Andrew McPhee

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Practical Motorhome reviews the Laika Kreos 3009 – what's the verdict on this Italian built 'van?

Design

The Italian Laika brand is something of a by-word for style, but the Kreos 3009 is, sadly, not one for its design portfolio. Nevertheless, its exterior finish is of a very high quality, alloy wheels are standard and the services are all robust and easily accessed. There are some novel touches, too, such as the external TV point and the spare Thetford cassette locker, which indicate thoughtful design work.
The access door to the Laika’s under-bed area is small, which will make loading tricky, but there is a ‘doors open’ alarm to ensure you don’t leave them unfastened before driving off.

On the road

The Kreos is built on an Al-ko rear chassis conversion, and standard equipment includes air conditioning, ABS and anti-skid control, cab electrics and a CD player, as well as a chunky 2.8-litre engine, remote central locking, on-the-road rear cabin heating. However, there’s no cruise control.

Lounging & dining

In terms of appearance, the Laika offers a dash of Italian style, although we found the effect of the Venezia design upholstery a little too fussy.
As well as the half dinette up front, there’s also a single side-facing seat behind the driver.
The Laika’s table extends straight out rather than towards the driver’s seat so the cab seat is not great to use for dining. The single seat behind the driver is much better placed in that respect so makes a better dinner chair. Other than that, the seat heights are good for the table. Although the use of a separate drop-in extension panel is less convenient than a fold-out section, it means that the table is easier to lift when turned into a bed, than the more heavyweight Rapido effort.

Kitchen

The kitchen is behind the habitation door, on the offside. It sports a large 150-litre fridge freezer at the foot of the offside bed, which leaves room for an oven under the worktop. The integrated Smev oven is next to the door, which makes it easy to access.
The Laika has limited low-level storage due to the intrusion of the gas locker. The overhead lockers are fine, but the wire basket above the cooker is six foot off the ground. The cutlery drawer is enormous though and there is a large locker above the fridge.

Sleeping

The Kreos offers generously proportioned single beds, which will swallow a six-foot tall sleeper with ease. The Laika’s biggest downside lies in the combination of the shallow mattresses, along with no boards to separate the mattress from the wall of the ‘van, and no slats underneath. Also, there is no possibility of being able to make up an occasional double bed. All these points imply that the Laika may suffer in terms of comfort and condensation compared to the other ‘vans on test here.

Washroom

The light woodwork in the Laika lends an airy feel to the washroom. The shower feels roomy and luxurious and the Thetford is usable without having to swivel the bowl. There’s a locker beneath the sink that’s big enough for most people’s toiletries.

Storage

The Laika’s spacious bedroom is due in part to the small under-bed garage, but it has a massive three-quarter length wardrobe between the bed heads. By sliding the bedside unit in and out, the garage space can be made smaller or larger. It provides flexibility but the garage is still not as big as the others. The Kreos has a small storage locker at the front end for the spare Thetford container (supplied) – a boon for wild campers or ralliers.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats4
MTPLM3850kg
Payload737kg
Length7.12m23′4″
Width2.3m7′7″
Height2.82m9′3″
Waste water56L
External Options
Aluminium sidewalls, Awning light
Kitchen Equipment
4-burner gas hob, Oven, Separate grill, Extractor fan
Washroom
Thetford C-200 toilet
Heating
Truma Electric/Gas Blown air heater, Truma Electric/Gas water heater

Verdict

Good in parts, the Laika delights and disappoints in equal measure.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Excellent specification
  • Good to look at from the outside and stylish inside.

Cons

  • Large beds are uncomfortable; locker doors don’t open far enough; some storage areas are difficult to access.
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