Time to Roam Magazine Issue 9 - June/July 2014 - Page 36

| tried + tested motorhome review IS THIS AUSTRALIA’S BEST-VALUE CAMPER? “ Technically, it’s a B class yet Horizon have managed to capture the cheeky go anywhere attitude of the camper van so well either description could fit.” The Horizon Melaleuca is the company’s best seller in its class and it’s easy to see why. It bridges motorhome class boundaries, sitting somewhere between a large camper van and a small B class motorhome. Technically, it’s a B class yet Horizon have managed to capture the cheeky go anywhere attitude of the camper van so well either description could fit. Of course camper vans don’t typically have an internal shower and toilet and the Melaleuca has both. While I love the compact nature of a camper van, the Melaleuca offers the extra space needed for more comfortable touring for longer periods. Either way you look at it, the Horizon Melaleuca is a tantalising proposition for anyone who wants a full-featured motorhome with a tiny sub 6m footprint. It’s a campervan, but not as we know it When I bought my first camper van back in the late 90s, there was nothing on the market like the Melaleuca. Camper vans were in abundant supply but if you wanted anything bigger in Australia (without going to a C class design that is), you would have to fit-out something like a Toyota Coaster bus. Since the early 2000s however, large, economical vans have been released in Australia by Iveco, Fiat, Mercedes and Ford but none have been as successful in the RV space as the new generation Fiat Ducato. Launched in 2006, the Ducato is the darling of the RV industry. It offers both a special RV friendly cab chassis version as well as several van variants including the incredibly economical 2.3 litre version which underpins the Horizon Melaleuca. We’ve talked quite a bit about the Fiat Ducato in previous reviews and it is worth repeating that the new Euro 5 compliant Fiat Ducato uses less diesel than ever and also outputs lower nitrogen oxide, CO2 and particulate emissions making it best in class for eco-friendliness. In terms of drivability, the Ducato is stable and super easy to handle. Fuel economy is excellent too with the Melaleuca returning figures well under 10L/100km. The Ducato also has an automatic shifting transmission, cruise control, Bluetooth, air conditioning as standard, ABS, central locking, airbags and just as importantly for me, an auxiliary input for the smart phone for music and audio books on the road. While I find the seating position a little high, I doubt anyone else will mind and Tried and Tested Horizon Melaluca Review by Paddy McCann RRP $104,000 Price as Reviewed $108,000 Drive Away 36 timetoroam.com.au