Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review


Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review
Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review
Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review
Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review
Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review
Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review
Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review
Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review
Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review
Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV review

Bill Savidan checks out the new Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV motorhome.

At the recent Covi Motorhome and Caravan Show in Auckland, the new Sapphire IV attracted a lot of attention from prospective buyers as well as sellers of competitive products interested to look at the ‘new entrant’ Kiwi-designed and built motorhome at the show. That same vehicle is reviewed here.

The Sapphire IV is presented on an LDV V80 cab chassis. The four-berth motorhome bears the signature of its rental heritage with a popular interior layout of a U-shaped lounge at the back that can be made up into two single beds or an enormous 2200-by-1900mm double bed. It has a long kitchen bench opposite the entry door, a bathroom/toilet stall to the left of the entry, and a large 1400-by-2200mm bed over the cab.

On entering, the first impression is lots of room. The 1900mm-long side settees, the large windows, and the generous (2200mm) interior width all contribute to a feeling of spaciousness. But it is the interior height that seals the deal. The Sapphire IV carries the roofline from the high point above the bed over the cab, right through to the rear of the body providing a whopping 2170mm of internal height.

This height causes a dilemma when fitting overhead lockers, because making use of the extra available height means the shelves are too far above the floor for shorter folk to see what is on them. So a simple solution – a footstool – is provided to alleviate the problem.

Starfish Interiors was given the task of coordinating the interior and has done an impeccable job. The attention to detail is outstanding with two-tone covers over high density bedding foam, decorative window curtains and quality fitted carpets.

The Sapphire IV’s lounge is built to lounge in. Stretch out, put your feet up, lie down to watch TV or read a book; it’s no problem, even if there are two or three of you. Pop the dining table on its twin pedestals and you could host a party of six – possibly more at a squeeze.

Kitchen bench space is always at a premium in an RV and the Sapphire IVs bench at 2100-by-640mm excels in this department with clear workspace both sides of the centrally mounted sink and stovetop. The whole kitchen has a clean uncluttered look with five drawers, a pull-out pantry and a tall cupboard below bench height plus three large lockers above.

Access to the bed over the cab is not the full width of the van so you have to climb a ladder and crawl in through the 1100mm-wide entry rather than arriving courtesy of a neatly executed ‘forsbury flop’. The narrower-than-usual entrance does make the bed space more private and it has an opening window each side as well as a roof hatch so the space is well lighted and ventilated.

The bathroom is at the opposite end of the luxury spectrum from the kitchen. While the kitchen was spacious and well equipped, the bathroom is small and spartan.

As reviewed and built to the standard specification on an LDV V80 five speed manual, the Kiwi Autohomes Sapphire IV retails for $136,995, or on an ATM (automated manual transmission) six-speed gearbox for $138,495 inc GST and on-road costs. The Sapphire IV can be built on other brands of cab/chassis including Ford Transit, VW Crafter and Mercedes-Benz.

For more information, phone 0800 288 646.

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