Peter BaberSee other motorhome reviews written by Peter Baber
New-for-2017, the Tribute 680 brings a longer body to the range – but does this mean meaningful extra living space? We get aboard the two-berth to find out
The 680 may be a new model in the year that all Tribute production has moved to Auto-Trail’s newly expanded Grimsby factory, but it is in fact just a slightly longer – 6.36m – version of the 5.99m-long 670.
The extra length is partly accounted for in a slightly larger lounge and double bed at the rear, and should also lead to a more spacious front lounge.
Based on the XL LWB Fiat Ducato, the Tribute 680 is one of three van conversions in this, Auto-Trail’s entry-level offering.
It has a smart but fairly utilitarian exterior look, with its silver body carrying grey and yellow decals.
As standard, this model comes with the Ducato’s 2.0-litre, 115bhp Euro 6 engine, and a cab spec we suspect most buyers will upgrade with the Drivers Pack (for £1499, this adds extras including a passenger airbag, cab air con, cruise control, Traction Plus including Hill hold, and ESC).
Lounging & dining
In particular, the window-side rear travel seat is effectively separated from the rest of the front lounge by the driver’s seat only being able to swivel three-quarters of the way around before it butts up close to the bench.
We found it was better to fit the pedestal table (stored in the rear lounge) skew-whiff to accommodate the cab seats.
This complication is not helped by the base cushion having a more deeply scooped profile than average.
Even en route, with the driver’s seat swivelled forward, the two overhead lockers above the bench are set low so that only a medium-sized child could fit in the window seat.
But because this is a two-berth, you’ll only have passengers on board some of the time.
The rear lounge feels much more spacious, because there is no step up, and so far less risk of banging your head on the overhead lockers. There is plenty of room to move around.
There’s plenty of work surface, thanks to a large extension flap that opens up in front of the sliding door, but the space in front of this in the aisle is tight, so even a moderately large person might struggle to use the kitchen without finding they get in the way.
The aisle in front of the sink is particularly narrow, but that could be an excuse to relieve your companion of washing-up duties.
However, even in front of the three-burner gas hob (supplied by an underslung tank) the space isn’t huge, and is compromised by the washroom door swinging outwards.
The stack of three drawers is well crafted. Because it is sited at the top end of the peninsula, it is just as easily accessed from the outside.
There’s a combination oven and grill, with a pan locker underneath that loses some space to pipes and wiring.
The kitchen worktop is, however, well lit with six LED lights, and the sink is a good size.
Because the designers have included a small extra section of cushioning above the backrest, you still effectively get a headrest when you remove said backrests to make up the middle of the bed.
And the table storage compartment makes a convenient shelf for spectacles and the like.
The square sink is big, if shallow – it folds away, leaving you with more room to shower.
There’s a towel ring on the door, and a well-placed heating vent so that you can benefit from the Truma Combi 4 heating.
The wardrobe is half-height and not very big, but it still has a central pillar between its two doors, making access to the clothes even more tricky in the narrow passageway.
The overhead lockers in the ’van have nicely obscured catches, although they are rather shallow. There is also a small cubby immediately above the cab.
But the underseat areas offer exactly the kind of storage that you hope they would.
Because of the way they are designed, they can be folded up – and stay up – without you needing to remove the backrests.
And, wonder of wonders, the nearside one is completely clear inside and can be accessed from outside once you open the rear doors. It’s a real triumph by Tribute.
|Fresh/waste water||70L / 70L|
|Leisure battery||100 Ah|
|Gas tank size||25kg|
|Number of gas tank compartments||1|
The Tribute 680 is well built, well equipped and competitively priced.
While the rear lounge benefits from the extra body length, the front lounge will be a bit of a squeeze when used by more than two people.
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- The rear lounge is lovely and spacious
- Kit levels are good
- Space inside is tight at times
- There are compromises in the washroom – especially the shower