Niall Hampton
Editor

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The new season Pastiche looks as appealing as ever, but a tweaked version of a previous model will get a lot of attention in the coming months.

Overview

Coachman is a core player in the British caravan industry and has carved out a niche in the market for sharp design, high levels of comfort and really impressive built quality. 

The youngest member of the 'Big Five' club of UK caravan manufacturers (it was formed in 1986), the firm also goes its own way, in the sense that it's not competing in an arms race to build ever-more units. 

Instead, Coachman has found a level of annual production with which it's comfortable and - to paraphrase managing director Elliot Hibbs - is focused on spending more time getting the product right and improving it.

But the big news this summer for customers and followers of the Coachman brand has been the reintroduction of Laser as a standalone range, just one year after the brand's twin-axle models were folded into a successfully revamped VIP line-up.

Also significant, though, is the introduction of another new model a couple of rungs below the Laser. 

The Pastiche 470 is a two-berth with an L-shaped front lounge, offside dinette and end washroom. 

The 470 may be new in one sense, but it's actually a reboot of the 2016 Pastiche 470. This featured a full-width fixed bed across the front lounge, with an offside midships dinette for lounging and dining. For 2019 the Pastiche 470 also has an unusual lounge configuration: an L-shaped seating group where the 2016 version's bed used to be.

Now, British caravanners love a front parallel lounge, but is it always the best execution of the main living space - especially in a compact two-berth? Could there be another game in town? Perhaps a different approach might tempt those buyers who are looking beyond the established norms, for something a little different.

Pitching and setting up

Pastiche tourers are based on galvanised steel Al-Ko chassis, fitted with AKS hitch stabilisers and buttonless handbrakes. Al-Ko's ATC anti-snaking system also comes as standard, for reassurance on the road. Services connections are on the offside, and you'll find the external mains and gas barbecue points on the nearside.

The front gas bottle locker is easily accessible, as are the front and rear corner steadies. You enter the van through the rear single-piece door, below the main control panel.

Lounge

The unique selling point of this latest 470 is found at the front. L-shaped lounge seating isn't unknown in British-built caravans (think Xplore 304 and Buccaneer Barracuda), but the Pastiche is slightly different - the 'L' is formed on the offside, rather than the nearside.

The benefits of this are evident. Two or more people can cosy up, side by side or at right angles, and Coachman has catered for a likely use of this space by fitting TV connections at the end of the kitchen unit.

For 2019, Pastiche models have 'Tindari' cabinetwork and oatmeal-coloured soft furnishings with brown piping, supported by four scatter cushions - two in a plain pattern and two in a check.

Five windows, a front skylight and a rooflight mean this is a space that will never feel dingy, and there are LED lights in reserve for night-time.

Kitchen

The 470's nearside kitchen has a compact footprint, but the space available is well laid-out and the offside dinette table is close at hand if needed.

Specification includes a dual-fuel cooker, separate oven and grill, microwave and a dual-fuel fridge. An oblong sink with a mixer tap and glass cover sits in the middle of the kitchen unit.

Washroom

The other nod to comfort and convenience in the 470 is its end washroom. Enter through a domestic-style door to find a very smart central vanity unit with designer sink and a wide, half-length mirror lit by task lights.

A swivelling cassette toilet sits to the left of the vanity unit, under a frosted window, while a large shower cabinet with single-piece door occupies the nearside rear corner.

Beds

Coachman is marketing the Pastiche 470 as a two-berth, although there's nothing to prevent buyers from making the offside dinette into a single bunk by lowering the table and rearranging the seat cushions. Should you do this, it's worth nothing that there's no privacy curtain to screen off the dinette area at night-time.

The double bed makes up easily using a pull-out platform, with cushions rearranged and gaps plugged by foam inserts. It's not often we come across a bed formed from so many pieces that fits quite so easily.

Storage

Seven overhead lockers are spread around the 470, in the lounge and kitchen, and above the dinette.

In addition to that, there's a half-length wardrobe next to the washroom, above the fridge, plus two cupboards and a cutlery drawer in the kitchen. Further storage is available in the front lounge, under the transverse seat.

Storage in the 470 should easily cater for most touring couples, and the user payload is a healthy 124kg.

Technical specs

Berth2
MiRO1196kg
Payload124kg
MTPLM1320kg
Interior length4.7m
Shipping length6.33m
Width2.26m
Awning size900cm

Verdict

This is a notable addition to the Coachman family, and the brand is bold to launch it in the mid-market segment, rather than the more affordable Vision. It will appeal to couples, who will enjoy cosying up in the lounge and repairing to the dinette for meals. 

Conclusion

Pros

  • L-shaped seating gives a whole new perspective

Cons

  • No privacy curtain for dinette if used as a single bed