Andrew McPhee

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Practical Motorhome reviews the Mobilvetta Kimù 121 – read on for the full verdict from the experts

Design

The somewhat conservative but high-quality monocoque GRP bodywork sets a tone that continues throughout the vehicle’s construction. It’s undeniably solid and inspires confidence.
Minimal graphics and light grey skirts set this ‘van apart from the rest of the pack, as does a chunky rear panel with two stout pillars and a practical ladder which leads to an attractively integrated roof-rack.

On the road

Road noise from the Kimù’s monocoque GRP body and its seamlessly constructed kitchen was almost non-existent. However, it has a relatively boxy shape for a low-profile and it catches the wind a little more than most ‘vans.
The 2.5 dCi engine has plenty of power and the six-speed gearbox has a sensible and effective set of ratios that suits all types of roads, from town traffic to long motorway trips.
The standard Renault cab seats are comfortable, with front and rear height adjustment but they may be too high for taller drivers, due to the swivel base – our view wasn’t obscured, but the height could be a problem for those over 6ft tall.
The rear through-view is as good as you’ll find, bar van conversions. When overtaking, however, the extended mirrors, specified on every Renault coachbuilt we’ve driven, don’t cover the vehicle’s blind spot. The lounge window offers some view of the nearside, but the offside has no such view.

Lounging & dining

A half-dinette, two cab swivel seats and a single, side-facing seat combine to form a sociable lounge where four can dine. The table has an in-fill board, which is stored beneath it. The passenger seat is a little too high for the table, though.
The overall feel is understated, yet despite the dark upholstery, the combination of the pale wood, the bedroom windows and the midi Heki roof light make this a light space, even in overcast conditions.
At night, the fluorescent strip lights are well muted with opaque covers and the under-locker lights look particularly well integrated. Both the edged, removable carpets and the upholstery have a tough, hard-wearing feel, too.
The tambour-door television cabinet has a slide-out swivel base, which should allow three to watch TV from the cab seats and the half-dinette seat. There’s also a 12V/satellite/aerial socket beneath the kitchen work surface.

Kitchen

The Corian-style worksurface looks attractive and the hefty wooden sink cover adds to the pleasingly solid, high-quality appearance – an impression confirmed by the weight and feel of it.
With the sink cover in place, there’s enough space for food preparation, while the glass top for the three-burner hob is the only available space for drying dishes.

Sleeping

A curtain around the corner bed preserves privacy. The high-density foam mattress is split 70/30, to allow access to the bed base, though this split is not noticeable to sleepers.
Although the rear window allows plenty of light in, it doesn’t make a good headboard for the bed because the ‘half-and-half’ Seitz blinds are too fragile to lean a pillow against.
The dinette bed is okay for a couple of nights’ use as the cushions are firm and relatively flat.

Washroom

It’s a small space, and although not perfect, is still one of the best we’ve seen. The sink is big enough to wash your face in and, crucially, it’s easily accessible, though the base of the toilet leaves only just enough floor space to stand next to it.
With just over six feet of headroom, and dimensions of 75 x 53.5cm at the widest points, the shower is big enough for regular use. The adjustable shower head, four generous bottle shelves and the high-density base of the shower tray, are all strong features.

Storage

There are two, deep overhead lockers above the kitchen, and a drawer under the sink, but no cutlery storage tray. There’s a cupboard under this as well, but the lower half is taken up by the wheel arch. There’s a small shelf below, which can take bottles of wine, but there’s nothing to hold them in place.
The under-bed space is unencumbered by a combi-boiler, though the hinged section of slatted bed base that lifts up has nothing to hold it open.
There are three lockers over the bed: two over the lounge and two over the cab.
The loo has an under-sink cupboard and there is also one above the toilet – which is within easy reach of the sink.

Technical specs

Sleeps3
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload693kg
Length6.43m21′1″
Width2.27m7′5″
Height2.76m9′1″
Waste water110L
External Options
GRP sidewalls, Awning light
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet, Shower curtain
Heating
Truma Electric/Gas Blown air heater, Truma Electric/Gas water heater

Verdict

Mobilvetta has achieved a great deal with its construction methods, both inside and out this ‘van: the monocoque GRP body and monobloc one-piece kitchen look good. The theme is reflected throughout this ‘van, bar the cab set-up which, despite a competent base vehicle and comfortable cab seats, is spoiled by poor ergonomics. It’s a shame the 121 is being discontinued, because we felt that its washroom worked. The 122, however, offers all its strengths, although not so compact, but with a larger, separate shower.

Conclusion

Pros

  • High-quality bodywork
  • It has a sociable lounge
  • The bed is comfortable
  • We like the washroom
  • It is nice and quiet on the road

Cons

  • Not much kitchen worksurface
  • You can't sit against the window in the bedroom
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