Niall Hampton

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Head to February's NEC show to see a trio of new, fixed-bed Benimar Mileo models, available exclusively through nation-wide dealer Marquis Leisure

Marquis Leisure has consolidated its Benimar Mileo offering for the 2016 season, with three new family friendly models set to launch at the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show at the NEC Birmingham, 23-28 February. 

The debutants are all overcab coachbuilts: the five-berth 313 (5.99m, MTPLM 3500kg), plus six-berths 323 (6.79m, MTPLM 4250kg) and 346 (7.18m, MTPLM 4250kg). The two larger ’vans are based on 4250kg chassis, giving whopping 1000kg-plus payloads, and both have garages below the rear beds which are accessible from either side of the motorhome. 

Together with the other two models to launch this year, the two-berth 264 and four-berth 286, the Benimar Mileo line-up now numbers 10. 

Once a familiar sight on British roads and campsites, Spanish brand Benimar took a break from the UK before returning in 2015 under an exclusive deal with Marquis Motorhomes, which has 11 sites across England. 

All Benimar Mileo models ride on the Fiat Ducato and the habitation doors are on the UK nearside – a clever move from Marquis that has doubtless contributed to strong sales on these shores. 

Fixed beds in all Benimar Mileo models 

Another unique selling point sees all models packing fixed beds for comfort and convenience, whether these are a rear transverse double (201), a French bed (231), stacked rear transverse doubles (243), an electrically operated drop-down double bed above the lounge (202, 264, 286 and 294), rear twin single beds (264) or a rear island bed (294). 

Mileo interiors are contemporary, with high-contrast wood finishes, and will appeal to buyers who favour uncluttered Continental styling. Specification is generous for the money, with a raft of attractive extras thrown in. 

These include 150bhp engines as standard, DAB radio with touchscreen sat-nav and an integrated reversing camera, Grade 3 insulation, external BBQ/shower points, a roof-fitted 140W solar panel, a spare wheel as standard, removable habitation carpets and a Winter Pack (bringing a Truma Combi heating upgrade to 6kW, insulated and heated waste tanks, insulated external pipes, an external thermal screen cover and external fridge vent covers). 

Optional extras include ComfortMatic transmission (£1695), ESC (electronic stability control) featuring hill holder with Traction Plus and hill descent (£495), a Truma Aventa Comfort roof-mounted air-conditioning unit compatible with iNet control (£2495) and faux leather upholstery in lieu of the standard fabric scheme for the 201, 231, 243, 264 and 294 models only (£745). 

Three new Benimar Mileo models for the 2016 season 

The three new models all offer double beds in the overcab section. Transverse rear bunks are carried in the 313 and 323, with a transverse double across the rear of the 346. Make-up lounge beds provide the other berths, and there’s a travel seat for each berth in each of the new ’vans. 

We’ve just taken delivery of the 313 as a long-term test vehicle. Its standard 3500kg MTPLM means that anyone with a standard car licence can drive it, and despite offering five berths and a full lounge, it breaks the tape under the ferry-friendly threshold of 6m. On-road performance is lively, thanks to its 150bhp engine, and welcome driver aids include DAB radio with steering wheel-mounted controls, plus a built-in reversing camera. Further back, a well-equipped kitchen overlooks a sociable lounge with a double dinette, and the space-saving washroom has an opulent feel for a ’van of this size. 

Given their specification and kit lists, the new models are keenly priced. The 313 costs £46,723 OTR, while the 323 and 346 are £49,814 OTR. 

Existing Benimar Mileo line-up 

The three new overcab coachbuilts join seven low-profile models: the two-berth 201 (5.99m, MTPLM 3500kg, £46,688 OTR) and 231 (5.99m, MTPLM 3500kg, £46,688 OTR), four-berths 202 (5.99m, MTPLM 3500kg, £47,777 OTR), 243 (6.99m, MTPLM 3500kg, £51,841 OTR), 264 (7.39m, MTPLM 3500kg, £53,957 OTR), 286 (6.99m, MTPLM 3500kg, £51,841 OTR) and 294 (7.39m, MTPLM 3500kg, £53,957 OTR). These models can all be up-plated free-of-charge to 3650kg, to offer increased payloads (the 243, 264, 286 and 294 can also be up-plated to 4250kg, for £1295). 

See the Benimar Mileo range, including the new 313 and 346, on the Marquis Leisure stand (3160) at next month's Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show at the NEC Birmingham. 

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