Niall HamptonSee other motorhome reviews written by Niall Hampton
An impressive payload and chic styling come together in this fixed-twin-single-bed Hymer Exsis-i 474 – let's find out if its beauty is more than skin deep
German brand Hymer claims to have invented the 3000kg weight division some years ago, while competitors focused on the 3500kg threshold, under which you can drive a ’van with a standard licence.
Many motorhomes have MTPLMs well under 3500kg, of course, but Hymer’s difference is to offer higher user payloads.
This matters, it says, because when driver and passenger weights have been deducted, there won’t be a lot left over.
This explains why Hymer’s recent launches have focused on low unladen weights, plus the comfort levels for which it is fêted.
Now, though, many of its design smarts have cascaded down to the latest version of the narrow-body Exsis-i, Hymer’s ‘lead-in’ A-class range.
We saw the result in the form of the Exsis-i 474, a compact four-berth with a front lounge, a midships kitchen and rear fixed twin single beds.
Inside, Chiavenna Walnut cabinets and Pico soft furnishings give a classy look.
All Exsis-i models are based on the Fiat Ducato with the 2.3-litre turbodiesel engine in 130bhp tune as standard (our test ’van had a 150bhp engine, a £1550 cost option).
Lounging & dining
Seating is arranged in an L shape – with no offside sofa this space is optimised for two, but the rotating cab chairs offer space for guests.
Two side windows allow plenty of natural light to enter.
Standard kit in the 2018-season Hymer Exsis-i 474 includes three gas burners, a small sink with mixer tap and three soft-closing drawers.
The flush-fitting cooker lid, sink infill and tip-up flap form the workspace.
A pair of reading lights is provided above the headboards, plus two side windows and a small rooflight.
Up front, a 1.88 x 1.50m pull-down double bed is also available.
A vanity unit with sink and mirror is mounted on the sidewall – unlatch and swing it over the bench toilet to form a shower compartment that keeps spray away from the wooden surfaces.
A tip-up shelf, half-length mirror and shallow cupboard complete the spec here.
As well as overhead lockers, shelves, cupboards and wardrobes, there’s a large rear garage.
And this garage has a load limit of 350kg – more than the total payload of some coachbuilts – and it is accessible through large doors on both sides.
As standard, though, the Hymer Exsis-i 474’s spec includes the ESP/ASR, Traction Plus and Hill Holder safety systems, 100% wood-free bodyshell construction, Aguti cab seats, a manual drop-down bed, cold foam mattresses and all-LED interior lighting.
The 6kW Truma Combi heating is iNet ready for control via phone or tablet, and separately adjustable in the rear living area.
|Fresh/waste water||120L / 100L|
|Leisure battery||100 Ah|
|Gas tank size||11kg|
|Number of gas tank compartments||2|
3-burner gas hob
Aesthetically pleasing, the 2018 Hymer Exsis-i 474 works well as a sub-7m ’van for couples who might take the occasional guest on tour.
Most buyers won’t specify as many extras as seen here, but several nice-to-have options will soon push up the £66,000 base price.
That said, it packs cutting-edge technology and a hefty payload.
And to see other Hymer motorhomes for sale, click here.
- You get a generous payload with a 3500kg MTPLM
- It's a great-looking A-class that's under 7m long
- The garage has a high load limit and two access doors
- You'll probably want/need to add some options, which will quickly bump the price up
- Its all-in-one washroom is a bit tight
- You have to sacrifice a wardrobe to get a tower fridge
- The habitation door is on the offside