Review: The Carthago Chic S-Plus I 58

By: Bill Savidan , Photography by: Bill Savidan


The Carthago Chic S-Plus I 58 is impressive with features aplenty and a host of customisable options to choose from. NZMCD reviews.

Well known in Europe, particularly for their integrated motorhomes, Carthago is steadily infiltrating the ranks of new motorhome buyers in New Zealand.

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Carthago Chic S-Plus I 58

They have six product lines and build around 40 different models, from 6.4 to 8.9 metres long. From small beginnings 40 years ago, they are now the largest privately owned RV manufacturing company in Europe.

The overview

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The view ahead through the huge panoramic windscreen is spectacular

The Carthago Chic S-plus I 58 is Iveco-powered with a three-litre 205hp/152kW diesel engine driving the dual rear wheels through a silky smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox. The engine/transmission combination is ideally suited to motorhome work, making the Iveco Daily 65 a pleasure to drive.

From the cab seats, the view ahead is spectacular through the huge panoramic windscreen, and the excellent driving position allows the driver to see road within three metres of the front of the vehicle. Bus-style rear-view mirrors, a large main mirror above a smaller wide-angle mirror, plus a full-time monitor screen situated to the right keep the driver posted on what is happening rearwards.

Note that this I 58 is fitted with a differential lock on the rear axle. This should improve traction on surfaces such as grassy campground sites after heavy rain. The I 58 can be driven on a car licence but it does need a Certificate of Fitness (COF).

Designed for the European market means the cab door is kerbside and the habitation door is on the driver’s side. Both doors have robust grab handles and powered steps to aid entry and egress. The interior has the lounge/dinette at the front, the bedroom at the back, with the kitchen and bathroom amidships.

Inside the I 58 gleams quality. It is a warm, welcoming place. Superbly finished, the Summer Chestnut standard wood decor complements the optional High Gloss Cream overhead locker doors. Seating throughout is upholstered with the optional Bicolor Stone quality leather. Headroom in the lounge is a higher-than-average 2110mm, adding to the feeling of spaciousness.

Coffee perks

Good coffee has become an important part of Kiwi lives and Carthago recognises this by providing a dedicated space for a coffee maker. This one is a filter coffee model and capsule coffee makers are also available as an option. Whatever machine is chosen, it is mounted on a lift. When its work is done, the coffee maker disappears into the cabinet above.

Corner kitchen

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Attention to detail makes the kitchen a cut above the rest

Carthago have done their homework on how a kitchen should be fitted out and have put it into practice. Each drawer, cupboard, and slide-out has an internal fit-out for a specific purpose: cutlery, bottle storage, coffee machine, or adjustable partitioning for general storage. It’s all there ready to go. Efficient use of every nook and cranny makes the compact kitchen seem larger than it is.

Smaller details have not been overlooked either, like the paper towel holder beneath the coffee lift, the detachable handpiece on the faucet, the twin rubbish bins in the slide-out under the sink, or the central locking that secures the kitchen cabinetry doors and drawers while the vehicle is in motion.

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Each drawer, cupboard, and slide-out has a specific internal fit-out

All the necessary appliances are in place: a 160-litre Dometic Tec Tower fridge freezer with a small oven above, a twin-lid three-hob cooktop set into the bench top with an extractor fan above, and a coffee maker, in this case, a Braun Aromaster Classic filter machine. Overall, it is a cosy corner kitchen that’s a cut above the rest.

Dining

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The I 58 has a warm welcoming interior that gleams quality

Carthago has opted for a round table in the I 58 and it is a good choice. A foot-operated table release button allows the table-top to move from side to side and fore and aft, and being round makes it easier to get past when moving through to the cab.

One of the main benefits of the integrated motorhome is the extra space created by having the full width of the motorhome body continuing right through to the windscreen. The cab becomes part of the dinette/lounge and rotating cab seats help create a seamless transition from cab to dining.

A feature here is the wide dinette seat cushions that provide good thigh support. Note: the seat cushion for the side settee behind the driver pushes in to make it easier to get past and pulls out to make it nicer to sit on. Discreetly stored behind the driver’s side settee, the 32-inch Avtex TV (Kiwisat auto sat dish is on the roof) is lifted into the viewing position manually and can be rotated to improve the viewing angle.

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The ‘Sky Dream Comfort’ ceiling includes twin panoramic roof windows and suspended inner roof liner

Above the cab is a pair of lockers rather than the optional drop-down bed. These front lockers along with the lounge-side lockers form the ‘Sky Dream Comfort’ ceiling that includes the twin panoramic roof windows and suspended inner roof liner.

It sounds theatrical, but truth be told, it is an impressive piece of kit. Both ‘roof windows’ open and both have insect screens and blinds that provide control of insects and summer sunlight. After dark, a variable dimmer switch creates different levels of mood lighting.

En suite

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The wrap around mirrors make the bathroom seem enormous

Doors that isolate the toilet, shower, and vanity from the rest of the motorhome are not a new idea. Carthago’s interpretation just makes it seem so. They have fitted the toilet with a double door. The outer door closes off the kitchen while the inner one closes off the toilet.

A pair of sliding doors close off the bedroom. They are all solid doors, and once shut, the large enclosed changing room space is quite private.

Medium-sized rather than large, the shower is a work of art. Two walls, separated by a GRP corner moulding housing tap controls and shelves for soap and shampoo, have a subdued ‘Sandstone’ pattern.

A curved acrylic sliding door closes off the shower stall. In another departure from the norm, they have fitted two shower heads: one on the end of a flexible metal hose and the other, a ‘rain shower’ head, fixed into a Mini Heki roof hatch. It’s an interesting concept and one I would love to try sometime. The floor patterned ply over the shower tray is removed at shower time.

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The shower is a work of art with a rain shower head fixed into the roof hatch

Opposite, behind the double doors, are the toilet and vanity. Dark granite panels adorn the walls between the wall mirror and vanity top softening the glow of the cheerful Summer Chestnut cabinetry.

It is an eye-catching display. There is plenty of storage in cupboards above and below the bench for private bits and pieces. The Thetford C260 toilet is a swivel bowl model with a ceramic inner liner.

Beside the shower, within the en suite area, is a ceiling-high wardrobe, so day-to-day changes of clothes can be close at hand.

Bedroom

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Excellent access around the foot and down both sides of the bed

Carthago uses the orthopedically approved Carawinx mattress support system under their motorhome bed mattresses that, along with a top-quality mattress (2000mm x 1450mm), helps promote sound healthy sleep patterns.

The generously-sized bedroom—a small 100mm step up from the kitchen—has access around the foot and down both sides of the bed. Each occupant also has their own hanging locker, reading light, a cubbyhole for personal items, and a small side table. At the foot of the bed are a couple more drawers and cupboards, so there is no shortage of storage space. And right next door is the changing room with its large wardrobe space and room to get dressed in comfort.

There is an opening window each side of the bedroom and a ceiling hatch that provides good ventilation and plenty of light during the day. After dark, the numerous LED lights can work their magic.

Storage and spec

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The Summer Chestnut decor complements the glossy cream locker doors

As reviewed, the exterior colour scheme has silver front and sides with silver-platinum around the windows and anthracite skirts. The wheel trims are stainless steel, with alloys available as an option.

There is storage space within the double floors and some of this can be accessed from the outside to expedite loading/unloading. Some of the exterior hatches open vertically, parallel to the vehicle’s side, making it easier to access the storage lockers when parked in confined spaces. The rear garage is designed to accommodate motor scooters and pushbikes and is rated to carry up to 450kg.

Freedom camping is well catered for. There are two 80amp/hour gel batteries fitted with 400 watts of solar panelling to keep them charged. Water tanks, 235 litres fresh and 200 litres grey, are fitted into the frost-safe double floor, and two 9kg LPG bottles are standard. It comes with a CSC sticker.

Like most European motorhomes, the I 58 is fitted with a heating system. But Carthago has opted for a top-of-the-range Alde warm water central heating system instead of a hot air heater under the bed. They fit several convector heaters throughout the vehicle—in the double floor storage area, in the living area, the cab, and even a heat booster under the driver’s seat.

In conjunction with the ‘wall heating effect’ of the aluminium interior wall lining, they plan to keep Carthago owners toasty warm in the cruellest of cold conditions. And if you like to keep an eye on things electric, you’ll find the electrical centre in the rear garage where it is all neatly arranged.

Verdict

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The rear garage is rated to carry scooters and bikes up to 450kg

The Carthago S Plus I 58 is an impressive motorhome. It has many features and a host of options and can be customised to the buyer’s personal requirements. So, if you are contemplating investing in a top-of-the-range motorhome, be sure to see the Carthago S Plus I 58 before you finalise your order.

Carthago Chic S-Plus I 58 specifications

Vehicle make/model Carthago Chic S-Plus I 58
Engine 3L turbo diesel Euro 6
Transmission Eight-speed automatic
Berths 2
Approx. overall length 8560mm
Approx. overall height 3290mm
Tanks

235L fresh
200L grey 

Gas 2 x 9kg bottle 
GVM 6000kg 

 

Carthago Chic S-Plus I 58 price (as reviewed):

$379,990.

For further information, contact Paul Cook and his sales team at RnRV on 09 4267679, 0800 767808, or visit RnRV.co.nz.

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