MMM November 2013 Accordo 125 The Accordo 125 is both compact and cavernous, highly specified yet inexpensive

MMM November 2013 Accordo 125 The Accordo 125 is both compact and cavernous, highly specified yet inexpensive
Majestic
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82 | Satarhome [NOVEMBER 2013
Marquis Majestic 125
Of one
Accord
Designed to compete head-on
with six-metre van conversions,
the Elddis Accordo seems in
tune with the motorhoming
zeitgeist. Here it is tested in
higher spec, dealer special
Marquis Majestic form
AT A GLANCE
= da A MY * PRICEFROMES9995
== = * BERTHS/TRAVEL SEATS 3/4
LACK SWAN =
ALES ~ ACCOMMODATION ~ FREE HOUSE el |
- ЧРОДЩЦОНООЧНИн BOU. Tok Friel BF ag a URRENTLY the mysterious trends of consumer
= demand seem to be aimed at ever-smaller
motorhomes — ‘downsizing’ is the new buzzword. Sales of
sub-six-metre panel van conversions have soared, even
though they can be draughty (courtesy of those big
sliding doors), poorly insulated (compared with
coachbuilts) and relatively cramped. Moreover, because
their construction is complicated and time-consuming,
they tend to be expensive. However, just about small
enough, at a pinch, to be used as a family’s sole vehicle,
they often have three or four travel seats.
Coachbuilt manufacturers are fighting back hard,
with more compact, innovative designs at highly
competitive prices. Elddis, from Consett, County
Durham, has long been a major player in both touring
caravans and motorhomes - its eight-'van Autoquest
range of budget motorhomes is a byword for value-for-
money, starting at £34,649 for the little 5.71m two-
berth 115. Now, for 2014, Elddis is entering the sub-
six-metre sector with two Accordo models (coachbuilts,
not vans) priced well below the psychologically
important £40,000 mark. Not only are they short, they
are also slim - at 2.14 metres, just a smidgen wider than
the base vehicle, In effect, they are the same size as a
Boxer or Ducato LWB van, but with (hopefully) better
insulation, greater interior room (because of its flat
ES a M ae (Te as AE Te A Eo: DEL. ; z о ве
Зоо sides) and costing considerably less — thereby providing
EN EEE TAR a dao MET las
formidable competition.
Here we are testing a Marquis Majestic 125 —
basically the same motorhome, but a ‘dealer special’
with more bells and whistles and for a slightly higher
price — from £39,995.
»
www. which-motorhome.co.uk | 83
Marquis Majestic 125
WHAT'S NEW?
For 2014, Elddis has made a whole raft of
changes to its range (see September
Issue), of which the launch of the two
compact, narrow-bodied Accordos is the
most notable. The Accordo 105 (also on a
lowered Tempo Libero chassis) has a more
traditional British layout than the 125
tested here, its front lounge having two
comfortable side-facing settees, but no
rear travel seats. Like the Accordo 105
and 125, the brand new Autoquest 195,
which offers the ever-popular U-shaped
rear lounge plus a front half-dinette and
side sofa, will also be available as a
Marquis Majestic special edition.
QUALITY COUNTS XX XX *
One must always make allowances for
prototype motorhomes, particularly when
supplied for testing at short notice, but
the Majestic 125 was very well made,
with good cabinetwork and general
finish, The only faults were the main
table, whose design needs slight
modification before production, the
incorrectly fitted toilet-roll holder, and
the poorly positioned shower curtain.
Otherwise, for a budget-priced "van, it
was a credit to its makers.
Childs bed has a mattress topper for extra comfort
THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX
The Majestic 125 looks small and neat from the front,
with an aerodynamic low-profile overcab and slim
shoulders. The coachbuilt body, however, is rather boxy,
the effect increased by a windowless rear panel largely
lacking in decoration, There's no rear-view camera and
the only noticeable feature aft is a large locker door
above the bumper.
Whereas Accordos have silver-grey sides and white
noses, Majestics are distinguished by silver cabs and
white sides, with trademark black, red and silver decals
and the Majestic crown insignia. A wind-out Prostor
awning is provided and there’ a large, opening skylight in
the overcab. Elddis is the first British manufacturer to
use Peugeot's wide and low Tempo Libero camping
chassis, so access requires no external step, but the
Majestic still looks quite high off the road at the rear, with
a pronounced tail-up attitude and high rear wheelarches
— which should aid wheel-changing.
Inside, the Majestic 125 is an unusual mixture — clearly
a British coachbuilt motorhome, indicated by the
upholstery choice and well-equipped kitchen, but the
layout looks more European. Swivelling cab seats face a
half-dinette on the offside, which forms two travel seats.
Behind thatis the washroom, with the kitchen opposite, aft
iaa
EE yr 7 Ta A A
Large, opening overcab skylight and side cubbies
(+ JM * Well-equipped at an excellent price
* Huge, practical rear storage * Very comfortable bed
» As compact as a van conversion but roomier inside
e Long water-ingress warranty
(4) AGAINST * Uncomfortable rear travel seat
e Pgor lighting
The new Majestic makes an excellent shopping |
trolley and fits fairly easily into a standard
supermarket parking bay
of the habitation door, and followed by a tall wardobe.
Across the rear is the elevated double bed. It's a layout often
seen in imported van conversions and even a few compact
low-profiles, and these are the Majestic 125% direct
competitors - what is missing is the traditional comfortable
British-style lounge, for whiling away those long rainy
afternoons (for that, you must try the Majestic 105).
Woodwork is pleasant, mid-toned Aspley Walnut and
overhead kitchen lockers have a contrasting wide cream
band and defining silver strip. The floor, in chocolate
bamboo-effect vinyl, has grey carpet sections — which, as
always, we immediately removed. Beige upholstery, with
charcoal and cream abstract patterning, includes scatter
cushions, and curtains which are also beige, The effect,
given the light flooding through the skylights, is warm,
and understated — a typical cosy British motorhome.
SOLID STATE
Motive power from Peugeots 2.2-litre, 130bhp engine,
drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual
gearbox — as its a Pug, rather than a Fiat, theres no
automatic gearbox option. It's based on a medium-
wheelbase, 3,300kg chassis ~ we generally prefer to see a
3,500kg maximum weight, thus providing more weight-
carrying capacity; however, the Majestic’s substantial
a
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|
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www. which-motorhome.co.uk | 85
»
550kg payload is testament to careful design and use of
lightweight materials. Elddis now uses the SoLiD
construction method, whereby panels and frame are
chemically bonded together, providing a lighter, stronger
and drier body, using far fewer screws than traditionally
- and allowing provision of a 10-year body integrity
warranty. The company claims the process prevents all
water ingress, and the plywood motorhome floor is
protected by a GRP bonded underskin.
APPRAISED AT ALDI
The Majestics cab has the usual dark fascia, but with
silvered highlights; cab air-conditioning, cruise control
and passenger airbag are all included. Having no
through-vision, the interior mirror is redundant, and
the Remis blind surrounds on the cab windows impede
the drivers road view somewhat. However, rearward
visibility is acceptable, courtesy of the large door
mirrors and that slimline body, Cab seats both have
twin armrests and are fully adjustable to provide a
comfortable travelling position.
On the road, the racket from the rattling glass cooker
lid was, initially, deafening, until muffled by emergency
deployment of a fleece jacket. Thereafter, the interior
became relatively quiet. The rear suspension was
surprisingly harsh, though - normally, we find the
camping-car chassis smooth and supple, and wondered if
the rear tyre pressures were too high. The Majestic
certainly handled well, its narrow body enabling small
country lanes to be tackled with confidence, but the lack
of a window in the habitation door compromised the
drivers view to the left at angled junctions, so one needed
always to arrive at 90 degrees to the junction. When
travelling in the rear outer seat, Rona found the sprung,
travel seat cushion squishy and unsupportive, so had to
brace herself with her left leg — not ideal for children. The
seat is rather cramped for two and also set rather high, so
with the joggly ride and lack of visibility, Rona soon
shifted back to the cab. We'd suggest the Majestic (like so
many motorhomes) is best regarded as a two-seater, with
occasional short-distance travel seats for two more,
rather than a full, long-distance four-seater,
At an Aldi supermarket the Majestic slotted easily
within a standard parking bay, and here, a major plus of
the layout became clear. Panel van conversions generally
have opening rear doors or a tailgate, enabling easy access
into the back, and Bürstners new Brevio compact
coachbuilt (and its Hymer stablemate) also has a tailgate.
Elddis has opted for a halfway house. À large upward-
opening locker door in the rear panel reveals the under-
bed area - at a perfect height for unloading your shopping
trolley! This medium-sized door doesn't require as much
opening space as a tailgate and the storage area revealed
is vast, even with the bed in place. If the bed is raised (it
splits centrally, and each side is clipped up, out of harm's
way) and a strengthening rail and the wooden bed-front
removed, you have acres of space. We tried a big
stepladder for size — no problem. In fact, we wished
Elddis had gone further — a larger door, perhaps side-
hinged, would enable easy loading and carriage of bikes.
36 | Motorhome [NOVEMBER 2013
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View aft — much like à van
conversion but more spacious
Marquis Majestic 125
FACT FILE
PRICE FROM £39,995
PRICE AS TESTED £39,995
EXTRAS FITTED None
TYPE APPROVAL European Whole
Vehicle
BERTHS 2+1
TRAVEL SEATS (INC DRIVER) 4
DIMENSIONS 5.99m L, 2.14m W,
2.61m H
INTERIOR HEIGHT 1.94m
MAXIMUM WEIGHT 3,300kg
PAYLOAD 550kg
BEDS Rear fixed bed 2.01m x 1.30m,
child's dinette bed 1.53m x 0.92m
FRESH WATER 90 litres (inboard)
WASTE WATER 70 litres {underslung,
insulated)
GAS 2 x 11kg
LEISURE BATTERY 110Ah
MAINS SOCKETS 4
BASE VEHICLE
PEUGEOT BOXER LWB TEMPO
LIBERO CHASSIS-CAB
ENGINE 2.2-litre, 130bhp, front-wheel
drive, six-speed manual
MPG ON TEST 24.7
COOKING/HEATING
COOKING Hob with three gas burners
and one electric hotplate, Thetford
Duplex combi oven/grill
FRIDGE 90-litre Dometic three-way,
removable freezer
HEATING Whale 4kW dual-fuel
blown-air
BOILER Whale 13-litre boiler
WHERE CAN | BUY A MAJESTIC?
If you want a
Marquis Majestic,
there's a choice
of 10 sites
dotted around
England, though
none in the
‘Celtic fringe’.
Even though
predominantly
located in the
South and
Midlands, the
North is well
served by Marquis
Lancashire in Preston
and Marquis Durham at Birtley, near
Gateshead (who kindly supplied the
test 'van).
»
www.which-motorhome.co.uk|87
View forwards from rear bed — coachbuilt flat
Sides piean more room than a van conversion
LOUNGE-LITE
The half-dinette isn’t ideal for travelling, but does it work
as a lounge? Lacking a true settee, there's no question of
feet-up sprawling and the soft, rather un-formed dinette
cushion soon had us squirming. The best perch, as usual,
was the swivelled cab seats, but even fully adjusted, some
might find them too high, despite the raised floor plinth,
A useful small coffee table fits on a moveable pole
attached to the B-pillar behind the driver and this can be
replaced by a larger table which clips to the wall under
the lounge window, using rather old-fashioned bolts.
That's the idea, but here the table leg was obstructed by
the seat base and it didn't quite fit; it's a problem which
can easily be fixed - that’s what prototypes are for!
There's no dedicated store for this table, so it tends to live
loose under the rear bed — not ideal. There's a television
mount on the bulkhead, but it's too close to the travel
seats for all but the myopic and theres little in the way of
lighting — apart from mood-lighting strips above the
cupboards, there’ just one halogen reading light (behind
you, so you cast a shadow on your book) and no reading
lights for the cab seats. During the day the skylight above
the cab and a Heki over the aisle cast plenty of light. So,
the lounge is similar to those in many van conversions
and suffers the same drawbacks; we'd miss comfy feet-
up settees for sprawling. However, Elddis has provided
an extra cushion and pull-out platform to make an
acceptable childs bed (5ft by 3ft max) from the dinette
seat and swivelled driver's seat. The infill cushion is firm,
compared to the dinette seat, but they've thoughtfully
included a mattress topper to iron out bumps.
Unfortunately, with the bed occupied, and youngster
asleep, adults would have nowhere to continue their
evening except on the rear bed.
BETTER IN BED
The main bed across the rear has clearly been inspired by
similar arrangements in campers like the highly
successful Adria Twin — but as a coachbuilt doesn't have
to accommodate awkwardly-placed, body-strengthening
metal beams, the bed can be a generous 2.01m (6ft 7in)
by 1.30m (4ft 3in). The bed, behind a privacy curtain, is
a reasonable 80cm (2ft 7%in) above the floor, and a bare-
foot-friendly foothole aids access. A conventional step
might be easier to use at dead of night, but once your foot
locates the hole, its fine. Though the memory foam
mattress and sprung-slat base is split amidships, allowing
each side to be raised, the bed is very comfortable, and we
slept well. Theres a window at the bed foot (offside) —
with a Seitz roller blind which admits a bar of morning
light along the bottom — and a large, push-up Heki. Five
commodious high-level cupboards (two shelved, three
unshelved), line the rear wall - an advantage over the
equivalent high-top camper, where the rear doors restrict
storage opportunities — however, you must clamber over
the bed to reach them. Because the side walls are
Fah | L Г
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Elddis has been
making caravans
and motorhomes
in Consett, County
Durham, for 50 years now, and in the
process has taken over several other
companies, including Compass, Herald,
Autohomes and Buccaneer. These days
its USP is the SoLiD method of
construction, and its class-leading
10-year water ingress warranty.
Marquis claims to have Britain's
largest motorhome and caravan
dealership network, with 10 branches
strategically placed around the country.
Despite its close ties with Auto-
Sleepers, the company also produces
the Lifestyle range (based on Swift's
Escape range) and Majestics from
Elddis. Until now all Marquis Majestics
have been Autoquest-based, but new
this season are the two Accordo
equivalents, the 125 tested here
and its 105 sibling.
88 |motorhome [NOVEMBER 2013
»
motorhomes & caravans
The UK's largest dealer network
DET MEAT LALA
Marquis Ae 175
ОШ в 7m
7 o tar Cara ve i
CARAVAN Des i u sou :
CLUB у,
WINNER Coachbuts up to £43 000
Elédis Majestic 145
NEW Majestic 105
Elddis’s best-selling Special Edition Motorhome range
This coachbuilt range is designed and engineered to the most exacting of standards, combining over 50 years of heritage with
ultra-modern features and stylish comfort. Joining the prestigious Majestic range for 2014 are two sporty new compact layouts
offering all the benefits of a coachbuilt motorhome with bags of living space. The all-new Majestic 105 and 125 models are under
2.8m in height and less then 6m in length — with 6'4” internal headroom, offering the perfect choice for your family vehicle.
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Marquis Majestic 125
IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD NEW...
You'll probably be looking at either
a van conversion or a compact
continental ‘Van’ class coachbuilt,
with a rear garage.
2008 Hobby Van GFSC
NOTES This stylish little Habby has
travelled only 11,627 miles and is almost
identical in size to the Majestic — 6m long
and just 2.18m wide. It has the classic
‘Van’ layout, with a half-dinette up-front
(making two extra travel seats), a small
kitchen amidships and a high-level
transverse double bed. It has a large
garage with side access. It's on a Ford
Transit base, so ideal if you're not keen
on the Fiat Ducato or its Sevel sisters.
DEALER Lowdham Leisureworld,
Nottingham www.lowdhams.com
i | iË
3
2011 Autocruise Pace
NOTES One of the Swift Group's highly
successful Autocruise van conversions,
built on a 5.99m Peugeot Boxer, the Pace
follows the Adria Twin layout faithfully,
having a half-dinette which joins
swivelling cab seats to make a small
lounge — and a third berth. The rear
transverse bed divides to allow easy
access through the rear doors to a large
storage area. This example has an
unusual auto-clutch, allowing
gearchanging without using your left foot.
Its done 18,074 miles in the hands of its
three owners.
DEALER Highbridge Caravans
www.highbridgecaravans.co.uk
2004 Autocruise Valentine
NOTES They don't make “em like this
anymore — this little Peugeot coachbuilt
is shorter even than the Majestic 125
but has two good berths and a door in
the rear, allowing bikes to be carried
inside and easy access for long loads.
You have a practical kitchen on the
nearside of the rear aisle and a good
washroom on the offside. Although older
than our other alternatives, this example
has only done 27,416 miles, has an
awning, electric rear step, cab central
ocking, electric windows and mirrors,
so it's well equipped at a sensible price.
DEALER TC Motorhomes
www.temotorhomes,com
The rear bed is very comfortable, but has only one reading light
unadorned (allowing the bed halves to be raised), theres
a great deal of headroom for sitting up in bed — but only
one measly reading light.
BRITISH BREW
British manufacturers are renowned for their kitchens
and Elddis has tried hard with the 125; despite the
motorhome’s small dimensions, it contains an impressive
list of features. The kitchen unit has a nicely finished,
neatly-edged, limestone-effect worktop with a useful
pull-out end section which only slightly impedes the
habitation door. Sockets are sensibly placed in the wall
above the surface, with the heater controls clustered
above. The four-burner hob (one electric, the others gas
— a special feature of the Majestic 125, Accordos having a
three-burner version) and large rectangular sink have
glass lids and both are finished in black enamel; very
attractive, and seemingly robust, but care will be needed
not to chip them. Unfortunately, the hob's large size,
increased by side-placed control-knobs, gives no space
for an integral draining board. Under the sink is the
easily-accessed 90-litre, three-way fridge, and under the
hob is the Thetford Duplex combi oven/grill, with a
useful cutlery drawer below that — a little low for comfort.
= ms
;
Cab — well-equipped, with all the essentia and more
ME A
Spacious washroom has lots of storage but poor lighting
The only other low-level storage is a small amount in a
narrow cupboard squeezed between the fridge and oven
— however, the overhead lockers are of a good size, with
one racked-out for crockery. These locker catches differ
from those elsewhere, being hidden away below the door,
and there are no handles - these frequently opened locker
doors are consequently awkward to shut without
slamming. Lighting is reasonable, with two spots under
the high-level cupboards and two more in the ceiling -
and there's a wind-up Omnivent skylight in the aisle.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
Opposite the kitchen, the washroom is large for such a
small motorhome. On the right is a fixed basin, in a
curved plastic vanity unit which has plentiful storage.
Alongside is the chromed Whale shower on a riser-bar
with its own soap dish attached; and the swivel toilet is to
the left, under a shelved, high-level cupboard. The
recessed shower tray providing the floor area has but one
drainhole — however, it’s correctly positioned at the lowest
point to the front, Mirrors clad the corners behind the
washbasin, and there's a push-up skylight, but the small
LED ceiling cluster provides inadequate lighting. There's
a shower curtain to protect the area behind the loo,
www. which~-motorhome.co.uk| 91
currently stored at the door-side, too close to the toilet —
theres room for it in the far corner, well away from the
action! The waterproof-surfaced door has an effective
drainage lip on the bottom but some drips on the floor
outside are inevitable when opening the door, post-
shower. Other concerns were the toilet-roll-holder the
wrong way round, so we couldnt fit a toilet-roll, the
excessive height of the toilet above the recessed shower
tray (you'll need a folding step), and the unnecessarily
rough wall texture which will be difficult to clean.
Overall, though, for the size of motorhome, its an
acceptable washroom.
NOT JUST A MOTORHOME
One of the Majestic 125 strengths is its ability to swallow
large, bulky loads, becoming far more of a multi-purpose
vehicle than most coachbuilts, With the bed lifted, you
simply remove the wooden side piece (made in two parts
around the foot-hole, just like a medieval pillory!). You
then have the full, unrestricted length of the motorhome
for long loads, whilst the rear bay can accommodate
bulky items, limited only by the size of the rear hatch.
There are tie-down points to restrain loads whilst on the
move, a side cupboard under the bed on the nearside and
a useful drawer on the offside.
Between the bed and kitchen there’s a floor-to-ceiling
wardrobe, so tall it’s kitted out as a ‘double-decker, each rail
having a 92cm drop. You could easily replace the bottom
rail with shelves, if you felt one rail was enough — it might
compensate for the relative paucity of kitchen storage.
In continental-fashion, theres no storage under the
dinette seat as the inboard fresh water tank lives here.
However, there are two big overhead lockers above the
lounge, one shelved, one not. The overcab skylight
obviously prevents storage above the cab, but there are
useful open cubbies on each side, plus a lipped shelf
across the front, for maps and suchlike,
As for equipment, one of the reasons for buying a
dealer special is the extra goodies which are generally
included in the price. The cockpits air-conditioning,
passenger airbag and cruise control are standard on the
Majestic, whereas they are part of the optional Lux pack
on Accordos, and ESP and Hill-start/Traction Control are
included, as are automatic lights and windscreen wipers,
It has central locking, though this doesn't extend to the
habitation door. Commendably, there's a spare wheel and
carrier as standard.
We were pleased to see Elddis has changed to a standard,
manual water filling system which is easy to use, wherever
you are, and the 90-litre fresh water capacity is adequate for
the number of travellers carried. Meanwhile, the 75-litre
waste water tank is underslung but insulated. The external
gas locker accommodates two big cylinders and the Whale
heating system is powered either by gas or mains electricity.
Theres a 13-litre boiler and 4kW space heater, which being
underslung in a metal casing, doesn't take up precious
internal space. There are blown-air outlets in the main
lounge (two), and in the washroom, and the heating
worked well, though it was noisy on full boost — it
quietened once the interior reached the desired warmth.
The control panel by the habitation door is straightforward
to operate, though the water gauge was inaccurate, showing
half-full when it was close to overflowing. A TV aerial will
be standard, but you'll need to supply your own television,
and, finally, although not obvious, there are hard points in
the rear wall of the motorhome for a bike rack.
BEFORE YOU BUY
CONSIDER THESE...
Biirstner Brevio t 605
BASED ON Fiat Ducato LWB
NOTES The original van-sized
coachbuilt, the Brevio won our
Compact Coachbuilt of the Year award
last year. For 2014 it's even better as
the rear bed now pulls down from the
roof, rather than unfolding. It still has
an Accordo-beating full-height rear
tailgate but its compact kitchen lacks
an oven or grill.
READ THE ROAD-TEST
November 2012 (t 600)
—
Globecar Globescout-Style
BASED ON Fiat Ducato LWB
NOTES When we compared 15 of the
best long-wheelbase Fiat/Peugeot/
Citroën van conversions side-by-side,
the Globescout came out on top. It
has a similar layout to the Majestic
in a panel van body but its clever
washroom, great styling and superb
build quality make it stand out.
READ THE ROAD-TEST
June 2013
Hymer Exsis-t 414
BASED ON Fiat Ducato Al-Ko
NOTES We're big fans of the Exsis-i
narrow-bodied A-class and now there's
a low-profile version with 5.95m body.
It has the transverse-double-bed-over-
garage layout first seen in the Ford
HymerVan and is just 2.22m wide.
The rear garage has twin doors and
the whole sits on an Al-Ko chassis
for superior roadholding.
READ THE ROAD-TEST Not yet
Motürhomesays * kkk
The Accordo 125 has much to commend it, especially in Majestic guise. It is both compact
and cavernous, highly specified yet inexpensive and a serious competitor to van conversions.
Found your perfect motorhome?
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92 | motorhome | NOVEMBER 2013
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