Having just reviewed a small motorhome from a different manufacturer, the same clichés threaten to surface for the new range of zippy wee motorhomes that are now entering the market. Terms like ‘compact’ and ‘sporty’ may have been used elsewhere when describing motorhomes under seven metres in length. And they certainly still apply when talking about the Elddis Accordo that measures just a smidgen under the six-metre mark.

The interior of the Accordo comprises the expected Elddis finish and features

However, when it comes to the Elddis brand of British-made motorhomes, understated elegance can be added to the mix of adjectives. So we might say of the Accordo that it is not only a compact and highly manoeuvrable coach-built motorhome (as opposed to a van conversion) but also a no-compromise option when it comes to quality and design. And from the moment you enter this vehicle it is unmistakably an Elddis.

Note the pared down elegance of the Peugeot cab

First you take in the twin soft-spring sofas covered in hard-working oatmeal fabric and separated by a handy cabinet-come-table conversion. These sofas can be used as twin singles or made into a very generous 6′6″ bed. If the thought of making up your bed at night if this seems like too much trouble you may want to, you may want to consider the more than 50 years of design that Elddis has had, to come up with this uniquely easy conversion from day to night mode.

A second thought when looking at permanent beds versus sofa conversions is the amount of entertainment space this type of arrangement offers. Here in the Accordo, you have an enormous day lounge in which to relax or entertain. This motorhome, which in every way feels like the layout of the Elddis caravan, also offers a similar amount of floor space as a caravan, yet with the convenience of all-weather walk through from the vehicle cab.

Elddis vehicles are beautifully upholstered, ensuring a comfortable lounge conversion from day to night mode

Another big plus is the 6′4″ headroom throughout, including the galley which runs along one side of the living room. This sports a three-burner black enamel gas hob with high-speed multi-burner designed to be used with your large frying pan or wok. Naturally the burner has a glass cover which increases the preparation area when closed. Underneath, is an oven grill, and adjacent, below the sink, the under-bench 95L fridge with pull-out freezer. The generously sized sink also has a food-preparation cover.

With everything in easy reach and a fold-up for extra bench space, the galley is very workable

By New Zealand standards, the working area of the galley is small, but practical, and one of the great things about this design is the central location of the galley in the light-filled interior. Plus you will enjoy the added serenity of Noce Ampere, craftsman-built anti-rattle cabinets and dove-tailed drawers. Storage options within this central area are numerously provided in the overhead lockers – seven in all; a half-length wardrobe and drawer combo between the lounge and bathroom, and galley cupboards tall enough to stash those cereal boxes or pasta containers. Plus you have another drawer and cupboard in the galley for any additional storage.

The Elddis Accordo offers compact motorhome buyers the welcome option of a Peugeot base vehicle

Opposite the galley is the combination bathroom: toilet and shower with handbasin. This is a good-sized room, and while it may not be everyone’s cup of tea to have a three in one, the design is thoughtful. For example the toilet is off to the side and can be curtained off to keep it dry when showering, as can the handbasin. And the seven-litre instant water heater will ensure you don’t get an unwelcome cold shower. Although with only 70 litres onboard, you will have to be circumspect when it comes to water use.

That said, motorhome design always comes with an element of compromise; and when you are considering a vehicle that is even more compact than usual, you are likely to have to consider a different level of compromise – although the Elddis Accordo does prove that good design can minimise those potential niggles. Sometimes those features that make the difference between good and bad design are not easily seen – or heard, as is the case of the anti-rattle drawers and also with the heating. The dual-fuel (LPG/mains-powered) 4kW Whale space-saving heater has a night-time function which means your precious sleep will not be disrupted while you still enjoy a warm and cosy home-on-the-road throughout the night.

The Accordo is compact and well considered with a galley and bathroom amidships

Also under wraps is the Strong-Lite high-strength, one-piece aluminium construction method which the manufacturer claims is up to 30 per cent lighter, yet 40 per cent stronger. I cannot vouch for these claims but one thing I can tell you is that in a motorhome marketplace where your average chassis offering is Fiat or Fiat – the Accordo is built on a Peugeot base. And if that doesn’t get you excited I don’t know what will. Earlier on I mentioned that this is a coach-built vehicle, as opposed to a van conversion. Coach builds, to the uninitiated, are considered to be stronger – purpose built on the chosen chassis – while panel-van conversions retain the integrity of the walls of the base vehicle and fit a motorhome interior within the shell.

In this instance, the base vehicle is the much-lauded Peugeot Boxer 2.0L with a 97kW Turbo Diesel Euro 6 engine that, over the years, has being tweaked by the manufacturer to be leaner and greener. The RV Leisure Centre in Nelson is Elddis’s sole appointed New Zealand representative for the brand. Accordingly the company is able to offer Elddis’s factory-backed warranties and prepare vehicles for sale fully certified and self-contained to meet all New Zealand requirements.

The cab seats swivel to create extra – or alternative – seating when the bed is in use

Bought from the RV Leisure Centre, the Accordo 120 comes complete with a fully automatic satellite dish, a 100W solar panel, reversing camera, a two-placement bike rack, factory-fitted tow bar, 20-inch TV, alloy wheels and a Thule Omnistore awning. Phew.

In summary, the Elddis Accordo carries through the pedigree of a highly respected and experienced manufacturer. It’s bound to find a ready audience with anyone who values a quality build in a highly manoeuvrable city-to-country vehicle.

Elddis Accordo 120
Base Vehicle: Peugeot Boxer
Berths: 2
Length: 5999mm
Height: 2725mm
Width: 2600mm
Headroom: 1900mm
Beds: Main 1405mm x 2010mm
Mass in running order: 2568kg
Max payload: 732kg