With the recent arrival of the European luxury line of Hymer vehicles comes a rollout of previously unseen A-class motorhomes to New Zealand. Among them is the all-new Hymer Starline B690.
First impressions are of a well thought out mobile home with elegance and space that can be driven on a car licence. And this rising star is one that those looking for a stand-out vehicle, with all the bells and whistles, may want to hitch their dreams to.
Driving this dreamboat is a Mercedes Sprinter 519 CDI which, in layman’s terms, translates to a powerful 3.0-litre 140 kW V6 rear-wheel drive turbo-diesel with seven-speed auto gearbox.
And when you glide up to your destination, a conveniently located false floor in the dining room hides another powerhouse: two deep cycle batteries to deliver a steady stream of 12-volt power, augmented by the 100 watt solar panel and 1000 watt inverter.
Befitting its luxury class the Starline B690 is elegantly fitted with discreet LED lighting to create an ambient mood as you relax on the L-shaped leather lounge. A quick swivel of the cab seats creates a spacious dinette, additionally supplemented by a driver-side lounge chair with storage under.
In the galley, a corner bench set into a beautifully moulded cabinet creates a stylish and functional space to cook up a storm. Storage has been well thought out, with six deep drawers, overhead cupboards and a pull out pantry to tuck away your gourmet ingredients. Appliances include a three burner hob with oven and grill opposite above the 160-litre 3-way fridge.
Bedtime options comprise a separate island bed with a cleverly designed adjustable headrest elevated above the roomy rear garage, with thoughtful steps for easy access. Again, storage options are well considered both in the bedside cabinets and overhead lockers. A second drop down double bed up front provides two more berths.
The bathroom, with its sliding semi-circle shower screen is another example of great motorhome design. When open it creates more room to move past to the toilet, as well as a sense of space in what is, by necessity, a compact room.
And the bathroom is cleverly ducted to not only act as a wet room, but also as a drying room. This innovative feature is sure to be appreciated by the active owner. As will the garage under the master bedroom, mentioned earlier. This is a roomy space to stow your toys with tie-downs provided to keep them safe while you are on the road.
This final thought segues nicely to my concluding assessment of the Hymer Starline B690: it’s the hidden nature of some of the vehicle’s greatest assets which give it a sense of style and grace.
A vehicle like this is a bit like old money – there’s no need to tell the world what you’ve got, the Hymer reputation for quality and design says it all.
Find out more about the Hymer Starline B690
Peta Stavelli is the Deputy Editor of RV Travel and Lifestyle and NZ Today. She is the former editor of numerous well-known New Zealand titles, including Motorhomes, Caravans and Destinations. Peta bought her first RV at 20 years of age, before, for a time becoming seduced by boats. Her heart is now back where it belongs.