Comparison review: Nexxo T685 and T690G

By: Bill Savidan, Photography by: Bill Savidan


NZMCD pits two Bürstner Nexxo models—the T690G and T685—against each other to find out what works and what doesn’t

In 2015, two Bürstner Nexxo models went into service with SmartRV’s sister company, Wilderness Motorhomes. Now, three years and around 150,000km later, they have been replaced in the fleet and are being sold.

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These two Nexxo models from Bürstner could be regarded as non-identical twins. Much the same up front, they are definitely non-identical aft of the kitchen. Here, they have different bed and bathroom arrangements.

The T690G has a twin bed layout and a single Flexo bathroom unit housing the shower, toilet, and vanity. The T685 has an off-centre island bed with a shower stall alongside the bed and the toilet/vanity in a separate cubicle at the foot of the bed.

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Both units are built on Fiat Ducato cab/chassis with Fiat’s wide, low motorhome chassis, powered by the 130hp Multijet turbo-diesel engine driving the front wheels through a six-speed automated manual transmission gearbox. On the road, they are easy to drive, allowing the driver to quickly gain confidence and enjoy the driving experience.

Bürstner cabinetry in these models is finished in a dark brown timber patterned laminate with light autumn-toned leather upholstered cushions and curtain fabrics. Kitchen drawer and door fronts in gloss white are a striking contrast. Windows and hatches throughout make the interior light, bright, and airy.

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While these vehicles are pretty much the same up front, there are differences of detail. The T690G has a sunroof hatch over the cab and the TV is mounted behind the locker above the side settee, dropping down for viewing. On the T685, the TV is mounted on the wall beside the entry and there’s no sunroof.

The T690G has the oven mounted below the kitchen bench, displacing two drawers, while on the T685, the oven is above the fridge/freezer.

Dinette/lounge

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The dinette seat cushions are not too high off the ground, provide excellent thigh support, and have seat backs with the correct angle for good support.

The table is well designed and the top can move in all directions, plus, it has a large swing leaf enabling it to reach those seated further from the table. By rearranging the cushions provided, the dinette can be converted into a small single bed.

Kitchen

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Although three years old, the main design features in the kitchen are still up to date. Vertical overhead locker doors with deep lockers behind them and soft-close kitchen drawers and doors are still in vogue, as are the three in-line hobs at the back of the bench that leave useful workspace in front.

Fitted to both kitchens is the popular 145-litre 450mm wide Dometic fridge/freezer and a large pantry-style drawer under the sink.

Bathroom

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Bürstner refers to the bathroom module in the T690G as ‘the Flexo’. It is an all-in-one model with the shower hiding behind a swing wall that closes off the toilet while the shower is in use. It is a robust unit and is space efficient.

To use the toilet/handbasin, swing the wall to the right and you have a full array of mirror shelves and cupboards and the same elegant basin and faucet as in the T685. Swing the wall left to reveal the large shower with the toilet/vanity hidden out of harm’s way.

The T685 has two separate bathroom units: a shower stall beside the bed and the toilet/vanity together in a closet at the foot of the bed. The shower stall is narrow so the person showering needs to stand sideways.

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It has everything you need—a four-way hatch in the ceiling, a shelf for a cake of soap, a central drain, bi-fold acrylic door that latches shut when in use, and a strap that restrains it when in transit.

The T685 closet set-up is similar to that in the T690G—an elegant handbasin and faucet mounted on top of the vanity, with the Thetford swivel bowl toilet to the left. Above the vanity is a medicine cabinet and mirror and below, a pair of cupboards.

Bedroom

T685 off-centre island bed

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Bürstner have worked their magic to make this corner bed as appealing as possible. The corners at the foot of the mattress have been rounded off to improve access when getting in and out of bed. The small gap in between the bed and the wall on the driver’s side helps access a little.

Each separate bedhead section of the mattress/slat base can be raised, making it more comfortable when sitting up. In this model, the bed is lower than the twins in the T690G, so the occupant’s head is clear of the overhead lockers when sitting up. On the driver’s side, two steps up makes it easy to get into the bed but on the other side, you will probably need the assistance of a small stool.

Beside the shower (which is beside the bed) is a handy full-length wardrobe cabinet. Access to storage under the foot of the bed is via a sliding door in the bed base or by lifting mattress/base (gas strut assistance provided). Access to storage under the head the bed is from the driver’s side garage door. Note: there is a flat floor from the bed(s) to and including the cab.

T690G twin single beds

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To provide maximum height in the garage, the twin singles are higher off the floor than usual. However, like the island bed in the T685, each bedhead can be raised. This process moves the occupant down the bed so their head is clear of the overhead lockers.

Three steps up between the beds makes it easy to get in and out. There is a small storage locker under the top step. At the foot of each bed, a door gives access to a hanging locker. The foot of the bed also lifts out of the way to make access to this locker easier. There is more storage in the lockers above the bedhead.

When made up as twin singles, there is a wooden platform like a tabletop between the beds. A handy place to put odds and ends needed. Cushions are provided to change the twin singles to a large double.

External

All hatches open, close, and lock properly. Mark Baker, sales rep for SmartRV, reports that all used vehicles are refurbished once they come off the fleet so any stone chips in the paintwork will be repaired as part of the sales price.

Verdict

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Both vehicles have the same size and weight footprint so the choice is down to the difference in the bedroom/bathroom configurations.

On balance, I prefer the T690G’s bathroom arrangement. It has a larger shower space and when the shower is hidden, the toilet vanity/space is more than adequate. The twin single beds over the large garage are quite acceptable, so for me, the T690G is first choice.

Both vehicles, as reviewed, were supplied by SmartRV and retail for $94,900 each, including GST and on-road costs.

Nexxo T685/T690G Specifications

Vehicle make/model  T685  T690G
Engine  2015 Fiat Ducato 2.3L Multi-jet 96kW/130HP Euro 5 Diesel  2015 Fiat Ducato 2.3L Multi-jet 96kW/130HP Euro 5 Diesel
Transmission 6-speed auto  6-speed auto 
Berths  3
Approx. overall length  6990mm  6990mm 
Approx. overall height 2750mm  2750mm
Tanks 

120L fresh
90L grey

120L fresh
90L grey

Gas  1 x 9kg and 1 x 4.5kg  1 x 9kg and 1 x 4.5kg 
GVM  3500kg  3500kg 

For more information, call SmartRV on 0800 007 627 for the Auckland office, or 0800 007 628 for Christchurch or visit smartrv.co.nz.

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