Niall Hampton
Editor

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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

Overview

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.

The B-Class DynamicLine (B DL), unveiled in 2016, showcased clever design to reduce weight without compromising on quality. But at around £80,000, it wasn’t for the masses.

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.

Design

Our test ’van’s Crystal Silver exterior (a £2590 cost option) and smart 16in alloy wheels (£1280) will certainly turn heads on site.

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

On a body length of just over 6.5m, and with two longitudinal beds to fit in, the Hymer Exsis-i 474’s lounge feels a tad pinched.

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.

Kitchen

Our test motorhome’s offside kitchen was boosted by two cost options: a separate oven and grill (£750), and a 142-litre tower fridge in lieu of a floor-to-ceiling wardrobe (£550).

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.

Sleeping

Using an optional filler cushion, the 1.9 x 0.8m rear fixed twin single beds can be converted into a large double, reached by two steps from floor level.

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.

Washroom

‘Multifunction’ is the key concept behind the Hymer Exsis-i 474’s nearside washroom.

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.

Storage

With no optional extras, this Hymer motorhome has a standard user payload of 710kg.

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.

Equipment

Our test ’van was a dealer demonstrator fitted with just over £16,000 of added extras.

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.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload710kg
Length6.64m21′9″
Width2.22m7′3″
Height2.77m9′1″
Engine (power)130
Fresh/waste water120L / 100L
Leisure battery100 Ah
Gas tank size11kg
Number of gas tank compartments2
Kitchen Equipment
3-burner gas hob

Verdict

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.

Conclusion

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

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