Has the new Bailey Unicorn succeeded in its two-pronged attack on the old model’s failings?
We’d say a cautious “yes”: it certainly looks a lot better from without, and inside it has taken a big step forward in terms of luxury, with the quirks of the previous Cadiz floorplan ironed out in the process.
It’s much more modern, too, which could upset traditionalists, but there should be enough Unicorn touchpoints left to keep them on side.
It has much-improved looks
The kitchen area is well thought-out
It has a high spec and a luxurious feel
The graphics are quite busy
The mains hook-up is on the nearside
There’s limited internal access to the bed storage areas
It offers an almost unrivalled kit level for the cash, plus spacious accommodation.
It isn’t without failings, however, not least rather uninspiring looks and an interior finish that lacks the sense of occasion you might expect from a flagship range.
And now, three years since we saw the Unicorn III Cadiz, here we have the fourth-generation version of the range’s biggest seller, with its fixed twin beds.
There’s little doubt that the first of those complaints has been tackled head-on.
Full-height ABS mouldings can’t completely disguise the fairly bluff front end of this range of Bailey caravans, courtesy of the Alu-Tech construction.
However they get close and give the Unicorn a welcome dash of modernity, aided further by the new panels that better blend in the signature full-height front window.
We’re not entirely convinced by the new graphics, which are inspired by Bailey’s top-spec motorhomes, but the smart tinted side windows and new five-spoke alloy wheels add to the more modern feel.
And to see other Bailey caravans for sale, click here.
Inside it has taken a big step forward in terms of luxury
Pitching & Setting-up
There’s also a black cover for the hitch, which continues to boast an AKS stabiliser and ATC trailer control – you’ll also find shock absorbers and a Secure wheel lock as standard.
As part of the rear-end makeover there’s a full-width grabhandle, and there are standard front and heavy-duty rear steadies, all of which are easy to access.
The 2018-season Unicorn range of Bailey caravans is now pre-wired for a mover, too.
Most of the services are on the offside – with the toilet cassette neatly concealed in a wet locker – but it’s a shame that the mains hook-up is on the awning side, so could cause a trip hazard.
Also on the nearside sidewall you’ll find a gas barbecue point and a 230V socket, along with a large external locker hatch to access the front bed box.
The generous spec includes a roof-mounted 100W solar panel, Alde wet central heating, a tyre pressure monitoring system and, new for 2018, a Tracker Monitor and intruder alarm.
Happily, one thing that remains unchanged for the Unicorn IV is its full-height front window, an appealing feature that is now better integrated by a revised housing and corner cabinets, one of which contains the new DAB radio/CD/MP3 player.
There’s a darker ‘Eucalyptus’ wood finish, but white gloss lockers lift the mood along with overhead and floor-level LED lighting.
The standard ‘Brompton’ trim is neutral and attractive, and the domestic-style sofas are fantastically comfortable, with taller, squishier backrests and plenty of scatter cushions.
But the biggest change here is a departure from Bailey tradition, as the old front shelf makes way for a central chest of drawers and longer sofas.
This also means that the TV points move to the more sensible position of over the small corner cupboard beside the entrance door.
One pleasing detail to be found throughout the van is the new spotlights: there are four in the lounge, and each boasts a USB point in its base for charging mobile devices.
Here, the influence of Bailey’s motorhome range is most pronounced.
Gone is the old island unit, and in comes a more modern, clean design with smart ‘Basalt Stone’ worktops above large, white-fronted drawers.
There’s a lot more worktop, too, thanks to both a large lift-up flap and a hob cover, in response to customer demand.
That means plenty of space for the drainer, which clips over the square sink when not in use.
A backlit, Unicorn-branded splashback adds a dose of style, while the dual-fuel hob has been moved left – as in the Pegasus – to leave room for panhandles to the right.
Beneath, there’s a separate oven and grill plus pan storage, with a slim cupboard alongside. The Dometic tower fridge/freezer is on the nearside.
It’s good to see two sockets here in this Bailey caravan, plus a larger bin (with a built-in dustpan and brush).
Not quite so good are the siting of the microwave high over the hob, and the overhead locker’s push-button catch being so far from the handle, so it’s easy to forget and yank it before unlatching.
Bailey calls the new facilities a ‘boutique washroom’, and it’s an impressive facelift: it feels totally different, despite the layout being largely unchanged.
There’s still an offside wardrobe and a big nearside shower in the Cadiz, but that cubicle now boasts a bifold door, a stone-effect liner, a drying rail and a useful basket for soaps and shampoos.
Two Hekis bring in light and let out steam, and although the floor area hasn’t changed significantly there is a greater sense of space thanks to a large backlit mirror and the concealed cistern with remote tank in the wardrobe.
The luxury feel is topped off by a now de rigueur bowl sink, plus a vanity unit incorporating shelves and a laundry basket.
Up front in this Bailey caravan, four spots mean you should have no trouble reading whether you use the sofas as short singles or a long, narrow double bed (6ft 6in x 4ft 1in).
To make the latter, simply slide out slats and rearrange the cushions, with those new sofa backs to the outside to maximise support.
The rear fixed single beds in the 2018 Bailey Unicorn Cadiz are just 2ft 2in wide, but both are now a generous 6ft 3in long.
Each of these beds features a padded headboard and spotlight/USB charger, plus a shelf that’s ideal for charging devices, but too high to be useful for a cuppa.
Two windows and a skylight bring in lots of light, and at night there’s a screen to close off this area from the main living space.
There are large spaces under the sofas and beds, with external access to three of them making up for the lack of a large front gas locker.
It’s a shame the only separate internal access is to a handy shoe cupboard by the door.
There are four aircraft-style lockers in the bedroom and two in the lounge, plus those corner lockers.
We’ve covered the many options in the kitchen already, and there’s also a shelved unit beside the entrance door.
You will need to be careful not to overfill the large wardrobe in the washroom when towing, but it’s good to see that the lounge table storage has moved from here to beneath the fixed bed.
|Shipping Length||7.36 m|