Andrew McPheeSee other motorhome reviews written by Andrew McPhee
Practical Motorhome reviews the Giottiline Graal Y451, a four-berth with a fixed double bed
As you pass through the chunky habitation door of this Italian-built ‘van, the interior smacks of Continental design with its fixed-rear double bed and half-dinette layout.
The lounge area isn’t big, but you get buckets of storage space and an enormous garage. The 3.0-litre Iveco base vehicle is powerful, and its 166bhp engine provides ample grunt for a motorhome of this size. The payload is less impressive (at 360kg), but remember that this has been calculated using the weight of the vehicle in running order, including a driver weighing 75kg, a full fuel tank and 90 per cent-full water tanks.
The garage is big enough for a scooter, a couple of mountain bikes, or outdoor kit such as chairs and barbecues. It has large entrance doors on either side for easy access and handy storage boxes with elasticated nets. Transverse rails flank both sides of the floor – each with four fixed eyelets – and there are drainage plugholes. Less impressive is that there’s only one small light on the offside, no blown-air heating duct and no interior access.
Giottiline has chosen a decent compromise between appearance and functionality in the living area. There’s a strip of checkerplate between the cab and living area, which looks impressive. This approach is echoed in the soft furnishings – the outermost strip of the base cushions is made from hardy suede, so these vulnerable sections should be durable. Seating in the lounge is adequate, with legroom for up to five people, but there’s no space in which to stretch out.
The well-equipped kitchen fits a lot into a small space but UK buyers might miss an oven and grill. However, there is a three-burner hob, extractor fan, a fridge with a separate freezer, and a good amount of storage. The deep, stainless steel sink is complemented by a rinsing sink with its own flush-fitting wooden infill which increases the workspace area. Food preparation space is still limited, though, especially when the hob cover is raised.
The washroom has a large shower and the storage space is plentiful below the sink and in wire-fronted trays. The silver ‘concertina’ door looks incongruous with the rest of the fixtures but slides sideways so not to restrict the corridor.
The rear fixed double bed is welcoming, with a supportive one-piece foam mattress on wooden slats, and two tasteful halogen spotlights. Giottiline has also put effort into the second double bed, which is easy to make up by dropping the dinette table and extending the offside sofa base.
Elegant yet practical, this Italian made ‘van would suit active couples who are looking for home comforts and a lot of storage space. However, with a payload of only 360kg, long-term tourers will need the 4250kg up-rated chassis. Considering the price tag, buyers could be forgiven for expecting a little more specification for their money.
3-burner gas hob
Thetford C-200 toilet
Great for touring couples, the Graal is elegant and practical - but we think you'll need to uprate that payload for extended touring. Equipment levels should be higher, too.
- Distinct styling; different base vehicle; attractive interior; storage space; huge garage
- Poor payload; less equipment than you'd expect