Autocruise Jazz exterior
Since Swift Group’s acquisition of Autocruise the range has been developed and expanded to a point where no one else offers such choice.
The Autocruise Jazz gets double forward-facing RIB rear passenger seat, rear offside corner washroom and L-shaped kitchen aft of the sliding door so the layout would appear to be pure Murvi Piccolo.
Autocruise have added touches of their own – a raised rear seat and higher floor in the lounge to put all four seats on a similar level, and a wider kitchen to the detriment of the washroom.
The cab in the Jazz
And few will argue with the Autocruise’s well-appointed galley, which actually betters many coachbuilts.
Continuing the cab’s floor level rearwards to the two-person back seat (on a substantial steel frame) makes the lounge area pretty much perfect for such a small motorhome – as well as adding a useful underfloor hidey-hole for your mains lead and hose.
Both cab seats swivel easily and the table comes out of the open shelf over the cab to make for comfortable dining for two, though snacks for four wouldn’t be a problem either.
And while it’s easy to see why some rivals have their rear seats described as a ‘bench’ (as in as flat as the park variety), the Jazz’s RIB seat is shapely and comes with head restraints.
Now, seats designed to fit the average human usually make for a bed that’ll keep you awake all night, but not here because you sleep on the reverse side of the cushions to the ones you sit on.
It’s a clever system that requires you first to flip over the squab cushion, then fold the backrest down flat. There’s an extra infill cushion to make the bed longer, but if you’re under 6ft tall you won’t need it.
If there is an Achilles’ heel at all, it’s that your feet slot in under the wardrobe where the gap to the mattress is just 11 inches. That – and the firm bed – didn’t stop me enjoying a lie-in, but if you’ve got big feet you should try before you buy.
Another aspect that made me a little sceptical was the curved corner cushion at the foot of the bed. You can fold this away in the daytime to make extra floorspace.
Autocruise Jazz interior
What a waste of effort, especially as it robs you of the ‘cook’s seat’. Or not. The first time that I found myself on my knees trying to find the Castello Blue cheese that had emigrated to the furthest reaches of the fridge, I realised that the extra space was welcome.
And what an impressive kitchen this is. Jazz owners will have no excuse for not dining well.
The Spinflo cooker has three burners and an oven/grill in a neat package that doesn’t take up too much space, while storage is plentiful (including plate/cup racks and a decent-sized cutlery drawer).
The washroom in the Autocruise
The kitchen also looks spot on, with its duo-tone woodwork and silver highlights in the form of the brushed metal positive-locking cupboard handles, the fridge front, Venetian blind and the tambour door to the angled cupboard by the door.
The washroom is serviceable with plenty of room to use the loo and a shower.
There are very few areas in which the Jazz is found wanting. Rear radio speakers are a welcome touch, as is the insulated fresh water tank, the slide-out storage for a flatscreen TV, the Heki sunroof, the passenger airbag and new soft white LED lighting.
Price from: £37,785.76 OTR
Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato MWB Panel Van
Engine: 2 litre
Travel seats: 4
Insurance cost: £229.75*
*Motorhome insurance cost based on 2010 Autocruise Jazz valued at £37,785.76. Fitted with manufacturers immobiliser, kept at home at TD9 8BD. 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 included, European Breakdown £42 extra. Premiums include insurance premium tax at 5% and are correct as of 14.04.10.