Niall HamptonSee other motorhome reviews written by Niall Hampton
Read the Practical Motorhome Auto-Trail Imala 715 review and discover why this affordable, French-bed, British-built four-berth is turning heads
Celebrated British manufacturer Auto-Trail caused a stir last summer, when it announced that a new affordable entry-level range would be joining the portfolio. Hitherto best known for its iconic coachbuilt motorhomes that are a fixture on Britain’s holiday routes all year round, the Imala represented something quite different.
As revealed at the launch, Auto-Trail told how it was under-represented in a key area of the market: the sub-£50,000 price point. It also wanted to offer more ’vans under 3500kg – its subsidiary brand Tribute has a presence in these areas.
Younger buyers are the target market for these new Auto-Trail-branded vehicles, so Imala interiors are styled accordingly, while offering the mod cons popular with this demographic.
Imala sits just under Tracker in the Auto-Trail portfolio and offers five floorplans. The 715 is the only fixed-bed option; its siblings offer a choice of parallel lounges, half dinettes and rear lounges. Though normally specified in low-line form, all can be upgraded to high-line versions with a double bed over the cab at no extra cost. Their pronounced GRP overcab mouldings and branding in silver lettering make the front end classic Auto-Trail.
Like the other Imala models, the 715 rides on the Fiat Ducato with a 2.3-litre 130bhp unit as standard. Engine upgrades to 147bhp or 177bhp are available as cost options, while chassis can be uprated to 3650kg – from 3500kg – for no extra cost. Fiat’s ComfortMatic automatic transmission is available on all engines.
Lounging & dining
A panoramic sunroof above the cab, together with two large side windows, flood the front parallel lounge with light; this is augmented by ambient over-locker lighting and LED spotlights.
The amount of work surface is perfectly ample with the sink and cooker covers lowered, while a space-saving retractable vertical socket strip allows four devices to be run at once. An 80-litre dual-fuel fridge with removable freezer sits under the sink.
Space around the kitchen is generous, with a wide-open feel. The gangway is slightly pinched towards the offside washroom, but that’s to be expected with this layout.
In the lounge, the parallel seating can be rearranged in no time, by pulling across slatted frames, to create a double bed that measures a very respectable 2.17 x 1.22m (7ft 1in x 4ft).
The Media Pack (£649) offers a fold-down 18.5in flatscreen TV with DVD player, a radio with USB and Bluetooth hands-free smartphone connection, a colour reversing camera, steering wheel controls for radio and phone, and an aerial.
|Layout||Rear corner bed|
|Fresh/waste water||100L / 85L|
|Leisure battery||75 Ah|
|Gas tank size||13kg|
|Number of gas tank compartments||1|
|Gas bottle size||7kg|
|Number of gas bottles||1|
Oven, Separate grill, Microwave, Extractor fan
Auto-Trail brings its own-brand French-bed floorplan to the masses with the affordable Imala 715. Focused on quality and specification, this is a very appealing package. And to see other Auto-Trail motorhomes for sale, click here.
- The washroom has a sealed shower cubicle and a blown-air heat vent
- Storage space is good
- It's useful to have removable carpets
- The French bed has a large cutaway