If you want smart, low-profile looks with a spacious living area and a high level of winterisation, this could be the ’van for you.
Partition between rear bedroom and lounge provides privacy and an en-suite sleeping area; excellent driving position and dashboard-mounted gear lever; uplighting creates warm aura.
Lounge bed seems complex to make up; cab seat covers were ill-fitting in test model; shoe cupboard is very small.
You cannot fail to be attracted to the lounge, which might be described as ‘contemporary Continental chic’. The curved lines of the wood-effect cabinetwork, and the wrap-around seating upholstered in cream, suede-effect Alcantara help give the lounge a particularly sumptuous quality. The whole area is fabulously light, due to the large windows and the rooflights in the cab and living spaces.
The cab seats in our Toskana did seem a bit wobbly once they were swivelled around, and a touch too high in relation to the slightly lower living-area floor. There are more comfortable sofas around, too.
One big plus point is the amount of space for socialising. You could seat six for dinner around the stylish, drop-leaf fixed table, or entertain as many as eight guests for drinks. Fixed tables can restrict movement so Hobby has hinged this one. The end result is elegant, knock-proof, ever-ready and not intrusive.
The lighting is stunning and practical. When on hook-up, you can go the whole hog with combinations of mood lighting. Otherwise, for economy of electricity, you can use a combination of the individually switched spotlights and LED low-lights. This is lighting design at its best. There’s a definite ‘wow!’ factor to the ambience created, although some may dislike the unusual touch of the blue-lit, mirror-backed glass cabinet by the caravan door – this is bound to split opinion!
The shelf for a flat-screen TV, beneath the glass cabinet, is ideally positioned for a clear view from the swivelled cab seats.
This is a good kitchen to work in. It’s well lit and there is masses of storage space so a couple touring long-term could shop less often and take along any amount of crockery and kitchen tools.
We like the selection of both deep and shallow drawers, which are truly practical for storing pans and groceries. However, the wire-basket drawer is too short for bottles and rather oddly shaped for vegetables. A vast, circular cupboard under the sink, along with spacious high-level lockers, complete the line-up.
The neat, three-burner hob sensibly places the largest burner at the front, but there is no spark ignition, which seems a bit mean for a ’van priced at around £60,000. There’s no extractor unit, either.
The deep sink swallows dinner plates with ease. A second sink/drainer/bin would have been useful, but there is a superb expanse of well-positioned worktop between hob and sink – ample for a keen cook who likes to spread out.
A pair of well-positioned, worktop-mounted 250V plug sockets will serve for kettle, toaster and the like, while a Tec Tower unit houses the fridge-freezer (without automatic energy selection) and an oven.
Eye-level ovens are often criticised, but this one is at a sensible height. There is no grill, though.
Elsewhere the layout of the Toskana Exclusive makes efficient use of space, but here in the washroom it is restricted. Nevertheless, it is just about adequate, with plenty of surfaces by the washbasin, lots of storage space for toiletries, and a big under-basin unit for other items. The ceiling-mounted electrical socket will please the hairstylists among us, and charge up the boys’ razors, too.
The separate shower is roomy, with easy-clean walls and an excellent non-slip tray which drains well (a second drain hole would assist if the ’van was not quite level).
Towels can be hung on the hooks in the shower or else draped over the shower door, but it would be nice to have the advantage of a rail to use for drying coats – a simple but useful addition often lacking in motorhomes.
A couple of niggles about this washroom: it is gloomy and would benefit from a shower light and a small skylight; and for ventilation, you have to pull down the blind and open the low-set opaque window – the result is that it feels draughty and privacy is compromised, especially at night.
The lengthways rear bed, with washroom alongside, forms a master bedroom en-suite when partitioned off by the concertina blind – a shelved clothes cupboard is here as well, though there is no hanging space.
The big double bed should please all but giants, and the minimal cut-off corner is barely discernible. The good-quality, sprung, twin mattresses on tensioned slats will help you off to a great night’s sleep.
The bedroom is a pleasant space illuminated by a roof light, a side window, and twin reading lights. Pockets for books are found at the foot end, and the sight of two ‘cuppa’ shelves will bring a smile to some buyers’ faces.
The lounge bed is quite another matter. It’s a puzzle, even with the manual, and is in desperate need of a re-think. If you’ve got children with you, save your energy: just take the backrests off the couches and pop them on the seat bases.
As well as the massive rear locker, accessed from inside or out, there is a decent-sized exterior locker underneath the offside couch. Internal access to the under-bed storage area is a doddle thanks to the twin mattresses and hinged bed base, though a means of restraining this in the upright position would be helpful. The compartment is aired by the heating pipes running through, and illuminated by the bedroom spotlights.
Inside the ’van you will find two generous wardrobes, one of which is shelved, and this makes perfect sense – how many of your clothes actually need to be on hangers? It would also be useful for the storage of large, miscellaneous items as well as folded clothes.
The illuminated wardrobe rail is a little irritating because, thanks to the flimsy door catch, the light won’t always switch off unless you are really careful. The other cupboard is unlit, and due to the poor lighting in that part of the ’van you may find yourself rummaging around in the dark. There is a tiny shoe cupboard by the door, but no coat-hooks. A long mirror here would have been nice, too.
Further storage potential is provided by the many overhead lockers: four extra-large ones and four small versions in the lounge, with two more extra-large and a couple of medium-sized ones in the bedroom.