The only obvious area of compromise is the lounge – everything else is generally excellent. If you can live with that, it could make an excellent touring ’van.
Versatile engine and gearbox options; excellent kitchen; storage facilities
The two-strong Miami range represents the first time that Auto-Trail has built on a Renault chassis. As such, you might be forgiven for expecting a lack of synergy between the cab and the body.
However, this simply isn’t so. Careful design has made the Miami look every bit as integrated as all the rest of Auto-Trail’s range. We particularly like the line of the side skirts, which help show off the low height of this vehicle.
In the cab, we find it every bit as car-like as other Renault-based motorhomes, with touches such as map pockets, remote locking and a drink holder included as part of the standard specification. On a more practical note, ABS and a driver’s airbag are also standard. Buyers can choose either the 2.5-litre or 3.0-litre dCi engines, with a semi-automatic transmission available on the smaller motor. Generally, though, we reckon that the 3.0-litre engine, with its six-speed gearbox and high torque output should be the best for driving up hill and down dale, though the smaller power-plant is still punchy enough for motorway cruising. The captain seats are fully adjustable and offer both driving and lounging comfort.
The lounge isn’t huge, though. A pair of forward-facing travel seats form part of the small corner unit. When coupled with the swivelling cab chairs, there is room for four around the small folding table.
An L-shaped kitchen, complete with oven, grill and generous Dometic fridge/freezer provides all the kit needed for even the most enthusiastic cooks. Two cupboards, some drawers and an overhead locker provide plenty of space for saucepans, a kettle and food. Our only gripe is that we would have liked more food preparation space.
Towards the rear of this ’van, two generous wardrobes face each other, providing separate his-and-her clothing space. In the washroom the rear shower cubicle closes off from the main wash area, giving the space a large, homely feel. There’s room to store all the lotions and potions you need, and the shower boasts a useful height-adjustable head.
The queen-sized bed has a good quality mattress and crucially you can sit up in bed without bumping your head.
The Miami will make a great ’van for active couples who spend more time out and about than in the living area. The Renault cab will suit people who spend a lot of time in the driving seat. And the living area will also appeal to buyers who like the popular Continental-style layout, but prefer buying from a British maker whose products keep good residual value. The extra space made available in this ’van for the bed, washroom and luggage has, to a certain degree, been at the expense of the lounge area. That’s not to say that the Miami is unaccommodating, as it will comfortably seat four at dinner, but buyers used to British layouts should assess their priorities before selecting this low-profile motorhome.