Peter Baber
Reviews Editor

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Refreshed for 2017, Auto-Trail's popular Frontier Scout brings end-lounge luxury and accommodation for six on an 8m footprint – do the numbers add up?

Overview

Auto-Trail’s classic Scout received various tweaks as part of updates to the wider Frontier range for 2017.

In come a new rear panel with LED light clusters, an improved rear window and a wind-out awning that’s recessed into the roofline.

Available since 1990, the Scout still sports the same layout: rear-lounge with offside front dinette.

From 6.71m-long in 1990, though, the Scout has grown to 8.04m, and is available in two flavours: Lo-Line (low-profile four-berth) or Hi-Line (overcab six-berth).

Keen to find out whether the latest Scout fully lives up to its marketing blurb – “... [it] performs multiple roles with the minimum of fuss” – we took a Hi-Line version to Lincolnshire’s tranquil Woodhall Country Park.

Design

Styling-wise, the overcab isn’t too pronounced. A panel running along the bottom of both sides of the ’van hides items such as the electric hook-up. All external doors have securing clips except the habitation door.

On the road

All Frontier models weigh over 3500kg. The Scout comes in at 4500kg, so is only for those who have C1 driving licence entitlement.

Fortunately, this model also has Fiat’s 147bhp Ducato engine as standard – a real help, even in the gentle Lincolnshire Wolds.

The driver’s seat sits in front of a rear-facing settee, but there was no problem with leg-space.

Lounging & dining

Open the habitation door and there’s a grab handle to ease you in. This is placed under a tall, slim mirror that has three cubbyholes next to it where you can leave keys.

The houndstooth seat covers and light-grey geometric patterns on the curtains proved popular with our testers, while the front full dinette with two forward-facing travel seats (the two rear-facing seats can be upgraded with belts as a £550 cost option) seemed roomy.

That said, there are no heating vents under the clip-on table. But the area is well lit with a rooflight, an Omnivent, two spotlights and a striplight.

The rear lounge is very comfortable, with a second table (that easily seats four) stowed on the other side of the washroom door.

You get plenty of light here from another rooflight. There are four spotlights, although one would be obscured if you fitted a TV to the bracket in the nearside front corner.

Auto-Trail clearly still believes that ‘home is where the hearth is’, even if the Truma Ultraheat here is technically in a corridor.

There is a usefully wide windowsill behind the settee, but the only mains sockets are behind the TV.

One locker is a cocktail cabinet, here located in the rear lounge where it is more likely to be used, rather than in the kitchen where you might disturb the cook.

Kitchen

The only kitchen workspace comes between the large sink with drainer and the four-burner dual-fuel hob. There are two sockets here.

An elegant curved cupboard by the entrance hides three shelves. Next to this is a sensibly sized condiment shelf by a column of two drawers and a cupboard.

Then there’s the oven and grill. Up above are two lockers and another for the Daewoo microwave.

It gets better: on the other side of the entrance, there’s a big, 175-litre Dometic fridge with a cool drawer that will delight bon viveurs.

The control lights for it are visible to whoever is using the otherwise comfortable double bed in the rear lounge.

Sleeping

That rear-lounge double is made up from caravan-style roll-out slats that we felt needed a little care when pulling out.

The overcab bed lacks a side window, but the area doesn’t feel claustrophobic.

The rear double bed is 2.08 x 1.95m (6’8” x 6’4”) or can be used as 1.95 x 0.7m (6’4” x 2’3”) singles. Meanwhile, the front double bed measures 1.85 x 1.04m (6’1” x 3’4”) and that in the overcab is 1.89 x 1.18m (6’2” x 4’0”).

Washroom

Entering the washroom requires a step up, so take care. The area includes a large separate shower, while the small washbasin has a nicely racked cupboard above it, another below and a lit mirror in front of it.

There is a screened rooflight in the washroom, as well as one heating vent.

Storage

Outside, the rear locker is accessible from both sides, but isn’t really big enough for bikes. Although it’s lit, it has no heating vents, despite visible ducting.

That panel around the bottom also hides another locker space, ideal for anything you might not mind being partially exposed to the elements.

Back inside, the underseat areas in the front dinette are clear, as are the front parts of the rear underseat areas, which have their own door.

Technical specs

Sleeps6
Travel seats4
MTPLM4500kg
Payload880kg
Length8.04m26′5″
Width2.77m9′1″
Height3.1m10′2″
Engine (power)147
Fresh/waste water135L / 85L
Leisure battery95 Ah
Gas tank size13kg
Number of gas tank compartments2

Verdict

Its size and price may sound hefty but at this length, the Auto-Trail Frontier Scout is unique.

Stylish inside and out, and packing plenty of kit, this motorhome offers super-comfortable touring for well-heeled buyers.

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

Conclusion

Pros

  • There's a great rear lounge that makes up into a spacious double bed
  • It is well equipped
  • The overcab's design is elegant

Cons

  • You'll need C1 entitlement on your driving licence
  • Kitchen worktop is limited
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