REVIEW: CORONET SERIES FS2
We test and rate the Coronet Series FS2 pop-top caravan as part of Caravan World's Best Caravans test.
Melbourne-based Coronet has completely overhauled its range. In fact, the FS2 pop-top we tested for BAV was its first public outing, so fresh is the new design. We won’t go so far as to say the previous range was looking old-fashioned, but it’s clear that the new-look Coronets have been brought into the 21st century. Read the review below and be sure to check out the Coronet caravan photo gallery for an indepth look at the caravan.
CORONET SERIES FS2 RATING CARD
VALUE FOR MONEY
At just under $50,000, the Coronet FS2 squeaks into BAV contention. It’s a reasonably long pop-top, but not unduly so, and packs in plenty of good gear – including a full-width rear bathroom! Bathrooms are pretty common in pop-tops but this is the first we’ve seen that extends the rear width, as you’d see in a conventional caravan, and certainly the first with hard walls that extend to the roof.
With its unladen weight of 1920kg and offering a very decent 580kg of payload capacity, the FS2 is in Toyota Prado territory. Under tow, it was very well behaved. At one point on a road with prominent undulations, as we took a corner faster than expected, the van followed through quite smoothly.
SETTING UP AND HITCHING UP
Setting up the FS2 is about as easy as setting up any other pop-top, which is to say there is some effort involved. Additionally, thanks to the abovementioned bathroom, the full-height hard walls have to be hinged and locked into position – a relatively simple procedure and worth the minor effort.
SUITABILITY FOR INTENDED TOURING
The FS2 offers all of the advantages of a pop-top (low storage requirement, less wind resistance, etc.) with all of the benefits of a larger caravan – complete bathroom, especially. It’s not necessarily and offroad or rough-road rig, but it will faithfully follow you along the blacktop stretches of Australia’s highways.
Strangely enough, the FS2 is a pop-top that provides the layout of choice in a conventional caravan: front bedroom, nearside dinette, offside kitchen, and full-width rear bathroom. This is not a negative in our view, as it features all requirements for comfortable living – including an optional washing machine. A washing machine in a pop-top? You betcha!
QUALITY OF FINISH
Generally speaking, the Coronet FS2 is nicely finished with a good level of attention to detail. We liked the hinged hard walls above the bathroom wall and door – rather than the curtain arrangement you’ll find in pretty much every other pop-top on the market – but wonder if it could be refined to something less cumbersome for future iterations of the FS2.
Within its brief as a blacktop tourer, the Coronet FS2 pop-top ticks all the boxes. Coronets are traditionally known for being well built and this one doesn’t do any harm to the marque’s reputation.
While it’s not overly spec’d for its price range, this pop-top nonetheless offers a few surprises. The optional washing machine is a very surprising feature, and the Truma Saphir ducted air-conditioner, neatly installed at the front of the van (under the bed) was a point or two in its favour.
Without doubt, the hinged, hard walls for the bathroom are the FS2’s main point of innovation. In some ways, they change the dynamic of how pop-tops are viewed and potentially designed in the future. Are curtained corner bathrooms in pop-tops soon to be a thing of the past?
Despite its new and contemporary interior, the Coronet FS2 retains a certain ‘classic’ feel, which is not a bad thing by any means. But in some respects it seems that function has triumphed over form – the fantastic but somewhat cumbersome bathroom walls a case in point.
THE CARAVAN WORLD VERDICT
If the FS2 pop-top is anything to go by, the Coronet range has leaped and bounded into the 21st century, with innovation that may spark an industry-wide change in how pop-top layouts (especially when it comes to bathrooms!).
Here's the Coronet Series FS2 final score.
This story was adapted from Caravan World Issue 520. Why not subscribe today!
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