Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK TB LP review

By: Cameron Officer


Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK TB LP review Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK TB LP review
Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK TB LP review Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK TB LP review
Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK TB LP review Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK TB LP review
Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK TB LP review Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK TB LP review
Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK TB LP review Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK TB LP review
Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK TB LP review Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK TB LP review
Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK TB LP review Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK TB LP review
Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK TB LP review Auto-Sleeper Broadway EK TB LP review

It might be British built, but the TrailLite-distributed Auto-Sleeper range continues to find a ready audience in New Zealand. And early indications are that the addition of Fiat Ducato running gear looks like it will prove a popular move too.

The market for mid-range priced motorhomes is growing and looks set to broaden even further now that Auto-Sleeper distributor TrailLite is bringing Fiat Ducato-based Auto-Sleeper models into the country.

"The Fiat Ducato has proven a popular choice for Kiwis as a base for all manner of motorhomes, so we are very excited to be debuting this new line-up," Ashlee Rose from TrailLite tells me.

"Combine the trusted reputation the Fiat has with the array of different floor plans Auto-Sleeper customers can choose from, and I think we will see a line-up of motorhomes that are going to appeal to all sorts of different buyers."

Ashlee says that cost-effective Fiat platform allows the distributor to offer a variety of Auto-Sleeper models at lower prices.

BROADWAY, BROAD RANGE

The range starts at $159,000 with the vehicle I’m checking out today – the rather lengthily-titled Broadway EK TB LP. As far as entry points go, it’s rather excellently specified and I’ll elaborate on that shortly.

It’s worth pointing out first that, with the addition of the Fiat Ducato-based Auto-Sleepers, the range has grown to encompass 11 different models all told. There are five Fiat-based versions in addition to the six models underpinned by Mercedes-Benz mechanicals; that’s a serious amount of choice.

While a couple of the Mercedes-Benz Auto-Sleepers offer the extra space of a full four-berth motorhome, all Fiat-based models are two-berth affairs. The Broadway EK TB LP is the most compact at 6.28m in length, while the remainder of the range – which incorporates rear fixed position twin single, side-positioned double and island bed arrangements – stretches things up to 7.7 metres.

Interestingly, off-the-peg pricing only increases by $10,000 (to $169,000) across the range, although sleeping configurations aside, capacities remain unchanged in keeping with the consistent two-berth floor plans.

Broadway _motorhome4

A NEW OFFERING

As the opening gambit in Auto-Sleeper’s Fiat-based range, the Broadway EK TB LP is a sturdy performer. The 150hp (111kW) turbo diesel Fiat engine is a gutsy number which we’ve covered in-depth in the past; primarily because it is such a mainstay within the wider industry.

Taking the Broadway out of town for some photos included a couple of runs up some reasonable inclines; the torque-rich turbo diesel made short work of the hills.

In a couple of months, more Fiat Ducato-based Auto-Sleeper models will be arriving and will be sitting on the brand new wider track AL-KO chassis, offering up some gains in floor space. I have to say though, with the help of large side windows and a skylight above, the Broadway’s living quarters felt light, airy and spacious too.

The Broadway EK TB LP configuration features a rear kitchen and bathroom arrangement in an L-shape immediately inside the rear-positioned side door. Walking through to the middle of the vehicle, opposing sofas frame the living area; these convert at night into an east-west double bed.

Back at the rear, the kitchenette is well-appointed with Thetford gas hob and fridge and a wall-mounted microwave. There is even room for dedicated wine glass storage below the microwave. The sink takes up a majority share of bench space immediately adjacent to the hob, but there is a second handy work surface on the other side of the habitation door to the right, which also features an extendable fold-away section for those larger meal preparation needs.

The washroom features a swing-wall basin with shower behind and a toilet. There is plenty of in-built cabinet storage in here, all easily accessible too.

EXTRA! EXTRA!

There are many value-added standard items included with the Broadway, meaning it offers real value for money, especially to those looking to step up from a second hand motorhome to a brand new model without breaking the bank.

As part of the $159,000 price, buyers receive Auto-Sleeper’s newly upgraded interior trim, a high-quality Thule Omnistor canopy awning, external barbeque, tailored crockery and crystal glassware, a reversing camera and full colour screen and a Hartal exterior door with an integrated sliding flyscreen.

Additionally, TrailLite specify all Fiat Ducato-based Auto-Sleepers with LED daytime running lights, cruise control, driver’s cab air conditioning, Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming, single key central locking, front and rear fog lights and electrically heated adjustable reversing mirrors.

Broadway _motorhome3

WINTER WARMER

As much as we’re flicking the calendar pages forward in the vain hope that spring might appear faster than expected, it’s probably rather timely to remind just how well put together Auto-Sleeper bodies are.

Every Auto-Sleeper boasts a Grade III classification for heating and thermal insulation; awarded as the result of severe weather simulation testing inside a specialist ‘cold chamber’ facility in the UK. In this chamber the motorhome is subjected to extreme sustained temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius; colder even than the frostiest morning Central Otago can dish out.

Despite the arctic conditions surrounding the vehicle within the test chamber, in order to achieve Grade III status, the centre of the motorhome’s interior must achieve a minimum temperature of 20 degrees Celsius within a four-hour period.

Also worth noting is that, despite its British manufacture, the Auto-Sleeper range is covered by TrailLite’s local warranty scheme here, giving Kiwi owners further peace of mind.

The verdict

Brand new for New Zealand, the extended line-up of Fiat Ducato-based Auto-Sleepers look to be a sure thing for all types of buyers.

Whether you’re upsizing from an older vehicle, or downsizing into something more manageable now that the family has flown, one of the five model options within the Fiat-powered Auto-Sleeper line-up will certainly appeal. For a very appealing price.

For more information, call 0800 872 455.

Pros

  • Great level of standard specification.
  • Light and airy central living area.
  • Fiat turbo diesel power provides plenty of grunt.

Cons

  • If you desire a fixed bed in your Auto-Sleeper, you’ll need to spend a little (but not much) more.

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