You don’t see many Knaus tourers on our roads and campsites these days. That’s mainly down to the brand having fewer UK dealers than most others.
But the German firm – who you can find out more about in our best caravan brands guide – does have several ranges available here. All are solid and most are built to UK specifications, but they do tend to come with quite a high price tag, and quite a heavy weight, too, which means you’ll also need a sturdy tow car.
For 2023, Azur (a name Knaus has used before) has been repurposed for its new, ultra-modern line-up. This is so modern, it includes an outer shell that can “self heal” surface scratches if the van is left out in the sun. That is just one of the reasons why the Azur won the best caravan for innovation category in this year’s Practical Caravan Awards.
Pitch and set-up
The Azur 500 FU is a four berth caravan that looks very modern, while still retaining that Continental air – and the entrance door on the Continental side.
The tough fibre frame provides excellent insulation, with smooth aluminium sides and a hail-resistant GRP roof, in addition to that self-repairing outer skin.
The caravan is built on an Al-Ko chassis and has an AKS stabiliser and heavy-duty corner steadies fitted as standard, but not ATC – that’s a £772 option.
The Azur’s standard fittings also don’t include a TV aerial (or even a connection for one, although if you’re looking for one, our best caravan TV aerial guide is the place to start), an exterior gas barbecue point, or an external mains power socket.
The grey sides and white front and rear look pleasing, however, and the Knaus has an external side-access locker, as well as a battery locker and cassette hatch.
Very smart alloys are fitted and the overall fit and finish is faultless. You get a large front gas locker and sturdy grab handles, but the Azur lacks a sunroof.
Lounge in the Knaus Azur 500 FU
The Knaus has an elegant rear lounge, with wraparound seating, in keeping with Continental preferences. The upholstery is comfortable, but feels a bit skimpy, compared with other vans at this price.
However, the lounge does have good lighting – which you will probably need, because this area has just the rear window and one side window.
The single-leg table should be fine for up to four at mealtimes. Overhead lockers are above the rear window and offside, and some hidden wall storage is also provided.
Kitchen in the Knaus Azur 500 FU
For its home market, the Azur has no oven, but this is fitted as standard on UK models. A microwave is only available as an option. There is a 133-litre Dometic slimline fridge, and a grill is included with the oven, but the three-burner hob is gas only.
An extractor fan is fitted under the locker here, along with two downlighters. The deep sink is stainless steel, and there’s a mains socket nearby – one of six in the van.
Workspace in the kitchen is a tad limited, although a small worktop opposite should help when needed.
Washroom in the Knaus Azur 500 FU
Most of the washroom is wedged into the front corner, although the basin is in the main bedroom. The washroom is a good size, with three mirrored cupboard doors, excellent LED lighting and large storage cupboards.
The main shower and toilet room, however, isn’t that big. There is a side window and two spacious cupboards above the toilet, but some might find the space for showering a bit limited.
Beds in the Knaus Azur 500 FU
Although it has a slight cut-off to one side, the fixed bed is still completely practical, and the comfortable, supportive mattress should offer a good night’s sleep.
When you have guests to stay, the rear lounge can also become a second bedroom. Simply lowering the table will allow you to convert the settees into a sizeable bed, using the flat base cushions.
Storage in the Knaus Azur 500 FU
The wow factor is definitely in play here, with storage neatly concealed in the walls. The seat bases don’t have access flaps, so you need to move the cushions to get at the storage areas, but they have plenty of room. There’s a large wardrobe, deep overhead lockers in the lounge and more storage by the entrance.
Storage in the kitchen is generally good, with large drawers as well as space both above and below the fridge. But this overhead locker is a bit restricted by the flue pipe, and isn’t fitted with crockery racks.
Knaus has obviously worked hard to come up with a strong construction for the Azur. The distinctive interior is also certain to impress – it is very modern, with clever design touches and great LED lighting.
ATC, a solar panel, a microwave or an exterior BBQ and mains socket not being fitted as standard will put off some buyers. In a van just short of £40,000 these really should be standard fit.
But excellent storage, a spacious lounge and a chic interior will impress, and Alde heating could be the icing on the cake.
Reason to buy:
- Great storage, chic modern interior, excellent lighting, solid construction
Reason to avoid:
- No microwave, no TV aerial, no ATC fitted as standard
- Price: £37,830 (£39,430 as reviewed)
- Berths: 4
- MTPLM: 1800kg
- MiRO: 1609kg
- Payload: 191kg
- Shipping length 7.34m
- Interior length 5.28m
- Overall width 2.31m
- Heavy-duty corner steadies
- Alloy wheels
- Awning light
- 45-litre fresh-water tank
- 25-litre waste-water tank
- Alde heating
- Water level indicator
- TV wall bracket
- Electric-flush toilet
- Front double bed: 2.12 x 1.40m
- Rear fixed double bed: 1.90 x 1.47m
Or you could try…
- Adria Altea Dart: this smart four berth has been upgraded inside and out to create a stylish tourer.
- Coachman Laser Xcel 855: the stunning interior design and high levels of comfort provided in this van make it an ideal seasonal pitch.
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|Interior Length||5.28 m|
|Shipping Length||7.34 m|