New motorhomes from across Europe and the UK were assessed by the MMM and What Motorhome expert team of judges using decades of motorhome reviewing and real-life experiences to narrow down the shortlists and pick the winners.
Birmingham. The judges drew upon over 45 years of motorhoming experience between them to assess the 2023-season offerings. Debates became heated and it sometimes came down to tiny details that set the winners apart from the contenders.
Leading the team was Peter Vaughan, MMM Road Test Editor, What Motorhome magazine Editor and YouTube star, who has been reviewing motorhomes since before he could drive.
Also on the judging panel was MMM Deputy Editor, Rachel Stothert. Rachel was almost raised in motorhomes and has been working on MMM for over 15 years.
The judges said, “It was more than a decade ago that Bürstner brought us the first sub-six-metre low-profile with its main bed being one that lowered from the ceiling and this German brand has remained at the forefront of this sector ever since.”
Why the Bürstner Lyseo TD 594 Harmony Line?
Compact motorhomes have been transformed by the invention of drop-down beds. It was more than a decade ago that Bürstner brought us the first sub-six-metre low-profile 'van with its main bed being one that lowered from the ceiling and this German brand (from the Erwin Hymer Group) has remained at the forefront of this sector ever since.
A big bed taking up no floor space!
So, despite this new addition to the popular Lyseo TD Harmony Line range measuring just 5.99m overall, you don't have to rearrange your settees into a bed at night - although you can do, if you want to use it as a four-berth with two double beds stacked one above the other.
A more usual scenario will be to lower the electric bed right down to seat height - or just 890mm off the floor, to be precise. In just a few seconds, with nothing more strenuous than the flick of a switch, you then have a transverse double bed that measures 2.01m by 1.40m.
However, a feature that makes the TD 594 unique in its class is the ability to extend the bed into the cab. You can now sleep lengthways - avoiding the need to climb over your partner to get out in the night - and the bed becomes a huge 1.95m by 2.01m.
Of course, during the day, the bed takes up no floor space whatsoever, so this smallest model in the Lyseo Harmony Line range benefits from a really open and spacious lounge - bigger than in many larger motorhomes. There are side settees (longer on the nearside) and a large central table that folds in half so that it doesn't dominate the space. Roman blinds add a touch of style, while an overcab sunroof means there's no shortage of daylight.
You can also turn the nearside sofa into vis-à-vis seating for a pair of rear passengers who, of course, each get three-point seatbelts. We particularly liked the little flip-up table here, too.
Compact yet spacious
Aft of the lounge, the L-shaped kitchen offers plenty of storage, while a three-rings-in-line hob frees up a little extra worktop - also enhanced by a slot-in cover for the sink. Opposite, the tall fridge offers a generous 133-litre capacity, while there's a rack on the wall for your coffee pods!
But the aspect that belies the Bürstner's size just as much as the spacious lounge and giant bed is the washroom, which is reached through a white tambour door between the galley and the cooler. Including a tall wardrobe and a separate shower (with high-performance pump for good water pressure), this room has everything you could wish for in a compact motorhome.
Every bit as stylish as Bürstner's bigger 'vans, this Harmony Line model has what its maker calls 'wohnfühlen' - we'd just say it's an impression of comfort and good quality. It comes with a choice of several different upholstery options, indirect lighting throughout and great details like Bürstner's neat, portable Home Light.
On the outside, there's a Premium XL habitation door as well as a tall exterior locker for your outdoor gear.