If you want a new motorhome with lots of extra equipment for less money, read our Marquis Majestic 125 review to see if this dealer special is for you
Updates to the Elddis Autoquest for last season gave Marquis Motorhomes an up-to-the-minute range of affordable ’vans upon which to base its popular Majestic dealer specials. The updates were timely, too, given increased competition in the budget sector of the market.
Manufacturers had to focus their offers to persuade these shoppers. That may be why Swift Group’s Escape range was the highest-placed UK volume brand in Practical Motorhome’s Owner Satisfaction Awards 2014.
Elddis decided that, instead of just revising its offerings, it had to extend them. The results are the Accordos, two compact low-profiles promising the comfort of a coachbuilt in a package the size of a panel-van conversion. Its launch meets the desire of motorcaravanners wanting to downsize. Under 6m long and 3300kg, the Accordo really is bang-on trend.
It’s no surprise, then, that Marquis Motorhomes chose the Accordo as the base of its new Majestic 105 and 125, which take the model count to 10. Retailed by 11 Marquis dealership showrooms around the UK (Marquis South Yorkshire opened in January 2014), the Majestic range offers an enhanced treatment of the standard-issue Accordo, expertly specified by the UK’s biggest dealer network.
Dealer specials are a bargain, because they pack in plenty of features: some are options that would cost more when added to the base model, while others come only in a special. This is reflected in resale values.
For several months after November 2013, we ran a Majestic 125 motorhome as a long-termer. For its final test, we took it to the rally field at Lowdhams Leisure in Gunthorpe, Nottingham.
Two features make the 125 stand out: the rear bed sits on a two-leaf frame that is lifted to reveal a large storage area that can be accessed via a rear hatch. With no seats to sit on when the bed is raised, this area is effectively a rear garage that can be accessed from inside, but there’s another twist: a two-part, removable aperture divides the rear bedroom and the midships gangway and has cut-outs, so you can load skis, fishing rods and other long items from outside. This makes the 125 ideal for people who thrive on outdoor pursuits.
The Elddis Accordo 125 is based on the Peugeot Boxer, which has more bells and whistles as standard than a Fiat Ducato. The Tempo Libero chassis is purpose-built for motorhomes and offers an excellent driving experience while adding ESP, traction control and other welcome systems.
There’s a smart GRP moulding above the cab, while the habitation is built using Elddis’s water-resistant SoLiD system, in which the bodyshell is glued, rather than screwed, together and to the chassis. More peace of mind is provided by the habitation’s GRP underside, which protects against stone chips, salt and other materials thrown up from the road.
The white sidewalls are manufactured from single-sheet GRP, which resists scratches and dings well, and is easier to repair than aluminium. Silver markings along both sides are edged with red and, together with the windows’ irregular shapes, make the 125 look modern. The rear is ABS.
The décor features light cabinet work, off-white worktops, patterned beige seating and charcoal drop-in carpets. Three rooflights, including a skylight above the cab, are backed by LED lighting throughout.
On the road
The driving position is commanding with good visibility, except to the rear of the passenger window. The solid habitation door takes the position of what would normally be the nearside lounge window, thus making right turns from T-junctions tricky when you can’t count on a passenger’s prompts. Another niggle for the driver is that the track for the front window’s concertina blind partly blocks the sun visor; you can’t push it fully down so more of the road is obscured than is ideal.
Road noise from the habitation area didn’t bother our testers – you can barely hear anything from behind when on the road. High-quality construction and tight design can be thanked.
The driver’s cab is like that of other Peugeot Boxers. It beats the Fiat Ducato’s spec by having ESP and traction control, plus extra dealer special goodies. These include USB and Bluetooth connectivity, both in a unit mounted under the lid of the central glovebox. This may seem quite hidden away, but our testers were pleased to discover that a smartphone being used as a sat-nav could be windscreen-mounted and connected to this USB port using a standard 1m cable from the glovebox.
The rear belted travel seats have height-adjustable headrests and seatbelts – good news for taller people.
Lounging & dining
The small table offers further flexibility: it can be detached from its stowed position, where it is secured to the sidewall with two small bolts, and brought towards the middle of the lounge. The tubular table leg secures via twist clamps and can be loosened to move the table where you need it.
For mealtimes,extend the table to accommodate four diners. The extra piece is stored securely in the underside of the nearside bed frame.
The travel seat cushions and backrests are firm and comfortable. A directional LED light under the overhead lockers provides targeted light, while a flat-screen TV can be fitted to a folding mount. Aerial and power connections are in the left-hand locker.
Space heating is provided by a dual-fuel, underfloor Whale system, rated at 2kW. Our testers said it heated the lounge quickly, but leaving it on the higher setting for a long time could make the rear of the seat bench rather more toasty than needed.
The oblong sink has a chrome-finished mixer tap and is deep enough for a couple’s washing-up. Do much more and you’ll have to manage the space.
Cooker and sink lids can be lowered to increase food preparation space; a pull-out flap under the worktop boosts it further. Need more space? Use the dinette table.
Illumination comes from two sets of LED task lights: one pair above the overhead lockers and another under them. A small window behind the sink provides natural light, while a rooflight/extractor above the galley adds more.
The black-front, 95-litre Dometic fridge-freezer is big enough for couples and occasional guests.
The left-hand overhead locker has room for a microwave, although one isn’t supplied and there’s no dedicated power point. However, the kitchen has twin sockets, allowing you to run a kettle and a toaster simultaneously.
The only reading light is in the offside rear corner. Ambient illumination is provided by lights above the overhead lockers controlled by a switch in the galley.
Our testers’ biggest problem with the rear bedroom was the cold. The nearest blown-air vent is 23cm from the bed, on the rear of the travel seat bench – a long way for warm air to travel, especially at the lower heat setting. (Set it higher and you’ll breathe dry air all night.)
The third berth, in the front lounge, is made up by removing the dinette table and pulling out an extending base from under the travel seats. The gap between this and the rotated driver’s seat is bridged using an extender cushion. The bracket for the table leg kept the cushion from lying flat, though. A mattress topper, supplied, made for a comfortable berth that would suit a small child or early teenager.
To the left is a swivel cassette toilet; when using it, place your feet in the shower tray. Above is a cupboard with two deep shelves and its own shower curtain for keeping it dry.
The moulded vanity unit has a cupboard below. To the right is the shower’s mixer tap. Even at its highest position, tall people may have to stoop to get under the ample water flow; the head can be detached and used as a hand-held.
A blown-air vent will keep you warm.
Kitchen storage is varied, with a cutlery drawer under the hob, a small cupboard between the oven and fridge and two overhead lockers.
The rear of the vehicle boasts the largest stowage area: the bed base. Fold up the sleeping platform and secure its straps with clips to access seemingly acres of space for camping and leisure kit. Four securing hooks are in each corner to keep cycles and other items securely fastened in transit.
The garage also makes the 125 a capable load-lugger. Access from outside is through a hatch that takes up the lower third of the end panel. When loading via the habitation door, lift the two-part removable divider between the bedroom and gangway out of the way for unrestricted access.
Alternatively, the divider can be left in place to secure long sports kit. A semi-circular cutout to each half of the divider allows users to create a loading channel on the floor, or slightly higher. In either case, kit can be loaded via the rear hatch, which is hinged at the top and has its own stay.
Over and above the specification of the Elddis Accordo, the Majestic adds removable carpets with press-stud fixings and a wind-out awning.
In the cab, a combined USB/Bluetooth unit enables smartphones and digital media players to be connected to the stereo.
It’s straightforward to do, using controls on the steering wheel and the indicator stalk. (Although this is a hands-free device, we do not recommend using phones while driving).
There are also fixing points for a rear-mounted Fiamma bike rack with room for two or four cycles.
|Fresh/waste water||90L / 70L|
|Leisure battery||100 Ah|
|Gas bottle size||7kg|
|Number of gas bottles||2|
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas with electric hot plate, Combined Oven/Grill
Thetford C-200 toilet
The Elddis Accordo 125 on which this Majestic is based was one of the stand-outs of the 2013 summer launches. We love its dinky dimensions and flexible garage space; it will be the ideal motorhome for a couple who want a vehicle to use as a base for cycling, fishing and other leisure pursuits. In Marquis Majestic guise, the 125 is even more tempting, with extra goodies, such as a dual-fuel hob, upgraded fabric scheme and carpets, USB and Bluetooth connectivity and wind-out awning. The external styling is sharper and more contemporary.
As we went to press with this review, the Majestic 125 cost just £1996 more than the Accordo, so that meant it was a very wise buy.
- Big bed: 2m x 1.29m (6ft 7in x 4ft 4in).
- Storage space under the bed is like a garage
- Dual-fuel underfloor heating
- Cooker has three gas rings and an electric hotplate
- Chilly rear bedroom