Bentley Donington Motorhome Reviewed


Bentley Donnington motorhome

The mid-sized Donington motorhome is part of Bentley’s Signature range – the first coachbuilts to go on sale here based on the new Renault Master.

The new cab looks bold but handsome and it’s equipped with every extra known to motorhomers – two airbags, air-con, cruise control, TomTom sat-nav, alloy wheels, radio/CD with steering column-mounted controls and iPod connection, and front foglamps.

Bentley Donnington motorhome cab

Seats are by Isringhausen with every conceivable permutation of adjustment, from slide-out extendable squabs for the long of leg to pump-up lumbar supports.

Those looking for cheaper motorhome insurance will also be pleased to hear the motorhome comes with a standard fit reversing camera which qualifies for an insurance discount.

The motorhome is powered by a 150bhp common-rail engine and sits on a low-slung Al-Ko chassis.

Bentley Donnington living area looking forwards

The layout is a classic, pure two-berth format with settees long enough to be virtually instant single beds, an amidships galley and end washroom.

Unlike an Auto-Sleeper Cotswold, the Bentley does not run its bathroom right across the rear, instead leaving space in the back wall for a huge fridge/freezer and a twin-level wardrobe.

Bentley Donnington living area looking backwards

Some buyers have said they’d prefer extra overcab storage to the standard Skyview opening sunroof. No problem, say Bentley, though the sunroof creates a spacious feel.

With large under-settee lockers both sides (with external access), 12 eye-level lockers (all with positive locking) and a sideboard full of drawers, storage is plentiful.

With the Skyview above the cab, and a Heki over the rear end of the lounge, plus swivel LED reading lights in each corner, and mood lighting over the top lockers, this is a well-lit lounge – and one designed for entertaining.

The cab chairs swivel to make comfortable seating for eight and the table is not too large or heavy, with the new folding-leg system first seen in the smaller Cobalt.

For many the key feature will be the length of the sofas, which at 6ft 2in is enough for them to act as single beds.

Those who prefer a double can pull them together to create a vast bed, though if you want to sleep across the ’van you’ll need to swap the massive cushions around to get the knee-rolls out of the centre of the bed.

Bentley Donnington Kitchen

The kitchen is a winner too. It has all the equipment you’d expect in a flagship British motorhome, including that enormous fridge and a cooker with mains hotplate, plus an extractor hood and a low-level microwave in the sideboard.

There’s masses of worktop, and storage has been well thought out with a multitude of drawers. This is as good as motorhome kitchens get, and it’s good-looking too.

Bentley Donnington washroom

The lack of a full-width washroom is no Achilles’ heel. With a separate shower (complete with seat) and Dometic’s ceramic loo, this is an excellent washroom; all it lacks is direct wardrobe access.

This is a spacious, luxurious, high-quality two-berth motorhome.

Our verdict:

Despite not having a wind-up type Heki and a less-powerful Combi 4 heating system, it’s hard to find the Donington lacking anywhere with a feature list that includes heated fresh water tank, pleated blinds, drop-down flatscreen TV holder, fully appointed galley, generous lighting, flyscreen door, TV aerial, Bentley’s clever control panel, remote central locking of all doors, and three glasses/drinks cabinets, as well as top-notch build!

Bentley Donnington motorhome floorplan

Fact-file:

Price from: £62,720

Berths: 2

Travel seats (inc driver) 2

Dimensions: 7.16m L, 2.28m W, 2.85 H

Interior height: 2.08m kitchen, 1.95m lounge

Beds: Twin single beds 1.88m x 0.69m, or transverse double 2.13m x 1.88m

Cost to insurance this motorhome: £293.50 *

* Cost to insure this motorhome is based on a 2011 Bentley Donington valued at £62,720. Fitted with manufacturers immobiliser, reversing camera (standard) and approved motorhome tracking device, kept on driveway at home at TD9 8ED. Motorhome owners – professionals over 50 years old with no claims, convictions or health conditions in last 3 years. 4 years no claims bonus mirrored from car policy and 2 years motorhome driving experience. Members of motorhome club doing less than 7000 miles annually. £250 excess applies. European cover £14 extra, European Breakdown £43 extra. Premium includes IPT at 6% and is correct as of 13.05.11

Source: Which Motorhome Logo


Have a comment? Tell us what you think below

13 thoughts on “Bentley Donington Motorhome Reviewed

  1. John Dinning says:

    Looks a beautiful van.
    What is the gross weight? (For us Over 70 Oldies)
    Regards

  2. Craig Thompson says:

    Hi John. The Maximum Weight is 3850kg.

  3. William Dawber says:

    First saw the Bentley range at the Manchester show earlier in the year, and was very impressed with the finish quality, a new one? I wish.
    Thanks for the review.
    William Dawber,
    Co Administrator, motorhomingwild.forumup.co.uk

  4. Dave McGrath says:

    Look at the Autocruise Renoir which was designed by the same people startling resemblance. Surprised they are prepared to again carry out customers personal modifications as I was under the view this is what caused them problems last time around, still a nice van.

  5. William Dawber says:

    I own a Pioneer Renoir, and do like the Bentley, however the bottle and glass cupboard protrudes a lot, and can see many banging heads on this.
    At the recent show, NEC, I was again looking at the quality, when a chap entered and guess what? he banged his nut!
    A lot of improvements over the Renoir.

  6. Wilf Nicholson says:

    Love the Donnington so much I bought one at Birmingham. Have dealt with the Bentley family before and cannot wait to receive REAL customer service. After 10 motorhomes of every breed the Bentley variety cannot be beaten.

  7. Mark Snowden says:

    Why don’t more manufacturers consider there many motorhomers well over 6′ tall who don’t like banging their heads all the time!?I was very impressed with the layout, the quality, the drive, the Bentley family and the sales team at Birmingham. The fact that mine can be personalised(including a drinks cabinet moved in 4” so I don’t bang into it) was a major factor in signing up for the Donington. I can’t wait to get it

  8. Wilf Nicholson says:

    I purchased my Donnington in November after owning 2 other Autocruise models (original-not Swift) which were the best of the bunch I have owned. Happy with my Donnington but still have problems which I know will be sorted. The build quality is nine out of ten but still problems. The base vehicle is superb and the most car like I have ever owned in 10 vehicles.

  9. Wilf Nicholson says:

    After just over a years ownership my opinion of the Donington hasn’t changed. Having covered just under 8000 miles it is averaging 31 mpg with mixed driving conditions and some pulling a 1 ton trailer with motorcycle. Sad about the Bentley bankruptcy and the insulting offer from Vanmaster but that’s life in “Rip Off Britain”.
    Would still highly praise the build and quality.

  10. Peter Small says:

    I bought the last Donington probably ever made had loads of build issues and a not so caring dealer the engine has also had problems.
    But overall i am pleased with it even though i have had to do a lot of jobs on the new van myself.
    It would be nice if we had a owners forum to swap ideas and fixes.

  11. Wilf Nicholson says:

    Sorry you have had a few issues with your Donington Peter. I must say it is the luckiest motorhome I have owned out of eleven. We have only covered 10,000 miles but, touch wood, have had no major problems with either the base vehicle or conversion. The only thing that has just started is hollow mouldings. These are small blisters that burst leaving a hole in the plastic. The nearside wheelarch and roof edge cappings are effected. Not a major problem but still something else to repair.

    • peter small says:

      Wilf
      I had the capping problem on an Auto trail its a manufacturing fault of not getting air bubbles out of the grp layers ,
      With the Donnington
      I did have trouble with the entry into the habitation door it wasnt controlled by the central locking circuit it just locked the van doors after 90 seconds when shut unfortunately the alarm went off as well.
      The floor creaks near the cab join i would suspect a missing support bracket.dealer wanted to take all the furniture out together with the floor i shudder to think what condition it would be going back in. I refused and put up with it will fix myself.
      A most annoying problem is the radio DVD cd sat nav unit shutting down after 20 minutes to conserve the engine battery, Renault wont help with a solution but i have a management charger from the leisure battery so it will be charged as long as the solar panel works
      The control panel only supports a max 100 watt panel so i had to wire my 120 watt separately I did check with the panel manufacturers and they stated only 100 max.
      Another problem was the draw catches not aligned properly so when driving the draws opened and closed on there own
      The cooker top went rusty fixed under Truma`s Guarantee no quibble.
      Toilet door handle came off in my hand,
      Plumbing pipes to the tanks underneath fell off glued and fixed DIY.
      Fly screen collapsed 1st time out but i cannot blame the builder for that ( made in Holland) dealer fix
      Table leg collapsing replaced. dealer
      The most disturbing was rust marks from the front marker lights new ones fitted by dealer
      Other than these problems i am happy with the layout lighting
      The engine is strong even with 2 visits to Renault for an injector problem. plus recall on exhaust pipe fitting.
      I have fitted gallery rails in the bathroom cupboards frd up with contents falling out every trip when opening,
      Outside BBQ fitted should be standard i think.
      Not trouble free just a learning experience glad i didnt take up the warrantee with Vanmaster

      Pete

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