Levelling up

Rob McCabe tries out the Coachman Acadia 545, and finds an impressive spec at a great price

The concept of an ‘entry-level’ caravan is all very relative. For example, this Acadia 545 and its 575 sibling are the cheapest Coachman caravans you can buy, yet they boast a standard equipment list that would have been found on a range-topper not so long ago.

But does the end-bedroom/centre-washroom 545 offer enough to tempt would-be Coachman buyers away from the posher VIP and Laser models? Let’s see. 

Build quality – 94%

The handsome bodyshell, boasting silver-finished sidewalls and polished black alloy wheels, suggests quality – and that’s what you get. The joinery is meticulous throughout, and it’s reassuring to encounter detailed touches such as dovetail joints and metal runners on the drawers, and solid metal shelf supports inside the lockers. 

Coachman’s Advanced Bonded Construction sees the body panels fully bonded on to a polyurethane frame. So confident is Coachman in its build quality that it gives a 10-year water ingress warranty to back it up – so long as you keep the caravan serviced by the book, of course.  

Towing – 90%

The MTPLM of 1,585kg is hardly feather-light, but still brings the Acadia within the capabilities of a healthy number of SUVs. And because the heavy stuff on board is optimally sited around the axle, it should be easy to ensure a nicely balanced caravan when you’re ready for the off. 

When you do get on your way, the desirable duo of the built-in hitch stabiliser and Al-Ko ATC will quietly go about their business to give you a relaxed, easy time of it. 

Daytime – 91%

Comfy lounge but the twin settees are only 4ft 9in long 

Quite often, the compromise in a single-axle caravan with an in-line fixed bed is most obvious in the lounge, and so it is in the 545 – dimensionally speaking, at least. Coachman lists the parallel sofas as single beds – but bear in mind they’re only 4ft 9in long. That said, two of you can still lounge feet-up in perfect comfort, and the plump, supportive seating is fine for four in a cosy kind of way. 

The front chest features an excellent contoured table-top that runs in one piece across the entire width of the lounge – attractive and practical in equal measure. Thanks to the pull-out extension, you’ll rarely require the freestanding table; however, it is easy to set it up as it is stored close by in the kitchen area. 

The 545 will be used almost exclusively as a couple’s caravan and, bearing that in mind, storage provision is generous. Accessing the space under the fixed bed is a simple, one-handed operation thanks to hydraulic assistance and, as well as an exterior- access locker on the nearside, there’s a useful hatch on the edge of the sofa as you come in the door. I’d call it a shoe hatch but, hey – put whatever you want in it. 

TV connectivity is provided on the nearside dresser by the entrance door and on the bedroom wall, and the very good Pioneer stereo has a USB slot so you can play your own music from your phone or tablet. There’s no DAB radio or Bluetooth, though – that’s a £200 option. There’s a gas barbecue point on the nearside wall, alongside a mains socket – and there are another five inside.  

Night-time – 92%

Rear bedroom in 'day-mode'

Pulling out the sweetly gliding slats and rearranging the upholstery quickly results in a big, comfortable double bed up front for overnighting guests and, thanks to a quartet of reading lights, they’re guaranteed some personal illumination wherever they lay their heads. The user-friendly central location of the washroom also means they can pay a visit in the night without having to tiptoe through the bedroom or endure an expedition to the site facilities. 

The rear bedroom is wonderful. The bed itself pushes back to so-called ‘day mode’, creating an impressive amount of floorspace to get dressed in. Fully extended, it’s 6ft 2in long, with a foam mattress that offers a luxurious level of comfort and support. 

Both occupants have a generous bedside table as well as a wall-mounted pouch that easily accommodates slimline items such as phones, specs and remote controls. There are two mains sockets, one of which is perfectly situated for hairdryer/straightener duties in front of one of the two mirrors in the washroom area. The big sunroof will discreetly let in all the daylight you want if you like to keep the blinds closed on the two windows while you savour that morning cuppa in bed. 

Kitchen – 91%

Stylish lockers and cupboards in the kitchen

A bespoke finish on the locker and cupboard doors helps give this smart kitchen its own identity; and because the fridge is on the nearside, the entire kitchen structure benefits from this cabinetry – it doesn’t half look nice. So too does the splashguard panel on the offside wall – which can’t always be said about these fitments. 

The granite-look work surface is pleasingly chunky and there’s a decent amount of it, especially when the fold-down extension is brought into play. The dresser top on the nearside can also be used for kitchen duties, although it’ll be limited if you’ve put the telly there. 

A dual-fuel hob with separate oven and grill, plus a very nicely fitted microwave, gives you the full house of cooking options. 

Washroom – 89%

Boutique-style sink in the washroom

This is where we find the most obvious change from last year’s model. Whereas the 2022 Acadia 545 had an all-in-one washroom from which you accessed the rear bedroom via a sliding door on each side, this one has a ‘corridor’ separating the shower compartment on the offside, and the loo/wash basin opposite. 

As such, this washroom doesn’t have the same visual appeal as its predecessor, and the loo compartment feels a bit pinched when you’re in there with the door closed. Said door doubles as the one that shuts off the front of the caravan, so you do have the option of just leaving it closed in that position. 

It’s effectively lit, the mirrors are usefully large, there’s decent storage and, as you’d expect, you get the glamour of the ‘boutique’ wash basin and the towel rail/radiator. 

Lighting – 93%

Everywhere you’d want to have lighting, you’ve got it: four reading lights in the lounge and two in the bedroom; illuminated shower cubicle and mirrors; underslung LED strips in the kitchen and nearside dresser, both of which are touch-dimmable. 

In the bedroom, the ceiling-level lighting is concealed behind the furniture, which lends a classy air to proceedings. Up front, ambient lighting swoops upwards from the very front and carries on back. The usual variety of switching options gives you plenty of choice before you sit back and relax with a glass of wine at the end of a hard day’s holidaying. Well, it does take it out of you sometimes, doesn’t it? 

Verdict – 91%

Very nicely finished, thoughtfully equipped and an excellent layout. At today’s prices, it looks like good value for money too. 

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