Best Aussie Vans Finalist New Age Mantra Ray Test Review

By: Philip Lord, Photography by: Ellen Dewar and Nathan Jacobs, Video by: WTFN

You’ll want to kick off your shoes and get comfortable in the New Age Manta Ray MR19E.

It is only five years in, but New Age seems as if it has been part of the caravan industry for much longer. The company goes from strength to strength, and the Manta Ray MR19E is a fine example of the company’s work.

Design and Construction

The Manta Ray MR19E is a tandem-axle, full-size, two-berth van with a full ensuite at the back, kitchen and dinette in the middle and island bed up the front – a common layout.
Where the New Age is quite distinctive is in its superb interior presentation. When you step inside the Manta Ray, you are greeted by a bright and airy interior.

The bright white gloss finish to the ceiling and walls is a pleasant alternative to more traditional palettes, and nicely contrasted by the dark timber-look flooring. It feels very modern while still being neutral. Helping the airy feel are two roof hatches and large hopper windows.

Interior Layout

At the back of the van is the ensuite bathroom, separated from the main living area by a sliding door. The ensuite has plenty of room for its separate toilet and shower recess, mini washing machine and vanity unit. Quite often you see an ensuite which is just too tight for space but that isn’t the case here. There’s a reasonable amount of storage here, too, with two open recesses, the vanity unit and cupboards above.

Walking back into the main living area, on the nearside is the cafe dinette and tri-fold table, and on the offside is the kitchen. The cafe dinette is roomy enough for four people to sit (just) and, unlike some dinettes, you don’t feel like you have to breathe in when sitting with the tri-fold table extended.


Above the dinette are four storage lockers and two open bins for storage. This is a great idea – replicated in the bathroom and above the bed – as it gives you the option to put items where you can easily see them, and with the chrome steel bar across the lower part of the opening, you can be reasonably confident of leaving items in the bins when travelling.

The Bottom Line

In a country where caravans are so popular and manufacturers so numerous, it is great to see a van that stands out from the crowd. In many respects a traditional van design, yes, but the Manta Ray MR19E is imbued with such quality furnishings and has such a bright inside that many find it hard to look at other van interiors in the same way.

Tie that to a well-designed and finished body and chassis and in the Manta Ray MR19E you have a very competent caravan. And for people who want a little more luxury, it also comes in a Deluxe version.

Measuring up

I liked...

  • Ample external and internal storage
  • Fresh, bright décor

I would have liked...

  • More space around the bedhead


The full test will appear in Caravan World #533, January 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month! 

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