Andrew McPhee

See other motorhome reviews written by Andrew McPhee

Find out what the experts think of the Auto-Trail Cheyenne 740S in the Practical Motorhome review

Design

Based on Fiat's four-tonne Ducato 40H foundations, the Cheyenne has a 755kg payload but customers can choose (at no cost) to have the chassis down-plated to 3500kg, lowering the payload to 255kg but allowing less qualified drivers to take the helm.

As is the norm with Auto-Trail’s products, the Cheyenne is available in two designs, Hi- and Lo-Line. The latter does not entirely shed Auto-Trail’s trademark bulbous overcab but it does have a slightly lower one with lockers rather than a bed.

You can’t fault the Cheyenne’s construction. The 740S has a GRP body, from sidewalls to roof, to rear, and the build quality is exemplary. The key-less gas locker is one of our favourite Auto-Trail features, and it is so close to the ground that the lower half of the locker door is actually a cutaway section of the side skirt. To open it you pull a lever in the cab and swing the door upward to reveal a wide aperture and a lip-less compartment. It makes swapping gas bottles easy.

There's a transverse washroom across the rear, in front of which is the bed area, which can be cordoned off by a door. The front dining area, a half-dinette, offers a nice sensation of space thanks to the additional headroom in the front of the living area. The granite-look worksurfaces, light and dark woods and olive-green upholstery combine to give an earthy, grown-up feel.

On the road

The 130bhp MultiJet engine will be just about acceptable in a four-tonne ’van, although ideally we’d plump for the up-rated 157bhp version with its 295 lb/ft of torque, available as a cost option. The Cheyenne also boasts four-wheel drive, six-speed gearbox, cruise control, central locking, electric windows and mirrors, and heated exterior mirrors.

The SE options pack is well worth considering – it is excellent value at only £849 and transforms the ’van from basically equipped to well kitted out. It includes items such as a reversing camera, flip-down colour monitor, CD/MP3/DVD player and cab air-conditioning.

Lounging & dining

The lounge is roomy: two side-facing benches and a big, freestanding, folding table (54 x 91cm) allow up to four to dine in perfect comfort. (The trade-off is that there are no front- or rear-facing belted travel seats.) At a stretch, six can be accommodated, thanks to the cab swivel seats and the additional circular table which fits into a bracket between the cab and living areas.

However, once swivelled, the Cheyenne’s cab seats provide 
a scant amount of legroom so a clash of knees is almost certain to be a problem. The lounge table stows in a cabinet beside the habitation door, making it easy to retrieve for use outside, although we found that it easily gets caught on the cabinet latch during stowage and retrieval.

Kitchen

It's a well-equipped kitchen but there's no extractor fan, just a ventilator/skylight some distance away from the cooker. The Cheyenne has a three-burner hob plus an electric hotplate, and a 100-litre fridge/freezer.

The sink is a decent size, with two granite-effect covers which are homeless once removed. There is a substantial amount of workspace here.

Sleeping

The Cheyenne’s ‘bedroom’ reveals a design compromise: 
if the rest of the ’van seems spacious, this is due partly to the beds being less than six feet long, which is not ideal for taller sleepers.

It has a TV mounting in the bed area, but as it's fixed in position at the foot of one of the beds, one person will have a much better view of it than the other.

The single lounge bed is easy to make up: the lounge seats just slide out to meet in the middle. Also, the single beds in the rear have elevating head sections and these, too, are easy to operate: just pull a strap to raise the bed, then click it into place. The hinged bed base makes it simple to access the underbed storage spaces.

Washroom

The rear-washroom layout means the Cheyenne is able to provide a spacious shower stall without the need to resort to any swing-wall shenanigans. It's a natural, rectangular shape though the teardrop-shaped plastic basin is no fun to use.

There's a generous wardrobe with hanging rail and shelves off to one side, plus ample storage space for toiletries thanks to an excellent set of wire racks in a cabinet beneath the sink.

Storage

The Cheyenne has no garage but underbed storage space is capacious. Overhead lockers are generously allocated in the sleeping and living areas, but although they're spacious and fitted with solid doors, they have bottom-edge lips under which small items could easily slip.

Technical specs

Sleeps3
Travel seats2
MTPLM4000kg
Payload755kg
Length7.4m24′3″
Width2.31m7′7″
Height2.97m9′9″
Waste water55L
External Options
GRP sidewalls, Integral awning, Electric step
Kitchen Equipment
Thetford Fridge, 3-burner gas with electric hot plate, Combined Oven/Grill
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet, Separate shower cubicle
Heating
Truma Electric/Gas Blown air heater

Verdict

A very impressive offering, but the cramped beds are a major letdown.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Spacious lounge; excellent build quality and classy fittings.

Cons

  • The single beds are too short for taller sleepers.
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