Review: Auto-Trail Imala 615

By: Cameron Officer, Photography by: Cameron Officer and Auto-Trail


Auto Trail Imala The stylish Auto-Trail Imala 615 doesn’t disappoint, inside or out Auto Trail Imala
written on the sidejpg Authenticity proven with the shiny branding written on the sidejpg
imala proving imala proving
door blinds Integrated door blind is a nice touch and easy to use door blinds
cosy camper Auto-Trail prides itself on providing cosy campers cosy camper
bathroom Bathroom features a separate shower bathroom
master bedroom The two sofas can be configured as an east-west double bed master bedroom
transmission Fiat’s standard transmission features here transmission

A big couch and a small price make the Imala 615 a rather attractive proposition for two. MCD takes a look at what's on offer in this motorhome.

There will be some among you, for whom having to convert sofas into bedding every evening you’re on the road, will feel like nothing short of a chore.

I understand the deep sigh with which this task might often be greeted especially after a convivial evening in good company. The truth is, good design makes the sofa-to-bed conversion process incredibly easy; the rest is down to how you choose to organise your bedding.

Take the Auto-Trail Imala 615, for example. The benefits of having so much couch space to stretch out upon during the day easily outweighs a lack of permanent bedding. And Auto-Trail makes the switch-over process effortless, too.

Auto-Trail Imala 615 layout

2017-IMALA-615Having two long, opposing couches makes for an airy interior in the Imala 615. Thanks to this arrangement, the degree of shoulder and legroom in the living area—even with a few friends over at Wine O’Clock—is great. Add to this the two swivelling seats reserved for driver and co-pilot when on the road, and the effect is that of a cosy living room.

Imala 615-045

The fridge and large wardrobe act as a natural buffer between the living and kitchen/bathroom areas. Perhaps the only downside to this is that mid-meal prep conversation with the cook becomes a little harder (due to the kitchen bench straddling the rear wall, you’ll be conversing with their back).

Still, with salads in the fridge and protein simmering in the pan, the travelling team’s resident chef is only a few steps away from supervising the sizzling stuff.

The squabs on the couch lift up and reveal an easily slide-able pull-out frame section under each couch, which are light to manoeuvre and lock into place at the natural end point of travel out from the sofa base. Once out, the squabs are rearranged to provide for a wide east-west double bed, a long north-south double bed, or two singles, depending on your preference.

Imala -bedjpg

The whole process (minus bedding) takes a minute or two, so there’s no excuse to sit glumly on that last half glass, dreading the fact your aching bones still have a bed to make before they can comfortably retire for the night.

Storage

While the most is made of the available space inside the Imala 615, the rear-sited kitchen does mean you need to compromise on garage space underneath the vehicle. However, with a maximum carrying weight of 520kg, this model  still allows for plenty of kit to be
loaded onboard.

There are also plenty of overhead cubbies, both in the living/sleeping space and within the kitchen area, too. A larger one designed for hanging clothes also divides the bathroom and living areas.

There is plenty of cupboard space for two in the kitchenette, with an 800-watt stainless steel overhead microwave oven, a grill with four-burner dual hob, and a 96-litre, three-way automatic fridge freezer all in-situ.

Kitchen

Imala -kitchen

We also need to talk about the price of the Auto-Trail Imala 615. If you and your travel partner are currently perusing the ex-rental or second-hand markets, then $135,000 for a fresh-out-of-the-wrapper Imala 615 makes for pretty convincing buying.

Across the board, Auto-Trail ensures the majority of its models come with plenty of great standard features, and this one is no exception. That kitchen might be designed to fit tidily into the rear of the vehicle, but you’ll still find all those appliances I mentioned earlier in here as part of the purchase price.

Down the other end, the 19-inch flat-screen TV is also standard, as are double-glazed windows, skylights, electric folding entrance stairs, a separate shower, and an electric-flush toilet with a removable 17-litre cassette.

All-season sensibility

Auto-Trail models have a great reputation for strength and weather-tightness. Underneath an impact-resistant outer shell is a polystyrene core and a further layer of recycled plastic composite material, which is one hundred percent water resistant and—says the manufacturer—as strong as steel. Below decks, Auto-Trail fits a waterproof board on top of a Styrofoam core and a PVC outer skin.

Auto-Trail distributor Auckland Motorhomes also sells every Auto-Trail with two gas bottles and a twin battery set-up, along with Auto-Trail’s 10-year body construction integrity warranty, as well as Fiat’s five-year warranty for added peace of mind.

Verdict

Auto -trail

I feel a bit like I’m cutting-and-pasting here because yet again I have been impressed by what your money buys you at this range point in the Auto-Trail line-up. The Imala 615 is no exception.

If you’re meeting up with friends out on the road this summer (and who knows what sort of weather summer will bring), you’re covered for a spacious place to entertain. And think of that extra case of Syrah the Imala 615’s purchase price has allowed you to splurge on.

Auto-Trail Imala 615 specifications

Vehicle make/model: Auto-Trail Imala 615

Berths: 2–4

Axles: 2

Approx. overall length:  6340mm 

Approx. overall height (hi-line spec): 3100mm

Tanks: 135L fresh, 85L grey

Gas: 1 x 9kg, 1 x 4kg

GVM: 3500kg

Price (as reviewed): $135,000

Auto -trail -imagla

Pluses

  • Large opposing sofas make for roomy living on the road
  • Value for money 
  • Compact kitchen still well kitted out and with decent workspaces

Minuses

  • Small exterior locker space

For further information, visit aucklandmotorhomes.co.nz.

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