Burstner Ixeo Time review

By: Bill Savidan, Photography by: Bill Savidan


BURSTNER IXEO TIME Review BURSTNER IXEO TIME Review
BURSTNER IXEO TIME Review BURSTNER IXEO TIME Review
BURSTNER IXEO TIME Review BURSTNER IXEO TIME Review
BURSTNER IXEO TIME Review BURSTNER IXEO TIME Review
BURSTNER IXEO TIME Review BURSTNER IXEO TIME Review
BURSTNER IXEO TIME Review BURSTNER IXEO TIME Review

The mid-range Ixeo Time IT590 is a great example of Bürstner's design philosophy, says Bill Savidan

Bürstner has been building RVs in and around the small town of Kehl in southwest Germany for 58 years now. They build quality motorhomes with good layouts that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

The Ixeo Time IT590 is a great example of this design philosophy; a sweeping curve to the roofline, white body panels with their black and red decal highlights contrasting with a graphite coloured Fiat Ducato cab.

In Bürstner terms, Ixeo Time models sit in the middle of the range. At 5990mm in length, the Ixeo Time IT590 along with its sibling, the IT586, are the shortest of the Ixeo Time models, while the fixed bed IT726 and IT745 models are somewhat longer.

At first glance the Ixeo Time IT590 looks small. Checking the specifications confirms this impression; it is the same length as a Fiat Ducato van but is slightly wider (by 250mm) and higher (by 216mm).

This poses the question; why build a coach-built body on a chassis, when you could just fit-out a factory-built panel van?

Once inside you realise the benefit of the extra width and height combined with the straight vertical sides. There's considerably more room – more volume overall – inside, compared with the standard Ducato panel van.

BED FROM ABOVE

The coach-built body accommodates a large lounge at the front, kitchen amidships and a nicely set-up bathroom right across the rear. In fact these amenities are more spacious than many motorhomes a metre or more longer.
But where's the bedroom? Has there been a mistake? Big lounge; big bathroom; but they've forgotten the bed.

This is the clever part. It's there all along, hovering in the ceiling; a drop-down bed that is unobtrusive, easy to deploy with lots of bedspace (1970mmx1430mm).

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Turn the key, press the button and down it comes to seat cushion height (no ladder needed for access). However, if the dinette is made up and used as a bed, you can stop the drop-down bed at the height of the seat back and use a ladder provided for access. Like most drop-down beds, it can be left made-up when stored overhead, ready for next time.

As a rule, motorhomes less than seven-metres long seat four – maybe five – in the lounge. In spite of its short six-metre length, the Ixeo Time IT590 is a genuine six-to-seven seater. There's plenty of room for entertaining.

Day-to-day with just two aboard, there's no need to use the cab seats for lounging or dining. But if you're watching TV they still offer the best seats in the house. Bürstner's designated 'Truffo Ros' interior décor, matched with Ferra leather upholstery, is neutral and restful.

ADEQUATE STORAGE

At the back of the motorhome behind an excellent solid door that totally isolates sound and fragrance, is a multipurpose bathroom. As well as providing the normal bathroom functions it also serves as a dressing room and storage facility.

With three distinct separate spaces – toilet left, basin centre, shower cubicle right – it functions superbly as a bathroom. Four cupboards above and below the hand basin will hold a host of toiletries and other personal bits and bobs. Style plays its part too; the elegant hand basin bowl mounted on top of the vanity unit is a nice touch.

A full-length wardrobe in the corner means the bathroom can also fill the role of dressing room. It's a practical idea that means you can get dressed without having to adjust blinds and curtains to gain privacy.

There's footwear storage in the cupboard below the wardrobe that complements the smaller footwear locker under the side settee in the lounge. Alongside the wardrobe another door gives access to a vertical wet locker that also has an external locker door. This arrangement allows wet garments hung there to dry to be retrieved from both inside or outside the motorhome. This locker is high enough to accept tall items like umbrellas, golf clubs and fishing rods.

Alternatively, if long item storage is not needed, shelves provided slot into the top half of the locker, leaving room for bulkier items below. For other outdoor items like chairs and table, BBQ, hoses, leads and chocks, there is suitable storage under the side settee that can be accessed through a kerbside hatch.

A COOK'S KITCHEN

Amidships, the European-style kitchen is compact, demanding good organisation both in the way the storage space is used and the way meal preparation is executed.

Accepting these constraints, the kitchen is sufficiently well-equipped to satisfy most Kiwi cooks. The large 145-litre Thetford fridge with freezer box is a good start and having an oven is even better. Installing the 'three in line' LPG hob at the back of the bench maximises the bench-top workspace.

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A large circular sink sits at the other end of the 'L'-shaped bench-top, creating a wee sanctuary for the chef to stand in the corner out of the way of passing traffic.

Fitting the oven in the bench cabinet leaves room for just two drawers and a cupboard below the bench. There are just two more lockers above the bench as well as one above and one below the fridge opposite; hence the need for careful organisation to fit in the crockery, cutlery, pots, pans and food.

PROTECTED AGAINST THE ELEMENTS

Bürstner's construction methods aim to produce a strong, lightweight, watertight body. They employ a classic foam sandwich construction system; prefinished ply inside with a Styrofoam insulation core and alloy exterior walls.

A thermally-efficient body shell that meets the latest Euro standards, the walls are 30mm thick, the roof and floor are 50mm thick and both roof and floor have a durable GRP outer skin to protect against damage from hail or road metal.

The latest Truma Combi 6 combined water heater/central heating unit is also fitted as standard in the Ixeo Time IT590. Heated air is vented throughout the motorhome (including the bathroom), making it a great place to dry damp clothes.

Externally, the rear panel and decorative side panels are of thermoformed plastic and the lower side skirts are aluminium. All the windows bar one are awning style double-glazed, fitted with blinds and insect screens. Mini Heke hatches are installed over the bathroom and kitchen with a larger panorama hatch over the cab.

Freedom Camping certified, the Ixeo Time IT590 has water tanks fitted; 120-litre fresh under dinette seat and 90-litre grey under floor. House batteries, 2 x 90a/hr 12volt totalling 180amp/hrs, a 12volt/240volt inverter (1000watt) and a roof mounted 150watt solar panels attend to 'off-grid' power needs. Two 9kg LPG bottles are fitted as standard.

Entertainment needs are catered for too, with a touch screen multimedia system in the cab and a Freeview-capable, DVD and USB-accepting 19" LED TV in the lounge.

Driving the Fiat powered Ixeo Time IT590 is a joy. The 2.3-litre multi-jet 96kw/320Nm Euro6 turbo diesel motor performs well and the six-speed ATM gearbox takes the hassle out of city driving.

The shorter wheelbase (3800mm) improves manoeuvrability and the wider rear track of the Fiat low-level chassis provides excellent stability.

Buyers who like this concept but want a larger kitchen should look at the IT590's sibling, the IT586. It's the same length, the same sized body and with exactly the same sized lounge and drop down bed, but has a much larger kitchen. The trade-off is a smaller, but still perfectly acceptable, Bürstner 'Space' bathroom.

Verdict

Overall, this is a very well thought out motorhome. It has a footprint only marginally larger than a panel van yet seems so much bigger, surprising with amount of interior space it offers. Externally it is very compact, making the Ixeo Time IT590 very easy to park and store.

For further information visit smartrv.co.nz or ph 0800.007 627 (Auckland) or 0800 007 628 (Christchurch).

Pros

  • Big bathroom
  • Spacious lounge
  • Small footprint. Easy to park and store.

Cons

  • Kitchen storage space

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