Andrew McPhee

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Read the Practical Motorhome Westfalia Nugget review to discover how this compact 'van can sleep four in comfort

Design

The high-roof Nugget may draw amused glances because it is actually taller than it is wide, and looks a bit outlandish on a short wheelbase. Still, the quality is impeccable. Not only is the full GRP high-top nicely built and fitted, it’s also well-matched to the Transit’s lines.

The exterior is pleasant, clean and unfussy, and is enhanced by Westfalia’s sparing use of graphics. Our test model was resolutely grey, but the Nugget is also available in attractive metallic lime-green or blue-grey finishes (called, respectively, ‘Sublime’ and ‘Tonic’).

On the road

Even with the small footprint, towering high-top and heavy interior fitments, the Nugget is remarkably car-like to drive. Basic Nuggets come with Ford’s 2.2-litre 108bhp engine, but our test model had the optional engine upgrade (£1823), good for 128bhp.

The cab is all hard plastic and uniformly thundercloud-grey but makes up for a lack of visual finesse by being very useful indeed. There are cubbyholes and pockets galore, and the seating position is good, even with the added height of the swivelling seats. There are five belted travel seats – one more than the number of berths.

The Nugget is built on a high-spec Transit, so includes perks such as stereo controls on the steering wheel, and automatic wipers and headlamps.

Lounging & dining

The interior of the Nugget feels rather Teutonic, with its general solidity, straightforward lines and stubborn use of grey. The lounge area has grey seats, grey carpets and grey walls. However, there’s an ample level of natural and artificial lighting available, so the effect is not nearly as oppressive as you might imagine.

With the seats swivelled and the rear bench pushed forward, the Nugget offers comfortable lounging space for four. Unfortunately, rotating the seats is not as straightforward as it could be because the interior trim on the cab doors protrudes into their path, so the doors need to be open when you swivel them. More problematically, the driver’s seat can only be swivelled with the handbrake disengaged, which is a trade-off for the right-hand drive layout, since right-hook Transits have handbrake levers to the left rather than to the right of the driver.

Another trade-off involves the lounge table. The left-hand-drive version of the Nugget has a single, sliding side door, which allows Westfalia to use the fixed wall that faces it as an attachment point for a dining table. However, the right-hand drive version comes with dual side doors, which means that a different system had to be worked out. The designers elected to use two separate tables which slot into the floor on either side of the ’van.

Kitchen

The Nugget’s L-shaped kitchen has more than enough natural light. And, at night, recessed spotlights provide stylish mood lighting. It has a two-hob cooker, a circular, stainless steel sink and a 40-litre top-loading compressor fridge.

A shelf, built into the divider panel, separates the kitchen from the lounge, and is recessed so that mugs and jars can be stored there even when you’re on the move. A cutlery drawer is conveniently positioned under the sink, and pots and pans can be stored in eye-level lockers on the rear-end pillars. A locker just above floor level is useful for items such as kitchen towels and cleaning supplies, and above it is a pull-out condiment rack.

Sleeping

One of the Nugget’s most impressive tricks is its ability to sleep four in perfect comfort, on two double beds that take no more than three minutes each to set up. The lower bed is of the ‘rock-and-roll’ variety. The upper bed is even easier to ready: just slide back the latches on either side and pull it out, then pop a cushion segment into place. Climbing in is a bit more of 
a challenge, though. Even with the optional ladder (£58.75) clipped into place you’ll then need to stand on the sink counter to get into bed.

There is a removable safety net, and natural light is provided by windows on either side of the bed and a mini rooflight above – all have blinds and insect screens. Cleverly, the lounge lights are on flexible stalks and can double as reading lamps.

Washroom

In the Nugget range, only the long-wheelbase Big Nugget has proper shower and toilet facilities – the others make do with a ten-litre Porta Potti 
(a £84.98 cost option) which goes into a purpose-built locker in the base of the wardrobe. Disappointingly, there is no option which allows for a curtained partition within the ’van, to provide privacy when using the limited toilet facilities.

Storage

All the storage space is internal, but the area beneath the rear travel bench is particularly good for grubby items such as cables, hoses, levelling ramps and wellies. And, as is typical of this vehicle, the seat squab feels very solid and weighty, and thankfully Westfalia has included a folding leg with which to secure it when you’re rummaging around in the storage space.

There is a hollow beneath the sink that can be used to keep bedding, and a shelved wardrobe in the kitchen area which has two doors to allow access from outside when the tailgate is raised.

Usefully, the Nugget can be driven even with the upper bed extended, so if you’re really short on storage space you can use it as a large shelf.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats5
MTPLM3000kg
Payload600kg
Length4.86m15′11″
Width2.37m7′9″
Height2.85m9′4″
Waste water42L
Kitchen Equipment
Waeco Compressor Fridge, 2-burner gas hob
Washroom
Porta potti

Verdict

Innovative design, lasting quality – and the promise of no-hassle touring in a vehicle with good on-road manners.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Admirable fit and finish; clever bed arrangement.

Cons

  • No toilet privacy; minor gripes with swivelling seats.
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