Benjamin Davies

See other motorhome reviews written by Benjamin Davies

Check out Practical Motorhome's Niesmann+Bischoff Arto 74 LEGB review for the verdict on this luxury ’van that's perfect for comfy, year-round touring

Overview

Niesmann + Bischoff, part of the Hymer Group, produces high-end, A-class motorhomes. Formerly a Brownhills brand, it returns to the UK for the 2010 season thanks to sole importer Travelworld RV in Telford.

Built on the 5-tonne Fiat/AL-KO tag axle chassis, it’s powered by the 3.0-litre 160bhp MultiJet engine, which makes for a fabulous drive, ironing out all the bumps in the road.

It has a silver-painted one-piece shell, a 4m awning, a huge double floor that carries all the tanks, batteries and pipework for the onboard utilities, plus the kind of furniture that wouldn’t look out of place in a Chippendale showroom.

The floorplan was built exclusively for the British market, although the single entry door is on the UK offside. As a dedicated six-berth, it has a pair of forward-facing three-point belted seats in the L-shaped lounge and also in the rear U-shaped lounge. It’s a very Germanic take on a UK layout, our only reservation being the fixed tables with sliding, extending tops in both lounges, which may deter those who prefer more open-plan lounging. Both lounges convert to double beds, making use of those fixed tables as bed bases.

Specification is high as you’d expect: an electrically-lowered blind screens off the cab window at night; the ISRI cab seats are fully adjustable; a flatscreen TV raises from behind the driver-side sofa; there’s leather upholstery throughout, plus cab air con and cruise control, but no habitation air con and no reversing camera.

A Dometic tech-tower fridge-freezer, with an oven above it, dominates the kitchen area, and the kitchen base units have a central locking system for a quieter and safer drive. The star feature of the plush washroom is the cylindrical shower cubicle.

Storage may be an issue for a family of six, with the compact rear garage only really suitable for chairs, ramps and so on, but not for bicycles with removing wheels.

Technical specs

Sleeps6
Travel seats6
MTPLM5000kg
Payload1600kg
Length7.77m25′6″
Width2.3m7′7″
Height2.95m9′8″
Waste water100L

Verdict

A truly luxurious ’van fit for serious all-weather touring, and a good stab at a UK-friendly layout. Check out the impressive innovation in the 2010 models, too.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Layout should appeal to British buyers; luxurious interior; high specification

Cons

  • Storage is a little sparse for six; the fixed tables eat up a lot of the lounge space
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