If you ever want a reminder of the ever-changing nature of the motorhome market, take a look at something like this, from top German maker Bürstner. It’s one model from a portfolio of over 50 vehicles that, technically at least, is available here in the UK.
It’s the Ixeo line-up – it actually comprises three ranges: Ixeo Time, Ixeo and this, the flagship Ixeo Plus group of four – that shares one key common feature: a full size drop-down bed coming down over the lounge.
In Plus format, Ixeos come with the extra presence of alloy wheels and roof rails, as well as items like the windowed caravan door; there’s also the option (as here) of Champagne paintwork.
Truly a four-berth, but arguably with the most modern of configurations, the it724 is a low-profile coachbuilt based on Fiat’s Ducato with the added ride, handling and lower height benefits of an Al-Ko low-frame chassis extension. Stick with the 3500kg rating, however, and payload is limited, especially if you’re considering this for four-person use.
More likely, especially where UK buyers are concerned, is a vehicle like this will still be used primarily as a two-berth.
That island bed at the back is a big attraction, of course. It’s not just the comfort here, but the surroundings, with his and hers wardrobes, that space to manoeuvre around three sides of the bed itself and the en suite luxury of separate shower and toilet rooms just a step away. The latter is also home to one of Bürstner’s trademark features – a space-creating swing-out sink.
That bed is set slightly higher than some, which – in theory, at least – may make the other double bed alternative all the more attractive, especially as its electrical operation means it can be lowered to any height you wish. At its lowest setting, of course, you do lose the lounge seating, but there’s still the easiest of access to the kitchen and washroom facilities.
It’s the kitchen that’s often the Achilles heel of any imported motorhome, but this Ixeo Plus does better than most. The main unit is L-shaped on the nearside, hosting a three ring hob, with separate sink and drainer. It’s an arrangement that does mean free work surface is minimal, although plenty of folk will go for the large fridge/freezer across the galley. What you’ll also appreciate here is the sturdiness of the drawers and lockers.
Indeed, beyond the brashness, there’s no doubting the quality. You’d expect as much from a manufacturer that’s part of the Hymer Group, but Bürstner has always enjoyed a reputation for its innovation.
There’s a price premium here, of course. And you’d expect items that come as standard, such as Dometic three-burner gas hob and separate grill/oven, Dometic 160-litre fridge/freezer, Truma Combi 6 heater and blown air system operating from gas/230V, pull-up flatscreen TV holder and LED lighting throughout. All this is on top of individual touches such as the four small storage pods in the lounge – ideal if you don’t like losing remote controls etc.
There’s also an extensive list of options to choose from, should you wish to turn on the style even further.
A motorhome of genuine pedigree
Plus: Island bed luxury. Superior build quality.
Minus: Limited kitchen space. And payload
In a nutshell: The “it” motorhome!
Cost to insure: £349.50 *
- Bürstner Ixeo Plus it724
- Based on Fiat Ducato with Al-Ko chassis extension, 2.3-litre, 130bhp
- Price from £66,790
- Dimensions 7.60m L x 2.30m W x 2.85m H
- Maximum weight 3500kg
- Payload 345kg
- Key options Champagne paintwork £1031
- Security and safety Central locking to all doors, ABS, driver’s and passenger’s airbags
Further reading Which Motorhome (March 2013)
MPG estimate 24-28
More info Bürstner (www.buerstner.com)
Alternatives: Dethleffs Magic Edition 4 T DBM, Hobby Premium Drive 70 HQ, Knaus Sky Wave 700 MX, Laika Kreos X712R, Pilote Reference P736LCR, Rapido 791 FF
*Motorhome insurance cost based on Bürstner Ixeo Plus it 747 retailing for £66,790. Fitted with standard security and Caravan Guard approved tracking device. UK travel only. Kept on driveway at home 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. Quote correct as of 22/04/2013.