Last year, Pilote latched on to the trend for low-profiles that take advantage of having a drop-down bed to include a huge end washroom.
The P626D, the first to feature this layout, was such a success that earlier this year, the company launched the P626D, offering a similar floorplan, but in a length – 6.2m – that is shorter than some van conversions.
What’s more, this ‘van comes with two foldout travel seats, so you could use it as your day-to-day vehicle, too.
Now, for 2021, the P626D is one of five low-profiles being presented in the UK, with the Evidence package. This is on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis – you can’t pick and choose the options – but does offer all sorts of goodies for a fraction of the total price.
The first extra is obvious from outside – a large skirting locker halfway down the vehicle that is easy to load, because it includes a drawer that slides out.
Other features focus on the drive. Along with 16-inch alloy wheels, you get the 140bhp Fiat Ducato engine, and Fiat’s new nine-speed automatic gearbox. Along with the cruise control included in the Chassis Pack, that should make for a smoother ride.
The cab is smartened up, too, with the inclusion of a Luxury Internal Chassis Pack, which gives you a leather steering wheel and gear selector, and chrome instrument dials. A rear-view camera is among the list of items in the included Media Pack.
But what about when you arrive on site? An electric step is provided in the Evidence offer. There’s a grab handle, and next to it, a touchscreen controls the heating and electrics. Pilote has abandoned portable versions of this that had all sorts of fancy connections, and reverted to one that stays on the wall but is easier to use.
The travel seats fold down to provide two comfortable parallel settees. The folding table doesn’t take up all of the space between them.
The lounge is surprisingly bright, considering there is a drop-down bed, thanks to the large sunroof over the cab and no fewer than 14 LEDs. But there are no spotlights, so anyone needing extra focus for reading might have to sit in the cab seats. That’s the best place to watch the TV, too, because the bracket is right by the door.
It’s not strictly speaking an end washroom, because it shares the rear with the kitchen. There is also a step up to this part of the interior.
There is only a two-burner hob next to the sink, and a combined oven and grill – no microwave. But as part of the Evidence offer, the sizeable worktop and spice rack are in a striking black,
Even in this restricted space, there is room for ingenuity. Under the shelved corner cupboard is a cubbyhole with a socket for a toaster or small kettle. And there’s a lower storage area that, apart from the oven, is all drawers. The fridge is located by the wardrobe.
The washroom on the offside has a swing partition – only held by a plastic catch. Swing the partition one way and you have a shower cubicle. Swing it the other and you have a washroom with a circular toilet, handbasin above a small cupboard, and a larger side cupboard.
The drop-down bed is large, at 2.0m x 1.6m, and doesn’t get in the way of the door. As an option, you can have a second double, made by using the telescopic table and the cushions, but this one is only 1.25m wide.
The drop-down bed means storage up front is a little skimpy. There are no lockers in the lounge – just cubbyholes. And the underseat areas are taken up with the folding travel seats, water tank, Truma heater and battery.
Further back, the wardrobe is a good size, and there’s a cubbyhole for boots in the dressing room floor. A flap gives access to the garage, which is perfectly adequate for a ‘van of this size.
PRACTICAL MOTORHOME SAYS…
It’s not strictly speaking an end-washroom ‘van, because the kitchen takes up some of the rear space, but the general idea is there. At the length this model is, provided that it is mainly just the two of you travelling, this really is a low-profile that might tempt away van conversion fans. Particularly as you get so much more space inside. Storage isn’t hugely generous, but what you do get is flexible.
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The Evidence package is on a 'take it or leave it' basis - you can't pick and choose the options - but it does offer all sorts of goodies for a fraction of the total price
|Shipping Length||6.26 m|
|Engine Size||2000 cc|