standard. A fridge with a removable freezer compartment is on the nearside. The rectangular sink has a drainer cleverly built into the lid, which doubles the space for drying pots, pans and plates.

Sleeping

The lounge converts easily into a large double bed using two sliding slats bases from under the dinette and nearside seats, all bridged with rearranged cushions.

The seats can also be configured as twin singles. Whichever arrangement you choose, each occupant gets a reading light because the lounge has one in each corner.

Two additional berths are available in the overcab’s double bed, which features
a memory-foam mattress. Access is via an aluminium ladder, supplied, while a restraining net will keep the occupants safe. Illumination is via two electric lights.
Storage options in the EK include an abundance of overhead lockers, a half-length wardrobe, seat boxes and assorted drawers, cubbies and cupboards
in the kitchen.

Washroom

In the offside corner, you’ll find a compact but well-equipped washroom, which has a false wall to divide the space into discrete wet and dry areas. It’s a well conceived and executed space, as you’d expect from Auto-Sleepers.

The white moulded plastic and wallboard contrasts well with the dark woods of the wall-mounted cupboard while a domestic style door handle provides a home-from-home touch.

Storage

The nearside under-seat storage can be accessed from outside the ’van. Underneath, a handy wet locker is included.

The half-length wardrobe houses the electrical consumer unit and gas taps, sharing space with the folding leaf table.

In the kitchen, the galley is well conceived, with plenty of storage, including drawers, overhead lockers and cupboards, plus a kitchen-roll holder.

High-quality cabinet work is an Auto-Sleepers signature. The EK’s overhead lockers feature handles with locking catches on the left.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload374kg
Length6.28m20′7″
Width2.32m7′7″
Height3.05m10′
Waste water102L
External Options
GRP sidewalls, Integral awning
Kitchen Equipment
3-burner gas with electric hot plate, Oven, Separate grill, Microwave
Heating
Truma Gas/Electric heater

Verdict

The Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK sports a practical and flexible layout allied to a desirable kit list, and is styled into a very appealing package for the price.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Updates to this iconic maker’s Boxer-based coachbuilts were minimal for 2014
  • Tweaks to this family-friendly model will help retain its popularity with buyers
  • Motorhomes with overcabs do tend to divide opinion
  • On the one hand there's a very handy permanent double bed up there (in addition to a large double bed made up from the sofas) and you'll never have a problem knowing where to stash your duvet on the move

Cons

  • The downside is that you'll need to use a ladder to get up to the overcab bed, which is not so handy for that sleepy nocturnal washroom visit
  • On the road, any overcab will increase a motorhome's wind resistance and therefore increase fuel consumption.
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