Niall HamptonSee other motorhome reviews written by Niall Hampton
Read Editor Niall Hampton's 2016 Auto-Trail Imala 730 review if you need a stylish low-profile coachbuilt motorhome with an island bed, at a cheaper price
Auto-Trail’s play for a slice of the entry-level coachbuilt motorhome market surprised many followers of the marque – not least because Tribute coachbuilts already occupy this space and are built in the same factory. But raised eyebrows were soon lowered and all doubts put aside when Imala was seen in the metal.
Lighter in weight and more affordable than other Auto-Trail models, the new Imala line-up targeted younger customers, who lack C1 entitlement on their driving licences, and has been very well received. So much so that the range has expanded for 2016 and, if confirmation were needed that the Imala range has come of age, then the island-bed Imala 730 provides that proof.
Inside the Imala 730, mid-toned cabinetwork combines well with the oatmeal-coloured seating; red accents are added by curtain tie- backs and scatter cushions. This pleasing ‘Iris’ ensemble, as with much here, doesn’t shout ‘entry-level’.
Habitation construction features 40mm-thick laminated walls, 45mm-thick laminated floors, and a 40mm part-laminated roof. The chassis and conversion carry a five-year warranty, the bodyshell a 10-year guarantee (terms and conditions apply).
Two body styles are available at the same price: a low-line with overcab storage and panoramic skylight, as tested here, and a high-line with overcab double bed, and panoramic skylight.
On the road
With the parallel lounge layout as tested, the Imala 730 has two travel seats. You can specify a half-dinette as an £825 cost option, which adds two seatbelts (this requires a chassis up-plating to 3650kg).
Lounging & dining
A dual-fuel hob atop the separate oven and grill, a 96-litre, dual-fuel fridge with separate freezer, and a microwave oven round out the kitchen. Five task lights and under-locker LEDs illuminate the kitchen after dark.
The lounge can be converted into a second double bed, by pulling the sliding seat frame into the gangway and rearranging the cushions. A sliding partition screens the master bedroom from the lounge.
The island bed measures 1.86m x 1.34m (6ft 1in x 4ft 4in), while the dinette bed measures 2.17m x 1.22m (7ft 1in x 4ft).
For £649, the Auto-Trail Media Pack adds an analogue radio and CD player with Bluetooth and USB connectivity for mobile devices, an 18.5in flatscreen TV, an aerial, and a reversing camera.
|Layout||Rear island bed|
|Fresh/waste water||135L / 85L|
|Leisure battery||75 Ah|
|Gas tank size||13kg|
|Number of gas tank compartments||1|
|Gas bottle size||7kg|
|Number of gas bottles||1|
Thetford Fridge, 3-burner gas with electric hot plate, Combined Oven/Grill, Microwave
Thetford C-250 toilet, Separate shower cubicle
If you buy an Imala 730 you will get access to Auto-Trail desirability at a lower price, but in a range that doesn’t feel downmarket.
On top of that, the Auto-Trail Imala 730 brings the convenience and comfort of a well-executed island-bed layout to the party, and that in itself will be a deal-maker for many buyers. And to see other Auto-Trail motorhomes for sale, click here.
- Its 3500kg MTPLM – anyone can drive it
- Upmarket style at an entry-level price
- It has an impressive, retractable island bed
- It has a separate lined shower cubicle
- ESC with hill hold and Traction Plus control are standard
- You need a big space to park a 7.25m-long motorhome
- Only two travel seats as standard
- It only has blinds (curtains are for show)