Niall HamptonSee other motorhome reviews written by Niall Hampton
Practical Motorhome's Niall Hampton reviews the 2016 Hymer Van 314 to see if this iconic brand's comfy compact coachbuilt could convert panel van fans
Far be it from us to query the German manufacturer’s choice of nomenclature, but the 2016 Hymer Van 314 is in fact a coachbuilt. It shares its name with a similar product that quietly disappeared from European dealers a few years ago: a Ford Transit-based compact, low-profile range that launched in 2006.
We've reported on the new Hymer motorhomes launched for 2016 here, and in this review we're going to focus on the fact that Hymer is taking another trip with the Van, which is now riding on a Fiat Ducato base and badged 314.
At 5.45m, the 314 is close in length to a short-wheelbase Sevel panel van (5.4m), and 16cm shorter than a long-wheelbase VW T5 (5.29m). Because it can negotiate parking spaces less forgiving of larger units, the 314 will tempt buyers who prefer coachbuilt comfort levels in as small a package as possible. For the past few years, these customers have been nudged towards panel-van conversions featuring fixed beds and fully equipped washrooms, as well as a raft of compact low-profiles breaking the tape at just under six metres.
At half-a-metre shorter than many of its near rivals, though, the 314 offers something genuinely different. And unlike most of the competition, it’s not a budget ’van – the base price at launch is £42,250. Hymer is marketing the Van 314 as a replacement vehicle for the second family car and, at first sight, this may not be too fanciful a notion.
Thanks to pairing the Ducato base with a lightweight Al-Ko chassis, the Van 314 has an all-up weight of 3500kg with a huge payload – just shy of 1000kg. The rear garage even has a maximum loading capacity of 350kg.
The side view is almost symmetrical, with only slightly more vehicle behind the rear wheels than ahead of the front ones, and the ultra-low-profile overcab moulding pleasantly integrates the cab and living quarters.
On the road
Lounging & dining
Daylight floods through a large rooflight above the lounge, and side window and cab windows. Artificial light is provided by LED lights on the B-pillars, and a spotlamp above the bench seats.
The double bed is a good size: 2m x 1.45m (6’7” x 4’9”).
Further options include drop-in carpets (£300), a flatscreen TV bracket (£170), a Truma Combi 4 with immersion heater (£420) and a nearside bedroom window (£220).
|Fresh/waste water||130L / 90L|
|Leisure battery||95 Ah|
|Gas bottle size||11kg|
|Number of gas bottles||2|
Waeco Compressor Fridge, 2-burner gas hob
Thetford C-200 toilet, Shower curtain
The 2016 Hymer Van 314 uses its space wisely. It’s easy to drive and park, and is best suited to couples. The high price is balanced by excellent build quality and strong residuals. And to see other Hymer motorhomes for sale, click here.
- Fantastic double bed
- Memory-foam mattress
- Garage for storage
- Easy-access services
- Quality fittings
- Huge payload
- Washroom is extremely compact
- Small hob, no oven