The 2009 Autocruise Pulse was winner of this year’s Multi-Purpose Motorcaravan in this year’s Which Motorcaravan Awards.
One of the main reasons this newcomer has won the top prize is its availability – it can be bought from a nationwide network of dealers, rather than trekking across the country to the manufacturer.
Inside, the Pulse has a car-like theme with grey carpeted walls, grey mottled worktops and the Waeco fridge’s silver and grey facia. And if all this sounds a little dull, think again: two-piece cream-coloured removable carpets match the front of the furniture units.
The Pulse is classy, attractive, and some would say almost futuristic. It’s certainly on a par with many a luxury MPV car, and no-one would be ashamed to take it on the school run.
You can go camping with a full house of four if you opt for the optional roof bed – as long as the occupants are small enough to fit, that is, as the upper berth measures just 1.90m by 1.10m.
Once on site, both the cab seats swivel to face the rear bench.
The rear-hinged Reimo roof is easy to raise – just undo the two front straps that attach to the bulkhead and give it a shove. Mesh vents with closing zip panels are on each side for ventilation.
As for artificial lighting, there are two strip lights over the kitchen, one above the bench and another above the sliding door, but there’s no lighting at all in the cab apart from the base vehicle’s courtesy light.
The Webasto diesel heater should keep you cosy during the spring and autumn and all the windows aft of the cab are double-glazed.
The keen cooks among you will find the kitchen facilities perfectly acceptable, with a two-burner hob (with spark ignition) and grill, as well as a hot and cold tap above the stainless steel sink. There’s no draining board, but the compressor fridge has a generous 72-litre capacity and a freezer compartment.
Alongside is a large cupboard suitable for a Thetford 335 Porta-Potti – most essential! There’s a good amount of worktop, suitable for siting your television, with aerial and mains sockets provided.
Additional storage is provided by various cubbyholes around the kitchen unit and a drawer beneath the bench seat. There’s a large wardrobe (which can be accessed from inside the camper or via the rear tailgate), and there’s masses of space behind the rear seat if you slide it forward. The tabletop stores back here, too, while inside there are two positions for the table – there’s a swivel leg beside the front passenger seat and another that swings out in front of the bench.
The Fiat Scudo base vehicle seems a great compromise between an expensive VW T5 and a larger but cheaper Fiat Ducato, and the designers have done a great job on both its looks and ultimate usability.
Anyone wanting to use their camper as an everyday car wants it to look the part – and the Pulse ticks all the boxes. Outside, the smart silver paintwork, with its minimalist graphics, looks great – especially as the matching elevating roof sports grey canvas sides when raised.
Price from: £30,362 OTR
Base vehicle: Fiat Scudo panel van
Engine: 2-litre 120bhp Multijet
Travel seats: 4
Insurance cost: £264.75*
*Motorhome insurance cost based on 2009 Autocruise Pulse valued at £30,362. Fitted with manufacturers immobiliser kept at home 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 £22 extra, European Breakdown £42 extra. Premiums include insurance premium tax at 5% and are correct as of 20/05/09.