Such is the state of motorhome pricing, it’s all too easy to get tempted into parting with way more money than you initially expected.
Adria is no exception, sticking an enticing £68,390 in the window of this island bed A-class Sonic Plus. But, there’s more to it than that.
First, it’s barely equipped until you specify the All Inclusive Pack of options, adding some £4,000 extra in the process. Just as significantly, it puts some 128kg on the MRO (mass in running order, ie kerbside weight) – hence the need to consider upgrading the overall vehicle weight limits.
As here, it’s bolstered by the heavier-duty 4,300kg chassis with 180bhp three-litre engine, but that adds the best part of £5,000 to the bottom line. After that, the main consideration will be whether to go for Comfort-matic semi-automatic transmission, at £1,920, with reversing cameras and solar panels the two most popular dealer-fit extras.
To be honest, it’s the three-litre option that feels most at home in a vehicle like this – offering a more refined overall performance but also plenty of torque for those moments you want the pulling power of a small train. It’s easy to drive, too, once you’re over the fact that dimensions – including width – are almost the same as a typical coachbuilt motorhome on a chassis-cab. It’s just that an A-class like this gives you so much more interior space – as well as a king/queen of the road feel when you’re on the move!
The I 700 SC’s layout gives you a true four-berth, with a separate bedroom at the back based around an island bed, on top of the usual drop-down double over the cab area.
Adria also splits the washroom facilities, offering a decent-sized toilet room on the offside and a separate shower cubicle opening directly into the bedroom area.
Ah, that bed. Flanked by his and hers wardrobes (one’s just a bit larger than the other), and with windows to either side and a Heki rooflight overhead, this doesn’t just offer comfort supreme. It also has an electrically adjustable backrest that makes reclining (for reading, for example) a real joy.
The bed at the front also has an electrical operation, gliding effortlessly into place with both cab seats’ backrests easy to fold over should you want it at its lowest setting.
It’s a continental lounge, but there’s certainly plenty of space for sprawling here, thanks to an L-shaped for the main settee/rear travel seat, a small inward-facing seat and, of course, plenty of space around the swivelled cab seats. The easy adjustment for the table here helps, too, in allowing plenty of space for getting past.
If there’s compromise anywhere, it’s with kitchen space. True, it’s L-shaped here, and there is a separate drainer to the sink (not also that swish mixer tap) and a Thetford triplex cooker. Worktop space is limited, although storage is good.
The fridge-freezer across the galley is a generous 150-litre model. Rather than box in the space above, Adria has left it as an open ledge (although it’s the ideal spot should you wish to add a microwave and/or a bracket for a flatscreen TV.
Interior lighting – all-LED and a good mix of ambient and direct – borders on the extravagant, but quality touches extend to double locks for the cab and caravan doors, superior insulation levels, all-GRP bodywork with aluminium sideskirts, Polyvision windows etc.
Is it worth £77,000-plus? If you want the best and aren’t interested in getting involved in any badge snobbery, this is up there at the top of the A-class.
Verdict: Plenty of A-class qualities for an attractive all-round proposition
Plus: Contemporary design and equipment
Minus: Pricing structure
In-a-nutshell: Unexpectedly excellent… and definitely under-rated
Cost to insure: £430.50*
- Adria Sonic Plus I 700 SC
- Fiat Ducato, 3-litre, 180bhp Euro V
- Dimensions 7.40m L, 2.30m W, 2.96m H
- Maximum weight 4,300kg (see main report)
- Payload 1,016kg
- Key options: All Inclusive Pack – radio pre-installation with loudspeakers, antenna integrated in mirrors, plastic covers for seat base, cruise control, cab air conditioning, re-upholstered cab seats, passenger airbag, rear mud flaps, colour-coded side mirrors, cab window blinds, caravan door with window and full flyscreen and waste bin, central locking to both doors, sunroof over front bed, electric front bed operation, reversing sensors, ambient interior lighting, L-shaped lounge seat, overcab bed with slatted frame and sprung mattress, floor carpeting, Truma Combi boiler 6E plus digital control panel (£3,990), Three-litre engine and chassis upgrade (£4,990)
- Security and Safety Electronic immobiliser, remote central locking to cab and caravan doors, ABS and EBD, twin airbags
- MPG estimate 20-25
Recommended retail price from £68,390**
There’s more information on the Sonic I 700 SC on the Adria website and to find out more about our low-cost premiums visit the motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Pilote Reference G740LCR , Rapido 891F
*Motorhome insurance cost based on Adria Sonic Plus I 700 SC retailing at £68,390. Motorhome must have an approved tracker and immobiliser (manufacturer or Thatcham Categeory 2) fitted. UK travel only. Kept in secure storage at TD9 8ED. Motorhome owners – professionals over 50 years old with no claims, convictions or health conditions in last 3 years. 4 years no claims bonus mirrored from car policy and 2 years motorhome driving experience. Members of motorhome club doing less than 5000 miles annually. £300 excess applies. Premiums include insurance premium tax at 6% and are correct at 07/04/2014
**On-the-road, including VAT at 20%