Elddis notched up its half-century of leisure vehicle production in 2014. It diversified into motorhomes three decades ago, carving out a reputation for affordable, well equipped but great value-for-money ’vans.

Indeed, the County Durham-based manufacturer’s popular Autoquest range of low-profiles is the base for a slew of dealer special editions.

What’s changed

At the NEC show in autumn 2014, Elddis launched two more Accordo compacts for 2015 plus Encore, a new line-up of low-profiles, to succeed the upmarket Aspire range. For 2016, the brand is growing its portfolio by three models, plus making layout tweaks and routine improvements to feature sets and equipment.

The headlines

The compact Accordo has been a big success since it launched two summers ago, becoming the top-selling motorhome range in the Elddis collection. These narrow-width and short-length ’vans tapped in perfectly to consumer demand for smaller coachbuilts that cost less to run and take up less space on front drives and ferries, while being nippy and easy to pilot along country lanes – typically the territories of panel-van conversions. So for a product that was expected to sell 80 units upon launch, Accordo sold 200 in its first year.

A new model will join the range for 2016, replacing the 140, which has been quietly deleted. The end-lounge 120 takes the floorplan of the 135 but dispenses with the front dinette to offer a larger rear lounge with parallel seats that make up into a double bed.

The 120 also benefits from upgrades made to its stablemates: the parallel-lounge/end-washroom 105, half-dinette/transverse-rear-bed 125 and half-dinette/end-lounge 135. In comes light-toned ‘Marone’ cabinet work to replace last season’s darker walnut finish, and dovetailed drawers. Redesigned overhead lockers get positive catches and removable shelves, while the flush-fitting kitchen lockers have a cream finish with chrome inlays. They look down on deep worktops in granite-effect ‘Mineral Crème’.

Comfort buttons have been pressed as upgraded 4kW space-saving Whale heaters are now fitted in all Accordo models. These run on gas or electricity, have a quiet night-time setting and are operated via the new Whale Duo Control intuitive combination panel.

Heating is ducted through the bathrooms, making them viable dressing rooms even in the middle of winter, while new Grade 3 thermal insulation will make the Accordo a four-season tourer. Another improvement is the provision of a Teleco Teleplus directional aerial.

Retail prices (including VAT and delivery charge but excluding first registration fee) for 2016’s Accordo models will be £37,199 (105 and 120), and £37,499 (125 and 135).

Accordo motorhomes carry the same specification as Autoquest, which rolls into the new season with two new models, the rear twin single beds/end washroom 185 and the rear-lounge 195.

Only the 185 was available for viewing at the launch event. Entering via the midships habitation door, the ’van has an open aspect, with its rear beds mounted low for easy access and offering good sightlines to the rear of the vehicle. The front lounge features parallel seating, with two folding travel seats (as first seen in the 2014 Autoquest 155), mounted in the seat boxes.

A fully equipped offside galley with a separate oven and grill, fridge with removable freezer compartment and generous worktop complete the kitchen line-up. At the rear, a spacious washroom sports a separate shower compartment, on the nearside, with a wardrobe above the swivelling toilet.

The new 195 is actually a tweaked version of 2015’s rear-lounge ’van, now with parallel front-lounge seats in place of the half-dinette; as with the 155 and 185, the 195 gets folding travel seats in the front lounge. It will break cover at the autumn NEC show, lining up with the parallel-lounge/end-washroom 115, parallel-lounge/French-bed 155, parallel-lounge/end-washroom 175 and full-dinette/rear-lounge 180.

All 2016 Autoquests will boast electric steps, leisure batteries and rooflights as standard. The prices are: £33,899 (115), £38,899 (155), £37,899 (175), £39,199 (180 and 195) and £39,599 (185).

Last season’s launch, the Encore, gets a curtain call, with two more models added to the 2016 collection. With neither of the new ’vans on display at the preview event, the big reveal will take place at the autumn NEC show.

The new floorplans come with a front parallel lounge and transverse island bed (254), and parallel lounge and twin beds (285). These join the existing parallel-lounge/rear-French-bed 255 and parallel-lounge/end-washroom 275.

Improvements for 2016 Encore models include Grade 3 thermal insulation, a retractable bed in the 254 creating a comfortable day bed and 40cm of additional floor space during the day, a Teleco Teleplus directional aerial, and two leisure batteries, plus Alde heating, 100-litre water tanks, 189-litre fridges and a microwave oven.

Prices for the new Encore 254 and 285 are yet to be confirmed; the 255 and 275 will cost £47,299.

In other news

Elddis is sticking with its tried-and-tested formula by building all its motorhomes on the new Peugeot Boxer with unmodified low-line chassis to retain the driving qualities and structural integrity of the base vehicles. The Encore gets a wide-track chassis for optimum handling.

Body construction continues with the much-admired SoLiD system, in which joins are glued – not screwed – together. Elddis is so confident in this technology that it offers a 10-year bodyshell integrity warranty.

Inside, Ozio seats and mattresses feature throughout the ranges, making for increased comfort while cutting the weight by 30% over conventional foam or sprung cushions.

Practical Motorhome’s star ‘van – Elddis Accordo 120

Ready to lose a front dinette to get a longer rear lounge? The Accordo 120 could be ideal. A caravan-esque centre chest provides a home for the space heater and pull-out bed slats, while the parallel seat benches can fit a six-footer.

This couple’s coachbuilt follows a layout popular in van conversions and offers Grade 3 insulation, a compact but well-equipped washroom with a shower, and a kitchen that packs a gas hob, a combined oven and grill, and a 95-litre fridge.

With the 120, in our view the best Accordo yet, the range has just come of age.