Niall HamptonSee other motorhome reviews written by Niall Hampton
Upmarket and discreet, the Bessacarr 494 is a class act for those who need a four-berth with a fixed island bed – here's what you get for your money
So farewell, then, to the Swift Esprit range – deleted at the end of the 2015 model year, despite enjoying a strong performance in its first season. Conceived to replace the Swift Sundance, which had started to fade, Esprit was arguably overshadowed by sister range Bessacarr, which featured the same model numbers and layouts but with a bump in style and specification for just £1500 extra.
Eight models feature in Swift's Bessacarr range for 2016, covering two-berths all the way up to six-berths, delivered via make-up or fixed beds.
One of two new models unveiled at the start of 2015, the Bessacarr 494 sports a desirable island-bed floor plan, with a half-dinette reached after passing through the midships kitchen.
Inside, you’ll find Swift Group’s mid-toned ‘Aralie Sen’ cabinetwork, with gloss locker facings, oak inlays and chrome handles. It combines well with Swift’s distinctive plastic mouldings. Soft furnishings are cream and grey, with sewn-in ‘Bessacarr’ tags. The overall feel is very agreeable, with over-locker ambient lighting adding a touch of class.
On the road
The engine is a 2.3-litre turbodiesel producing 130bhp, which will also power the ComfortMatic robotised gearbox, available as a £1695 cost option.
The 494 handles well, with little noise from the habitation area, and the twin-lens reversing camera is very welcome on a vehicle that’s 7.75m long. Four travel seats come as standard, with two on the forward-facing dinette seat bench.
Lounging & dining
Other bedroom fittings include a ‘dressing table’ with task lights and half-length mirror, on the offside.
Another double bed is provided, in the lounge, and makes up easily using pull-out slats and the lowered dinette table. It measures 2.13m x 1.23m/1.04m (7’ x 4’/3’5”).
The optional Lux Pack adds cab air con, cruise control and a TV aerial for £995.
|Fresh/waste water||90L / 68L|
|Leisure battery||100 Ah|
|Gas bottle size||13kg|
|Number of gas bottles||2|
3-burner gas with electric hot plate, Oven, Separate grill, Microwave
Thetford C-250 toilet, Separate shower cubicle
Upmarket without being ostentatious, it’s easy to see the appeal of Bessacarr motorhomes.
The Bessacarr 494 has lots to offer buyers who are tempted by an island bed, a sociable lounge and fully equipped kitchen and who won’t mind the substantial rear overhang. This ’van feels well screwed together and the specification is worthy of the £50,000 price tag. And to see other Bessacarr motorhomes for sale, click here.
- Comfort and convenience of an island bed
- Pleasing interior ambience and sociable lounge
- Well-equipped kitchen with work surface
- Generous equipment levels for the price
- Double leg for dinette table to quickly facilitate operation at two heights
- Extendable dinette table
- Excellent storage
- Substantial rear overhang is not ferry-friendly
- Extension cushion means fixed bed has to be adjusted rather than being left in situ
- Lack of CD player will inconvenience those who prefer physical audio media