Peter BaberSee other News articles filed in ‘Motorhome’ written by Peter Baber
The biggest news this year for Auto-Trail might be the introduction of Alde heating in its upmarket Frontier range. It's the first time the Grimsby manufacturer has included the wet heating system in any of its models.
Frontiers for 2019 also come with Auto-Trail's Basic Media Pack, which normally costs £1149, as standard. This includes an 18.5" TV, sat-nav, a DAB and FM radio with MP3 and Bluetooth capability, a reversing camera and a Status TV aerial.
Including these new features has pushed the average price of a Frontier up by 4.4%. The range now starts at £73,444 OTR.
But the Trigano Group company has otherwise been very price-conscious this year - no other prices on any Auto-Trail or Tribute ranges have gone up by more than 0.5%.
The Frontier range is also where you'll find two of this year's four new models. The prospect of taking on manufacturing newly launched van conversion ranges at its expanded factory for other Trigano Group firms, including Chausson and Roller Team, clearly hasn't dampened Auto-Trail's appetite for development.
The Delaware HB (£73,444) and the twin-axle Comanche HB (£83,892) are both versions of existing Frontier layouts, but with high-level island beds above a garage, rather than fixed single beds.
There is internal access to the garage, and both vehicles have an MTPLM of 4500kg, so will only be suitable for those with a C1 license.
As a whole this year, along with the Alde heating and the media pack, Frontiers also come with Freesia soft upholstery, with a floral pattern on curtains and cushions, a customised cab seat, and an enhanced, 140-litre Thetford fridge with integrated freezer.
The Frontier range no longer includes the Serrano or the Dakota, but the layout of the latter has been repeated in the new model now included in the Tracker range. Like the Dakota, the Tracker EV (£61,597 OTR) includes an end washroom spread right across the back of the 'van behind a French bed. That washroom also includes a huge shower cubicle.
Otherwise, all of the Tracker models remain the same as last season, with enhancements including alloy wheels, the Thetford fridge, an upgraded 6kW combi-boiler, new mottled-grey designer worktops, and customised cab seats in the Tansy upholstery scheme. Prices for the six-strong range start at £56,622.
In between these two ranges, the Apache has the same three models and enhancements, similar to those on the Tracker. Prices start at £59,457.
The third, entirely new, layout comes in the Tribute coachbuilt range. The Tribute T736 G is a 7.25m-long four- to six-berth with a rear transverse bed above a large garage that has internal access. It also provides a front dinette with four travelling seats. In either Lo-Line form or Hi-Line with an overcab bed, it has an OTR price of £47,131.
The only other change within the Tribute coachbuilt range comes in the end-kitchen 615, which has been given a more efficient dinette layout. As a whole, the range now has an upgraded control panel, and comes with the GT Pack, which includes alloy wheels, a roll-out awning, solar panel and an external barbecue point as standard.
With last season's 620 model now discontinued, the range continues to have seven models in total.
The Tribute van conversion range keeps the same three models, which have been enhanced with over-locker lighting and new graphics on the exterior.
The van conversions start at £41,969 OTR, while the coachbuilt models start at £43,265 OTR.
Like the Tribute coachbuilt range, Auto-Trail's entry-level coachbuilt, the Imala, has lost the 620 layout for 2019 and now includes the GT pack, which features an external barbecue point as standard. The 615's dinette has also been redesigned, and spec upgrades are similar to the Tribute.
Unlike the Tribute, however, Imala interiors have been fitted out in a new Iberis upholstery scheme, featuring brown contrasted with striking golden-yellow on the curtains and scatter cushions. Prices for the seven-strong range start at £49,290.
Auto-Trail's V-line van conversion range includes the final new layout for 2019. The 6.36m-long 634SE (£50,867) has the same rear-lounge layout and length as the 635SE, but its slim-line fridge has an integral freezer. The space saved means the lounge and the single beds are longer. V-lines also get a new DAB unit with sat nav, and ambient over-locker lighting. The Sports pack, which swaps barn doors at the back for a U-shaped lounge and a boot, is available on all models except the 540 SE. Prices start at £47,532.