Alastair ClementsSee other News articles filed in ‘Caravans’ written by Alastair Clements
Slovenian caravan manufacturer Adria is the largest imported brand in the UK and the only Continental manufacturer to build caravans specifically for our market, with their doors on the nearside. The company celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2015 – not to mention 40 years continuously on sale in the UK – and is marking the occasion with an aggressive strategy to increase sales in a market in which it is currently only a small player, in comparison with the larger British brands.
Key to that sales push from Adria caravans will be the revised 2015 Altea range. The firm’s entry-level model now follows the mid-market Adora’s ‘i-Shape’ design, with modular plastic panels around the front and rear to make smaller bumps cheaper and easier to repair. Unlike the Adora, it does without a three-piece front window and a front sunroof, so it does look a little bare from outside.
Inside, the new Altea range features Adria’s new SMART kitchen and ERGO washroom – which means that it majors on simple, clean design and excellent space utilisation. The flexible floorplans are clearly targeting families and couples that tour with grandchildren, with plenty of sleeping options.
The old Tay and Shannon layouts have been dropped, and instead the Altea will be a four-model range. That said, most of them will be familiar: there’s the 552UP Trent with its huge rear island bed and centre washroom, plus the 542DK Severn and 552DT Tamar, both with fixed bunks and up to seven berths if you choose the optional (£295) third fixed rear bunk. In the Tamar, there’s a rear washroom and central dinette/bunks, with those positions reversed in the Severn.
New to the range for 2015 is the 362LH Forth, an innovative compact caravan with four berths and an end kitchen/washroom. This weighs in with an MTPLM of 1100kg, which can be increased to up to 1300kg if required, while the others in the range are 1400kg with an optional increase to 1500kg.
Prices are up on last year, ranging from £13,190 to £14,390, but Adria claims to have benchmarked the entire range against its key competitors, and all models will come with a complimentary ‘Golden Edition’ pack (worth £390), comprising an Al-Ko AKS hitch stabiliser, Truma Ultraheat, plus a drainer and sink cover.
The Adora and flagship Astella Glam Edition were both refreshed last year and as a result have been largely left alone for 2015 – with the exception of a new illuminated splashback for the Adora, plus fresh graphics, improved cupboard and drawer operation, and a new control panel for the Astella’s Alde wet central heating.
Like the Altea, they will also get ‘Golden Edition’ packs as standard. In the Adora it adds ambient lighting, alloy wheels, an Al-Ko secure receiver, carpets, drainer and sink cover, while for the Astella it brings an ATC trailer control system, ambient lighting, decorative roof rails, carpets, drainer and sink cover.
The big news is in the price list. The 2015 Astellas will be £990 cheaper than their 2014 equivalents, while Adoras are between £350 and £1050 less, depending on model.
Adria was giving some bold predictions for its attack on the British market at the UK dealer preview on 10 July, but it’s worth remembering that the firm is Europe’s third-largest maker of recreational vehicles. It was also voted Manufacturer of the Year in Practical Caravan’s 2014 Owner Satisfaction Awards and is promising more innovative and flexible layouts to follow now that it has relaunched all of its core ranges, so perhaps its target of increasing sales by 50% this year is not impossible.