Nick HardingSee other motorhome reviews written by Nick Harding
This A-class wins our 2020 Motorhome of the Year award for Best Innovation. Nick Harding checks it out
A trip to the Brownhills mega-site on the outskirts of Newark, Nottinghamshire, is usually rewarding. I was there in the run-up to Christmas, so, while key staff took time out to serve a free festive lunch to valued customers, I was able to sneak in and take a closer look at this new-for-2020 model from Rapido.
One of the best motorhomes of the year, the M96 is an award-winner, scooping the Best Innovation prize in our Motorhome of the Year Awards 2020, with the judges noting that it's "packed with clever features that make it a very deserving winner".
Rapido has established itself as a producer of premium motorhomes. Hardly surprising, then, that it's turned its attention to the Mercedes Sprinter as the base for the newest sub-range, called simply M (near-twin sister M66 has twin single beds).
On the road prices start at £87,800, but my guess is, you're looking at those tempting uprades and are more likely to budget in excess of £100,000.
For the record, this example has an uprated chassis (to 4500kg) and engine (the 188bhp unit), and nine-speed automatic transmission. The latter cost £2290 and £2200 respectively, but it's easy to consider them must-haves.
There's also the £4490 Pack M. Think Mercedes MBUX multimedia system - the 10.25in touchscreen dominates an otherwise slightly austere dashboard, but gives you sat nav, DAB radio, reversing monitor, semi-automatic cab air conditioning and more. In addition, you get an adjustable steering wheel with controls, electric parking brake, fog lights, automatic headlights, crosswind stability, keyless starting, a kitchen extractor, a thermal windscreen blind, and an electric window for the passenger door.
It's a popular floorplan, with two double beds - rear island, forward drop-down double - and central kitchen and washroom. Clever design (did someone say innovation?) has all of this in a vehicle just 7.54m long that never feels cramped.
Lounging & dining
The toilet room has a swivel-bowl toilet and handbasin; the basin is a tad shallow and there's no window here, but it's otherwise typical of the quality and practicality throughout.
From the options, you could consider anything from a switch to Alde heating (Truma's Combi 6 is standard), to alternative interiors (including leather upholstery), or a mattress topper. But, whatever your final spec, the M96 is a winner as far as we're concerned.
|Layout||Rear island bed|
|Fresh/waste water||132L / 110L|
|Leisure battery||100 Ah|
|Secondary leisure battery||100 Ah|
2-burner gas hob
Thetford C-250 toilet, Separate shower cubicle
A highly attractive blend of quality and style - plus innovation - that demonstrates Rapido is perfectly at home at the top end of the market. As is the way at this level, there's scope for you to dip into a pretty extensive list of optional extras to make sure a motorhome like this really is the one of your dreams.
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- Feeling of space
- Design innovation
- A number of options and upgrades
- Basin a little shallow in the washroom
- Shower has just one, small, plug hole