Auto-trail Grande Frontier SE 2.7CDI A/Class

Discussion in 'Auto-Trail' started by smudgers2, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. smudgers2

    smudgers2 Read Only Funster

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    Hi

    Just thouight I would ask if anyone has experience of the above Auto-Trail model.
    At the moment we have an Aurotrail Cheyenne 660, which we have been more than pleased with.

    Have looked at the Auto-trail Grande Frontier SE 2.7CDI A/Class which although overpriced when new. Now at a year old seem to be on the market for mid 40Ks.

    The layout would suit us , just wondering if anyone could supply pro's and con's

    Thanks Smudgers2
     
  2. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    We considered, and carefully looked at, this van before we bought our A class, an Adria Vision 707i. In our opinion there were several difficulties with the Autotrail, despite its "flash" appearance and glitzy kitchen! Firstly, we felt, the almost complete lack of externally accessible storage for a van of this size, price and class- the "garage" had been reduced to a rather small locker area! .Secondly, the external locker door which opened up to some storage behind the bathroom, exposed all the contents of the bathroom shelves to the exterior, which seemed to us to be a design fault.

    I was also not impressed with the tv/ stereo/ ICE system, given the huge price of the van, which was massively overpriced when new, of course, as you say, and this was also very off putting. I think at the time, sat nav and reversing camera wasn't included except as an expensive option to an already outrageously priced van, but of course time has marched on and its a cheap add on these days. The build quality of the van also appeared to be lacking - it was falling to bits inside by the end of the first day on show at Peterborough Show 2006, and although shows can be very heavy on vans, one does not expect such a pricey van to be so flimsy in finish and construction!!

    At the same show when we looked at the Grande Frontier, (2006), we saw the Adria Vision 707i A class from Slovenia and what a refreshing difference to the extremely disappointing Grande Frontier! For starters, it was £49K OTR as opposed to the Grande Frontiers £70K - a gigantic difference. Combined with total winterisation, extra diesel heater, excellent build quality, fantastic storage (biggest garage in its class) and excellent electrically-operated overcab bed, plus adjustable rear fixed (also electrically operated) bed, we could add on a sat dome, habitation air con and other bits and pieces and still spend far less than the basic Grande Frontier with no extras!.

    Later it appeared from various reports that dealers were not selling the Grande Frontiers in the numbers they may have wished and good deals were available, but for us the apparent design faults were a huge detraction apart from the price, and we went with the Adria, which won the Caravan Club award later that year for the best A class in its range.

    I'm afraid to us, certainly, Britain's effort at producing its only A class was not a success and needed to go a long, long way before it could compete with the German, French and Slovenian products. Apparently the Grande Frontier had a short-lived production run?? I'm not surprised, if thats the case, as, although it was "flash" to look at, there were just too many issues to warrant spending such a lot of money when there was far, far better value for money available.

    Even now, for a price into the 40K area, there are other, far better built and supported vans around and I would certainly be looking elsewhere than a Grande Frontier to spend my cash!

    All the best with your choice and hope it works well for you, whatever it may be ultimately!!!

    Laurie:thumb:
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  3. Stephen & Jeannie

    Stephen & Jeannie Read Only Funster

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    autotrail rubbish

    i have an auto trail scout £45000 ! when new. various problems from new and when auto trail were informed they didn't want to know ! take it back to brownhills they said ! need i say more. the company is a disgrace !!! need i say more. no smileys necessary. i am about to take it to motor home medics to get it up to scratch.
     
  4. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    I have had a couple of Autotrails - A Pullman (1991) and an Arapaho (2006) Both superb motorhomes, excellent designs and build quality.

    I bought the Arapaho from an Autotrail dealer in the South of England. At the time he was pulling his hair out with the A class model. He had only sold 3 or 4 but they just kept coming back. They were suffering all sorts of problems. An A class was a new thing for Auto-Trail and they were really having teething troubles. How those machines have settled down now I don't know. I do think that as A classes there are far prettier models around.
     

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  5. smudgers2

    smudgers2 Read Only Funster

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    Thanks to you all. Shame I really like the layout, only need two berths :Sad:

    smudgers2
     
  6. warwick

    warwick Read Only Funster

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    "A" Class Autotrail

    As somebody said only a short production run?? I doubt if there is a great wealth of spares out there, bear in mind such items as windscreens, (see if you can get one) body mouldings could be tricky. Motorhomes are (were) renowned for retaining value but this really only applies to the more popular models this one may continue to plummet, after all it was`nt popular when it was new!
     
  7. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    Just to mention Smudgers2, Adria do an alternative A class model to the 707 (which is a 4 berth) - its a 690 or similar model number, which is a 2 berth A class with storage in the area where the drop-down bed would normally be. Maybe worth a look while you make that all-important decision!!

    Laurie
     
  8. smudgers2

    smudgers2 Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Laurie, will try and find Adria to look at. Having trouble with my heart ruling my head at the moment, will have to stay away from Autotrail until brain takes over again. Trouble is I like the layout, large lounge and galley area.

    Spoken to one Autotrail owner who listed problems, (wipers falling off no stops, diesel heating running battery down after few hours, silly locker in bath room) but now he has sorted problems would not change for any other van. Was hoping to find other owners of Grande Frontier on this forum.

    Confused
    Smudgers2
     
  9. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    I think the problem is that there were very few sold in total compared to other models of motorhome which usually have much longer production runs - as someone else mentioned, with such short production runs, spares and bits can become a difficult issue. We were extremely disappointed by the Grande Frontier - intially it was really hyped up and it looked very promising, but, like Jim said, for the money you can get far, far better vans - they have had such an above-average drop in price for a new van (from £70K to £40K in a year?) which would make most people wary as well. I know a lot of people who were interested, but after viewing not a single one of them purchased the Grande Frontier. The interior was very nice, but then for so much money, it should have been. The lack of storage, design faults in lockers and flimsy construction killed it for us, and the lack of "toys" for the hefty price tag - I think all you got was a bog standard car radio / cd.

    Still, I do hope you are happy with whatever purchase you make. If you wait a bit longer you may even get one for £25K and then it possibly starts to look a reasonable buy!
    :thumb:
    Laurie
     
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