Alastair ClementsSee other motorhome reviews written by Alastair Clements
Practical Motorhome's expert tests the stylish HymerCar Sierra Nevada – it's not a cheap camper, but can it tempt you from more affordable van conversions?
The challenge of persuading newcomers into the pastime has been made easier for motorhome manufacturers with the advent of the panel van conversion. You get the practicality and versatility of a campervan, allied to the internal capacity of a proper coachbuilt motorhome. And ’vans such as Hymer's new-for-2015 HymerCar Sierra Nevada add a dash of sporty style, tempting those used to a ‘premium’ car with smart colour schemes and natty alloy wheels.
On the road
4 heating plus four 230V and two 12V sockets.
Our test ’van was specced to a decent level, making the Sierra Nevada more expensive than the likes of the Autocruise Alto (this offers a similar layout but will appeal to a different kind of buyer). One of many options fitted to our test ’van was the 150bhp engine upgrade, though the 130bhp standard unit should be powerful enough. Although the Sierra Nevada uses the XL LWB Fiat Ducato, it is compact and wieldy enough to use as a second vehicle – aided by its four belted seats, though the rear pair may be snug for adults.
The new Ducato cab feels very automotive, and Hymer has added car-like touches such as inlays and sports seats that wouldn’t look out of place in a new BMW.
Lounging & dining
We’d like to have seen individual reading lights rather than a single strip-light, but it’s otherwise luxurious, even featuring a neat ‘dressing table’ with vanity mirror.
The kitchen features large drawers, and everywhere there are space-saving ideas such as the built-in stowage for a camping table and chairs in the back, or the elasticated pocket for your books in the rear wall.
But one of the highlights of this layout, and the reason the French bed sits so high, is the huge storage area beneath. Fold up half of the slatted base for access to lockers of various sizes along the nearside wall, and a usefully large – and long – area with tie-down points for bikes or canoes.
|Layout||Rear corner bed|
|Fresh/waste water||100L / 100L|
|Leisure battery||95 Ah|
|Gas bottle size||11kg|
|Number of gas bottles||2|
2-burner gas hob
Thetford C-250 toilet, Shower curtain
The 2015 HymerCar Sierra Nevada’s interior will suit buyers with an active lifestyle. If you love the styling and have a passion for the great outdoors, this versatile and well-built two-berth high-top panel van conversion motorhome is worth saving up for.
- Stylish two-berth van conversion
- Good washroom
- Fixed double bed
- Plenty of storage
- Cab with sports seats, DAB radio, Bluetooth
- Rear door access
- Room for table and folding chairs by rear doors
- Only two gas rings for cooking
- No oven or grill
- Space-saving sink over the toilet