Niall HamptonSee other motorhome reviews written by Niall Hampton
Check out the Practical Motorhome review of the 2014 Hymer Exsis-i 578, a compact A-class that weighs well under 3500kg and has a large user payload
Things are looking good for Hymer in the UK. The iconic German brand recently expanded its dealer network on these shores, and was fourth-placed overall for new motorhomes in our 2014 Owner Satisfaction Awards. In our analysis of the results, we noted that Hymer’s latest models are tightly focused and very competitive.
One range spearheading this resurgence is Exsis-i, rebooted in 2011 to become a compact A-class on a Fiat Ducato base. The unique selling point of this four-strong range is its light weight, something that will appeal to buyers keen for lower fuel costs, or for those downsizing from a larger A-class to a smaller version that can also be driven by younger family members on an ordinary car licence. Unladen, these ’vans weigh substantially less than 3000kg. Load them with touring kit and the MTPLM should still be well within the all-important 3500kg threshold.
Built with PUAL walls, the exterior of the 578 is uncluttered, with modest monochrome graphics used sparingly on the white bodywork. The van is fully winterised with insulated plumbing. A large rear garage with a 250kg loading capacity houses the gas bottles (on the vehicle’s nearside).
Inside, white fabrics and upholstery sit well with the mid-toned cabinetwork, creating an atmosphere of refinement. The cab boasts swivelling Aguti seats, between a door on the nearside and a storage unit on the offside. LED lights shine down from a panel in the underside of the pull-down bed. Headroom is generous; the cab area does not feel claustrophobic.
Lounging & dining
Under the hobs and sink is a cutlery drawer, and below that two divided drawers. All drawers are soft-closing and secured with positive catches.
Up front, a drop-down bed above the lounge offers two further berths. It’s manually operated and is accessed via a wooden ladder. Two heating vents in the cab area keep it warm at night-time.
|Fresh/waste water||100L / 100L|
|Leisure battery||95 Ah|
|Gas tank size||7kg|
|Number of gas tank compartments||2|
The Practical Motorhome review team members were fans of the Hymer Exsis-i 578. It is a well-designed 'van that will appeal to buyers who want the refinement of an A-class but without the size and weight of some rivals. There are more affordable competitors, but this Hymer is a class act.
- There's a neat, clever washroom/wetroom layout
- Storage is not in short supply
- There's an elegant refinement to the interior space