Lizzie Pope
Digital Editor

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Get the low-down on all the contenders for Practical Motorhome's Motorhome of the Year Awards 2016, as we reveal this year's shortlist of 30 ’vans

From micro-campers to spacious A-classes, we’ve tested the widest range of ’vans possible for our annual awards – our shortlist follows, and the winners will be revealed soon.

And we've tweaked our Motorhome of the Year Awards since last year. The 'best luxury van conversion' category makes a comeback for 2016 and we've refined our final class – it's now the 'best luxury coachbuilt/A-class' award. In all we have 10 classes and three ’vans in each, meaning there's plenty for you to get stuck into as we celebrate the best motorhomes for sale in the UK in the last year.

So, who are the contenders in Practical Motorhome's 2016 Motorhome of the Year Awards? Read on!

Best for innovation

These three brilliant ’vans are packed to the brim with clever features.

Chausson Welcome 620

Using clever thinking to make the most of its modest, sub-7m length, the 620 boasts a big, six-seat lounge and a smart kitchen. An electric double bed drops over the lounge, with access on three sides. There’s also a large end washroom, a big wardrobe and a vast rear garage with three loading hatches, power and a light. Watch our review.

  • Price – £46,050 OTR
  • Berths – 3/4
  • Base vehicle – Ford Transit/Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

Bürstner Ixeo it 680 G

The longitudinal drop-down lounge bed is what makes this a stand-out ’van: it fits flush to the roof and you can access the overhead lockers whether the bed is up or down. That there’s also a generous lounge, a well-specced and spacious kitchen, and a great end washroom gives the Bürstner more star appeal. And it’s still just 7m long.

  • Price – £51,740 OTR
  • Berths – 2/4
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

Moto-Trek X-Cite G

Is a 3500kg ’van with a big garage and a slide-out a game-changer? We think so, and awarded this British-built ’van four stars when we reviewed it. Sure-footed and narrow, it’s an easy drive, but its innovation is its USP. Liberate extra room with the slide-out and pack your gear into its full-width rear garage. Read our review.

  • Price – £49,999 OTR (£58,075 as tested)
  • Berths – 2
  • Base vehicle – Peugeot Boxer/Al-Ko
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

Best rising-roof camper

Small doesn’t mean basic in this trio of practical pop-tops.

Bilbo's Celex LWB

Bilbo’s clever layout provides more floorspace and kitchen workspace than you might expect in this LWB T6 VW campervan, with its simple-to-operate roof. Lift the tailgate to find the filler for the freshwater tank, an easy-access gas locker, a large loading bay for luggage, and space for a portable toilet. Read our review.

  • Price – from £41,080
  • Berths – 2
  • Base vehicle – VW Transporter T6
  • MTPLM – 3000kg
         

Hillside Castleton

Super value and based on the great-to-drive Ford Transit, Hillside packs a lot into the Castleton. The L-shaped kitchen offers cooks some extra preparation space and there’s a 65-litre compressor fridge with an ice box, plus an under-slung water tank and several other neat storage solutions. Read our review.

  • Price – £34,995 OTR (£37,995 as tested)
  • Berths – 4
  • Base vehicle – Ford Transit
  • MTPLM – 3100kg
         

Wellhouse Evie

Strictly speaking the Wellhouse Evie is a camper car: a small, dual-purpose vehicle that drives like a car but offers ultra-compact accommodation. It ticks the on-road manners box, but it’s also great for lounging and dining, thanks to its L-shaped settee and hinged hob. That it’s also stylish and well-built underlines what a lot you get for your money. Read our review.

  • Price – £27,500 OTR
  • Berths – 2
  • Base vehicle – Ford Transit
  • MTPLM – 2270kg
         

Best high-top panel van conversion

A high spec level and clever layouts are what impressed us here.

Auto-Trail V-Line 635 SE

A generously proportioned rear lounge, a well-equipped kitchen with ample storage, and a neat washroom make this ’van easy to live with. It is loaded with kit, too, from LED running lights and 16-inch diamond-cut alloys outside to cab air-con, ESC and a three-way fridge inside – you even get a wind-out awning with a strip of LED lights as standard. Read our review.

  • Price – £46,778 OTR
  • Berths – 2
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

Knaus BoxLife 600 MQ

So how do you overcome the challenge of putting four berths, in two double beds, in a 5.99m van conversion? The solution favoured by Knaus is pretty nifty, utilising an electric drop-down bed frame and a folding bed base. The transverse double bed in the rear moves up and down, so this capable high-top is also a genuine load lugger.

  • Price – £40,296 OTR
  • Berths – 2
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3300kg
         

Pilote Foxy Van V540G

Based on the SWB Fiat Ducato, four can dine in comfort at the front of this ’van. Out back, the rear barn doors give easy access to the bedroom and storage space, helped by the fact that the slatted bed bases can be securely strapped out the way. It’s an easy-to-drive, easy-to-park, go-anywhere vehicle for couples. Read our review.

  • Price – from £39,238 OTR
  • Berths – 2
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3300kg
         

Best budget buy under £41,000

You don’t have to break the bank to buy a great coachbuilt like these.

Rimor Katamarano 95 P Plus

This five-berth Rimor Katamarano deploys its accommodatation via fixed twin singles at the rear (which can convert into a double), with a drop-down bed over the front lounge. The interior features Italian design flair throughout, but the French base vehicle is no slouch, either: in standard spec buyers get a range of driver aids and safety systems.

  • Price – £39,995 OTR
  • Berths – 5
  • Base vehicle – Renault Master
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

Roller Team Zefiro 696

For proof that a budget buy doesn’t have to lack style, look no further than the Roller Team Zefiro 696. And it’s not just in the aesthetics and finish that it impresses. The smart, split-level central washroom and rear island-bed layout isn’t something you always get at this price point, plus there’s a drop-down double at the front and a large, height-adjustable rear garage. Read our review.

  • Price – £40,850 OTR
  • Berths – 4
  • Base vehicle – Ford Transit
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

Swift Escape 622

It’s all about the multi-function, triple-aspect, U-shaped rear lounge in this ’van – and that large, comfortable lounge quickly converts into a generous double bed. Despite the Swift Escape 622’s 6.3m length, it boasts a well-specced kitchen and an all-in-one washroom that is very usable. All of which combines to create a genuine user-friendly ’van. Read our review.

  • Price – £37,700 OTR
  • Berths – 2
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3300kg
         

Best compact motorhome

These ’vans may be compact, but they’re jam-packed with features and class.

Adria Compact Plus SP

Fitting a bright, five-seat lounge, a good-sized all-in-one washroom, a decent kitchen and a transverse fixed double bed with a sprung base over a large rear garage into a sub-6m ’van is no mean feat, and it’s why this Adria’s a contender. It’s not cheap, but because it could double as your second car, it represents a great-value option. Watch our review.

  • Price – £46,090 OTR
  • Berths – 3
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

Hymer Van 314 SL

A high-quality motorhome that comes in at just 5.45m long, the Hymer Van 314 SL is manageable enough that it could charm touring couples out of panel van conversions. Compact but never cramped, you get a four-seat lounge with an extendable table, a neat but full-feature washroom and a super 2m x 1.45m (6’7” x 4’9”) fixed double bed. Read our review.

  • Price – £42,250 OTR
  • Berths – 2
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

Swift Rio 325

Minus the rear tailgate of siblings 320 and 340, the Rio 325’s appeal has broadened and its height-adjustable transverse rear double bed over a generous garage certainly won’t hurt its credentials. A low-profile, British-built two-berth on a panel van conversion’s footprint, you get style, space and a good spec in an easy-to-drive package. Read our review.

  • Price – £45,244 OTR
  • Berths – 2
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

Best coachbuilt motorhome

Each of these three ’vans offers a very different feel, but all are impressive.

Adria Matrix Plus M 670 SC

A low-profile coachbuilt with an island bed and an L-shaped lounge, this Adria will find favour with couples who like night-time comfort, a sociable lounge and a nicely proportioned washroom. Well-built, well-equipped and with lots of storage, its large rear overhang and the habitation door being on the UK offside are the only chinks in its armour. Read our review.

  • Price – £56,090 OTR
  • Berths – 5
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

Auto-Trail Imala 730

Great value is one of the Imala 730’s calling cards, coming in at under £50,000 – but step inside and the ambient lighting and smart finish mean that it feels nothing but top-spec. That adjustable island bed in a stylish master bedroom and the roomy parallel lounge contribute to this, too, while the size of the kitchen is also impressive. Read our review.

  • Price – £47,223 OTR
  • Berths – 4
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

Swift Bolero 744PR

›This ’van’s USP is its layout: the large, triple-aspect, U-shaped rear lounge coupled with a six-seat front lounge make this a wonderful motorhome in which to relax. It’s also great looking and well-specced, with Alde heating and a wind-out awning both included. However, it is a touch heavier than its class rivals. Read our review.

  • Price – £65,310 OTR
  • Berths – 4
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 4250kg
         

Best motorhome for couples

Two will tour in absolute comfort with any of this trio of coachbuilt motorhomes.

Auto-Sleeper Corinium FB

If you want a spacious but not unwieldy couples’ ’van, look no further than the Auto-Sleeper Corinium FB. Its 2.35m width, facilitated by a Peugeot and Al-Ko double act, gives a great sense of space inside. The 1.98 x 1.37m fixed double bed and chic end washroom add a touch of refinement and there’s a comfy lounge as well as a good-sized kitchen. Read our review.

  • Price – £61,205 OTR
  • Berths – 4
  • Base vehicle – Peugeot Boxer
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

Hobby Optima De Luxe V65 GE

The narrow-body V65 GE features fixed twin single beds at the rear over a spacious garage. It breaks with the typical Continental configuration of a kitchen behind the nearside dinette, opting instead to pop it on the other side. There are many clever touches in this Hobby motorhome, like a pull-out gas bottle rack and a smart digital control panel. Read our review.

  • Price – £52,995 OTR
  • Berths – 2
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

Rapido 665F

The 665F has a layout that finds favour with British couples: fixed twin single beds and an end washroom. It also brings Alde wet central space and water heating to Rapido’s 6F series for the first time, and offers many clever storage solutions – including dedicated storage for wine bottles in the kitchen. Bon viveurs rejoice!

  • Price – £55,169 OTR
  • Berths – 3
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

Best family motorhome

Young and old alike will love the flexibility and practicality of these ’vans.

Benimar Mileo 313

It’s not hard to see why Marquis has enjoyed such success in the UK with its imported Benimar motorhomes when you consider this Mileo 313. It fits an overcab double bed, fixed rear bunks and a make-up lounge single bed into its easy-to-live-with 5.99m length without feeling claustrophobic, and the top-spec kitchen means you’ll be able to feed everyone, too. Watch our review.

  • Price – £46,723 OTR
  • Berths – 5
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

Pilote C700 Essentiel

With a bright, good-looking, contemporary and spacious interior, this 6.99m-long, French-built overcab coachbuilt is a great motorhome for large families on tour. Three double beds provide the berths, and two generous dining areas facing each other mean that everyone can enjoy meals together.

  • Price – £44,291 OTR
  • Berths – 6
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3800kg
         

Tribute T-736

If making your pounds go further is important, budget brand Tribute could be the answer. This new-for-2016 model has a family-friendly end lounge that converts into a double bed, another double in the dinette and a third in the overcab. The kitchen and washroom are a little small, but the ’van’s palatable price makes it very appealing.

  • Price – £42,701 OTR
  • Berths – 6
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3650kg
         

Best luxury van conversion

This was a tough category to judge, but here are the ’vans that impressed us.

Auto-Sleeper Fairford

This category is all about small-scale luxury, and the twin-lounge Auto-Sleeper Fairford delivers large dollops of it. The front lounge has been crafted to let you enjoy views out of the sliding door, while the rear lounge is flooded with natural light. A decent kitchen, a choice of fetching fabrics, clever storage and more make this ’van a real contender. Watch our review.

  • Price – £51,700 OTR
  • Berths – 4
  • Base vehicle – Peugeot Boxer
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

IH N-Class 630 RL

Two features make this ’van stand out: its habitation door and the whopping rear lounge; the latter means that, come bedtime, you’ve got plenty of sleeping space. A high-quality conversion with super storage, it’s also well-insulated and has a powerful combi boiler, making it suitable for year-round touring. Read our review.

  • Price – £62,995 OTR
  • Berths – 2
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

Shire Phoenix XLR Twin Plus

Again, the rear lounge is one of this model’s stand-out features, converting into a domestic-sized double bed; the rear doors also allow easy access for people and cargo. Storage is abundant and cooks will have a good amount of space to work in; the only downside is that, once you start ticking the option boxes, the price soon rises. Read our review.

  • Price – £47,550 OTR
  • Berths – 2
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 3500kg
         

Best luxury coachbuilt/A-class

They may be expensive, but these incredible vehicles offer value for money.

Knaus Sun I 900 LEG

Can a £100,000+ motorhome be good value for money? Yes – and this is it. Standing 8.82m long, this tag-axle Knaus offers a clever and very comfy lounge, and a great kitchen split across the ’van. But the star feature is the master suite, with its opulent washroom and those simply massive conjoined fixed singles at the rear. Read our review.

  • Price – £109,090 OTR
  • Berths – 4
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 5500kg
         

Niesmann+Bischoff Arto 79 F

At just under 8m, this is unashamed touring luxury on a manageable footprint. There’s a large island bed at the rear, set low for easy access, and the bedroom and split central washroom can be shut off from the rest of the ’van. The solid build quality helps make this something rather special. Read our review.

  • Price – from £88,782 OTR
  • Berths – 4
  • Base vehicle – Fiat Ducato
  • MTPLM – 4500kg
         

Hymer ML-T 630

What could be better than an all-German motorhome? This Hymer is a classy island-bed low-profile riding on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. It is a spacious two-berth that makes the most of its 7.8m body length and packs a whopping payload north of 1000kg.

  • Price – £70,290 OTR
  • Berths – 2
  • Base vehicle – Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
  • MTPLM – 4200kg
         
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