Inside the New Laika 419 EcoVip
Friday, 17, Feb 2017 04:37
by Tom Evans
As European motorhome models are becoming ever more popular in the U.K, we've decided to take a look at the latest offering from Italian manufacturer Laika.
Laika may not be the most well known motorhome brand amongst tourer's outside of the continent, with only a handful of dealers in the U.K, but as part of the Hymer group you can expect German build quality with a touch of Italian flair.
The van in question, the New EcoVip 419, built on the European favourite Fiat Ducato is, as Laika themselves put it "a motorhome that brings together outstanding practicality, liveability and storage capacity". Quite a lot to live up to!
Our verdict is split, the 419 does live up to it's billing, but only when used as a 3/4 Berth. It's pitched as 5/6 berth which I think is pushing it, for instance it only comes with 4 belts as standard and a 5th is an optional extra, standard payload is 400kg which won't gar far with 6 occupants equipment and we can't imagine how you'd squeeze 5 or 6 into the dinette. So discounting it as a family-van, what can it offer as a 3 berth.
Well, as a 3/4 berth, Laika's hyperbole may ring truer, it is outstandingly practical, very liveable and storage is excellent. It has sleeping options including an overcab double, convertible lounge and rear twins which will suit most family configurations. The longer-than-usual side windows make it a joy to be in the kitchen or rear, and smart storage including two separate end-of-bed wardrobes will keep things tidy and organised, meaning the single level floor from cab to bathroom can be properly appreciated.
We should mention the styling, which although very smart and modern, may be a little cold for an English winter break, but on the whole it's a smart outfit offering something a little different, our only criticism is, as with many vans of recent, more berths isn't always better and sometimes it's better to focus on 'practicality', 'liveability' and 'storage' for fewer and leave the extra berths to the A-classes.