Andrew McPhee

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Check out the expert verdict of the Elddis Autoquest 140 from Practical Motorhome

Design

Could the Autoquest be the Morris Minor of motorhomes? It is fantastic value and has a straightforward build so there is little to go wrong. These vehicles are adored by their owners and admired by the rest of us but, dare we also say, a tad outdated? A kinder way of putting it is: Elddis does what Elddis does best.

The Autoquest is simple, fuss-free, appeals to the most conservative of buyers, and it’s all proven, with nothing in the way of gimcrackery. What more could you want?

In standard trim, a brand new Autoquest 140 could be yours on the road for £29,090. That's not quite a knockout punch to its rivals, however. You will need to delve into the options list to bring its specification near to that of others in the same class. Flyscreen door, full-sized oven, blown-air heating and a Heki 2 rooflight will add over £1000, and in standard trim it doesn’t even come with a leisure battery. As it was, our Autoquest test model had two options fitted – a rooflight and flyscreen – which would up the price to £29,565.

Practicality counts for a lot, too. We still consider the fresh- and waste-water tanks on the Autoquest too small at 45 litres each, and the tiny diameter of the waste-water outlet is asking for trouble in terms of potential blockages.

On the road

Elddis has long been an exponent of the Peugeot Boxer. This version has a 100bhp engine and five-speed gearbox, and there is currently no option of trading up to a more powerful unit. The 3300kg MTPLM-rated chassis helps to keep the price remarkably low, yet the Autoquest still manages to offer a respectable payload.

The cab has an automotive-style carpet, which is a nice feature, plus stereo radio/CD player with steering wheel controls, and a driver-side airbag.

Lounging & dining

This ’van provides safe travel for two but plays the comfort card when it comes to the rear lounge. The Autoquest has a U-shaped living area with a free-standing table, and adjustable reading lamps at each corner.

There's a fold-up table for a TV set, but blown-air heating is not fitted as standard – which is perhaps taking the cost-paring a touch too far.

Kitchen

The 140's cooker is a Spinflo with three gas-only rings, and the hob/sink covers are Chinchilla glass, which means they can be used as chopping boards. It also has a slide-out worktop by its fridge (albeit a tad small to be really useful); in addition you get a combined sink and drainer in stainless steel, but only a tiny cutlery drawer.

Sleeping

There is great flexibility on offer here because the layout means you can have either twin 6ft singles or a double bed at the back of the 'van.

The overcab bed window and reading light are on the offside, which may or may not be the system that works best for your personal tastes. Elddis thoughtfully provides pillow-shaped cushions that can, indeed, be used as pillows. Why don’t all makers do this?

The ladder to the overcab bed is a good touch. It is made from varnished wood, as opposed to metal – much warmer for bare feet – but there is no dedicated storage point for it.

Washroom

The washroom is located behind the driver’s seat, and saves space by having a fold-up washbasin over its bench toilet. Storage provision is adequate, including a vanity unit with adjustable shelving.

Storage

Elddis’s cost-sensitivity is most apparent here, and we have to question the lack of safety catches for the overhead locker doors – especially those that are forward-facing. We know you should only use overhead lockers for light items, but even so…

For underseat access, you have a choice of hinged seat bases and locker doors at the sides. Awkwardly, the seat-base storage has a ratchet system that only lets you close the seat base once you have pushed it open to its furthest point.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats2
MTPLM3300kg
Payload630kg
Length6.3m20′8″
Width2.2m7′3″
Height2.89m9′6″
Waste water45L
External Options
Aluminium sidewalls, Electric step
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill
Washroom
Thetford C-402 bench toilet
Heating
Truma Gas heater, Truma Gas water heater

Verdict

Unbeatable for value, but loses out to its rivals in too many categories.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Low price; simple but smart appearance; on the road for less than £30,000.

Cons

  • Needs some ‘wow!’ factor; only one engine choice.
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