Kea Legend


Kea Legend Kea Legend
Kea Legend Kea Legend
Kea Legend Kea Legend
Kea Legend Kea Legend
Kea Legend Kea Legend

The Kea Legend is quite different from the Kea four and six-berth motorhomes produced in the past. It is the biggest, longest motorhome Kea has offered.

Kea Legend
Kea Legend

It's built on a Mercedes Benz, not the trusty Ford Transit we are used to seeing. It doesn't have a bed over the cab either. Instead it has an island bed and it's built to pamper a couple. Quite a new direction for Kea, but a logical one considering the Kea range of products starts with van conversion of two-berths but stops at four and six-berth, middle-sized motorhomes.

The Legend is an impressive looking motorhome. The Mercedes 519 turbo diesel V6 has a high cab that dictates the overall height of the Legend at three-metres; a bit of a surprise because it doesn't appear to be that high. The new low-line moulding provides a seamless blend of body to cab and clever paint patterns take the eye off the inevitable bulk of the motorhome body. The rear panel of the Legend is a very tidy GRP moulding, but this is visually disturbed by a large motorcycle carry rack fitted across the back of the vehicle. It seemed odd to me to fit on a sales display motorhome. I asked Steve Lane, Kea's national sales manager, "Why?"

"The Kea team has been working on the Legend project for some time. A lot of ideas, like the motorcycle rack, were considered for inclusion and it was accepted we would not get it perfect the first time around. Like we did with the Kea Inspiration, we have put the Legend out for the public to look at and comment on. This feedback will help us decide the final form of the Legend. What you are reviewing is a work in progress."

A walk around the Legend bore out Steve's remarks. The house batteries are accessed through a hatch behind the driver's door. There are two Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries on a slide out tray for easy removal. On the other hand, the 9kg LPG bottle sits at one end of the tunnel locker which stretches right across the rear of the Legend. The water pump is mounted above the LPG bottle which, I think, detracts from the main feature of this excellent tunnel locker — the ability to access items from either side of the rig.

Up the retracting step, through the typically robust Kea door (it auto-locks/unlocks when the cab doors lock/unlock) leads into the Legend kitchen. To the rear is the bedroom and bathroom; to the front the lounge. The cab seats rotate and are the best seats in the house, whether reading, viewing TV or catching forty-winks. Matching the floor mats and the cab seat upholstery with those in the lounge helps create a cosy conversation salon at the front of the motorhome. The lounge seats, one each side, double as travel seats and are fitted with seat belts. Lifting the seat cushions gains access to the storage below or helps deploy the slatted bases that make up the single occasional guest bed.

There are a couple of shelves above the cab but a large hatch on the forward slope of the low-line Luton front dominates the space. Almost alongside is another hatch that favours the kitchen providing more than enough light and ventilation in the lounge area.

The L-shaped kitchen bench is well positioned, just out of the way enough that others can pass the cook without the need for an 'excuse me'. Fitted with a dish-drainer/sink unit and a one electric/three-gas-hob top, there is only 400mm of free working space when the sink/hob glass lids are raised. It's not a lot, and the bench above the fridge is a bit high to be really useful as a work area. However, with forward planning and judicious use of the glass tops it can be made workable. Kea always attends to crockery and cutlery storage really well and so it is in the Legend with dedicated drawers for both. Arriving back at the Legend from the supermarket with groceries — veges, dairy products, meat, beer, wine etc, for two for a week would present another challenge. A home could be found for all your purchases, but some might end up in the overhead lockers in the lounge, or under the double bed. Again, with some careful planning it can be made to work. With its bright red splashback, it's a cheerful and well-appointed kitchen with a large 190-litre, three-way fridge/freezer, a rangehood and a full oven with separate grill, so the main ingredients are available to cook up a storm.

Between the lounge and the bedroom is a small step maybe 100mm high. Steps are funny things in motorhomes. Some people trip over them all the time, others never even notice them. I hadn't previously noticed the one in the Legend, and during a show-day display I didn't see anyone else trip over it, either. Well done, Kea. On the right is the shower cubicle, on the left the toilet and handbasin cubicle. The shower is light, spacious and airy. It has a window, a blind and an opaque, folding door that opens into the bedroom. A vent emits warm air into the cubicle when the heater is operating. Overall, a well thought out and practical space.

The toilet cubicle doesn't work so well. The handbasin is alongside the toilet and is too close for convenient use. Apart from the two mirror-doored lockers above the toilet there are no other cupboards or shelves. But there is another mirror, a huge one, on the back of the toilet door, so you never feel lonely sitting on the loo.

The master bed is longer than it looks. Tucked away behind the pillows is a mattress extension. When the mattress base is pulled away from the headboard, and the extension put into place, the bed measures a generous 1.95m long by 1.35m wide. It has a well-sprung mattress and looks so inviting, it was such a temptation, after an afternoons reviewing, to put one's head down for a wee zizz. You can lift the base up to get at the sealed storage space below. Each side of the bed has its own side table with a drawer below and hanging locker above. There is a shelf with two lockers above that above the head of the bed and a pair of reading lights below the shelf. There is also mood-lighting in the bedroom. Romance is not dead at Kea! The fabric of the roman blinds on the side windows matched that on the bed and pillow covers. Corner cupboards and a second TV complete the appointments in the very smart Legend bedroom.

The Legend is, at the moment, like the proverbial curate's egg. But I'm sure by the time the next one rolls off the production line it will be different, and better. Like Steve said, so far, "It's work in progress".

For more information on the Kea Legend contact Steve Lane or any of the team at the new RV Super Centre, 169 Bush Rd, Albany, ph 0800520055 or visit rvsupercentre.co.nz.

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