Having been around on the UK scene for some three decades now, France’s Pilote’s portfolio of A-class motorhomes, low profiles and, latterly, van conversions nevertheless don’t have the highest level of brand awareness. Models like this, though, can surely help the cause.
Its Évidence line-up – four coachbuilts, one A-class – is derived from its most popular Pacific and Galaxy models. They’re based on a fixed specification rather than – as is so often the case, especially with imports – offering what can amount to a befuddling range of optional extras that threaten to run off with your wallet. It’s a particularly generous list of standard kit here, too.
It’s all circumstantial
You definitely get more than what you see in the Pilote P626D Évidence. And that includes Fiat’s Ducato base with 2.3-litre, 140bhp engine and latest nine-speed automatic transmission (a hefty cost option on all rivals).
Check for yourselves, but every Évidence comes as standard with the following packs that would otherwise be cost options – Comfort, Media, Energy, Luxury Internal – as well as luxuries like leather upholstery, wind-out awning, upgrade to Truma Combi 6 heating and hot water, plus more.
At 6.20m in length, the Pilote P626D Évidence is not quite a compact motorhome (it’s by no means definitive, but a typical compact coachbuilt would be 6m long, maximum). There’s no doubt designers have to be extra clever with shorter coachbuilts like this, though. So, you might be surprised this vehicle offers not just a large front lounge but also a particularly practical washroom. And the kitchen’s not bad, either! Plus, there’s even space to offer garage storage at the back.
It’s still on a driving licence-friendly 3,500kg chassis, and that garage should have no trouble nibbling into what is still a generous 555kg payload, especially considering the standard specification here. The short tail overhang bodes well for drive comfort, too.
The garage itself is accessed by external hatches on either side. The UK offside’s taller door opens to reveal a handy shelf that can be hinged upright and out of the way for more unusual loads. There’s also a particularly spacious, separate gas locker (which should ensure easier exchanging of cylinders), again with a shelf section.
Plus, the Pilote Évidence specification extends to an equally useful slide-out, skirt locker. Other exterior fittings, from the black alloy wheels, to awning, to 100Watt solar panel, to reversing camera, are all part of the standard Évidence offering.
Step inside the Pilote P626D Évidence motorhome and turning right you’ll see that lounge – comprising two settees with commendably high backrests. The benefits of a drop-down bed are immediate, allowing for a particularly large lounge, bearing in mind the P626’s overall dimensions.
The longer settee, along the nearside, converts to forward- and rearward-facing seats for travel, should you wish. The cream faux leather upholstery is crying out for you to add your own protective coverings.
Swivel the cab seats and you could easily seat six around the pedestal leg table. It’s height adjustable and has plenty of fore and aft movement, plus it folds in half when you want easy access to the rest of the living quarters.
It’s pre-wired for a TV, and the flatscreen holder just inside the habitation door is ideal for all lounge occupants to get a view.
Over the lounge, the electrically operated 2.20m x 1.60m double bed simply glides down into position at the turn of a key and touch of a button. Removing the settee backrests and lowering the table means you can get the bed to a height where it’s simple to get in.
Aft of the lounge/bedroom, there’s a step up to where the amenities are split between the kitchen along the nearside and washroom offside. The kitchen actually extends into the rear area of the motorhome. Cooking facilities may kick off with just two gas rings, but they’re supported by a Thetford Duplex oven and grill combination.
Kitchen worktop to the left of the sink actually extends right back under the shelved locker above.
A 138-litre Dometic fridge/freezer with automatic energy selection is on the back wall, conveniently set over a sliding hatch to the garage. Next to the fridge is the wardrobe – again, with a commendably decent capacity.
The tambour door to the washroom helps save space. Inside, there’s a Dometic swivel-bowl toilet and a handbasin, with small locker directly under and shelved locker next to the latter. There’s also some high-level open shelving. When it’s time to take a shower, you simply swing the basin so it’s directly over the toilet and out of the way, giving you a fully enclosed shower cubicle.
If you thought you needed a large motorhome to cater for all your needs, you might want to think again – starting with the Pilote P626D Évidence.
Verdict: Clever use of space in a (nearly) compact low-profile
Plus: One spec, one price policy, automatic transmission as standard, high specification
Minus: Light-coloured leather-look upholstery could pick up marks, only a two-ring hob
In-a-nutshell: Compact-ful of kit and clever ideas
There’s more information on the Évidence range on the Pilote website. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Adria Axess 590 ST, Bürstner Lyseo TD Harmony Line 590, Chausson 650 Titanium Premium
Pilote P626D Évidence factfile
|Model||Pilote P626D Évidence|
|Base vehicle||Fiat Ducato|
|Dimensions||6.20m L x 2.30m W x 2.85m H|
|Berths||Two (optional four)|
|Safety & security||Electronic immobiliser, remote central locking, ABS and EBD, EBA (emergency brake assist), ESP and hill holder, reversing camera|
|Key options||None (dealer-fit only)|