Andrew McPhee

See other motorhome reviews written by Andrew McPhee

It wears a three-pointed star out front, but find out how much sparkle the Rapido 999M has in the Practical Motorhome review

Overview

The new Mercedes chassis offers a greatly improved base for those who want maximum power, a quality feel and – let’s be honest – the prestige of the three-pointed star on the grille.

This luxurious end-washroom, fixed-bed floorplan is for those who will brook no compromise on comfort.

All the improvements to the base vehicle and even this new layout are eclipsed by Rapido’s stunning new exterior shape, however.

Looks are important at the upper end of the market but so is performance. The standard 2.2-litre engine’s output is similar to that of the old 2.7 CDI engine, but the optional 3.0-litre V6 delivers an unnecessary but nonetheless desirable 184bhp. Optional beige ‘Boston’ leather adds comfort to the captain chairs in a cab trimmed with wood-effect plastic. The distance from steering wheel to windscreen is 1.04m.

There are two slide-out storage trays: one in front of the rear nearside axle and another just in front of the offside entrance door, each of which holds 50kg of pitching kit.

The gas locker is in the usual A-class position below the driver’s seat and there’s a tall ski locker (1.98 x 45 x 70cm) at the rear offside.

The lounge is not as open as the 996M’s with its facing sofas, but even with two rear travel seats in place there’s room for four to dine comfortably, or to watch TV – there’s a ratchet-arm flatscreen TV mounting in a locker just above the end of the kitchen.

The L-shaped kitchen follows Rapido’s most popular generic shape, with the combi boiler stored underneath the corner. Storage is first-rate, and there’s a deep, slide-out drawer (with space for six wine bottles) plus another below the large cutlery drawer and the hob.

This ’van is likely to be bought as a luxury two-berth, but it can accommodate more. Both fixed beds have comfortable mattresses. A strong gas-strut on the end-corner bed base provides access to the battery compartment and the electronic control unit. The washroom is a real show point not least because of the wood-effect flooring that reduces the glare of an all-white space and adds warmth. There’s a two-door, 6ft-tall circular shower, plenty of room around the toilet and an attractive white washbasin with ample space around it.

There is no contesting this motorhome’s luxurious layout, smart looks and excellent base vehicle (even though airbags are not standard) but the competition is tough. The Rapido 999M looks strong, but it is not an out-and-out class leader.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Length7.4m24′3″
Width2.31m7′7″
Height2.84m9′4″
Waste water100L
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob, Oven
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet, Separate shower cubicle
Heating
Truma Gas Blown air heater, Truma Gas water heater

Verdict

Fine-looking, comfortable motorhome matched to a fine base vehicle – but it’s not the best in the class.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Looks; comfort; engine; comfortable beds; lovely washroom; kitchen storage

Cons

  • Slightly tight feel to lounge; not much kitchen worksurface
Share with friends

Follow us on

Explore the range

Recently added motorhomes for sale

Most recent motorhome reviews

The Practical Motorhome Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo 250d Sport Long review – 1 - The Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo 250d Sport Long is priced from £56,670 OTR, £63,990 as tested (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Chausson Welcome 711 Travel Line review – 1 - The new Chausson 711 is being sold in Welcome Travel Line spec only (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)

Swift Rio 325

£52,180OTR

The Practical Motorhome Swift Rio 325 review – 1 - The 2018 Swift Rio 325 is just 5.99m long and has a licence-friendly MTPLM of 3500kg (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome IH N-Class 630 RLS review – 1 - The IH N-Class 630 RLS is priced from £73,995 OTR for the 130bhp variant and from £76,490 OTR for the 180bhp version – we're testing the latter (© Gentleman Jack/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Marquis Majestic 196 review – 1 - Fitting six berths and six travel seats into a 3500kg motorhome is no mean feat – does it work? (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Swift Bessacarr 597 review – 1 - The ’van tested has an MTPLM of 3850kg, but there is a version with a 3500kg MTPLM (and a lower payload) – read more in our Swift Bessacarr 597 review (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)