Rory White

See other caravan reviews written by Rory White

Abbey has upped the ante with its latest Vogue 2 range. That means more equipment and a more modern look; facets that should appeal to young families looking for a compact five-berth layout.

Pitching and setting up

Smart-looking vans aren't much good if they are impractical, but the Vogue manages to be easy on the eye and easy to set up. The steady points and waste pipes are easy to access and the gas strut on the front locker allows the door to open high.

A buttonless handbrake makes positioning the van a relatively easy task, and that's important as Vogue owners could have anything up to 1485kg to move around.

Inside, the regulator is high and to the back, so it is out of the way.

Lounge

Curved edges are a furniture design theme throughout the Abbey's interior, creating not just an attractive look but also an environment where you're less likely to collide with a sharp corner.

A big, central Heki rooflight provides ample illumination, backed up by the smart moulded corner lights, and the fixtures and fittings are well made.

The drawers in the central chest are nice and deep, but the top of the chest is of the fold-over, rather than slide-out, variety. Slightly annoying that, particularly as the chest top is one potential place for a TV. At least there are two TV aerial points in the lounge, so you have a choice of location.

Kitchen

High levels of equipment is the order of the day in the Abbey's kitchen. Cooks who run out of gas while cooking can always turn to the electric hotplate, and there's a fair amount of room on the hob for large pans or saucepans. There's a big fridge, too; easily large enough for a family's provisions, and having a microwave is great when you have kids.

The removable drainer is a good way to free-up workspace, especially because it can be used on the worktop or, if you need the space, on the hob’s glass lid. There is only one socket in the kitchen, but because there are another two in the lounge, owners can leave the kettle plugged in all the time.

As well as being very practical and packed with kit, the kitchen looks good. We like the finish of the worktop, and the inclusion of shelves to break up the bank of overhead lockers. There are one or two small niggles though. We'd like to see the cutlery drawer on the outside. It can be annoying having to open the cupboard if you just need to grab a spoon to make tea.

Washroom

Side washrooms are often cramped, but the Vogue has a few surprises in store: a separate shower unit along with a new Thetford swivel, electric flush toilet, and a recessed basin.

It's a spacious area, and two can move around easily inside. There is plenty of room to move in the shower as well. The wheel arch protrudes into the space, but it has been designed as a shelf for soap and shampoo, which is useful. The lip of the shower tray is quite high and the door is inside the stall. This way it overlaps the lip to keep water from escaping into the dry area.

You do need a swivel-bowl toilet in a side washroom like this. The new electric flush model looks good and the larger, wheeled storage is practical as well. The towel rail, soap dish and loo-roll holder are thoughtfully placed; they are within easy reach when you need them. A solid, domestic-style door completes the picture, and our only complaint is that the mirror is a bit low, but that's been done to accommodate a shelf above it.

Beds

The rear dinette converts into a double bed with a single bunk above it. It's very space efficient, but you do need to convert the bottom bed into a double if more than one person is sleeping in the area. Most children will be able to sit up in the top bunk though, even if the reading light can be a bit close for comfort.

Up the front, the bed slats slide out to accommodate the cushions, which fit together snugly to create a firm, but comfortable, support.

Storage

The overhead lockers feel sturdy and the strong metal hinges should weather the wear and tear of families. It is a shame there aren’t more shelves, though; that would make better use of the space.

The rear dinette houses three large lockers for clothes, while toys and books could go on the shelves so they are easy to access. Bedding and any bulkier items will find a suitable home in the storage below the seats. The front-lounge bedding could easily fit in the storage in the front bed boxes with room to spare.

Technical specs

Berth5
MiRO1263kg
Payload222kg
MTPLM1485kg
Interior length5.6m
Shipping length7.29m
Width2.23m
Height2.7m
Awning size987cm

Verdict

We have some reservations about the practicality of the layout, but overall this is a great family van. And, at just over £13,000 and laden with equipment, it's good value too.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Good-looking, well-finished van that has generous levels of standard equipment
  • Contemporary yet cosy feel inside
  • Good value for money.

Cons

  • Layout is limited because rear dinette isn't as flexible as an L-shaped lounge
  • Shortage of shelving in locker spaces.
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