Nigel DonnellySee other motorhome reviews written by Nigel Donnelly
Read the Practical Motorhome Benimar Anthus 5000U review – what do the experts make of this Spanish 'van?
This new, right-hand drive, end-lounge layout is aimed squarely at British buyers, confirming Spanish maker Benimar’s continued presence in the UK, which had been in question.
The Anthus’ bulky overcab and rear overhang affect on-road manners, but it’s a competent motorway cruiser with the standard 2.3-litre JTD engine, though the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel (which comes with air-conditioning as standard) is needed if you don’t want to have to work the gears to overtake lorries uphill. The GRP sidewalls have an attractive sheen and there’s easy access to services. Rear steadies come as standard and there’s a big locker on the rear nearside corner.
The size of the rear lounge is the first thing that grabs you – it’s noticeably bigger than most. The hefty table is great at meal times, and sturdy enough for outside use, although we found its size restricted movement to and from the lounge. In transit, it needs to be folded down and secured in the space between the seats, where it forms part of the bed base. There’s plenty of light from the midi Heki rooflight and the large windows, with four spotlights for the evenings. The bed makes up simply; again, the table takes some effort to manoeuvre into place and is huge. The overcab, too, is generous, with a thick mattress, although there is a noticeable loss of headroom toward the front.
With a standard SMEV cooker, the kitchen has everything a cook needs, with a huge fridge/freezer. There’s no workspace, apart from a strip in front of the sink, although you can use the sink cover or table.
Although the washroom is an all-in-one effort, the shower is, in effect, a separate unit, separated by a high sill and curtain, with an adjustable shower head height up to just over 6ft.
While it sacrifices space to the huge lounge, the bathroom performs well enough for use at rallies and other events where there are no washrooms.
Everything about this Benimar shows an attention to design detail that makes practical sense. However, similar British layouts tend to be more open, with the cab seats brought in to play. Although the Benimar lacks this, this frees up the room for a large fridge freezer and a workable washroom, and many buyers may favour this layout.
Thetford Fridge, Extractor fan
Thetford C-250 toilet, Separate shower cubicle
Roomy lounge and comfortable overcab bed make the Anthus appealing, but the kitchen offers little useable worksurface. Still, the price is alluring for the specification.
- Spacious rear lounge; lots of storage lockers; visual appeal and attention to detail; comfy overcab bed
- Small kitchen with no free worksurface