Clever use of space makes the 2014 Elddis Autoquest 155 a versatile 'van for touring couples – get the full story in the Practical Motorhome review
Its innovative seating and clever use of space make the Elddis Autoquest 155, a mid-range low-profile motorhome, an ideal choice for touring couples who want to accommodate occasional visitors.
The County Durham-based brand has a great reputation for building affordable, value-for-money coachbuilt motorhomes, and the low-profile Autoquest is its mid-range offering, sitting between Accordo, the new compact entry-level range, and the upmarket Aspire. The popular Autoquest provides the basis for dealer-special versions, too, such as the Marquis Majestic 155 and the Richard Baldwin Musketeer Athos.
Elddis also manufactures several ranges of touring caravan, and you can see this influence at work in the Autoquest 155, which features a classic caravan layout – parallel lounge seating, rear fixed bed and corner washroom – all achieved on a floorplan that’s just over 7m long.
This makes the 155 an ideal model for caravanners looking to move over to a motorhome, as they’ll know just how well this layout works.
But there’s more. An update for the 2014 season saw the inclusion of a pair of forward-facing folding travel seats that stow in the lounge’s seat boxes when not in use. Now couples can take other family members away with them on tour, rather than just welcome them as overnight guests – perfect for children or grandchildren. They’ll be well catered for, thanks to a spacious make-up double bed across the lounge. The 155 is therefore a capable four-berth with two full-size double beds that now has added flexibility.
With all this, plus a good specification for a smidgeon under £40,000, the Elddis Autoquest 155 seems a tempting proposition for touring couples – read more in the Practical Motorhome review.
The Autoquest 155’s sidewalls are sandwich panels faced with two pieces of GRP, which makes scratches and dings easier to repair.
The understated exterior graphics include subtle ‘50th anniversary’ logos on each side of the ’van, which mark the half-century Elddis has just notched up in the leisure vehicle industry.
The 155’s parallel-lounge layout offers several benefits, most notably providing a line of sight from the driver’s cab to the rear of the motorhome, and making the living area feel wide and open.
This feeling of space is emphasised by the mid-toned cabinetwork and beige and brown upholstery. The curtains and scatter cushions reference these colours, with an added splash of light blue in the patterning and the curtain tie-backs. It all creates a pleasing interior ambience, contemporary in feel while acknowledging traditional styling cues that appeal to the British market.
Fresh from the factory, this Autoquest 155 from Elddis motorhomes comes with a decent specification for the price, including a 25m mains hook-up cable. The habitation area’s spotlights and ambient over-locker lights are low-power-draw LEDs, and the 4kW Whale heating system is dual-fuel and distributed all around the vehicle. The CD/radio has controls on the steering wheel for safe and easy use, and an omni-directional TV aerial can receive both digital and analogue signals.
The Lux Pack (fitted to our test motorhome) adds an electric step, midi Heki rooflight, cab air-con, a passenger airbag, cruise control and leisure battery for £1225. Further options include a microwave oven (£169), cab blinds (£399) and the Winter Pack (£299).
On the road
The Elddis Autoquest 155 has a fully laden weight of 3500kg, so its 2.3-litre engine producing 130bhp of torque is more than capable of powering it. There’s consequently plenty of grunt for both urban and country driving, and our testers experienced little complaint when tackling inclines, working the six-speed manual gearbox smoothly to stay within sensible rev ranges.
Thanks to its raised driving position, visibility from the 155’s cab is good, although the base vehicle’s thick B pillars do restrict vision slightly when entering junctions. Handling is precise, making the ’van easy to place on the road, and power steering takes the hard work out of manoeuvring at low speeds. At 7.2m long, though, the 155 may not suit every driveway, and a pronounced rear overhang means care will have to be taken when negotiating ferry ramps.
Lounging & dining
Downlighters placed at each end of the seat benches and on the underside of the overhead lockers offer four reading positions, and there’s plenty of natural light, thanks to two large windows on either side of the lounge.
For mealtimes, just retrieve the folding-leaf table from the wardrobe and position it in the gangway. Having done this, our testers felt there was plenty of room to sit down to eat, but noted that access to the rear of the ’van would be impeded with more than two people sitting around the table.
The standard specification does not include a microwave, but one can easily be accommodated in the left-hand overhead locker if desired. Both locker doors feature cream sections that match the colour of the work surface below. Our testers liked the handy worktop extension that pulls out from above the fridge, and found it ideal for resting plates on while serving food.
Two plug points on the left-hand side of the kitchen unit offer the flexibility to operate a kettle and toaster simultaneously, and two separate switches allow you to control the ceiling and task lights independently of each other.
Two downlighters at the headboard end provide illumination for reading at bedtime, and small essentials like spectacles and mobile phones can be stowed on the small shelves that are situated above either end of the padded headboard.
Two additional berths are available in the lounge. The parallel seats combine to form a double bed measuring 2.1m x 1.3m (6’10” x 4’3”), made up by pulling out sliding slats from the bed box frame into the middle of the gangway. The lounge sofas and backrest cushions can be easily rearranged in seconds, sitting snugly atop the beech slats. The Practical Motorhome reviewers found the seat knee rolls quite pronounced, so rotated them through 180 degrees.
The two sleeping spaces can be separated by a cream-coloured concertina partition that pulls across from the foot of the rear bed, although those in the lounge will have to disturb the occupants of the rear double bed for small-hours’ access to the washroom.
Size-wise, the washroom is certainly cosy, but it’s an acceptable compromise for having the comfort and convenience of a fixed bed. Practical Motorhome's reviewers welcomed the practical touches, including decent storage in the vanity unit and a towel ring, but would have preferred plastic walls instead of wallboard in the shower area. More plus points come courtesy of a blown-air vent to keep the washroom warm in colder conditions.
Overhead lockers abound, with four in the lounge, two in the kitchen and four in the rear bedroom. The kitchen has two drawers and a cupboard with a shelf, and there are two shelves on the end of the kitchen worktop. The large wardrobe at the foot of the fixed bed has two hanging rails and a shelf underneath, so touring couples can take a full complement of outfits with them. The folding-leaf lounge table stows on the right-hand side of the wardrobe in its own vertical compartment.
Further storage space is available under the parallel seat benches in the lounge, although the folding travelling seats will rob at least half of the available storage in each seat box. For the flexibility of having the travel seats, though, this is a reasonable trade-off.
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas with electric hot plate, Oven, Separate grill
Thetford C-250 toilet, Bi-fold shower door
This versatile, spacious four-berth motorhome is best suited to couples looking for comfort with the added flexibility to take extra visitors occasionally. They will find the 2014 Elddis Autoquest 155 an interesting prospect.
It offers the convenience of a fixed bed, parallel lounge and practical kitchen but has another trick up its sleeve: two folding travel seats. This clever solution side-steps the problem of needing a half-dinette with in-line travel seats, and the space required for it. Using seats that fold out from the parallel lounge seating gives a clear line of sight from the cab to the motorhome’s rear, making everything feel open and airy.
So you get four travel seats and four comfortable berths in a well-equipped, smart motorhome, with a 10-year bodyshell integrity warranty, for less than £40,000.
- You get a decently sized fixed double bed
- It's more than 7m long, so do check the length of your drive
- The washroom is rather compact