Andrew McPhee

See other motorhome reviews written by Andrew McPhee

Practical Motorhome's experts review the CI Mizar G Living

Design

The Mizar is a large four-berth motorhome, with three-belted passenger seats and two double beds. Its massive monocoque overcab section stands at 3.22m and protrudes further forward than most – and may have played a role in our miserly 20.2mpg economy figure. But it makes for a deep overcab double bed (at 2.02 x 1.38m).

The walls and roof are skinned with GRP, as is the rear panel, and the insulation levels throughout are outstanding, with a floor thickness of 70mm, and 30mm of insulation in the walls and roof.

With a 100-litre fresh-water tank onboard, under the passenger travel seat, and the option of heating for the underslung waste tank, this is a motorhome with all-season touring in its blood.

The CI logo on the sidewalls is a stylised spinnaker, and the sills and bumper are a metallic grey. The large rear garage comes with access doors on either side of the vehicle. A windowed Seitz caravan door closes on integral entrance steps, rather than an electric step, and alloy wheels (as standard) complete the look.

On the road

Our left-hand-drive test ’van was powered by the 160bhp 3.0-litre MultiJet diesel engine (a £1600 upgrade on the standard 130bhp in the UK). The right amount of torque was delivered through the six-speed gearbox to push along a ’van with a four-tonne-rated chassis and approaching 7.5m in length.

The long-wheelbase Ducato benefits from Fiat’s ‘Camping Car’ pack: a reinforced rear suspension, special camping tyres and a wider rear track. It also gets Al-Ko additional air suspension, which increases the rear spring rigidity and improves roll stability, making the Mizar feel very stable, with little wallow or over-reaction to crosswinds and passing vehicles.

We did have a problem with the lounge table when in transit. Its legs are fixed to the floor and it has a sliding table top that moves forwards, backwards and sideways to ease access to the lounge seats and bring the cab seats into play at mealtimes. The table top is held in place by pressure from a threaded screw on its underside, but repeatedly this gradually worked loose after about 30 minutes on the road, until the top was sliding and banging back and forth at every bend along the way.

The cab area is well equipped, with remote locking and height-adjustable swivel cab seats with twin armrests, plus electric windows and mirrors. The Fiat ‘Safe Pack’ consists of ABS, plus driver and passenger airbags. Our test ’van came with climate control (a £940 cost option in the UK) and cruise control as standard. The CD/radio unit is a dealer-fitted item, though.

Lounging & dining

There are rounded edges on all the seat squabs and cushions in the L-shaped seating arrangement and the twin side sofa in the lounge. When on the road, the L-shaped part of the lounge has a hard-backed squab cushion that’s easily removed.

There is a small step down from the living area into the cab, but with the cab seats swivelled and raised, and after sliding the table into place, five can dine here. There are spotlights on the underside of the overhead lockers and a TV bracket above the sofa. A diesel-fired Webasto heater warms the living area with blown air, and vents route heat to the sleeping areas.

Kitchen

The L-shaped kitchen is small but well-equipped. It has a built-in extractor fan and attractive, integrated lighting which floods the area. The sink is fitted with a swivel lid which doubles as extra workspace, but there’s no drainer.

Our test model came with three large gas hobs integrated with the worksurface, and a combined oven and grill above the massive 170-litre fridge/freezer. However, UK buyers will get a traditional four-burner hob, grill and oven.

Sleeping

The overcab area has a roof light as well as windows and twin downlighters on either side. A moulded tray at the front end can be used for storing knick-knacks at bedtime.

The aluminium-framed, slatted bed base is hinged and easily lifts up, or pulls down, on gas struts. This is a genuine overcab space, enough for adult guests or grown-up children to use.

The transverse rear double bed sits atop the garage, and a small flap conceals the ladder, stashed in the roof of the garage, which slides out at bedtime.

Washroom

The large washroom has a rounded bulkhead to fit in with the stylish curves throughout the ’van, and comes with a decent-sized, cylindrical, separate shower with a rigid sliding door and a skylight above. There’s plenty of room around the swivel-head Thetford toilet, and a basin and vanity unit that are both admirably fit for purpose.

Storage

Despite a bolted-on chassis extension at the back, the massive rear garage has a disappointing maximum payload of 100kg. However, the hard-wearing chequerplate floor, the floor runners with fixing hooks, and a shower point are useful features.

The rounded floor-to-ceiling wardrobe should swallow four people’s clothes with ease. Overhead lockers throughout are positive locking, with stylishly concealed finger latches. There is extra wire-rack storage in the garage space, which you get at from inside the motorhome via a sliding door. Overall, there’s plenty of space to swallow up your allowable 775kg payload.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats5
MTPLM4000kg
Payload775kg
Length7.32m24′
Width2.31m7′7″
Height3.22m10′7″
Waste water105L
External Options
GRP sidewalls
Kitchen Equipment
Thetford Fridge, 4-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill, Extractor fan
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet, Separate shower cubicle
Heating
Webasto water/space heater

Verdict

Italy is synonymous with high style and the Mizar proves it is a well-deserved reputation – but the quality on display here is more than just skin deep.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Sumptuously equipped throughout; top-class workmanship.

Cons

  • Lounge table top is prone to coming loose; large rear garage only holds 100kg.
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