Gentleman Jack

See other Advice articles filed in ‘Used motorhome buying guides’ written by Gentleman Jack
   
Serious temptation awaits with the 2010-2014 Elddis Aspire range of luxury used motorhomes, now at appealingly affordable prices – here's what to look for

Aspirational was what this luxury range from Elddis was designed to be – hence the ‘Aspire’ moniker.

Elddis had been absent from this sector for some years, concentrating instead on its popular range of value-for-money Autoquest models.

With the Aspire, Elddis was re-entering what had become an overcrowded market. The manufacturer needed a strong selling point and, goodness, did it find one.

The motorcaravans had Alde (radiator) central heating, luxury washrooms with walk-in showers, granite-effect resin sinks and ceramic bowl toilets, plus top-banana, high-gloss cabinet work in the main salon – and extensive standard-spec sheets.

But none could get close to the Aspire’s amazingly slim windscreen price – kicking off at just over £40,000 OTR for the 215 – around £10,000 cheaper than the competition.

The Elddis Aspire range

Two of the models were dedicated two-berths, and two could sleep four.

The baby of the range was the 6.5m 215, which featured a forward lounge with parallel sofas that converted into a transverse double-bed, ahead of a rear corner washroom and kitchen across the back.

The 7.4m 240 featured a rear lounge that converted into either two longitudinal single beds or a gigantic double.

Range toppers were the 255 and 265, both the same length as the 240, but with a fixed rear corner bed and washroom alongside, a central kitchen and a forward lounge that could be made into a transverse double-bed.

The only difference between them was that the 255 had parallel sofas, while the 265 swapped the offside sofa for a half-dinette and two rear travel seats.

Luxury touring for everyone

With high equipment levels, Elddis did really well to include everything and still keep a sensible payload on its bigger models, without going over the magic 3500kg.

Thus no special driving licence is required – if you are licensed to drive a car, you can aspire to an Aspire.

They were sluggish sellers when new, not because there was anything amiss, but because their launch coincided with the deepest part of the recent economic recession and new motorhome registrations dropped to an all-time low.

Now, as a pre-owned purchase they make a lot of sense, especially if a later model using SoLiD bodyshell construction is within your reach.

The essentials

  • Elddis Aspire on Peugeot Boxer chassis-cab
  • Built in Consett, Co Durham, UK, from 2010-2014
  • Low-profile overcab coachbuilt
  • Overall length: 6.476-7.368m (21ft 2in-24ft 1in)
      

What to look for

These Elddis models are rather tempting, so if you’re scrolling through the motorhomes for sale pages and you spot one you like, what should you be looking for?

Base vehicle

Peugeot’s 2.2-litre common-rail turbodiesel engine is a reliable and economical unit… actually built by Ford back then.

Don’t be overconcerned about reports of similar vehicles suffering from clutch judder when reversing up an incline – all of these were made after factory modification.

Aspire’s extra width makes it appear as if it is over-bodied because the rear wheels are inset. It isn’t and they handle really well.

A full service history is essential.

Conversion

Minor niggles over fit and finish persisted on early examples, but all of these should have been corrected by now. Most complaints were over things like failed cupboard catches.

As always with any motorhome of this style, ask to see the report of an approved workshop’s examination for body integrity – damp is the big enemy of all coachbuilts.

Likes

  • Grace and space at 3500kg
  • Contemporary interior
  • High kit count
  • Class-leading, great value for money
      

Dislikes

  • No automatic transmission available
  • No option to make up single beds in the 215
      

What to pay

Example prices of models available at the time of writing – neither has yet covered 17,000 miles:

  • 2011 Aspire 215 at £34,995 (Oaktree Motorhomes)
  • 2014 Aspire 265 at £44,995 (Wandahome Ltd)
      

Our pick of the range would definitely be the 2013-on Aspire 265.

Or you could try the Swift Bolero, or the Auto-Trail Tracker and Frontier Dakota.

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