Benjamin Davies

See other motorhome reviews written by Benjamin Davies

Read more on the Karmann Mobil Colorado 665 TI in the Practical Motorhome review

Overview

Karmann Mobil has been producing the Colorado for four years and is hugely proud of its motorhome’s distinctive design. Westcroft Motorhome Centre (Cannock) no longer imports Karmann Mobils but instead suggests that buyers visit the factory in Sprendlingen, Germany: there are so many options available that you can have a bespoke motorhome built there for less money than a dealer-imported version.

Design

It’s impossible to fault the exterior of the Colorado 665. The design might be four years old but it still looks stylish and contemporary.

The ever-attractive T5 marries beautifully with the low-profile front and the sharp, defined lines work nicely alongside the more gentle curves on this ’van.
The GRP body is predominantly white but has subtle silver decals. The windows are all well integrated and the lockers barely disrupt the bodywork.

On the road

With its low-profile front, the Colorado, on its VW T5 base, comfortably carved through the air during our test, even at motorway speeds. With the optional 2.5-litre turbo-diesel engine (a 102bhp 1.9-litre turbo-diesel is standard), it wasted no time reaching the variable speed limits on the German autobahns. The bigger engine pulled the ‘van along nicely, regardless of inclines, with minimal noise from under the bonnet or from the ‘van’s interior fittings.

The driving position is commendable, too. The captain’s chairs have twin armrests, a height-adjustable base and full lumbar support. With the CD/radio filling the motorhome with rich sounds, the cab was a pleasant space in which to travel many miles.

The only niggle was the loud whirring noise coming from the engine when travelling in low gears.

Lounging & dining

Lounging feels far from comfortable in the Colorado 665. There’s just the one bench seat, which, despite its soft seats and bright upholstery, isn’t big enough for two people to stretch out on. The seats are better suited to travel than lounging, with their tall backs and three-point seatbelts. Also, there doesn’t appear to be anywhere to put a TV.

British buyers wanting a more relaxing lounge space are better off looking at the Colorado 600 or the 660 HS, both of which have larger U-shaped end lounges.

With the driver’s chair swivelled 180°, three can dine at the table but that is the maximum number of people who can be entertained. Even then, whoever is sitting in the driver’s chair must stretch to reach the table because the cab floor is set lower than that on which the table is placed.

There is an adequate two feet of space in the aisle between the table and the kitchen. However, folding the table away is impossible, as the leg only collapses half way, meaning it’s impossible to stow.

Kitchen

The kitchen comprises of one main unit, into which a lot is packed. On top of the unit there’s a three-burner hob, with a drain hole sunk into the far right-hand corner: little touches such as this impress; it makes cleaning spillages a breeze because you can flood the hob with soapy water, then drain it with minimal fuss. However, British buyers will miss the absence of an oven and grill.

There’s a 97-litre Dometic fridge, with a freezer compartment, alongside which are two drawers (one for cutlery) and a large drawer for pans at ground level. There’s more storage in the two overhead lockers, which are perfect for crockery and groceries. Tins and jars can be stored in the slide-out two-tier wire rack. Despite these extra design touches, though, the contents of the slide-out rack rattled loudly when travelling, unless the rack was jam-packed.

Sleeping

This two-berth motorhome has a transverse, rear fixed-double bed which runs across the width of the ‘van. The soft polyurethane foam mattress sits on top of sturdy wooden slats so, by allowing air to circulate around the foam, condensation won’t collect on the bed.

Two small steps lead up to the bed – because it is 3ft off the floor, you need help getting in and out of it. However, once in bed it is extremely comfortable and suitable for short- and long-term touring. Two halogen spotlights here provide light for reading. There’s even a switch above the bed to turn music from the cab stereo on or off, so you don’t have to get out of bed to do it.

The only thing that we felt let this ’van down was the lack of a dinette bed. If you’re touring with children or grandchildren there’s nowhere for them to sleep.

Washroom

The centre washroom felt surprisingly spacious, considering that it’s sandwiched between the rear bed and the dinette. Two mirrors are placed at right angles to each other, making the room look and feel bigger than it is.

No room is wasted here – there are two overhead lockers above the Thetford toilet, as well a cupboard under the sink with two shelves for toiletries. There are even pockets in the moulded plastic unit built in between the two mirrors.

For washing there’s a spacious, separate shower with a sliding concertina door. The shower has its own corner unit with two recessed storage pockets in which to keep shower gels and soaps. There’s plenty of room to wash in the sink, too, using its single mixer tap.

Storage

There is an abundance of storage space for two people’s touring kit in this ’van.

At the rear there are five storage lockers arranged in a U-shape above the bed, and these comfortably swallow clothes for two. There is also an enormous garage, under the bed, which can be accessed from one interior or two exterior doors.

If you want to hang clothes there’s a wardrobe opposite the washroom, complete with a clothes rail.

There’s further storage space in the kitchen, dining area and the washroom. Two people will be spoilt for choice in terms of where to put things.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload530kg
Length6.75m22′2″
Width2.28m7′6″
Height2.69m8′10″
Waste water90L
External Options
Awning light
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet, Separate shower cubicle
Heating
Truma Electric/Gas Blown air heater, Truma Electric/Gas water heater

Verdict

The Colorado is a solid, well-made vehicle that has been beautifully crafted. The Volkswagen T5 base vehicle provides a powerful drive in comfortable surroundings and has been seamlessly integrated with the coachbuilt bodywork. This motorhome seems perfect for two people embarking on a long-term tour, provided that they don’t need space for children or grandchildren to stay.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Looks; driving manners of VW T5; contemporary interior; storage; roomy washroom; clever compact kitchen

Cons

  • Low-speed engine noise; nowhere to put a TV; limited entertaining options; no dinette bed
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