Niall Hampton
Editor

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Refreshed for 2017, the Auto-Trail Tracker RS now boasts a bigger lounge and washroom, plus an improved kitchen, increasing its appeal as a couples' ’van

Overview

Originally conceived as an affordable range of compact motorhomes, Auto-Trail Tracker has over the years evolved to sit neatly in the mid-market segment of the brand's coachbuilt portfolio.

And this status was cemented a couple of seasons ago with the launch of the entry level Imala, which brought lower weights and lower prices into the Auto-Trail offer.

For 2017, Tracker gets a targeted rework to keep it fresh and competitive. The RS carries a tried-and-tested floor plan – parallel lounge/end-washroom – but it has been stretched by 0.84m so it now breaks the tape at 6.94m.

Auto-Trail’s aims were to increase the size of the make-up double bed in the lounge, grow the shower compartment and to improve ergonomics in the kitchen by adding an L-shaped work top.

Other changes see more spacious overhead lockers in the lounge, facilitated by moving the nearside awning up to sit at the edge of the rooflline, and a smart new moulded GRP rear panel.

Design

Tracker’s exterior look is unmistakably Auto-Trail, from the distinctive overcab moulding, metallic graphite cab and silver and red ‘house style’ colourways.

Our test ’van was supplied in Lo-Line form, which means there’s a pair of overhead lockers in lieu of an overcab double bed (the Hi-Line roof, with a double bed instead of storage, is a no-cost option).

Habitation sidewalls are faced in hard-wearing GRP, with laminated interior walls. A five-year bodyshell warranty comes as standard.

On the road

Tracker, like all Auto-Trail coachbuilts, rides on the Fiat Ducato, now powered by re-engineered 2.3-litre Euro 6-compliant engines, in 130bhp tune (150bhp and 180bhp outputs, and Fiat’s ComfortMatic robotised gearbox, are cost options).

For a commercial base vehicle, the Ducato is pleasingly relaxing to drive. This is thanks to a commanding driving position and light, car-like controls.

The pronounced A-pillars do require looking around when approaching a junction, but rearwards vision via the large cab door mirrors, with lower ‘blind spot’ sections, is good.

Lounging & dining

In typical configuration, the 2017 Auto-Trail Tracker RS sports a parallel lounge that can seat four people, or six if the cab seats are rotated (a Half Dinette option with two travel seats costs £825).

The lounge has a large window on either side, plus a central rooflight, and in Lo-Line flavour, benefits from a panoramic overcab skylight. LED lighting is available as a backup, in addition to the over-locker ambient lighting.

Kitchen

The offside kitchen is now boosted by an L-shaped worktop, which has been created by moving the fridge to the other side of the ’van, where it has been resized to an on-trend ‘skinny’ unit which slots neatly between the wardrobe and the washroom.

Kitchen kit comprises dual-fuel hobs, a separate oven and grill, a rooflight extractor fan and a microwave oven. We'd have liked to have seen more than one 230V socket above the worktop.

Sleeping

The clear beneficiary of the increase in body length of 0.84m has been the offside lounge seat, which now offers 6ft of length if used as a single bed (the nearside bench is around 5ft).

Making up the double bed is straightforward, as sliding slats extend easily into the middle of the gangway ready to receive the rearranged cushions.

Concertina blinds fitted to the windscreen and cab door windows create ideal blackout conditions for a restful night’s sleep.

Washroom

The washroom has also grown, with a large shower compartment in the offside rear corner. Opposite this is a cupboard and vanity unit with sink, with a swivelling cassette toilet in between under a clear rear window.

Storage

The 2017 Auto-Trail Tracker RS has plenty of places to fit touring kit. This includes 10 overhead lockers and uninterrupted space in the offside lounge seat box, which is accessible from outside the vehicle. The nearside seat box loses some space to the gas bottle compartment.

Outside, a vertical storage locker is sited in the nearside rear corner, with a folding shelf to accommodate taller items.

Other storage provision comprises a wide wardrobe opposite the kitchen, and under-sink pot and pan storage.

Equipment

Standard equipment in the 2017-season Tracker RS includes an electric entrance step, an external barbecue point, a 100W solar panel, a Truma convector heater with ducted blown air, a wind-out canopy awning and a spare wheel.

The Media Pack 2 (£999), as fitted to our test ’van, adds steering wheel controls for audio and phone, a touchscreen radio/CD player with satellite navigation, a colour reversing camera, an 18.5in drop-down flatscreen TV and a Maxview Gazelle omnidirectional aerial.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats2
MTPLM3500kg
Payload240kg
Length6.94m22′9″
Width2.35m7′9″
Height3.03m9′11″
Engine (power)130
Fresh/waste water135L / 85L
Leisure battery100 Ah
Gas tank size13kg
Number of gas tank compartments1
Gas bottle size7kg
Number of gas bottles1
External Options
Integral awning, Electric step
Kitchen Equipment
3-burner gas with electric hot plate, Oven, Separate grill, Microwave, Extractor fan
Washroom
Separate shower cubicle

Verdict

Discerning touring couples who don’t prize fixed beds will find much to like in the revised Auto-Trail Tracker RS.

The extra length takes the ’van away from the 6m threshold, but delivers 6ft-long single beds, a larger washroom and an L-shaped kitchen – plus the latest, more fuel-efficient engine. What’s not to like?

And to see other Auto-Trail motorhomes for sale, click here.

Conclusion

Pros

  • The sofas and make-up double are bigger than before
  • The shower is larger than previously
  • The revised kitchen's design is very user-friendly

Cons

  • It's now nearly 7m long
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