The Coral S 680 SP offers a conventional layout with a human touch and value-for-money specification. The level of winterisation is good and the interior fit-and-finish seems sturdy and reflects an upper mid-market feel. The only noticeable omissions from the specification list are carpets and a grill, but the corner steadies are a welcome bonus.
Practical layout; winterisation; single key to all doors; handy, easily accessible bin; twin garage doors; recessed strip lighting
Narrow steps to bed; waste pipe a bit too short; confusing control panel; no carpets; no grill
Adria remains a relative newcomer to the UK, despite having a fair bit of history but what does it offer? Value for money is the key ingredient.
Adria’s ranges encompass vehicles from basic elevating-roof campers through to stylish A-class ‘vans, and all offer a lot for your money. The Coral range of Ducato-based coachbuilts sits around the mid-market level, along with products from British and Continental manufacturers, at around the £40,000 mark. The Coral’s layout – garage with a bed above it, and a half-dinette/sofa lounge – is typically Continental. But Adria’s ergonomic and stylistic touches give this 680 SP model an unusual level of warmth and practicality, not always seen in other Continental vehicles.
Couples who tour for long periods of time, often using aires and other stopovers, are fairly typical of those who might consider buying a Coral. The amount of storage space is great for long trips with their bikes (or a scooter). However, the size of the Coral, and where to store it, is a big concern.
Lounge space is important for those who cook and eat in their ‘van while on tour throughout the year – especially when it’s too cold to sit outside. This is one area where many Continental ‘vans, obsessed with storage space over living comforts, fail.
By British standards, the half-dinette dining area in the Coral is not a lounge as such, but Adria has made it feel spacious. The cab rooflight and the Midi-Heki rooflight over the lounge make it light without having to open the blinds.
The Ducato’s seats are easy to swivel as there are no obstructions – very important as they take up half of the lounge. The TV cabinet, at the front end of the kitchen, is designed for a flatscreen TV, and four will just about be able to view it if two of them are squeezed up on the side sofa. The cab seats afford the best viewing position.
The dining table, which has an insert that lives in a slot below it on the (UK) nearside wall, can cope comfortably with four diners. The well-upholstered cushions would allow all occupants to sit in comfort over the course of an evening. Some of the lighting (fluorescent strips) is concealed above the overhead lockers. All in all, there’s a warm ambience, with flexible lighting, day and night, and domestic touches such as net curtains.
Thanks to the extendable table and the large, side-facing sofa it’s a good enough lounge for a sociable couple, even on longer trips.
At first glance, it’s hard to say more than ‘business as usual’, as this kitchen’s L-shaped footprint apes that of nearly every fixed-bed low-profile on the market (0nly Rapido changes the script by placing the hob in the corner, freeing up accessible worksurface area).
Adria has left the workspace in the corner so you have to reach past the hob or sink, though this ‘van does score in terms of its convenient bin – a bucket which lives under a removable piece of worktop. It can be removed via an outside locker, too.
Both sink and hob have glass covers and, crucially, the kitchen is well specified: an oven and hob with electric ignition, an extractor hood over the hob with a splashguard next to it, and the now commonplace 150-litre fridge, with separate freezer.
The large sink will need a lot of water to wash things up in it, but we like swan-neck tap for its domestic feel. The sink is big enough to wash clothes for people who wild camp.
Ultimately, this kitchen works, although most Britons will rue the lack of a grill in an otherwise well-appointed and sensibly positioned oven.
The finish of the washroom adds a level of domestic appeal with its small, eye-level mirror set between two wooden cupboards and two halogen downlighters above.
The shower head has a high quality chromed finish and there’s around 6ft 6ins-worth of headroom in the all-white, moulded ABS shower. The amount of space here is reduced by a ‘step’, encasing the wheel arch, although this could possibly be utilised as a very low seat.
The shower tray base felt solid, although the floor lacked grip. There is also only a single, small plug, with a drainage channel around the edge of the tray.
The washroom handbasin is big and sufficiently accessible for a comfortable wash, but the window is clear, rather than frosted as most Britons prefer because it allows a little ventilation and privacy.
We consider the Adria Coral to be a two-berth with guest options. One of the mildly inconvenient things about making up the dinette bed is having to first unclip the cushions, although most buyers will prefer having them held securely in place. It takes a while, but once you have worked out the cushion configuration, the bed is firm and comfortable, though the tapered lumbar-supporting back cushions make uneven bedfellows. A couple of features of the base, specifically a folding bracket on the front of the sofa base, seem a little ‘Heath Robinson’ but at least they are effective. Too many such beds are either too small or too lumpy.
The rear bedroom is worthy of the name. It has two attractive, frosted spotlights, space to sit up in bed (on the UK offside only) and 89cm of headroom. The mattress is interior sprung (with its own cover) and there’s a Midi Heki rooflight and pierced blown-air heating ducts all around the bed.
The steps up to the bed, however, are narrow and slippery although a grab handle on the offside helps. Wider steps would have been a more sensible option.
One more small niggle is that although the windscreen has an easy-to-use, pleated blind, the cab windows have slightly awkward, poppered curtains. Why?
The garage has two doors, which is most convenient when unloading large items. The handles are sturdy and engage far more easily than fiddly twist-shut catches. The lip is 49cm high, the doors are 1.09m x 80cm, there’s a light at either end and a blown-air heating vent.
The locker opening onto the back of the kitchen houses the bin and has a shelf big enough for two sets of wellies or a dozen bottles of wine.
The gas locker is low, so you shift bottles without straining your back. This locker, and the battery, take up most of the sofa base, although there is a shoe locker in it, just by the entrance. The fresh water tank occupies the space beneath the travel seat.
There are two small lockers over the cab and four, push-button overhead lockers in the lounge, two of which each have a single shelf.
In the kitchen there are two overhead lockers, although the rear one also contains extractor ducting. Beneath the hob, there’s a wide drawer with a cutlery tray and four compartments. There’s a deep drawer under the oven and a large, under-sink cupboard with a curved door and a shelf. One small cupboard sits above the freezer.
There is a large locker opening into the garage, by the steps to the bedroom, with a tiny locker in the base of the bottom step. The lit, 55cm-deep wardrobe has a hanging rail 1.24m above the base.
In the bedroom itself there are three overhead lockers on the rear wall – positioned where you are unlikely to bang your head on them – and two elasticated fabric pockets in the headboard.
In the washroom, there are two, small eye-level cupboards with rails and an under-sink tambour-door cupboard.
|Shipping Length||7.28 m|