Burstner Ixeo 726G

By: David Linklater, Photography by: David Linklater

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The Ixeo 726 G featured here sits in the middle of the Bürstner range and is expected to be the most popular in New Zealand too.

Burstner Ixeo 726G
Burstner Ixeo 726G

It might have a conventional cab-chassis configuration, but the 726 G is one out of the box in terms of stylish looks. The colour combo helps of course: white is the default colour scheme. However, Bürstner prides itself on classy alternatives such as champagne (pictured), graphite and silver.

The most interesting feature of the exterior is the signature Bürstner roofline, which the German company insists on naming after an Italian coffee: cappuccino. This aerodynamic hump – housing a double bed inside – flows naturally from the lines of the Ducato cab and banishes the bulky frontal sections often seen on motorhomes of this type.

You might be thinking the cappuccino hardly looks high enough to house a bed, and you're right. But step inside and you see another of Bürstner's trademark design touches: the fold-down bed. This tucks up into the roof when not in use, but can be easily lowered into the cabin at night-time.

It's a great use of space – not that the 726 G is terribly short on living room: it's a substantial length at just under 7.4m. The advantages are obvious, and the company says that the possible downsides of weight and stability are countered by the use of Fiat's so-called Al-Ko low line cab-chassis, sitting up to 220mm lower than a standard Ducato and featuring a wider rear axle.

The attention to detail inside is deeply impressive. Bürstner uses its own fabric upholstery – "It's like KFC, they won't give the formula", laughs Tuohy – which combines something of the durability and softness of leather with the traction of cloth. Customers can choose from 12 different colour combinations.

As with the cleverly engineered bed, the interior is all about maximum practicality while still maintaining cool and clean design. For example: you won't find a television hanging untidily around the living area, instead, there's a bracket for a screen (up to 40cm) hidden in a small section of joinery beside the main door. When you want to watch television, simply open the top and the screen pops out. When not in use, push it back into the nook again and it can't be seen.

That knack for clever configuration of essential equipment is also evident in the combination bathroom. It's a modest size, but the combination shower/toilet is thoughtfully packaged, with a swinging basin that fits perfectly above the toilet while you can bring the screen around to form a completely separate shower area.

Our four-berth test vehicle was fitted with two single beds at the back, although they can quickly be converted into a large double. The beds do look unusual as they are mounted so high, to the point that a small stepladder is provided to get up there. But there's a reason for that height: wander around the back of the 726 G and you'll find this a "garage" – a bit of an exaggeration perhaps, but the storage space behind the rear axle is truly impressive for a vehicle of this size. The opening is over a metre square and the cargo space is nearly 2.1m deep.

Overall, the design, fit and finish of the 726 G is suggestive of a vehicle further up the price ladder. Bürstner justifiably prides itself on a very German-style attention to engineering and overall detail. But it's also appropriate that the Ixeo 726 G is based on a Fiat platform, boasting something called a "cappuccino" roof, because there's a sense of Italian design flair inherent in the product too.

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