Auto-Sleeper Broadway EL Duo: Cosseting times for two
If you think the latest Auto-Sleeper Broadways look a little bit more aerodynamic than their predecessors, you’d be absolutely right. 2012’s general “tidying up” saw the addition of aluminium side skirts, smarter overcab profiles and more… or rather, less. In the process, some weight was saved. From a four-strong Broadway line-up (a new model joins in 2013) that sits between the smaller Nuevos and larger Cotswolds, this is the EL Duo. Strictly for two, with a layout that sees twin rear settees that can be beds, or set together for a generous double (for the record, measurements are 2.10m x 1.30m for the double, 1.92m x .70m each for the singles).
Generous also describes the specification here, especially if you go for (and you will) the Premium Upgrade Pack (cab air conditioning, alloy wheels, front fog lights, cruise control, HAL-Locate tracker, awning, microwave, flatscreen TV, solar panel). It’s £2,500 (although individually these items stack up to over £4,000), taking the price as tested here to £54,495 which, believe it or not, passes for relatively “mainstream” as far as new coachbuilt motorhomes are concerned these days.
So, what do you get for your money? The Broadway series are all based on Peugeot’s Boxer (the French company’s equivalent to the ubiquitous Fiat Ducato). Here, it’s the medium-wheelbase variant, with the more than adequate 130bhp engine, with super-slick six-speed gearbox (unfortunately, with the Peugeot, automatic is still not an option).
Step-in at the caravan door is a conveniently low 23cm, and the step itself flips out automatically as part of the central locking function. It’s a conventional enough floorplan – between the cab and the rear lounge are the washroom and wardrobe (offside) and the kitchen (nearside) – but the more you look the more you note what seems to be a never-ending specification count.
The kitchen, for starters (pun intended), come with a grill/oven, four-ring hob, 96-litre fridge, the previously mentioned microwave and touches such as the drainer rack on the underside of the sink lid, add-on drainer to the sink itself, fold-up worktop extension etc. Storage lacks a little, it has to be said.
It’s opposite, in the washroom, where I found myself asking the most questions. It’s so nearly very clever, with its “swing wall” for the sink, allowing you to create a cubicle for showering. The lack of a window is a shame (they’re so much better for ventilation), although the extendible washing line is a real bonus, as are items such as the extended spare tyre pressure valve, exterior TV aerial socket, pump and socket for fresh water intake, even a floor-mounted safe.
The interior majors on the dark wood finish to the furniture and complemented by chrome handles and trimwork that is signature Auto-Sleepers these days. Good job there’s that Skyview sunroof over the cab and Heki rooflight in the main living area to help let in lots of natural light. There’s also a choice of four different upholsteries. And the cushioning itself is reflex foam, a bit firmer than most, but it will reward you in terms of its longevity.
Also contributing to the overall comfort factor are items like concertina blinds and Truma’s Combi 4 water and space heating with blown air (gas and mains operation)
As is the Auto-Sleepers way, water tanks are under-slung (78- and 71-litres for fresh and waste respectively; not generous, but certainly adequate), which helps towards more than generous interior storage (we’re catering for two only, don’t forget, and payload is still a generous enough 450kg-plus).
Other issues? I’d still like to see a lot more attention given to damping down the rattles. The Peugeot base drives well (although it’s a little noisier than its Ducato cousin), but the rattles from a variety of source do grab the attention.
It’s not cheap (it’s an Auto-Sleeper, it was never going to be), but it certainly has its attractions, not least Auto-Sleepers’ near legendary standards of after-sales service (long may it continue). Also remember that if you opt for the Premium Upgrade, which includes a Hal-Locate tracking device, then you will earn a 20% caravan tracker discount with Caravan Guard.
Not the cheapest, but certainly up among the best. Some practicalities aside, this is a serious contender
Plus: Quality base vehicle and conversion. Auto-Sleepers pedigree, customer service record and residual values. More equipment than you’ll ever need? GRP-clad bodywork.
Minus: Washroom question marks
In a nutshell: Two good!
Cost to insure: £286.50
- Auto-Sleeper Broadway El Duo
- Based on Peugeot Boxer medium-wheelbase, 2.2-litre, 130bhp Euro V
- Price from £51,995
- Dimensions 6.28m L, 2.32m W, 2.87m H
- Maximum weight 3500kg
- Key options Premium Upgrade Park £2,500, coloured coachbuilt sides £695
- Security and safety Electronic immobiliser, remote central locking to all doors, ABS, twin airbags, HAL-Locate tracker (as part of the Premium Upgrade)
- Further reading Which Motorhome (October 2012)
- MPG estimate 28-32
- Alternatives: Swift Bolero/Bessacarr 630PR/E520, Auto-Trail Apache 634
*Insurance premium for this motorhome based on Auto-Sleeper Broadway El Duo £51,995. Fitted with Manufacturer’s Immobiliser system and a Thatcham Category 1 approved security system. Kept on driveway at home at TD9 8ED. Insured & spouse, 50 years old, professionals, with no claims, convictions or health conditions in last 5 years. 5 years transferred NCD, 5 years motorhome driving experience. Members of motorhome club doing less than 5000 miles annually. European insurance cover for motorhome costs extra – please call for quote. European Breakdown is £43 extra. Premium includes Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) at 6% and is correct as of 23.08.12.
Details correct at time of publication (10/08/2012) but may be subject to change.