This is certainly an attractive ’van. The gold and burgundy highlights work well with
the white background and the simple, striking graphics. We especially like the little indent on the sides of the habitation body that matches the crease running along the doors of the Ducato cab. But it doesn’t do so well in terms of practicality due to its gas locker being positioned directly above the wheel arch. Changing canisters will mean lugging the hefty things 93cm off the ground.
On the inside, the Toskana has a rather claustrophobic feel thanks to the large kitchen and lounge, and the wide, swivelling cabinet/TV mount that divides the lounge from the bed area. Walking space through the ’van is a little tight, too, but you can’t fault the quality of the materials: liberal amounts of rich wood and cream leather are utilised and everything feels properly screwed together.
The control panel is another highlight, with its combination of an easy-to-use rotary controller, a blue backlit display and dials (for displaying water levels and the like) which look as if they could have come off a vintage Italian sports car. The only letdown is the cheap-feeling dark plastic used to make some of the cabinet doors.
On the road
Built on the Fiat Ducato platform, the Toskana 600 FL benefits from a 2.3-litre engine that produces more power and torque than some similar-priced options, and from lower down in the rev range as well. You also get a six-speed gearbox, cruise control, radio/CD player and cab air-conditioning, all adding up to a pleasant driving experience.
Lounging & dining
The Toskana has an L-shaped dinette that can seat four with the cab seats swivelled. The oval table is roomy, but since the lounge faces the kitchen it has a section that folds down in order to free up space for cooking. The table’s size also means that when it’s fully extended it can be a bit of a pain to move through the lounge.
Instead of providing a single, panoramic window in the lounge, Hobby has opted for two smaller ones. This certainly makes for a distinctive exterior appearance but surely one large window would have benefited the lounge more? Nevertheless, it is a very well-lit area, with a large rooflight stretching between the lounge and cab areas, four recessed spotlights above the dinette, and six spotlights (three of which are adjustable) attached to a central light fixture in the lounge.
This 'van has lots of counter space while not compromising the hob and sink space – both are sizeable and come with glass covers. Since the kitchen faces the lounge there’s added workspace readily available on the dinette table, too. This same table intrudes into legroom around the kitchen area, though, and makes it awkward to get food in and out of the oven/grill.
The rear-corner double bed is 132cm at its widest point and 102cm at its narrowest, with a respectable length of 194cm. There are two reading lamps over the bed plus a panoramic bedside window – and a clever flatscreen TV mount that swivels so the television can be viewed from either the lounge or the bed area.
Setting up the extra lounge bed is not as simple as it might be, requiring a lowering of the lounge table and a Gordian knot arrangement of dinette and fill-in cushions.
The washroom interior is easy on the eye, thanks to the silver wall panels with polka-dots of chrome (although some may find this a bit gaudy). There’s sufficient room for movement but the cabinet under the sink can be difficult to access when the washroom door is shut, and the swivelling toilet can get in the way of the cabinet door, too. The room has no rooflight/ventilator either, but at least the window is frosted.
The wardrobe is only half-length due to the gas locker being positioned right beneath it, and it also lacks any dedicated shoe storage space. Not ideal, but there is also some storage space under the main bed that can be accessed from both inside and out.
Thetford Fridge, 3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill
Thetford C-250 toilet
A good effort, but the lounge bed hampers its ability to accommodate four occupants.