Andrew McPhee

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Practical Motorhome's Elddis Autoquest 180 review

Overview

The 180 is a new arrival in the Elddis Autoquest range for 2006 and it’s also the biggest in this particular range. However, it comes in at a rather reasonable £28,195 – excellent value for a motorhome that boasts six berths and six three-point seat belts to safely carry the family.

It’s also the first ’van in this range to have a U-shaped rear lounge. However, does the Elddis Autoquest 180 require you to forego some creature comforts, or do excellence and value go hand-in-hand?

Design

Simple touches, such as having the gas locker set at chest height, make life easier as there’s no need to stoop down to turn on the gas flow (although it means gas bottles must be lifted chest high to install them).
Another endearing point was the 230V electrical hook-up connection that is tucked into a locker next to the easy-to-access leisure battery. There is a notch in the bottom of the locker so that the hook-up cable doesn’t foul the door.
The lack of external storage space on the Autoquest seems a glaring omission in a family-berth motorhome.
The waste water pipe detaches from a holding clip to allow greater accuracy when emptying the grey tank, though the positioning of this pipe just behind the rear nearside wheel means it gets a bit mucky from road dirt.
The GRP and aluminium finish of the Autoquest 180 appears to be of a high standard and it certainly does not betray the ’van’s relatively low cost, though the dated body shape does.

On the road

Given its 7.1m length and its 2827kg unladen weight, we were not expecting too much from the 104bhp, 2.2-litre turbo-diesel that is standard in this model. However, we were happy to find that the engine’s 177 lb.ft of torque pulled well in all conditions and would happily cruise on A-roads.
On the motorway and some steeper inclines, the occasional down change to fourth was needed to maintain a steady speed, but the engine redeemed itself by being one of the quietest installations that we’ve come across in the Peugeot/Fiat/Citroën trilogy of base ’vans.
We were also pleased to note the better than average ride comfort, which made light work of the bumpy country roads along the length of Hadrian’s Wall.
Our only real criticism is the driving position, which is mostly down to the Peugeot base vehicle, but the placing of the bulkhead between the rear of the driver’s seat and the rear-facing lounge sofa has a bearing. The driver’s seat-back cannot be reclined enough for some drivers, although more of a concern was the limited nearside vision, caused by the high-set kitchen window.

Lounging & dining

The rear lounge of the Autoquest 180 may not be as generously proportioned as some other motorhomes’ U-shaped lounges, but it’s still big enough for four to sit in reasonable comfort and five to dine.
There is a fold-up television table at the front of the left-hand sofa and behind it there are all the necessary power and aerial points on the wall. For those wishing to watch television in the forward lounge, there’s another table that folds down from the wall on the left-hand side of the overcab bed area.
Four can fit around the front lounge table comfortably, with the single-legged table attaching to a fixed bar on the wall which allows it to slide. The rear lounge table is a folding, free-standing, affair and both tables stow away in a dedicated cupboard, underneath the wardrobe.
There are many spotlights underneath the overhead lockers for evening reading, while the Truma heater warms the ’van quickly, even without a blown-air system.

Kitchen

For a six berth ’van, we feel that the Autoquest’s kitchen could prove a little on the small side. The four-burner hob is big enough to cook a family meal, as is the oven, but storage space is limited.
More of a problem is worktop space. If you need to use the sink while preparing a meal, there is no work surface. There is a fitted cover for the sink and drainer, which is stored in a dedicated slot between the cooker and the fridge. With this cover in place, there is a little room.
Underneath the sink is the 77-litre Dometic fridge, with internal freezer compartment.
There is a small cutlery drawer to the right of the fridge, with a second drawer and some space below in the upright cupboard and two overhead lockers.

Sleeping

Fitting three double beds into a motorhome of this size is a juggle, yet Elddis has managed to make all three a decent size. Admittedly, the front lounge bed is best suited to children as it’s not quite long enough for six foot tall adults, but it would make an ideal guest bed.
The overcab bed’s base is normally stowed away to allow for better headroom when coming through from the front cab. Its base slides out to its full length and then the mattress cushions are pushed into place. It’s not quite as neat a solution as a pull-down overcab bed, but it’s easy to use.
The rear lounge bed offers the greatest comfort and space, and is easy to assemble.

Washroom

The washroom is the one spot where the ’van doesn’t quite deliver. Some of the plastics aren’t well finished, especially the double cupboard doors under the sink. The sink’s tap also doubles as the shower head, so the washroom can only be used by one person at a time.
However, we like the large, frosted, washroom window, which helps brighten up the interior and stops the space from feeling too constricted.

Storage

If there are six of you heading off on a long holiday, this ’van may struggle to fit in lots of clothes and equipment. The five overhead lockers in the rear lounge and three lockers above the front lounge are easily-accessed, but provide only limited storage.
The wardrobe to the rear is a decent size and is the largest single storage space here. There is also room under the lounge sofas, but the fresh water tank and hot water heater foul the space slightly. A family of six will need to be neat packers to make the most of the Elddis.

Technical specs

Sleeps6
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload673kg
Length7.1m23′4″
Width2.53m8′4″
Height2.9m9′6″
Waste water40L
External Options
Aluminium sidewalls, Awning light
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 2-burner gas hob, 4-burner gas hob, Oven, Separate grill
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet, Shower curtain
Heating
Truma Gas/Electric heater, Truma Electric/Gas water heater

Verdict

It’s hard not to like the Elddis Autoquest 180 when it offers so much at a competitive price. Yes, you have to sacrifice storage and a big washroom. But, the comfy rear lounge and its sociable space far outweigh these minor niggles.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Comfy rear lounge
  • Roomy overcab

Cons

  • Not much storage
  • Washroom
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