A touch of the small stuff
OK, it’s a Hymer. So, it’s simply not going to be cheap. Plus, there was a bit of a price hike in November due to the recent changes in exchange rates. But, the Van duo (sister model 314 is positively stubby) represent the smallest coachbuilts you can get from the Germany manufacturer, so is there some hope?
Well, canny UK dealers bought ahead of most recent price hike, so there are some relative bargains to be had if you shop around. You just have to be sure the specification is right for you.
Of course, being a Hymer there are almost endless opportunities to pile on the optional extras – and the price! Start with the list of packs, where you get a collection of upgrades bundled together for a whole lot less than the sum of their individual prices.
More importantly, if you’ve only been thinking van conversion up until now, this is exactly the type of unit that will sway you. Overall dimensions keep everything very compact (narrow as well as short) and yet Hymer has performed some kind of magic trick in coming up with a floorplan that gives you two single beds, four seats for travel, even a decent washroom. And, just as critically, an excellent level of storage.
You’ll rest easy on those single beds. They’re generous in size, at 2.00m x 0.77m on the offside and 1.83m x 0.77m nearside. But, they’re set high so you won’t be able to sit upright in them.
There’s more compromise in the kitchen where, despite the flip-up worktop extension, it’s not just cramped but pared-back in terms of specification. It’s more like a campervan, with its two-ring hob and sink combination, plus an 85-litre compressor fridge. A soft-close drawer includes a cutlery tray, while a slide-out locker to the right of the fridge includes a waste/recycling bin. Above, there’s just the one locker, but it does have adjustable shelving.
Across the narrow corridor from the kitchen, the washroom is a model of space-efficiency. Accessed via a tambour door, you use the whole room for showering, plus there’s a flip-down basin over the swivel-bowl toilet – it isn’t designed to hold water, merely drain it away instantly.
Compact the washroom may be, but there’s decent locker space over and below the basin, plus useful sliding hooks over the mirror, a towel holder and a clothes rail, while a rooflight provides the ventilation.
For such a small vehicle, storage elsewhere is very good, too. There’s a wardrobe in the offside bed base, while the nearside bed is home to a locker and a drawer, plus there are plenty of overhead lockers throughout. Topping this all off is the exterior-access garage, whose high capacity and 350kg payload (although do watch your axle limit) really will swallow up your outdoor clobber.
Underpinning all this is a Fiat Ducato cab with Al-Ko chassis extension that translates into ride and handling that are just that bit superior to all-Fiat running gear. Bodywork is the same highly-rated PUAL construction that you get on all Hymer coachbuilts, complete with flush-fitting windows and a GRP underskin for extra protection.
Get beyond the price and feel the quality here. Everything is fitted precisely and works properly. There’s none of the loose wiring and creaky flooring and hinging you get on low-budget vehicles.
At this value you will likely need to consider additional motorhome security to meet the requirements of your motorhome insurance provider.
Verdict: Compact, with quality. Budget for the extras, though.
Plus: Small by nature, but still to Hymer quality expectations.
Minus: Pricey… and then there are the options!
In-a-nutshell: A wee cracker
There’s more information on the Van range on the Hymer website. Find out more about our low-cost premiums at our motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Benimar Mileo 264, Chausson Welcome 630, Knaus Van TI 650 MEG, Swift Rio 320
Hymer Van 374 factfile
|Hymer Van 374
|Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre, 130bhp Euro VI
|5.99m L, 2.22m W, 2.77m H
|from £56,140 on the road**
|Safety & security
|Electronic immobiliser, ABS, twin airbags, central locking, base vehicle handling upgrades
|Design Pack (from £1,800), Style Package (£440), Comfort-Line Pack (£3,440), plus almost endless individual options