Opting for quality
A compact A-class might seem slightly paradoxical but, if you want a lot in a little motorhome, look at this.
It is indeed an A-class – the style of building that really does boost interior space – yet it’s only 6m long. The Hymer Exsis-I 504 is not particularly wide, either, at just 2.22m. It even starts out lighter than most equivalent normal coachbuilt motorhomes. That’s deliberate, of course. When Hymer started out on Project Exsis, the aim was to bring weights down without compromising overall quality.
Therefore, it still has Hymer’s renowned PUAL bodywork construction – it’s wood-free, using injected foam insulation between an aluminium double skin. It’s a double-insulated GRP front section, multi-layered roof, and a floor section features GRP.
It’s the downsizing that contributes much to a great payload. You’ll need some of that 800kg for the many optional extras as well as making the most of the space afforded by the rear garage. Note, also, those overall dimensions make for good driveability, especially as all Exsis-i’s benefit from an Al-Ko chassis extension beyond the Fiat Ducato chassis-cowl.
Indeed, insist on a test drive. Those build qualities shine through when you’re out on the road, where you can expect it to be all muted and rattle-free.
Before that, though, you need to be sure the interior floorplan is right for you. Of course, it’s all pretty compact, with a front lounge (small, but comfortable, with a fixed pedestal leg table that has front and back adjustment), central kitchen (offside) and washroom (nearside), whilst across the back is a high-set permanent bed over a large garage storage area, accessible from both sides outside.
That permanent transverse rear bed is a generous single or could – at very much a squeeze – pack in a couple of young kids. The main bed is at the front, a typical A-class pull-down double with highly comfortable one-piece mattress, at 1.88m x 1.50m.
The kitchen starts off tiny. Everything is at a premium here, especially if (as shown here) you opt to shoehorn in a full Thetford cooker with four-ring dual-fuel hob, separate oven and grill. Nevertheless, there’s drawer storage and a more than useful flip-up worktop extension (whose operation is far simpler than so many). It’s a rather small sink, though. Offsetting this is a large fridge/freezer, with storage space above and below. The narrow wardrobe next door includes adjustable shelving.
Washroom mirrors and a rooflight help contribute to a feeling of space in the “wee room”. There’s a bench toilet (they’re certainly easy to clean around compared to the swivel-bowl variety), plus a fixed basin. Note, also, features like the plastic backing to the door and folding doors for the shower. Again, it’s a question of feeling the quality of the fittings, especially the plastics, in here. Details include two hooks on the door (there are two more on the outside wall of the washroom).
The secret of living on board in such a relatively small space is keeping things clutter-free. That’s where the large capacity garage comes into its own, as well as aspects like the overhead lockers across the back wall, floor hatches and more.
As an A-class, it packs a lot into a very small space. Beware, though, like any Hymer there’s a wide-ranging list of optional extras. Typically, buyers will add anything up to £10,000 to that starting price, by going through the many attractive options on offer – starting with the not-to-be-missed £3,810 Comfort Package.
Verdict: Quality in a compact
Plus: Top quality build, clever washroom, spacious garage, driveability
Minus: Budget another £10,000 for extras!
In-a-nutshell: Six-metre slicker
There’s more information on the Exsis-i range on the Hymer website. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Knaus Van I 600 MG, Laika Ecovip 600, Pilote Galaxy 600G
Hymer Exsis-i 504 factfile
|Model||Hymer Exsis-i 504|
|Base vehicle||Fiat Ducato/Al-Ko|
|Dimensions||5.99m L x 2.22m W x 2.77m H|
|RRP||From £65,240 on the road|
|Safety & security||Electronic immobiliser, remote central locking, ABS and EBD, EBA (emergency brake assist), ESP (including ASR, Traction Plus and hill-holder), twin airbags, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms|
|Key options||Comfort Package (£3,810), Aguti cab seats (£600), wooden shower slats (£130), alternative upholsteries (from £300), alarm system (£600), underfloor heating (£600), solar panels (from £950), Thetford Aspire 2 cooker (£750), 142-litre Smart-Tower fridge/freezer (£550), additional sockets (mains and USBs) package (£430), stereo upgrades (from £390), 6kW heating system operating from gas and mains electric (£500), metallic silver paintwork (£2,590), alloy wheels (£1,280)|