Adria’s entry-level Altea range has added cutting edge style to lightweight practicality for 2011.

A radical interior revamp has consigned the clever but dull interiors of the 09/10 models to history. Instead, buyers get cutting edge dark wood with contrasting white worktops and cabinet ends. Fabrics are focused on UK tastes too, prices are keen and the weights are very sensible.

Outside, sharp new graphics complement the already distinctive interior but the biggest change is the switch to Adria’s unique polyester wall technology. The high-gloss plastic walls are incredibly tough making 2011 Adria caravans far more resistant to dents, dings and scratches than aluminium-bodied tourers. If you’ve every dropped an awning pole against the side of your caravan, you’ll no doubt relish the prospect of a super-tough tourer.
As in 2010, there are four layouts to choose from. The two large family Alteas (542DK and 542DT) remain largely unchanged in terms of layout. No bad thing either as both are among our favourite choices at this end of the market.

Big changes have taken place in the smaller vans on offer. The 432PX name returns for 2011. This 14ft fixed bed is unique, putting the washroom in the front offside corner alongside a large double bed. Biggest challenge for dealers is convincing notoriously traditional UK customers that they can manage without a front window. It works brilliantly and a sub-£11500 for a fixed bed tourer that can be towed with a small family car should hold plenty of interest.

The 390DS name continues but the layout is changed from 2010. The tiny twin dinette 4-berth always struggled to convince buyers, mainly as it was tight for space with a very small washroom. The new version is still a four-berth but now has a tiny small dinette across the back of the van with a centre kitchen and washroom. It was not available to view at the launch, so expect to see more details in a forthcoming issue. Prices for the range start at £10940 for the 390DS up to £11950 for the two six-berths.

390 DS        £10940
432 PX        TBC
542 DT        £11950
542 DL        £11950

Verdict: The smallest fixed bed on the market and two of the best lightweight family caravans on the market means the Altea should be on a lot of shopping lists this year.