By Richard Robertson
In the motorhome world, the pinnacle for many is a big “Meet The Fockers”-style machine just like you’ve seen in the movies.
Tiffin Motorhomes Australia imports and converts a single model from the Tiffin motorhome range in America: The Allegro Breeze. Tiffin specialises in A-class motorhomes and the Allegro Breeze is the baby in the range. It’s also the smallest “diesel pusher” (the American term for a rear-engined motorhome) in the US market. In the few years since it was first released over there it has carved out a loyal following.
Back to Basics
Aside from being 10.1m long and with opposing front slide-outs, the Breeze rides on full air suspension and is 3.5m tall, 2.5m wide, has a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 10,660 kg and a towing capacity of 3500 kg. Apart from anything that means you’ll need a Medium Rigid (MR) drivers licence, but it’s worth the effort.
The 2017 model has a new engine, it’s a 5 litre V8 single-turbo diesel next-generation Cummins producing 205 kW and 760 Nm. It’s claimed to deliver fuel savings of between 20 and 40 per cent over its predecessors. Drive is through a six-speed Allison automatic, which has become the default transmission for a generation of vehicles in this class.
Inside, the Breeze has also come in for some serious attention. From a driver’s perspective the most obvious is a totally new dashboard. Not only does it feature replaceable instruments, it’s impressively stylish and wouldn’t look out of place in an expensive European sports car. Speaking of new instruments, the fuel gauge now also has markings for generator use so you won’t run the fuel tank dry. Also new is a more powerful Denso dash air conditioning unit that’s actually designed in Melbourne and used in all Tiffin motorhomes.
The captains chairs are new and feature better shaping and inbuilt footrests. There’s also new leather trim throughout and a wider sofa cushion that results in a wider bed, should you be carrying extra guests (the Breeze can sleep and carry six). In the living area are new floor tiles plus a new style privacy door to the bathroom and bedroom. A 2.5 kg Camec top-loading washing machine and 5 kW diesel heater are now also standard, while the bathroom has new cupboards. Decor-wise the interior has new options, with lighter timbers for those not enamoured with the American love of dark wood finishes.
On the road
Driving an A-class is like no other motorhome driving experience! Clichéd as it sounds the driving position truly is commanding and the view and visibility unmatched. The Breeze is up there with the best of them too, being modern and impressively fitted out.
The new Cummins engine is eager and once underway just wants to rev. It’s also very smooth, with a distinctly sporty note (for a diesel!) and works perfectly with the Allison auto.
Perhaps the most marked difference with this model is the way it steers – almost like a sports car. Directional response is immediate; there’s no vagueness or kick back through the steering and it holds a line very easily.
Full air suspension provides a degree of ride comfort and control that owners of large truck-based motorhomes can normally only dream of. Ditto the muted tones of the distant engine and the seamless shifts from the automatic transmission.
First time visitors to a Breeze can’t help but be impressed by the sheer spaciousness of the open plan living area. The floorplan is straightforward, however, with front-to-mid lounge, dining and kitchen areas, a mid split bathroom and rear bedroom.
Both captains chairs swivel to provide perhaps the ultimate in after hours, feet-up relaxation. The driver’s-side slide-out houses the generous U-shaped dinette and large two-door fridge-freezer, while the kerb-side slideout has a three seat sofa bed and the L-shaped kitchen. The kitchen slides out to reveal a massive forward-facing LED TV on the bathroom wall, which is best viewed from the swiveling captains chairs. Of course, there is a separate TV in the bedroom and it drops down from the ceiling, above the queen-sized island bed.
The split bathroom has a domestic size moulded fibreglass shower on the driver’s side, while across the aisle is the main bathroom cubicle with toilet, vanity and plenty of storage. Speaking of storage, as if the huge amount under the floor isn’t enough, the interior bristles with cupboards, drawers and wardrobes.
There’s little not to like – or even love – about the Tiffin Allegro Breeze. In Australia it has really no rivals, because while a few others might come close in living area, none can match the integration of the total package, or rival the driving experience.
If your pockets aren’t quite deep enough for a new one, Tiffin Australia Motorhomes is now importing, converting and selling late model, low mileage Breezes at a considerable saving. Either way you’re unlikely to be disappointed.
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