Andy JenkinsonSee other caravan reviews written by Andy Jenkinson
Glitzy and innovative, there's little else like the Knaus Eurostar 650 SE, if you've got the money to buy it and the tow car to pull it – read our review
Knaus has been around for more than 50 years, but didn’t hit the UK until the 1980s. However, over the past few years it has been working hard to establish itself and woo the British caravanner, and for 2016 it is bringing in a varied line-up of ranges and layouts. Topping that list is the Knaus Eurostar, a super-large twin-axle tourer that’s most likely to appeal to buyers looking to use it on a seasonal pitch.
The Eurostar has been heavily influenced by the Caravisio concept tourer; Knaus took the best bits and put them into the new flagship to give it a thoroughly modern look on the outside, plus contemporary interior design. The layout is a new take on the tried-and-tested double-dinette floorplan that’s been around since the mid-1960s.
Is this a caravan that you should shortlist? That depends on whether you can afford a starting price of over £36,000 (this van is £42,558 as tested), and there are limits to what you can legally tow it with on UK roads. So, is this a practical purchase? Read our Knaus Eurostar 650 ES review and find out.
Pitching and setting up
There is ample room in the front gas locker for the largest bottles, along with a fixing point for a spare wheel which is also not included as part of the standard spec. The aerodynamic profile has flush-fitting Seitz windows and smooth, tough aluminium sides plus a hail-resistant GRP roof.
The Eurostar also has a rear ‘boot’ in the back panel, giving further external storage, along with an offside locker offering access to one of the front bed boxes. Large, chrome-effect grabhandles are fitted, but we doubt anyone would be strong enough to manhandle this tourer!
There is an on-board 45-litre water tank integrated into the floor, and all of the service points are fitted on the offside – as is the entrance door. There is no standard TV aerial or gas barbecue point, but a satellite dish is available as an option.
The CD/radio player is fitted here, with speakers placed under the front overhead lockers. The lounge also comes with a small stool that offers clever storage facilities, plus a cabinet behind the seating that provides both open and closed shelving.
LED spotlights with long, adjustable arms give quality lighting as well as the ceiling units. There are mains and USB power sockets here, too – the latter is one of three in the Knaus. The lounge is comfortable and is placed opposite the side kitchen, so ideal for mealtimes. A roof vent is fitted, while a TV is mounted on the rear corner wall.
The kitchen comes with a smart Spinflo twin-burner gas hob, which also has a ceramic 230V hotplate. You won’t find an oven or grill, and even a microwave is excluded from the spec. On the plus side, there’s a tall Dometic 148-litre fridge/freezer, plus an attractive tap over a deep stainless-steel sink.
The drainer is part of the worktop, which in the classic Continental tradition isn’t much to write home about. LEDs under the lockers add good night-time illumination, and general storage is catered for by large drawers. There is a mains socket plus a splashback, and it’s well designed, but the worktop and spec could be better.
And what of the handbasin? It’s to be found on the other side of the open-plan layout. It’s a rather swish design, with the shallow, square-shaped moulded basin beneath a cupboard with mirrored doors.
Drop the telescopic dining table and the rear lounge area can be turned into a slightly awkward triangular double bed.
The basin comes with large drawers beneath and a cupboard alongside, while the bedroom has plenty of under-bed storage. Outside, the Eurostar shines with large front and rear lockers.
The Knaus Eurostar 650 ES is a big tourer, and you’ll need a tow car with a gross weight of 3500kg to pull it in the UK. It will also set you back a lot of cash. However, this is a smart-looking caravan with a highly contemporary interior. The layout works well, and it’s likely to appeal to buyers looking for the very latest in tourer design.
- The single beds are large
- It has a modern and stylish interior design
- It looks very smart
- There's plenty of storage
- This is a heavy caravan
- The spec lacks Alde heating, ATC, an oven and a microwave
- It's short of worktop space