AFTER A SIGNIFICANT makeover last season, it’s little surprise that Avante got a relatively mild makeover for 2012. Outside, the smart white awning rails mean there is no confusing one model year with another. Sharper graphics and shaped side windows improve the looks too. Inside, new upholstery and bed slats which cannot drop out are definite improvements, while the rapid heat up Whale water system debuts too.
The huge 10 layout range from 2011 is reduced to nine models for the new season and two new layouts. The casualty is the 526 fixed-bed six-berth single axle. The 566 replaces last year’s 556 and the 372 replaces the end-kitchen two-berth 362.
The 566 is essentially similar to the 556 but gets an improved side washroom with a separate shower cubicle rather than a wet room. This is achieved at the expense of front lounge space, with the offside sofa shrinking to make space.
Following on from the success of the pint-sized Xplore 302, Elddis has performed a similar trick with the new 372. This has a L-shaped front lounge, giving a huge, sociable space . The washroom sits in the offside rear corner and runs 2/3 of the way across the back wall. The remaining wall space is given over to a huge double wardrobe. The cavernous kitchen sits along the offside wall. This masterful piece of packaging is made possible by using the Whale underfloor heater, although this is the only Avante model to do so.
All told, it’s a good model year makeover for Avante but we are keen to see the full table of weight savings promised by Elddis for its mid-market flag bearer. At the time of writing, confirmed year on year weight reductions of between 70kg and 100kg on comparative models suggest that Avante could be on a lot more shopping lists in 2012.
Practical Caravan Verdict
Minor improvements completely put in the shade by much needed (and considerable) weight reductions. The new 372 is technically interesting and could create a niche in the same way as the 302 did in 2010.