Winnebago Bondi 4S: Review
Cleverly designed, the Winnebago Bondi 4S is your ideal touring buddy.
The Australian-built Winnebago Bondi 4S is a large van conversion based on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 313 CDI and, at 6.94m (22ft 9in) long, there is plenty of room to move inside.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
Apollo/Talvor has become the Australian representative of the US-based Winnebago and the Bondi is easily identifiable as a Winnebago with its bright red decals.
Additional clues that this is anything but a standard van are the gas cylinder bin and toilet cassette door on the offside, Truma hot water system on the nearside, a roof-mounted air-conditioner and the Thule awning.
The windows in the rear don’t open and, depending on how you use the Bondi, this could be an issue on warm days and nights if you were camping remotely (with no air-conditioner) – especially if you prefer the security of keeping the doors locked at night.
On the road, the Sprinter gets along in typical Mercedes fashion, which means it’s quite a nice ride. The six-speed auto gearbox works well in conjunction with the 95kW turbodiesel. However, while I’m sure the 95kW engine will cope once the motorhome is fully loaded, the larger 120kW (316 CDI) would have more power in reserve for situations like overtaking or driving up steep hills.
Despite its 6.94m (22ft 9in) length, the Bondi is still a very easy vehicle to manoeuvre around – a plus with any van conversion, especially in town and city locations.
The two sideways-facing lounges in the rear have a Lagun swivel-mounted table between them which is mounted to the end of the kitchen bench. A slight problem with this arrangement is that it’s awkward getting to and from the kitchen when two people are using the table. Of course, the table can be pushed out of the way if it’s not being used and it can be removed entirely, which is necessary to make up the bed.
Curtains are fitted all-round, including right around the driver’s cab. While functional, the cabinetry does have a pretty angular look about it, which I feel betrays the otherwise upmarket feel of the Bondi and points to its rental origins.
A flatscreen TV is fitted to the wall behind the rear seat which means it can only be seen from the front seats. In the overhead locker above the TV you will find just about all the electrical switches and controls, including the radio/DVD player. Accessing under-seat storage can sometimes be difficult but the Bondi’s dinette seat has both a drawer and an angled cupboard behind the seat, making the most of the space.
HITS & MISSES
- Front seating and dining layout
- Rear bed can be left made up
- Good internal storage
- Rearview camera
- Central electrical controls
- Small kitchen with limited cupboard space
- No bed reading lights
- Fixed windows in bedroom are not good on warm nights
- Lower-powered Sprinter engine
- No 12V/5V USB charger points
WINNEBAGO BONDI 4S SPECS
Weights and measures
- External length 6.94m (22ft 9in)
- External width 1.93m (6ft 4in)
- Internal height 1.92m (6ft 4in)
- Travel height 3m (9ft 10in)
- Tare 3200kg
- GVM 3550kg
- Base vehicle Mercedes-Benz
- Sprinter 313 CDI
- Engine 2.2L turbodiesel
- Gearbox Six-speed auto
- Max power 95kW at 3800rpm
- Max torque 305Nm at 1200-2400rpm
- Brakes ABS disc
- Water 1x86L (fresh); 1x60L (grey)
- Batteries 1x100Ah
- Solar Optional
- Air-conditioner Dometic roof-mounted
- Gas 1x4.5kg
- Cooking Dometic three-burner
- Fridge Waeco 80L 12V compressor
- Microwave Panasonic
- Toilet Thetford cassette
- Shower Variable height, flexible hose
- Lighting 12V LED
- Hot water Truma 14L
Price as shown
- $106,633 (on-road, Qld)
The full test appears in Caravan World #548 April 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!