Practical Motorhome reviews the Bessacarr E480 – as well as a generous fixed bed, what more can it offer?
They thought the prominent brow of the habitation mimics the Ducato cab design, making the whole design look quite cohesive and classy. They also liked the high-gloss sides and tasteful decals that make the ’van look very stylish.
Our testers found that entry into the habitation area was slightly challenging, especially for those with mobility problems, due to the standard-height chassis and single entry step (prior to the relaunch, the range had a double step). The flipside to this is that the habitation floor has only one level, so movement within the ’van is very easy. The interior was praised for being restrained and elegant, without seeming too cold in the style of many Continental ’vans. Swift has made use of contrasting colours and matt nickel inserts to keep the interior looking fresh. Our testers were particularly fond of the cream-fronted kitchen furnishings and the uniform use of warm LED lighting.
The only aspect of the interior design that left Peter and Vera unsatisfied were the wood-look dashboard inserts.
On the road
On the subject of the E480’s four-tonne MTPLM, Swift have taken a bold move by building this ’van on the Ducato Maxi base. This will prove an inconvenience to those who passed their test after 1997, and will need to retest to gain their C1 license category in order to drive it but it gives the ’van a mammoth payload of 701kg.
Considering that this is a ’van for two people you should have no problems taking everything you will need on tour.
Lounging & dining
The light veneers on the furniture and light upholstery garnered a lot of praise from our testers. Peter felt that it helped create a greater sense of space in what is already a sizeable lounge.
On the other hand, our testers singled out the lack of arm-rest bolster cushions for the lounge sofas as a negative point. However, this is an inevitable side-effect of a design that seeks to create as much clearance and space in the lounge as possible, particularly for those lounging in the swivelled cab seats.
Our testers found the sink to be highly useable as well. It’s very deep, although it’s so big that it eats into workspace a bit. They also liked the fact that it comes with a separate clip-on drainer that stows in a dedicated slot under the sink when not in use.
They did have one complaint about the kitchen, though - the 107-litre fridge/freezer provided only just enough space for all the sundries that they used during their tour.
Once you get up there, though, you find a cosy area with numerous amenities: a TV point, a power socket and shelves for mugs and books.
Swift’s designers have proved quite adept at designing lounge beds, and the E480 is no exception. The two sofas join easily to form a flat bed and spare bedding can be stored in the generous locker above the cab, too.
They thought it was too small for the size of the ’van and comes across as a sea of white plastic. They also didn't like the fact that you have to rely on the pull-out shower head to supply water to both the sink and the shower. They also found the fittings – such as the sink and toilet – to be a little flimsy, and the shower curtain is likely to do little to keep the toilet seat dry.
Our testers found ample locker and cupboard space around the ’van, although the half-length wardrobe wasn’t entirely to their liking.
They were big fans of the garage, though, which has lots of cubby holes in which to store cables, levelling blocks, walking boots and other paraphernalia.
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas with electric hot plate, Oven, Microwave
Our testers were very pleased with the E480 and thought it was well made – apart from a few niggles – well–equipped and available at a sensible price. The underslung, relatively small water tanks and the small gas locker capacity mean that it isn’t ideal for ‘heavy duty’ distance touring, though.
- A well-made and sensibly priced motorhome for a touring couple
- The small water tanks and small gas locker capacity mean it isn't suited for long-term touring