Just bought one (2003 model year), not used it yet. We've spent the weekend getting it 'sorted' and will be away this coming weekend. If you're still interested in this model I can let you know our impressions after just one weekend.
WE have a 524 but it is an 04 model which is slightly longer than your earlier design. I would think that most things are the same except for the wardrobe in the back and the smaller toilet/shower arrangements. We love the layout as I snore and Linda gets the whole of the back bed to herself and some peace and quiet. We find the length great as it parks in supermarket carparks with no problems. I would think that you will have a great time with your van when you start to get to know it. We are off to the christmas markets at the end of next month, then off for some skiing in the new year with another skiing trip booked for the end of Feb. We are going off to Brittany at the beginning of June for 5 weeks and down to SW france and portugal in september all being well. You have to get out and use these expensive vehicles.