Kate TaylorSee other motorhome reviews written by Kate Taylor
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Read Practical Motorhome's review of the Autocruise Alto, a van conversion with a coachbuilt layout
Autocruise made a concerted push to become Britain’s leading van converter with its 2010 line-up, launched at the October 2009 NEC show, by growing its steel high top Boxer range to six models.
The long wheelbase Alto, with its longitudinal double bed, impressed us most on the drawing board. It’s a classic coachbuilt layout – that is, fixed rear corner bed with washroom alongside, kitchen amidships and half dinette up front.
The increased internal space in the latest generation Boxer makes such a layout possible within the confines of the manufacturer’s steel van walls. The double bed is a decent offering, and the corner cutaway is a thoughtful balance between access to the washroom and sleeping comfort.
The washroom alongside the bed is rather narrow though – indeed, the swivel head toilet has no room to swivel, and occupants may find themselves battling with a clinging shower curtain – but again, it’s eminently useable.
Amidships there’s a 72-litre Waeco fridge at torso height above a half-height wardrobe on the driver side, and the kitchenette on the nearside. Up front, it replicates the existing Pace floorplan of half-dinette, which converts into a single bed. With cab seats swivelled, the forward facing passenger seats convert into a decent single bed.
The lounge will hold up to four, although its removable table will only allow three to dine, and there’s ample kitchen space too. There's plenty of stowage space under the bed, accessible via the lift-up base or a locker door built into the rear. Ample storage is available throughout the rest of the ’van as well. It was a worthy runner-up in our 2010 Motorhome of the Year Awards for the best high-top van conversion.
The innovative layout is a decent alternative to the transverse fixed double bed van conversions, although we preferred the original prototype design, in which the bed was hinged lengthways to enable walk through access to the rear doors.
- The longitudinal rear bed brings a much-loved coachbuilt layout to a van conversion without much compromise
- This is quite some feat of ergonomic engineering from the team at Autocruise.
- The washroom alongside the bed is rather narrow: the swivel head toilet has no room to swivel, and occupants may find themselves battling with a clinging shower curtain.