Peter Baber
Reviews Editor

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The new Primero - brought into the UK by Marquis Leisure - offers exceptional value for money and a spacious layout for four on tour.

Overview

Marquis's success with Spanish-built Benimar continues apace. Not content with becoming one of the UK's top-selling brands in just three years, for this season, the dealership has worked with the manufacturer (both subsidiaries of the Trigano Group) to produce the new Primero line-up. 

This UK-only, entry-level range - four models under £50,000 - seems tempting. But how does it fare in reality? 

The Primero 301 is similar to the Mileo 301, in having an overcab bed for the kids, and a rear transverse bed. 

Design

The overcab is not unduly bulbous - it's just visible at the top of the windscreen in the standard Fiat Ducato cab. But unlike the Mileo, that transverse bed cannot be moved up and down to provide extra garage space. However, you might squeeze one bicycle into the Primero garage, and it does come with heating and light.

The main habitation door has a good grab handle and a bin; there's also a window in it, too, which helps brighten the interior.

Lounging & dining

To make the lounge, the two cab seats (both with Benimar covers) swivel to face two forward-facing travel seats across a long pedestal table. This has an extension, so there is room for four here. A rooflight and large window let in plenty of daylight, while a large LED in the ceiling lights things up at night; although there are no spotlights.

There is one mains socket for the lounge high up by the door, and this comes with a TV and 12V socket; although any TV here could only be watched from the cab seats.

Kitchen

The kitchen hob has two gas burners and an electric plate. There is a small space on its door side, to keep pan handles out of the way. The rest of the workspace is large, even if you use the drainer. The metal sink has a fold-up cover that partly obscures the window, but the workspace is well lit.

There is a Thetford Triplex oven and grill with a large drawer underneath. Next to this is a cupboard, below a drawer with a cutlery tray. The Thetford fridge is a reasonable size for four.

The three overhead lockers are a good size, and one is shelved. This is where the height of the overcab comes in useful, because above the lockers is a continuous open shelf with a metal retainer, to store smaller items.

Sleeping

The rear transverse bed is very comfortable and comes with two spotlights that are individually switched and directional. There is a second TV socket here, too.

The luxurious overcab bed has three shelves, a window, two spotlights and a rooflight. Both beds come with a pair of USB sockets.

A minor quibble might be the lack of cab blinds as standard. There is a curtain partition between the cab and the dinette that just makes it around the cab seats to fasten with poppers. It doesn't reach the floor, so some light will get in.

Washroom

You have to step up to the washroom, but when you do, you find a room that in effect has a separate shower cubicle, as it can be sealed off by plastic screens. The shower shares space with a lavish handbasin that is lit by two LEDs. There's also a rooflight. The tray comes with two drainage holes. Such a layout means you can still access the toilet when someone is in the shower.

Storage

Storage in the front lounge is in two overhead lockers, with a shelf above. The space under the travel seats is taken up by the water tank.

There are three shallow lockers above the transverse bed. Once you remove the ladder, what looks like an internal door to the garage turns out to be a half-height wardrobe. This has a hanging rail and two shelves, but it's possibly a little on the small side for a family of four.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload850kg
Length5.99m19′8″
Width2.3m7′7″
Height3.05m10′
Engine (power)130
Fresh/waste water69L / 40L
Leisure battery85 Ah
Gas bottle size6.5kg
Number of gas bottles2
External Options
Awning light
Kitchen Equipment
Thetford Fridge, Combined Oven/Grill
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet, Bi-fold shower door

Verdict

If you're going away as a family of four, you might need to be parsimonious when it comes to deciding what clothes and lighter goods you are going to take with you. But the Primero is shockingly good value, with two comfy beds and a washroom that wouldn't look out of place in a much more expensive 'van. 

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