You can indulge in A-class luxury and style on a 3500kg chassis with this Mobilvetta K-Yacht Tekno Line MH-85 – but just how tempting is it?
Mobilvetta may sound and look Italian, and although it is Italian built, mamma mia, as with so much else in the motorhome industry these days, it is actually part of a much larger multi-national concern – in this case, the French-owned Trigano Group.
Despite such support, it had been largely absent from the UK market for most of the past decade, a result of the late-2000s financial crisis that saw the Italian motorhome market contract by as much as one fifth.
That was up until the start of the 2017 season, though, when the UK’s biggest motorhome and caravan dealer network, Marquis Leisure, keen to add an A-class brand to its portfolio, brought Mobilvetta back to British forecourts.
Don’t forget that Marquis is already enjoying no little success with Benimar, itself another Trigano brand.
So far, potential UK buyers have only seen three models from the brand’s K-Yacht Tekno Line, which, surprise surprise, has been designed to incorporate elements of nautical style.
Earlier this season, we tested the K-Yacht MH-80, which carries an innovative rear-lounge layout.
Now we’re taking the K-Yacht MH-85, with single beds in the back and a drop-down double bed over the dinette, for a spin through rural Northamptonshire and a thorough live-in test.
With its dipped-down, pointed nose you can begin to see the resemblance to a luxury yacht, too. It looks sleek on the move, especially with its 16in alloy wheels.
Yet this is a motorhome that still manages to include a double floor, with two external lockers fitted into it to complement the garage at the rear. Doors to all such spaces have solid catches to keep them secure.
The yacht theme is even more apparent in the interior, with a large amount of shiny wood veneer, lots of mirrors to exaggerate space, just as you might get inside a yacht, a pearly white tambour door on the washroom, a pearl finish to the lockers with just one silver strip, and chrome retainers on some of the shelves that look like they could be just the place for a sailing trophy.
All in all, it’s a masculine look. Except, possibly, for the LED lighting.
There’s a great amount of it in here, mostly in the form of strips that are intended to highlight key design elements, like the partition back to the travel seats.
Fortunately, these strips are all in white LED light, not the blue that was initially popular, and which we think tended to make motorhome interiors look like somewhere you might expect to see a disco ball.
The only blue lights here are the little night-lights which some might find annoying.
On the road
Overall, the Mobilvetta offers a smooth ride, partly due to the Comfort-Matic gearbox our test model had as a £1750 cost option, and thanks to the Drivers Pack which comes as standard on UK models.
This includes cruise control, ESP, Traction Plus, hill assist, hill descent, and driver and passenger airbags.
The ’van did tend to rattle quite a bit inside, however.
As is usual with A-classes, it was quite a squeeze to get your hand down between the driver’s seat and the back of the gas bottle locker to pull on the handbrake – although this situation wasn’t as bad as it is on some A-classes we have driven.
The A-pillar on the driver’s side window occasionally caused a blind spot but, again, we have seen worse.
More noticeable was the tendency the passenger side door had to knock the coach-style drop-down side mirror if you don’t pay full attention when opening it. This applied no matter what position you put the mirror in.
The rear-view camera is very useful on a ’van of this length. It pops up from the centre of the dashboard, but does mean you lose out on having the Ducato’s handy tablet holder (it’s a shame the designers have opted for Fiat’s brown dash infills, too, as they jar slightly with the habitation’s wood finish).
There are two travel seats behind, and they must be decent because one of our party fell asleep in one of them while in transit!
To use the travel seat nearest the window you have to remove part of the L-shaped seat, but there was enough legroom here after we had done so to accommodate an adult of average height.
Lounging & dining
Here in the Mobilvetta K-Yacht Tekno Line MH-85 it is less so, because the designers have found enough space to incorporate an L-shaped seat and a small side seat to the right of the habitation door.
But even if our team-mate did fall asleep on the move, these seats are really only moderately comfy when the motorhome is stationary. The main bench in particular seems very upright.
You would probably be more inclined, as we were, to use the swivelled cab seats if it is just the two of you. They would certainly give you a prime position for watching the TV if you were to install one on the bracket fitted to the left of the habitation door.
The table is fully adjustable, but we found it was always a little far out from the side seat, which, like the bench, is not super comfortable.
The seat is, however, a useful place for putting on any shoes you might keep in the nearby cubbyhole in the double floor.
The lounge is adequately heated with one vent to the side and another by the door. There is one mains socket in this area, which is a bit of a squeeze to get to as it is under the L-shaped seat, but the sockets in the kitchen are nearby.
A rooflight keeps this area bright and airy, even taking the drop-down bed into account, and alongside those LED striplights there are plenty of LED spotlights, including four in a row by the drop-down bed’s curtain, plus two by the door that come on automatically as you enter the motorhome.
The drop-down bed has speakers in its base, too.
There is only a three-burner hob, but it is cleverly tucked into the corner, and there is a large sink with a cover that alternates as a chopping board and fits into a slot on a rail that runs along the top of the partition by the sink.
That’s a useful idea, although we would be tempted to swap the board’s position with the paper towel holder that also sits on this rail so that the board is directly over the bin behind the sink, and all food waste can simply be scraped off and dropped in.
The whole work surface is well lit, with a 12V and mains socket next to the light switch, and there’s even an extractor fan.
There’s another potential resting place for the chopping board on top of the cutlery tray under the worktop. Here, it can form an extension flap.
Two large drawers and an ingenious shelving system that telescopes out next to them means that there is plenty of room for even quite large pans and utensils.
Up above, the two overhead lockers are also large.
Having so much space to hand makes you wonder why the designers bothered with the tiny apothecary shelf across the aisle.
Next to it is a three-way 150-litre Thetford fridge, and a SMEV oven and grill above that – it will be a little high for some, though.
The beds are reasonably high, which means you don’t have a huge amount of headroom. But as the mattresses themselves can be raised at the pillow end, support is available for sitting up in bed.
Sleepers get spotlights for reading, while in the middle between the two beds is a very large wooden shelf that could easily serve as a resting place for books.
If you would rather cuddle up for the night, you can pull out an extension over the steps and insert a couple of infills to create a double bed.
The 1.88 x 1.33m (6'2" x 4'4") drop-down double bed over the cab was a little more complicated to position than we had expected.
The folded cab seats need to rest an inch or so before their forward-most position, not right at the end. Trying to work this out inevitably involved accidentally sounding the horn, so you might need to be careful if you are putting this bed down late at night.
Once it is deployed, though, you get a bed that is an accessible height, and comes with spotlights and a rooflight.
A stylish-looking stainless-steel basin with a soap dispenser and mug embedded into the worktop around it, and two differently angled mirrors behind it, takes up one side, along with a swivel toilet with toilet roll holder and brush.
There’s also one overhead locker and a cupboard under the basin that is partly obscured by a thin towel rail.
This area, which is partitioned off by a tambour door, also has a window and a roof vent with a fan.
Strangely, you won’t find the latter in the shower cubicle across the aisle, which also only has one drain hole – a sign, perhaps, that this is an affordable A-class.
But the shower head itself looks ultra-modern, and there are solid metal shelves for stowing all your lotions and potions.
The whole washroom area can be partitioned off from the front lounge and kitchen by means of an elegant Japanese-style door.
Along with six overhead lockers in the bedroom, there are two huge wardrobes under the bed, one with a hanging rail and the other with two large shelves.
There are also clever sock shelves in the curve of the wardrobe doors, while two of the steps open up for storage.
The designers have made use of the double floor – not just externally with those two lockers, but also internally with cubbyholes along the centre of the ’van. The one by the fridge is cleverly sub-divided to take large drinks bottles – molto buono!
The excellent garage, meanwhile, has two doors, a light you can remove to use as a torch, and netted storage across the back. It is big enough to take bikes upright.
The only trouble is the modest user payload of 342kg – fill up all the available storage spaces and you’ll end up being overweight.
Buyers with C1 entitlement on their driving licences can get around this by opting for a chassis upgrade to 3650kg, which is free of charge.
It’s operated chemically and is turned on via a switch by the passenger-side cab door. It’s designed for comfort, rather than overall heating (you get a Truma Combi 6 system for that), but a comfortable warm floor makes for a great start to any day spent touring.
We also like what you get outside the Mobilvetta K-Yacht Tekno Line MH-85 – an outlet for running a gas barbecue from your on-board supply, plus an external shower point for hosing things down.
If we are to niggle, being able to switch off all the habitation lights from the comfort of your bed while tucked up for the night would be a great touch.
|Fresh/waste water||120L / 110L|
|Leisure battery||110 Ah|
|Gas tank size||6kg|
|Number of gas tank compartments||2|
Thetford Fridge, 3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill, Extractor fan
But there are enough innovations inside Mobilvetta’s K-Yacht MH-85, including the underfloor heating and the clever kitchen, to make this a motorhome you can really grow into, even if there are one or two niggles – like the night-lights.
With Marquis Leisure’s input, you get a much more UK-friendly spec too, but you would be wise to opt for the free chassis upgrade, driving licence permitting, of course.
- The kitchen has been cleverly thought out
- You can get a good amount in the rear garage, plus there are handy storage nets and a light/torch
- Lots of lighting inside is great, but we felt it was a bit too much – especially when trying to turn them all off
- There's so much storage space that it's easy to overload the ’van!