Knaus Eurostar 655: Review
Stylish and luxurious, the Knaus Eurostar is guaranteed to wow.
With an external body length of 7.9m (25ft 11in), smooth, round-ended GRP composite panels and definitive Euro styling that is as arresting from the rear as from the front, the Knaus Eurostar 655 was always going to be a standout.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
It is fully imported with an Al-Ko chassis built in Europe to Australian specifications and Al-Ko tandem rubber torsion bar suspension. The only luxe letdown on the prototype Eurostar was the skinny Al-Ko A-frame projecting from its nose.
The minimalist look is maintained with only a single rectangular rear storage hatch and the door to access the mid-mounted toilet cassette, while the wrap-around rear window and taillights look like they have come from a luxury tourist coach.
Another coach-like feature is the way the front and rear boots lids cantilever vertically to reveal substantial storage space. The rear boot is not quite so generous, as space must be left to plug in 240V power and fill the Eurostar’s single 90L fresh water tank. However, the non-scuff checkerplate flooring on both boots is a practical touch. A traditional roll-out awning that will be standard on local Eurostars was yet to be fitted to this prototype.
Although elegant, the Eurostar’s specs suggest that there’s a tough shell behind its good looks. Like its British counterparts, its panels lock together in a monocoque structure that allows its chassis to be less structural and, hence, much lighter than the average Aussie van. But there’s no doubting the body strength and insulation ratings, as the vacuum-formed walls are 31mm thick, the floor is 47mm thick and the roof is a massive 58mm thick, making it very thermally efficient.
If the exterior impresses, then the interior matches the expectation. Think St Tropez, Antibes or Nice, as the theme is ‘luxury yacht’ in both style and the choice of materials – dark, beautifully-grained timber veneer, cream walls and furniture facings with chrome and brushed stainless steel trims, tastefully combined, with faux ‘plank’ flooring adding to the strong nautical flair. The first thing you might notice is that, in keeping with the yachting theme, the entire interior has rounded rather than square corners, so that if you feel a ‘swell’ after a good bottle of Château Lafitte – or Hill of Grace – you’re unlikely to do yourself much personal injury.
HITS & MISSES
- Great style
- ‘Wow’ factor
- Light towing weight
- Great entertainer
I would have liked…
- An apron for the drawbar
- More bench space
- A better sliding door for the bedroom
KNAUS EUROSTAR 655 SPECS
Weights and measures
- Overall length 9.4m (30ft 10in)
- External body length 7.9m (25ft 11in)
- External body width 2.5m (8ft 2in)
- Travel height 2.77m (9ft 1in)
- Internal height 1.97m (6ft 5.5in)
- Tare 2230kg
- ATM 2530kg
- Ball weight 85kg
- Frame n/a
- Cladding GRP monocoque bodywork with 31mm thick sandwich construction insulated walls, 58mm roof and 47mm thick integrated floor
- Chassis Al-Ko Australian-specific fabricated steel
- Suspension Al-Ko IRS
- Brakes 10in electric
- Wheels/tyres Alloy 14R 185/75
- Water 1x90L
- Battery 1x100Ah deep-cycle
- Solar Optional
- Air conditioner Aircommand Ibis
- Gas 2x9kg
- Stability Control Al-Ko ESC
- Cooking Spinflow gas three-burner
- Fridge Dometic 190L three-way
- Toilet Dometic cassette
- Shower Full-height, one-piece moulded fibreglass
- Lighting LED
- Hot water Truma C6 gas combined hot water and heating system
Price as shown
- $97,000 (Vic)
The full test appears in Caravan World #540 August 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!