Andrew McPhee

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Read the Practical Motorhome review of the Pioneer Renoir

Design

We really like its silver finish, but its white plastic door and locker hinges stood out against its silver body, spoiling the effect a little. The Pioneer has its gas bottles stored in a locker at the rear corner and we wonder about the wisdom of this in the event of a rear shunt. The external gas connection is a welcome innovation in this ‘van, though. There’s an external shower, too, as is an awning, although its switch is mounted externally under the light unit.
The Pioneer is fully winterised, including insulated water tanks.

On the road

The Renoir is built on the Peugeot Boxer body with a 2.2-litre HDi common-rail diesel engine. It uses an Al-Ko ultra-low chassis which also gives it sure-footed handling. With its silver bodywork, low height and bespoke headlight design, the Pioneer looks infinitely more modern than many of its competitors.
Standard equipment includes electric windows and mirrors, alloy wheels, false wood trim to the dashboard, reversing sensors and remote central locking. At the price, however, we were disappointed not to see air-conditioning as standard.

Lounging & dining

The Pioneer offers plenty of space and a luxurious toilet and shower room.
In the lounge, with its transverse couches, the fabrics are attractive and hard-wearing, and you get removable carpets as standard (including in the cab) with easy-clean vinyl flooring beneath.
There are swivelling front seats which help provide extra lounge space. There’s a surfeit of scatter and bolster cushions, but nowhere to put them at night because they are so bulky.

Kitchen

You get a full-size Stoves cooker with three-burner hob and an 800W electric hob plate, and a decent-sized oven, grill and fridge. Unlike many rivals, there’s an extractor hood, too.
The Renior also beats many of its competitors by offering plenty of useable worksurface – its pop-up extension and sliding cabinet considerably expands the worksurface area.
There’s a double circular drainer and sink, but we prefer rectangular sinks because many more dishes can usefully be fitted in.

Sleeping

In the Renoir, bed-making is simple. You merely pull the bed extensions away from the lounge seats and then allow the upright cushions to fall down naturally to make up the transverse bed – just four cushions and you are done. When the beds have been made up, it is awkward to get through to the rear cabin. Cab curtains are standard, as are Seitz double-glazed windows and cassette blinds.

Washroom

The Pioneer’s full-width washroom is roomy and bright, and light grey walls lift the ambience. A Thetford swivel cassette toilets with electric flush is standard. Sadly, there’s only limited storage facilities here.

Storage

Storage space is far less of an issue in low-profiles because they all tend to have a decent amount of space at eye level in addition to that in the overcab area. Sadly, however, the hinged door on the Pioneer is just too narrow: over the cab is an ideal space in which to store bedding but it would be almost impossible to push it all through the gap.
Under-seat storage is fair, and a bonus is external access to these areas from both sides. It has plastic basin-shaped areas for wet-item storage, but there are no drain holes.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats2
MTPLM3500kg
Payload739kg
Length6.15m20′2″
Width2.18m7′2″
Height2.53m8′4″
Waste water54L
External Options
Awning light
Kitchen Equipment
3-burner gas with electric hot plate, Oven, Separate grill
Washroom
Separate shower cubicle
Heating
Truma Electric/Gas water heater

Verdict

A compact and good-looking motorhome that drives well, has an excellent payload, attractive interior finish and generous specification. Those exterior graphics are sure to turn a few heads, too.

Conclusion

Pros

  • An excellent chassis with little rear overhang
  • Unique body styling.

Cons

  • The body is spoiled by the use of white plastic hinges
  • The gas locker is located at the rear nearside corner.
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