Jonas at Acacia Motorhomes, the Dethleffs agents for New Zealand, has opted to fit the Advantage i7051 DBM with the 2.3-litre Multijet (150BHP) turbo-diesel engine powering the front wheels, as it better suited to New Zealand’s hill country.
The six-speed AMT gearbox has been refined over the years making gearshifts better timed, smoother, and a joy to drive. Driver aids include cruise control, heated electric mirrors, daytime-running lights, hill-hold braking, and hill-descent control.
Driving the Advantage A-Class along busy roads is a very rewarding experience. The width and height of the Advantage give it a real presence on the road. Not overtly aggressive but sufficiently imposing that other motorist are more courteous towards you than when you are driving your family saloon, which is a comfort for drivers not familiar with handling large vehicles.
Inside, the layout is one we have become accustomed to: a lounge/dining area incorporating rotating cab seats at the front, kitchen and entry foyer amidships, and an entry to the rear bedroom that has the shower on one side and the toilet/vanity on the other. A practical layout widely accepted by buyers. But Dethleffs has added a wee variation.
In the ablutions department, an old space-saving idea is used in a new way. The shower stall is located close to the foot of the bed. When the shower is not in use, the sliding door is left in the open position leaving adequate room to walk around the foot of the bed. A panel matching the flooring rests in the shower tray to step on when passing through. At shower time, the panel is lifted out of the tray.
There is plenty of room in the bathroom opposite with its high-gloss washbowl framed with a black glass top at one end and the swivel toilet at the other. Well equipped, it has a medicine cabinet, storage compartments and shelves, hooks, and a pair of large mirrors.
Although the Advantage i7051 is only 7.37 metres long, it has a queen-sized island bed. There is storage aplenty, too: three lockers above the bed cater to smaller items and there are hanging lockers either side of the bed, as well as an enormous locker beneath the foot of the bed.
I would not go as far as the person who wrote the Advantage brochure who suggested it had a ‘gourmet kitchen centre’ because the Kiwi expectation is for a larger kitchen than that provided. However, it does contain a three-hob cooktop, the large Thetford 142-litre fridge/freezer and a Thetford Duplex grill/oven.
The interior decor – light brown timber grain laminate for the cabinetry with chocolate coloured upholstery – is unobtrusive and cosy. The cab seats match the dinette upholstery, and when they are rotated the dinette can seat up to six at mealtime.
The forward-facing dinette seats have seat belts fitted because, although it is not obvious, there is a second double bed aboard meaning four belted seats must be provided. This bed is hidden in the ceiling above the cab. With the front seats inclined forward, it lowers at the press of a button along with privacy screens that close off the side windows from prying eyes.
The Dethleffs Advantage i7051 DBM, a well-executed example of an A-Class motorhome – elegant-looking, beautifully built, and offering a high standard of comfort. Prices depend on the final specification.
For more info, call 0800 112 828.
Check out the full, much longer review in issue #132 of Motorhomes Caravans & Destinations magazine (on sale now!). Subscribe here.