I’d been looking forward to reviewing a Burstner Lyseo motorhome since first seeing one at the Auckland Covi show in March this year. That it has taken so long to become available is a reflection of how popular they are with motorhome buyers both here and in Europe.
Like most European motorhomes, the model under review—the Lyseo —is built on a Fiat Ducato cab/chassis. As I drove it away from the SmartRV facility near Auckland airport, I was reminded just how nice and easy Ducatos are to drive: nimble, responsive, more like a car than a motorhome.
Lyseos are built on a Fiat low-level chassis. It provides a smoother ride and is more stable when cornering, especially when paired up with the wider rear axle, as it is on the Lyseo. With GVW under 3500kg, Lyseos 590 and 690 require just a warrant of fitness. The other Lyseos—728, 734, and 744—require a certificate of fitness. All Lyseo models can be driven on a Class 1 (car) licence.
The T690G has twin beds in the back, a bathroom opposite the kitchen amidships, and a dinette/lounge at the front. As reviewed, the T690G is a two-berth, which will suit many potential buyers who travel as a couple. But those who need four berths can order a Lyseo with a drop-down bed.
In fact, all Lyseo models with fixed beds can be ordered with a drop-down bed as an optional extra. If it’s an island bed you prefer, keep in mind the half-metre longer IT734, and for a full rear lounge, look at the IT744. All three models have exactly the same lounge/dinette and kitchen modules, and all the longer models have identical bathrooms. It’s just the bed configurations that differ.
In motorhome manufacturers’ jargon, these Lyseos are semi-integrated, low profile motorhomes. Burstner fits white bumpers in place of the Fiat standard black ones and make a tidy job of blending the cab to the bodywork behind. A simple graphics design in red, grey, and black distinguish the T690G from rest of the motorhome pack.
Features to note on the outside are: the nice big awning and an external shower connection (both essential on hot sunny days), the very accessible LPG locker (could the floor be any lower to the ground?), an external LPG point (ideal for the barbecue), the utilities hatch (where the fresh and grey water connections and 230-volt connection are housed), and the enormous rear garage (doors both sides).
Burstner is fitting an extra-wide entry door on all of their motorhomes these days. I find it to be a handy feature when loading up at the beginning of a journey because I can walk front on through the entry with a carton of goodies instead of sidling in sideways as I had to through the old narrow door. And having a low entry step plus an electric step makes it even easier.
First thing I noticed was the floor is flat from the cab to the bedroom. No steps at all. This is another advantage Lyseos gain by being built on the low-level chassis. The top of this chassis is lower than the cab floor, so a second floor is built level with the cab floor creating a space between the floors; in Burstner speak, the ‘thermo-floor’.
This space is an excellent thermal barrier for keeping out the cold. It’s also a convenient place to locate plumbing, wiring, heater pipework, and ducting, while leaving space for storage. But there are other advantages, too.
The top of the wheel arches are below the thermo-floor so the wheel arches don’t intrude into the bathroom or shower areas.
There is a nice ‘flow’ to the interior. Cab seats upholstered in the same leather as the dinette draws them into the lounge, with the timber veneer pattern cabinetry tying the rest of the interior together. Although this is a two-berth model, the dinette will quite comfortably seat five at mealtime.
As European motorhome kitchens go, this one is well thought out, utilising every last corner of space. The bench and table-tops are made from Fenix, an innovative product that combines elegant aesthetics with state-of-the-art technological performance. It has a pleasant, soft touch and thanks to the use of nanotechnologies, Fenix thermally heals any superficial micro-scratches.
The L-shaped bench-top has three inline LPG hobs against the wall with the circular sink at the other end. Covers for both allow maximum use of the bench-top space. Tucked into the corner of the ‘L’, the cook can work, uninterrupted by passers-by.
Below the bench is a small oven and five drawers of various sizes. Along with the overhead lockers, drawers above and below the fridge, and the fridge itself, there’s sufficient room to stow away a significant supermarket shop for two.
Monitor panels are located beside the entry door for ‘power on/off’ and ‘lights on/off’, the battery condition, and water tank levels. These monitors are easy to operate and by using them a couple of times a day, you avoid the risk of overflowing or running out, or both at
the same time.
All of the interior lights—reading, work, strip, or mood lights—are energy-saving LEDs. Some have a single switch, some have more, but if all else fails, just switch all the house lights off at the switchboard beside the entrance and start again. After all, they are not using up much of your precious battery power.
I’ve always been impressed with Burstner’s bathroom innovations, such as the swing-wall bathroom in the T690G. At first, it seems cramped, with the handbasin in the way. Get rid of that and there would be plenty of room. To do it, unclip the handbasin wall restraint and swing the wall through 90 degrees. Hey presto, a handbasin-free shower stall.
The toilet end of the bathroom remains bone dry protected by the swing wall. Everything you need is there: cabinets, shelves, lights, and mirrors. It looks good and everything works. What more could you want?
Twin beds work for me; they are my favourite layout. Those in the T690G are elevated off the floor to maximise the headroom in the garage below, but they are low enough to allow the occupants room to sit up in bed without banging heads on the overhead lockers. Should you want to create an enormous double bed, all the components necessary to do this are supplied.
The permanent single beds (1990/1900mm x 800mm) have five-zone memory foam mattresses with special slatted bases. There are drawers at the foot of one bed and a wardrobe at the other. Ventilation is courtesy of a roof hatch and an opening window on each side. A screen door closes the bedroom off for privacy.
For me, the Lyseo T690G is a master class from Burstner. The bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen are all well-executed with a ‘well done’ for the other components, the lounge dinette, and the exterior. Burstner has maximised the benefits gained by building the Lyseo on the Fiat low-level chassis. It’s a practical motorhome.
Burstner LYSEO T690G Specifications
Vehicle make/model: Burstner Lyseo T690G
Engine: 2.3L Euro 6
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Approx. overall length: 6990mm
Approx. overall width: 2300mm
Approx. overall height: 2950mm
Tanks: 120L fresh, 90L grey
Price as reviewed: $151,900 (GST and on-roads incl.)
- One-level thermo-floor. No steps, good storage, excellent insulation.
- The light, bright interior
- Space-efficient bathroom
- Twin single bed layout
For more information, visit smartrv.co.nz or call the SmartRV sales team on 0800 007 627 (Auckland) or 0800 007 628 (Christchurch).