Roller Team has taken the Zefiros’ winning mix of good spec and low prices, and added subtler styling in the new range for 2016. The Ford Transit base vehicle is a highly desirable bonus at this price.
Good value for money
Ford Transit base vehicle
Two good double beds
Plenty of storage
Fixed table makes it hard to move or recline cab seat
Only three rings on the gas hob
Roller Team’s 2016 Zefiro range has pulled off two neat tricks. First, although the slim windscreen ticket confirms its position as the Italian manufacturer’s value-for-money range, it has had some nips and tucks. (Read about tweaks for Roller Team’s 2016 motorhomes here.) These are joined by an improved standard spec, resulting in motorhomes that can compete against far more expensive rivals.
Second, by sticking with Ford’s finest, Roller Team has ensured that these motorhomes will attract Transit devotees in droves. Don’t even think about buying a motorcaravan with other underpinnings until you’ve put the Zefiro through its paces. Impeccable road manners plus compliant long travel suspension offer a magic-carpet ride without the downside of excessive roll in corners.
The Ford Transit base vehicle is a highly desirable bonus at this price
The lounge-dinette includes the swivel cab seats and comfortably accommodates four, five at a push. The European-style permanently-mounted table will be like Marmite to potential purchasers: you will either love it or hate it. Moreover, the forward edge of the tabletop digs into the back of the cab’s passenger seat. A slight adjustment to either the shape of the tabletop or the position of the fixing bracket underneath it would sort this out.
Amidships, the Zefiro’s nearside kitchen boasts a compact, L-shaped work surface, a reasonable amount of storage space and a combined oven/grill.
This was our first close encounter with Thetford’s new slim-tower fridge/freezer and we were impressed. The large separate cool drawer is perfect for storing fresh vegetables and the like.
The en-suite facilities were cleverly split either side of the bedroom entrance, and it was reassuring that closing the washroom’s tambour door behind you does not induce claustrophobia. The fixtures are arranged to allow plenty of elbow room; it’s what sorts the peaches from the lemons. Roller Team’s was sweet, not sharp.
We considered four factors when evaluating the island bed in the 696, as we do for any motorhome berth: ease of access and egress, sensible size, firmness of the mattress and a lack of joins. The last can be a problem with beds that are assembled from seat cushions. Not here, though: this island bed gets full marks from us.
We also appreciated the individual hanging wardrobes, reading lights and an abundance of surfaces on which to place drinks, specs, Kindle and whatever else.
Many prospective Zefiro motorcaravanning parties will number just two – either young couples or empty-nesters. Thus they may be tempted to save £500 by opting for the 695.
We would urge caution here: the 696 with its additional over-lounge double bed is a far more astute buy. Empty-nesters may want to take along grandchildren and young couples may wish for the company of friends. However, just because the bed is there, it doesn’t mean you have to use it. The 696 will appeal to far more potential second owners at trade-in time than the 695, and it will have stronger residuals than its strictly two-berth stablemate.
The Zefiro 696’s island double bed is 1.94 x 1.38m (6’4” x 4’6.25”). The over-lounge double bed is 1.94 x 1.28m (nearside) tapering to 1.1m (offside) (6’4.25” x 4’2.5”/3’7.25”).
Even with the island bed fully lowered, there is a fair amount of storage in the garage below it, although it will need to be raised if there’s to be room for a motorbike, scooter or mobility buggy. Inside the main salon the storage is varied and plentiful and we’ve already given the bedroom storage thumbs up.
|Shipping Length||7.45 m|
|Engine Size||2200 cc|