Forward with the Sixty? Back to the sixties? This French-built camper van combines classic and modern style, but at a price, says Nick Harding

Overview

The smart two-tone paintwork is a real attention-grabber. The red-and-white theme continues inside, too.

The Westfalia Kepler Sixty looks a million dollars and starts just short of £60,000, including a 'basic' £58,052 OTR, plus the pretty much indispensable Kepler Pack at £1615. Our test 'van, with a few other 'essential' extras, costs some £69,179.

Design

Comparisons with VW's own California Ocean are inevitable (an Ocean with the two-tone treatment seems to cost less, with a better overall specification, but judge for yourselves).

Arguably, the Sixty lacks a little of the class leader's sophistication - anything from the electric operation for the elevating roof to the more upmarket dashboard, auto-latching sliding door, and cab blinds.

The California is also based on a version of the Caravelle people carrier, rather than the variants VW offers to independent converters.

Most notably, the Kepler's rear seat is a triumph of engineering over aesthetics. Like the California's, it's on rails, so you can switch between optimising boot space and floorspace. There's also the option to add more seating, which entails an upgrade to the maximum vehicle rating.

Like the California, too, Westfalia's Keplers aren't reconfigured for UK use, so the sliding door is on our offside.

Where the Kepler Sixty does score over its nearest rival is its more modern main furniture unit. Yes, that's subjective, but the radiused leading edges and aluminium inserts look classier.

Overhead, the rear-hinged roof is finished in red fabric in a breathable polyester, with a zipped mesh side panel and an acrylic window at the front, also zipped.

But there are a few qualms.

All-leather seating has its attractions, but do you really want to sleep on it?

Westfalia includes high-quality plastic mouldings as part of its conversion work, but the off-white upper wall sections are at odds with the grey cab.

There are pleated curtains on the side windows, but thermal screens for the cab seem an afterthought.

On the road

In this example, from Yorkshire's Wandahome, you'd want some extras: DSG transmission, £2093; multifunction steering wheel, £746; LED road lights, £1726; sat nav, £1666; front fog lights, £372; parking sensors and reversing camera, £938; tinted windows, £378.

Kitchen

The kitchen adopts the usual combined hob/sink format, although the gas burners are diametrically opposed - in theory, that means you can use larger pans.

Adjacent is a 40-litre top-loading compressor fridge, while also at the kitchen end of this unit there are neat drawers (one with a cutlery tray).

Sleeping

The larger of the two double beds is in the pop-up roof space. It's arguably the more comfortable, thanks to the one-piece mattress and Froli-Type plastic springing.

Storage

The main cupboard has a fixed shelf, so it won't house, for example, a portable toilet.

There is, however, twin wardrobes, each with a hanging rail and removable shelving, so you can use the storage space here according to preference.

Equipment

The Sixty has many neat touches - the clever shower has a suction pad holder that attaches to the window of the opened tailgate.

The table clips to a rail on the kitchen unit, and stows in the sliding door.

The fresh-water tank/gas cylinder holder design is also very clever. Diesel-fuelled heating is good (Webasto, here), and there's a generous array of LED lighting. I might just forgo the £1593 hot-water system, though.

Technical specs

LayoutCamper without washroom
Sleeps4
Travel seats4
MTPLM2800kg
Payload415kg
Length5.3m17′5″
Width2.09m6′10″
Height1.99m6′6″
Engine (capacity)2000
Fresh/waste water40L / 30L
Leisure battery100 Ah
Kitchen Equipment
Waeco Compressor Fridge, 2-burner gas hob
Washroom
No toilet

Verdict

Westfalia's Kepler Sixty is a thoroughly pleasing blend of modern and classic design, which - if you'll pardon the rather extended metaphor - should both catch the eye and bring smiles to faces. You can take it as red. And white, of course. It's not cheap, though.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Clever shower with a suction pad holder
  • Diesel-fuelled heating
  • Modern main furniture unit

Cons

  • Cab screens seem an afterthought
  • The lower bed is on the narrow side
  • Lacks the sophistication of the class leader

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