PRACTICAL MOTORHOME SAYS…
Few motorhomes, whether UK-built or imported, get it as right as Benimar does in terms of price versus specification. Ford’s Transit base is a cracker, too, supporting a very user-friendly layout where the only real compromise is on kitchen space.
Add in the practicality of the 168bhp engine and the five-year water ingress warranty, and there’s an awful lot to like about this comfortable and well-priced coachbuilt.
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Comfortable to drive; long list of standard equipment; huge wardrobe
Side windows quite small; limited worktop in kitchen
You just might see my eyes light up when mention is made of Ford’s latest 168bhp engine and automatic transmission. For Benimar’s Tessoro range – eight coachbuilts, all based on Ford’s Transit – the former is standard, the latter an extra £2000. Grab a test drive if you can, because they offer a superbly relaxing drive.
Add to that the great price-to-spec proposition that is standard with every Benimar model, and you can see why the Spanish marque has made such inroads into the UK market.
Crucially, too, no optional extras to add - it really is that well equipped
There’s a typical Continental lounge up front, relying on the swivelled cab seats plus L-shaped, inward-facing settees.
This is aided by shaped cushions and a fully adjustable fixed pedestal-leg table. The opening sunroof over the cab enhances the feeling of space, even if the side windows aren’t that big.
With kitchen highlights extending to a 145-litre fridge/freezer, Thetford Triplex cooker – two-ring hob and electric hotplate, plus combined oven and grill – and microwave, there’s one thing missing: worktop. Ironically, then, storage is pretty good, thanks to soft-close drawers, two lockers and a couple of low-level cupboards.
There’s a bit of space compromising in the washroom – it extends across the back, but a lot of room is taken up by the largest wardrobe (with shelving to three sides) I’ve ever seen in a ‘van.
You’ll never complain about access to your clothes from the shower (on the offside) and the toilet and basin nearside. And you have to admire the fittings: from plastic lining and wooden duckboarding in the shower cubicle, to the generous provision of hooks and lighting.
At night, there’s little effort required to lower the bed to a level that’s most comfortable for you – all the way down to seat height for easy access; part-way if you want to use the lounge, or make another double from the seating.
That main bed, however, brings all the comfort of a one-piece mattress set on spring wooden slatting for extra support, as well as ventilation to the underside of the mattress. It also leaves access to the washroom and kitchen.