Peter Baber
Reviews Editor

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Stylish touring can be yours with this classy conversion that looks more like a prestige car than a camper van – let's check out the Devon Vitesse!

Overview

Believe it or not, some camper van owners don’t want the world to know they drive a camper van.

As such, Devon Conversions has been designing some of its latest models for company executives who wouldn’t be seen dead with a camper van in the office car park.

Its Ford Transit Custom-based model, the Firefly, was partly aimed at the office worker who wanted to take off at a moment’s notice, at the end of a hard week.

Now with the new Vitesse, the emphasis is even more on executive style, because this base vehicle is a Mercedes-Benz Vito. Hence ‘Vitesse’.

Mercedes has helped Devon put together a new conversion based on a vehicle often seen as one of the most reliable on the market, even if it is pricey.

So now that Mercedes has rolled out its own V-Class-based Marco Polo camper van, the Vitesse can be put into perspective.

Design

Based on a long-wheelbase Vito, its engine options range from a 1.6-litre front-wheel-drive turbodiesel to our test model, a rear-wheel drive with a 2.2-litre 140bhp engine and seven-speed automatic gearbox.

As this was a production model, in full Avant Garde spec, it has more extras, such as park assist, an inbuilt alarm, fog lights and sat-nav.

If you really do want to disguise your intentions, the Vitesse will help. It looks business-like, because the exterior is almost entirely grey.

With a rear-door window that more closely resembles an estate car’s, it looks more like a people carrier – although there’s still a lever to help you pull that tailgate down.

There’s no obvious awning rail to give the game away either, while the panel for the pop-up roof could be mistaken for styling.

Both side doors open and come with a catch that lets you keep them half-closed.

The ride is ultra-smooth, as you would expect given the provenance, while the foot handbrake means the aisle in the middle of the cab is kept clear for access.

Lounging & dining

Inside, Devon has gone for a typical VW-camper-van-style layout, with the kitchen down the offside and a forward-facing rear seat with full seatbelts.

The table that sits between here and the swivelled cab seats is a little small, so could end up being a stretch for occupants of either pair of seats.

It is stored under the rear seat, with access on both sides, although on our test model, it was much easier to take it out from the front.

Two striplights provide illumination, while two spotlights offer focused light for reading.

But this is a dark-coloured interior and, although the curtains on the small windows are primrose yellow, they are skimpy.

Kitchen

The kitchen comes with a two-burner hob connected as one unit with the sink.

That makes cleaning easier, although it doesn’t leave a huge amount of workspace.

There’s a 38-litre Vitrifrigo compressor fridge at the end of the peninsula, with a mains and 12V socket above, tucked under the worktop.

For food and utensil storage, there is a cutlery drawer below the sink. The one medium-sized cupboard is partly taken up by the fuse box, although there is more space in the harder-to-access area under the seat.

Sleeping

The SCA pop-up roof is unusually high, and a platform underneath springs up to fit into the roof when you don’t need it, leaving ample headroom.

When it comes down, it provides a spacious, sprung bed (1.90 x 1.11m/6’3” x 3’8”).

Best of all, you get LED striplights around three sides of the roof which, at the touch of a button, change colour. Fancy a bit of soft blue for a restful evening? Go ahead. How about apricot to wake you up? No problem.

The compartment can be sealed off from below, and a small triangular ledge on the offside includes a 12V socket. A USB socket might have been more appropriate here, given the likely customer.

Downstairs is a rock’n’roll bed, with a spotlight for reading. At 1.17m (3’10”) wide, it is marginally wider than that in the Marco Polo.

Although lengthwise that bed extends to 2.03m (6’7”), whereas the Devon’s bed finishes at 1.83m (6’0”).

Washroom

For washing, you are limited to using the sink, although there is space for a Porta Potti under the seat.

Storage

That aforementioned under-seat storage area is useful as a place to stow larger items, even though the on-board water tank is in here, as is the table.

There is a wardrobe at the back with a small hanging rail, substantial boot space with cubbyholes for smaller items and, to one side, a locker for two Camping Gaz 907 gas bottles.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats4
MTPLM3050kg
Payload680kg
Length5.14m16′10″
Width2.24m7′4″
Height1.94m6′4″
Engine (power)140
Fresh/waste water32L / 11L
Leisure battery85 Ah

Verdict

Over £50,000 for a camper van?

Yes, but we are talking about a Mercedes-Benz-based vehicle here. Choose a lower spec and you might find it a more compelling offer.

It really comes down to how much you love the three-pointed star.

And to see other Devon motorhomes for sale, click here.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It's a sharp-looking ’van – that doesn't look much like a camper!
  • It's good to drive and the cabin is a nice place to be

Cons

  • There are more affordable options out there
  • The dining table isn't massive
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