Andrew McPhee

See other motorhome reviews written by Andrew McPhee

Read the Practical Motorhome review of the Spanish-built Benimar Perseo 500

Overview

Transverse fixed beds usually conceal a garage below, but the Perseo 500 is different. This Spanish-made ’van has a large rear locker instead.

You can’t store a bike here in the upright position but the advantage is that the fixed bed’s mattress is low, so it’s easier to climb into and there’s more room to sit up in bed.

Similar layouts are seen in Autocruise’s Starseeker and Hymer’s Van 522 and the Perseo, too, is below the ‘magic’ figure of 6m long (5.997m). This means it can fit into standard parking bays and double as a day vehicle.

With the top-spec 2.8-litre engine, speed will not be an issue for this 3.5-tonne chassis, which takes a generous payload (a 2.3-litre engine, which would be adequate here, is also available).

We like the fresh graphics and the rounded overcab. There’s easy access to all the services, including the battery, under a flap in the rear locker’s floor. This storage area will swallow chairs, a wind break and a barbecue but you will need to dismantle your cycles and store them flat in here, or use a rear bike rack.

The internal layout leaves little room for lounging, though with the driver’s seat swivelled, the half dinette makes a pleasant dining space, opposite the kitchen. The fridge is small by current low-profile ’van standards, where 100-litre-plus capacity has become the norm. We like the neat, one-piece hob and sink unit, which leaves a small but crucial area of worksurface available (just big enough for a pan or a chopping board). There’s an attractive, tall, chromed swan-neck mixer tap which adds a feel of quality, but the lack of Piezo ignition for the gas hob is a let-down and there’s no oven or grill.

The centre washroom is, typically, an all-in-one affair – in effect a ‘wet room’ whose floor/shower tray is made from one piece of moulded plastic. Each function works well. The sink is wide enough to wash in and there is a full-size sink-to-ceiling mirror. Both toilet and shower afford adequate room, thanks to the swivel bowl, but once the shower has been used, the room will need to be dried out.

In the fixed bed area, there is no window furniture, or lockers, to prevent occupants sitting up comfortably in bed. There is a slim window, on the rear wall, to prevent the space from becoming a dark corner during the day, and it works.

The price of the Perseo is key: although it’s low enough to be considered ‘budget level’, that is not reflected in its build quality. This freshly styled low-profile would be ideal for a couple who love summer touring and the great outdoors. It has a distinctly Spanish flavour, with Benimar’s mid-market quality at an entry-level price.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload600kg
Length6m19′8″
Width2.72m8′11″
Height2.3m7′7″
Waste water100L
External Options
Awning light
Kitchen Equipment
3-burner gas hob
Washroom
Shower curtain
Heating
Truma Gas Blown air heater, Truma Gas water heater

Verdict

Well-priced, smart low-profile that's perfect for a couple who like touring in summer.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Compact size; appearance; kitchen; build quality

Cons

  • Small fridge; small lounge
Share with friends

Follow us on

Recently added motorhomes for sale

Most recent motorhome reviews

The Practical Motorhome Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo 250d Sport Long review – 1 - The Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo 250d Sport Long is priced from £56,670 OTR, £63,990 as tested (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Chausson Welcome 711 Travel Line review – 1 - The new Chausson 711 is being sold in Welcome Travel Line spec only (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)

Swift Rio 325

£52,180OTR

The Practical Motorhome Swift Rio 325 review – 1 - The 2018 Swift Rio 325 is just 5.99m long and has a licence-friendly MTPLM of 3500kg (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome IH N-Class 630 RLS review – 1 - The IH N-Class 630 RLS is priced from £73,995 OTR for the 130bhp variant and from £76,490 OTR for the 180bhp version – we're testing the latter (© Gentleman Jack/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Marquis Majestic 196 review – 1 - Fitting six berths and six travel seats into a 3500kg motorhome is no mean feat – does it work? (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Swift Bessacarr 597 review – 1 - The ’van tested has an MTPLM of 3850kg, but there is a version with a 3500kg MTPLM (and a lower payload) – read more in our Swift Bessacarr 597 review (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)