Adria 402: A versatile van

From the factory-fiords of Slovenia, to the banks of the Brisbane River, the new Adria 402 is more versatile than a summer kaftan, and she’s pretty and practical to boot.

By Hannah Statham

Measuring a total (including drawbar) of six meters, the Adria is very much on the smaller end of the size scale, but don’t judge this van by its cover.

The Adria packs a heck of a lot into 10.8m2 and makes for a very comfortable weekender for two adults and a couple of kidlets. Its smaller frame also makes for easy towing and the Adria is light on its tyre-toes, tipping the scales at just 1.5 tonnes (and that’s fully laden).

What sets the Adria apart from other vans is its signature al-ko chassis that connects the car and van, keeping things comfortable in the front and all business at the back.

For a few extra brass razoos you can upgrade to the Adria Sport, which comes with higher clearance and 16” wheels for added durability.

Inside, you’ll find the real surprises – a modern interior that’s fitting for a 2016 caravan… no beige interiors or pelmets here.

You’re met with LED strip lighting, sleek décor and Nordic timber laminates accented by brushed steel, the kind that you’d see in new inner-city apartments, not normally on the caravan circuit.

Five large windows pop open to 90 degrees to bring the outside in, and two skylights help ventilate the van.

Fly screens on every opening are a giveaway that the Slovenians built the Adria with the Aussie market in mind – and when you can’t catch a breeze, there is always the colder than cold airconditioning at the flick of a switch.

The interior designer of the Adria should be awarded the Swiss-army knife medal for packing a lot into a tiny space. The bed is just shy of a double and there’s plenty of cupboards and slow release drawers.

The real feat of engineering is the bathroom where the toilet, basin and shower fit into the size of a cupboard. Did I mention the basin folds away into mirrored panelling and self-drains in the process? The toot has an electric flush and the gas hot water system actually warms enough to enjoy taking an inside shower.

My one bugbear with the design is that there is only one small drainage point in the right corner of the shower, so unless the van is perfectly level, it won’t drain effectively.

In the kitchen, there’s no shortage of space for cooking and storing your food. A full size 190L fridge, wine rack (or at least that’s what I used it for), microwave and three burner gas stove is evidence that Adria have spent 50 years perfecting what people like best about vans – kitchens.

A four-person dining table converts into a bed and at the push of a button and swivel of a cushion, two berths become four.

They say good things come in small packages and this certainly rings true of the Adria 402. In a world where our phones are oversized but tiny hotel rooms are en vogue, would I drop $40K on this van? Absolutely.

Key details

Berths: 4
Kitchen features: 190L fridge, stainless steel sink, microwave, three-burner gas stove
Bathroom: shower, hand basin, cassette toilet with electric flush
Airconditioning: Truma Saphir Comfort RC throughout
Total length (including drawbar): 6078mm
ATM weight: 1500kg
Fresh water storage: 100L
Gas: 2 x 4.5L gas cylinders
Battery: House battery 100Ah

Note: If you’re seeing spots, don’t worry. The caravan reviewed was a promotional vehicle with a polka dot exterior. The normal Adria Sport comes in white with a checker plate design.