Peter BaberSee other motorhome reviews written by Peter Baber
The attractive Italian Pegaso 590 A-class is a good looking motorhome and has a price tag that's hugely competitive - but how does it fare day to day?
Until very recently, if you said the word '"A-class", what sprang to mind - apart from a beautifully sculpted front panel - was a gas-guzzling behemoth. One that only serious motorcaravanners, or at least those with a C1 license and a huge amount of money, could drive.
But things are changing. Itineo and Mobilvetta have been at the fore in offering cheaper A-class models, while Hymer and Carthago have been working on getting the weight down.
Now, Roller Team is also challenging the idea that A-classes have to be long - at 5.99m, its new Pegaso 590 is shorter than many van conversions. And at £59,990 OTR - about the same price as the highest-spec VW California Ocean camper - it seems an attainable price. But does it stack up in real life? We took it away to see.
Extensive graphics and chunky grey housings for the rear light clusters make it look more grown-up, as do the 16-inch alloy wheels.
There is nothing babyish, either, about its construction - all of the bodywork is GRP-coated, inside and out, with Styrofoam insulation.
One obvious plus point is that, relatively unusually for an A-class range sold in the UK, the driver gets their own door as standard. If you are new to motorcaravanning, you might think that having an openable door by the driver is compulsory, but it isn't.
The benefits of having one are multiple; not least, it means that you don't have to swap seats (or head back into the motorhome itself) to get out. Pleasingly - and perhaps more importantly for some - the habitation door on this Pegaso is on the UK nearside.
On this model, we were also impressed by the position of the cassette toilet locker door: it's on the rear panel, beneath the bike rack.
Given the way that, in many UK caravan parks, you reverse your motorhome onto the pitch, that should make emptying the toilet a very discreet operation.
There is a useful wet locker close to the front on the nearside, large enough to carry more than just boots.
There is no garage, but on the nearside rear, a tall door gives you access to both sections of the wardrobe in the rear washroom.
The shelves in the more accessible section fold up, so you could carry tall items in here. The 635kg payload should allow this, although you might need to leave some room for the infill cushions. You do not, however, get any external barbecue point, shower or socket.
On the road
Inside, you get a standard Fiat cab with cupholders in the middle, and a handbrake to the right of the driver; this never interfered with getting in or out of the cab.
In all Pegaso models, the Roller Team Driver's Pack - which would otherwise cost £1250 - comes as standard; so you get cab air-con, cruise control, a passenger airbag, a radio with Bluetooth and sat nav, and electrically heated coach-style side mirrors. A rear-view camera is separate from the sat nav, to the right of the steering wheel.
Once we were on the way, we found the small size of the 'van really made a difference. You only get a 130bhp engine as standard, but we found that was perfectly adequate. You never felt you were pulling a lumbering vehicle, as with some A-classes.
There is a slight blind spot, caused by the size of the window to the driver's right. If you are tall, with the seat pushed back, you have to lean forward to look out. Once you are forward, however, there is clear vision; not just through the cab window, but also through both windows in the lounge - useful if you are turning on a tight corner.
The construction of the vehicle's facade means you don't get the usual flip-down sun visors. There is a pull-down blind, but the tab for this is a bit of a stretch when you are driving. Cab lighting could be a little more generous, too.
But Roller Team has included a USB socket just by the door on the side of the sofa, so you can easily charge your phone while you're on the move.
In the rear there are two fully-belted travel seats; although dismantling the L-shaped sofa to provide legroom for whoever sits on the offside seat is a bit more laborious than usual, because it involves lifting the cushion and removing a wooden plank, which you store in a slot in the back wardrobe.
Lounging & dining
There is also a step down if you are coming from the cab, but it is an incredibly roomy lounge, with a large pedestal table that can be moved about.
With the L-shaped sofa, another side sofa and the swivelled cab seats, you would probably have room for eight here. But only shorter people would be really happy sitting on the sideways-facing part of the L-shaped sofa, because the housing for the blind makes sitting back a touch uncomfortable for those occupants who are taller.
The whole area is really snug, with a heating vent from the powerful Truma 6 boiler on both sides.
There's a mains socket under the nearside sofa and, with that USB socket already mentioned, you should be well connected. A TV bracket above the mirror by the door slides out to a position where all but those in the travel seats could easily see the set.
The lounge does look a bit minimalist, with its eco-leather upholstery in tones of grey and white locker doors - at the same time, it does feel very modern, however.
There is one light under the drop-down bed, another by the rooflight and ambient lighting under the lockers, but no spotlights.
There is also no carpet fitted as standard - although that is likely to suit those who leave theirs at home anyway. If you want one, it is a £200 cost option.
The hob has three gas burners, shifted into the corner to allow for more work surface. But you do get a Thetford Duplex oven underneath this.
Food storage is reasonable in a motorhome of this size, with two of the three overhead lockers on the offside easily accessible from the kitchen, and a 142-litre fridge (huge if there are just the two of you) on the nearside. It comes complete with a removable freezer and a separate lower section for storing drinks.
There is a series of pull-out basket shelves next to this, but they are a bit narrow, so wouldn't be suitable for larger items. The same applies to the slim cupboard to the right of the oven. It is a bit tricky to open, and really only useful for narrower detergent bottles.
Storage for large pans could be more problematic. What appears to be a locker under the oven only really provides you with access to the gas taps and fuses. There is no storage under the fridge and, although there is a small locker above, it's so high that it would be out of reach for most people. In addition, putting anything in this locker obscures the iNet sensor and the solar panel display.
The pull-out basket shelf below the sink, and the space underneath, would hold medium-sized pans and kettles. But frying pans would have to be stacked side-on in the space next to this. They could at least be easily retrieved, thanks to a second door by the oven.
So far so good - if it's just the two of you. But the 590 is technically a four-berth, and there is another double bed below, which you make up by lowering the pedestal table and aligning it with the L-shaped sofa.
However, we found this whole process a bit complicated; partly because to make the bed into a full double, you will also have to retrieve an extension that is housed in the wardrobe in the washroom.
Once you've done that, you're left with a double bed that's not as comfortable as the one above, and that also prevents you from using the ladder to reach the drop-down bed with the maximum of ease.
We think most people will use this 'van as a two-berth, reserving the bottom bed for occasional guests.
If you're not using the other section to store large items, you can fold down the shelves for more clothes storage there.
The washroom is also well lit, with an opaque window to provide privacy, its own rooflight and an LED light.
As for storing soaps and shampoos: there is a shelf below the window, a locker above it and a cupboard underneath the medium-sized mirror.
You also get a large mirror located behind the handbasin. The shower cubicle on the offside is large and has two drainage holes to allow water to flow out more easily. It has its own LED light, but no rooflight.
The space underneath the side sofa is also partly taken up by the useful outside wet locker, although there is a drawer included in the rest of this area where you could store small items.
Lifting up the cushions to access these underseat areas is a little tricky: they are rather heavy and come with a lip around the edges to make them look smart.
However, you still get that huge wardrobe at the end, and the overhead lockers are a good size for other clothes and books. Food storage in the kitchen is excellent, and there is space for all but the largest kitchenware items.
You certainly wouldn't expect a four-bike rack on the rear panel to be included as standard, but it is in this Pegaso.
The inclusion of a 100W solar panel is standard. Truma 6 heating can't always be guaranteed at this price; again, it's in this 'van.
For a really UK-friendly motorhome, you'd perhaps expect to see a four-burner dual-fuel hob with separate oven and grill; but these are minor points when you consider the huge fridge that is included. A microwave would have been useful, but would take up storage space.
Electrical and digital connections are good, but we might have expected to see some spotlights and better cab lighting.
|Fresh/waste water||100L / 100L|
|Leisure battery||100 Ah|
3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill
Separate shower cubicle
The new Roller Team Pegaso 590 is clear proof that you can get an excellent A-class in a sub-six-metre bodyshell. Cleverly designed, it will provide everything you need for a comfortable tour - and it looks fantastic into the bargain. The second double bed isn't the most comfortable that we've tested, but it should be fine for occasional use - and the inclusion of that pair of belted seats means that a couple can easily take guests with them from time to time.
Roller Team always used to be known as a budget brand. While the low price tag remains, the classy Pegaso 590 demonstrates that the manufacturer can now compete with much more expensive names.
- An immediately obvious plus point is the cab door on the driver's side
- The lounge is incredibly roomy, with a large pedestal table that can be moved about
- Making up the second double bed feels a little complicated, so it's not something you'd necessarily want to be doing every night