Under Swift Group’s direction, Autocruise’s flagship motorhome models including the (Gleneagle, Augusta and Oakmont) now have more kit as standard, as befits their top-of-the-range role.
Nowhere is this clearer than in the Gleneagle’s cab, where air-conditioning, cruise control, sat nav and a reversing camera join the 3-litre HDi power unit on the spec list.
With that engine under the bonnet, there was only ever going to be one word to describe the on-road attributes of this – now properly low – low-profile motorhome, and that word is ‘brilliant’.
Step through the Gleneagle’s central habitation door and you’ll find two settees to your left (each of which is over 6ft long), and a huge L-shaped kitchen ahead of you and to your right.
Its cab seats swivel to face those long settees and you can either invite a few couples in for coffee, or be blissfully anti-social and just luxuriate in having so much room to put your feet up and relax with a DVD.
The lounge is impressive but the kitchen is more impressive still. You’ll struggle to find a motorhome with more worktop space than this – ever!
There’s an L-shaped galley and large dresser, while the forward end of the kitchen has a large and sturdy folding worktop extension and the end of the ‘L’ incorporates a swing-out unit that stretches the kitchen to over two-thirds of the vehicle’s width.
Kit-wise, the kitchen gets an all-singing, all-dancing domestic-style cooker and a sink big enough to bathe in, plus a separate (and equally large) drainer, a big cutlery drawer, a cocktail cabinet, plate and cup racks and a microwave oven, which is at a sensible height, so there’s no risk of dripping hot liquid all over yourself.
It also boasts a bigger fridge/freezer – now with 175-litre capacity, frameless door and SES operation (which chooses its own power source).
The bathroom gets a reasonably generous separate shower and the latest generation swivel cassette toilet, but what really stands out is the storage space.
Of course, the his and hers glazed-fronted wardrobes (both a good size), the six drawers, and extra cupboards won’t go amiss either.
Alde ‘wet’ central heating is nothing new to Autocruise’s top-end models, but do not under-estimate how much you will appreciate its fitment in the winter months.
There are good reasons why Alde is the choice of motorhome manufacturers building £100,000+ leisure vehicles.
Come night time you have a choice of bedroom formats. The easiest one is to stow the backrest cushions in the cab and use the settees as single beds.
It’s worth pulling the forward sections of the settees together to make a three-quarter double, still sleeping lengthways.
You’ll have more bed to stretch out in but it’s still just as easy to get out to go to the bathroom.
Alternatively, you can arrange the cushions in the same way and sleep across the vehicle in a good-sized double that leaves a seat on each side where you can sit to undress. Finally, you can go the whole hog and turn the whole lounge into a 6ft 9in by 6ft 3in king-size double.
With more standard kit, the Gleneagle is a highly desirable two-berth motorhome worthy of a five star award.
Price from: £54,895 OTR
Base vehicle: Peugeot Boxer AL-KO
Engine: 3-litre HDI producing 157bhp
Travel seats: 2
Insurance cost: £301.25*
*Motorhome insurance cost based on 2008 Autocruise Gleneagle valued at £54,895. Fitted with Phantom Proactive Tracking device and Thatcham Category 1 alarm/immobiliser, kept at home on the driveway at SN4 7DP. 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 7000 miles annually. £250 excess applies. European cover £18 extra, European Breakdown £42 extra. Premium includes insurance premium tax at 5% and is correct as of 10/10/08.