Low-line bodywork and a drop-down bed make the latest 496 a contender in the premium family motorhome market. Lounging space and the six sleeping berths are exceptional, but the washroom and kitchen disappoint slightly.
This dealer special is made exclusively for Lowdhams by the Swift Group and you can see the Bessacarr Hi-Style 496 either at Lowdhams in Crosland Hill, Huddersfield, or the branch in Gunthorpe, Nottingham.
Enormous U-shaped end lounge
Six belted travel seats to match six berths
Electric drop-down bed has comfy mattress
Excellent front dinette
Not much storage in the kitchen
Toilet gets a little shower overspray despite the bi-fold door
This is no ordinary Bessacarr 496 – in fact, it’s a special edition Hi-Style, exclusive to Midlands dealer chain, Lowdhams. The Hi-Style is endowed with more than £3000 worth of additional equipment, despite costing just £1000 more than a standard 496.
A fitted sleeping platform descends from the ceiling in a matter of seconds
You enter the 496 via the forward lounge. The Pullman dinette offers four fully belted travel seats, doubles as a spacious dining area and converts – with a degree of cushion flipping – into a decent-sized double bed. The settee opposite is big enough to accommodate two further adults, so it seems just a little odd that the passenger cab seat doesn’t swivel to add in another seating position.
In day mode, this is undoubtedly the place to be, offering as it does simply colossal lounging and dining space. Large windows and ample lighting keep the area well-lit by day or night, too.
Unfortunately, the palatial lounge does encroach on the amidships kitchen. There’s nothing wrong with the kit on offer (dual-fuel hob, separate oven and grill, microwave and good-sized fridge), but worktop space is at a premium and rescued only by a fold-up extension flap by the door.
Cupboard space is just as tight. The locker to the right of the microwave passes the all-important cereal-box test with ease, but the one between the cooker and fridge is quite narrow and dominated by the cutlery drawer.
Opposite the kitchen is the washroom, and as with the kitchen, the spacious lounge compromises the space available for the washroom. As with many motorhomes of this type (which spend most of their time on full-facility sites), this is an all-in-one affair, but the offside rear wheel arch truncates the shower tray, and the bi-fold door only partly succeeds in shielding the toilet from shower overspray. Storage space here is good, though, and it’s well-lit.
An additional control panel in the lounge area gives up the 496’s nifty little secret: a drop-down double bed. Twist the Chubb-style key to release the electrical isolator, press a button and a fitted sleeping platform descends from the ceiling in a matter of seconds. It’s clearly been well thought-through, too. The elasticated screens at the foot and head end
of the bed stretch taut to protect occupants from the surrounding cabinetry and the bed can be fixed at almost any height – Swift even provides a ladder – if the ‘downstairs’ bed is in use. If not, it can drop to a suitably low level, once you’ve removed the settees’ seat backs.
The rear double bed is the biggest in the Bessacarr, stretching the tape measure to 2.11m by 1.67m. It’s not fully four-square (the nearside single is noticeably longer than the offside equivalent), but it is still enormous, again with the rearmost backrests removed.
There’s plenty of storage under the seat boxes and the cupboards either side of the microwave in the kitchen are big enough for your crockery and cereal boxes. Storage in the washroom is surprisingly good.
|Shipping Length||7.75 m|
|Engine Size||2300 cc|