Back to bed for a new Frontier
All-new models from Auto-Trail don’t come along that often. But, when they do, they’re usually worth it. The Serrano slots all-too-easily into the company’s flagship Frontier line-up for 2017, but arguably it represents a compromise between two quietly rested models – Mohawk and Chieftain. Those are two big acts to try to follow.
Like all the latest Frontiers, the Serrano is based on Fiat’s Ducato with Al-Ko chassis extension. As you’d expect, the cab is well-equipped, with everything from air conditioning, to padded steering wheel, to dashboard trim and more, as standard. There are early choices to be made, though – Lo-Line or Hi-Line overcab configurations, offering overall heights of 3.03m and 3.10m, with the latter upping the sleeping berths from four to six. Also available to order from the factory is a half-dinette option, should you want to bring the travel seating up to four.
The example here represents what’s expected to be the most popular offering, however. It has the standard front lounge, with two settees, and the Lo-Line pod to give locker storage over the cab.
From front to back, latest GRP-clad bodywork remains largely the same, with some subtle sharpening around the edges. At the back, there’s a subtle streamlining to the spare wheel holder on the rear panel. The recessed awning, too, now neatly integrates into the roofline. It’s all set off by the metallic grey cab with red/black/grey graphics.
There’s an electric step and suitably heavy-duty windowed habitation door for access to the living quarters. Key interior features will be the transverse double bed across the back. As standard, it’s set low – for easy access and has more than sufficient head space for sitting upright. But, there’s a £475 option to have it raised to a higher level, with more garage space below.
Immediately forward of the bed, the washing facilities are split between a shower cubicle offside and toilet room on the nearside, the door for the latter can also be used for end-bedroom privacy. As throughout the whole vehicle, LED lighting here is excellent – it needs to be, though, as a window is notably missing.
As ever with Auto-Trail, it’s a mighty impressive kitchen. In this scenario, it’s an L-shaped main unit that Auto-Trail has honed over the years. Not only is it superbly equipped – full cooker with dual-fuel hob, plus separate oven and grill, microwave oven, sink with permanent drainer (and stand-alone cutlery drainer) – there’s also a good array of lower and upper-level storage (including racking), decent worktop, and more. It’s also in details such as the acrylic splashback and twin mains electric sockets that this gains top marks. Plus, there’s the large fridge/freezer across the galley.
All this still leaves space for a roomy lounge area, thanks in part to the easy swivel action of the cab seats. At night, the settee bases pull together for a second double bed (there’s also an extension to the shorter, nearside sofa).
It’s hard to see any buyers not going for either of the Media Pack options – packs two and three both include a 5 inch touch screen which incorporate a colour reversing camera which could lead to an insurance saving. Both packs add 6kg and 10kg respectively, but there’s a more than healthy payload here. And, such is the over-generous specification, there’s not a lot you’re going to want to add apart from your own luggage as you take to the roads for some luxury touring.
Verdict: A 26-footer that’s as roomy as it is luxurious
Plus: High specification, spacious interior, permanent bed comforts
Minus: Lip at toilet/shower area spoils an otherwise flat floor
In-a-nutshell: Large luxury contender
There’s more information on the Frontier range on the Auto-Trail website. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Bürstner Argos A 747-2 G, Dethleffs Globetrotter XXL A 9800-2, Swift Kon-tiki 679
Auto-Trail Frontier Serrano factfile
|Model||Auto-Trail Frontier Serrano|
|Base vehicle||Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre, 150bhp, Euro VI|
|Dimensions||8.04m L x 2.35m W x 2.m H|
|RRP||From £68,250 on the road|
|Safety & security||Electronic immobiliser, remote central locking, hill holder and ESC, twin airbags, European Whole Vehicle Type Approval|
|Key options||Media Pack 2 (£999), Media Pack 3 (£1,999), Comfort-Matic automatic transmission (£2,040), 177bhp engine (£1,920), alternative upholsteries (from £125), rear corner steadies (£160), cycle rack (£295), rear protection bar (£195), half-dinette/rear travel seat (£825), towbar and electrics (£550)|