Wheel estate: Dethleffs Magic Edition

By: Bill Savidan

Dethleffs Magic Edition Dethleffs Magic Edition
Dethleffs Magic Edition The bodywork of Magic Black is styled, created, and built by Dethleffs in its German factory. Dethleffs Magic Edition
Dethleffs Magic Edition Above the smiling grill, the windscreen is trimmed with black and continues down each side, creating a wrap-around illusion. Dethleffs Magic Edition
Dethleffs Magic Edition Dethleffs Magic Edition
Dethleffs Magic Edition Dethleffs Magic Edition
Dethleffs Magic Edition Dethleffs Magic Edition
Dethleffs Magic Edition Dethleffs Magic Edition
Dethleffs Magic Edition Dethleffs Magic Edition
Dethleffs Magic Edition Quirky-shaped glass lids over the hobs and sink. Dethleffs Magic Edition
Dethleffs Magic Edition Dethleffs Magic Edition
Dethleffs Magic Edition Dethleffs Magic Edition
Dethleffs Magic Edition The rotating cab seats are the most comfortable in the house. Dethleffs Magic Edition
Dethleffs Magic Edition Dethleffs Magic Edition

First impressions count and Dethleffs understands this. Its new Magic Edition Black model i1BDM certainly catches the eye for a number of reasons…

Magic Black is an A-class motorhome – styled, created, and built by Dethleffs in its factory in Germany. This allows the builders to configure the motorhome interior as they want, with fewer restrictions than when they build on a cab/chassis.

Magic Edition features

Incorporated into this Kiwi Magic Edition Black is an extensive equipment package that includes roof rails, cab blinds, alloy wheels, and real leather upholstery. To round out the package, the New Zealand agent has added a ladder on the rear wall to access the roof.

There are five door/hatch openings in the bodywork. Two hatches give access to the full-width garage at the rear. It has a low floor, creating more payload volume at a user-friendly height. The toilet cassette lurks behind the third hatch and the last openings are the motorhome doors.

Dethleffs -Magic -Edition -Specifications -(2)

The single cab door is Kiwi-kerbside and the habitation door on the driver's side is just forward of amidships. I found it a practical arrangement as from the driver's seat I could easily exit the cab, past the passenger's legs and through the passenger's door, or go out the habitation door.

Magic Black has a typical European layout — a lounge dinette that includes the cab seats at the front, kitchen opposite the entry door, ablutions to the left of the door and bedroom at the rear.

Dethleff's designers have been able to minimise the rear wheel arch intrusions into the habitation space by placing the kerbside wheel arch under the fridge/freezer and the off-side wheel arch under the hand-basin in the bathroom.

It is a very practical bedroom with a generously-sized bed, 2m long and 1.5m wide, consisting of a foam mattress on a base of sprung wooden slats. This base is fixed in place as the rear garage utilises most of the under-bed storage, but there's a locker under the foot of the bed.

There is plenty more storage though, with a corner cabinet at the foot of the bed on the driver's side, a hanging locker on each side at the head of the bed, and three large overhead lockers between them.

New ideas and innovations

One of the good things about reviewing new RVs is you get to see new ideas being put into play. Magic Black has more than its share.

The corner cabinet in the bedroom houses a hanging, detachable laundry bag, big enough for a few days washing for two people. There are two hinged shoe lockers by the entry door, right where you need them.

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One feature I think should be a must on all RVs is the four LPG stopcocks – one for each appliance, located beside the oven controls for easy access in an emergency. Meanwhile, the Magic Edition has three odd geometrically-shaped glass lids, and most of the track-mounted reading lights are adjustable, relocatable, or removable.

The bathroom is a work of art. Sliding the door aside reveals a compact space with a crescent-shaped hand-basin in a trendy black vanity ahead and the Thetford swivel toilet to the left, with plenty of room to stretch out when on the throne or standing admiringly in front of the mirror.

Lots of LEDs light both the mirror and the person using it. A ceiling hatch offers additional light, as well as ventilation. The wall, complete with vanity and mirror, is hinged and it swung around, closing off access to the toilet, revealing a shower faucet and handpiece.


The kitchen is European compact. Nearly everything is there — a big 190-litre fridge/freezer, three LPG hobs with an extractor fan and a Thetford Duplex oven. All it lacks is a microwave.

The L-shaped bench is small but attractive and well-lit. Behind the large curved door under the bench is the cutlery drawer and lots of useful storage space, with more beneath the oven, and above and below the fridge/freezer plus the lockers over the bench.

The lounge, too, is attractive and well lit. There are lights everywhere, adjustable for all situations from 'dim/romantic' to 'bright-light/reading'. Being LED powered, it is almost immaterial to how many lights you have on at any one time, as the 100amp/hr house battery hardly seems to notice.

The cab seats that rotate to command the lounge are the most comfortable seats in the house. Like the dinette seats, they are covered in champagne-coloured real leather, trimmed with black that tones in beautifully with the honey-coloured timber-veneered cabinetry.

The table is another work of art as it can slide fore and aft as well as side to side, which is great for easing the passage of guests getting in and out of the corner seats.

Another surprise is the pull-down bed that sits unobtrusively above the cab until needed, at which point it lowers without effort on its hydraulic mechanism to a convenient height ready for action. It's a good size (2000mm x 1400mm) with lots of headroom.

The Magic Black reviewed has the three-litre TDI 180hp turbo diesel motor and the six-speed ATM automatic transmission. Like all Fiat Ducatos, i's a joy to drive, with adequate power for all occasions.

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While first impressions are important, it is the overall impression that lasts. The Dethleffs Magic Edition is well planned, well executed, beautifully built, and very good value at the current retail price of $174,000 incl GST.


  • Initial impression, the style, colour, and balance
  • The bathroom 'swing wall'
  • Value for money


  • Nil

For more information contact Jonas at Acacia Motorhomes Limited on 0800 112 828, sales@buycampervan.co.nz or visit buycampervan.co.nz

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