Packing it all in
The combination of Ford’s latest Transit chassis – here, in slightly wider rear format for better handling – and Benimar’s build and specification, along with a very competitive pricing across the whole of the six-model Tessoro range, it really does pack some punches.
It’s no wonder Benimar has emerged as the UK’s favourite imported marque since its re-introduction some three years ago.
Talking of packing, the Tessoro 483 motorhome boasts a decent garage with three-way access – there are hatches to each side as well as, unusually, one on the back panel. It definitely makes things a whole lot easier, including getting at the spare wheel.
As well as boasting those Ford underpinnings, the Tessoro range shares other features – they all come in at 3,500kg maximum and they all feature drop-down double beds in low-profile coachbuilt bodies, with a 99 per cent wood-free construction backed by a five-year warranty against water ingress. The drop-down double bed is one reason overall length is just 6.7m, yet there’s a more than decent-sized lounge up front.
With the cab seats swivelled, there should be no complaints about accommodating up to seven folk around the large pedestal leg table, which has fore-and-aft as well as – like the bed above – handy electric height adjustment.
In the cab itself, things are just as impressive. From the padded steering wheel to the stereo upgrade (the unit is a DAB radio with CD player and Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity, as well as providing a monitor for the reversing camera). There’s arguably a better quality feel to everything, too, compared to market leader Fiat with its Ducato.
A high level of equipment is a feature of the otherwise rather compact kitchen, too. You get a Triplex cooker (two gas rings, electric hotplate, combined oven and grill) alongside a circular sink (worktop space means there’s only an add-on drainer), while across the galley is a 135-litre fridge/freezer and a microwave oven – both units easy to access.
Carry on past the kitchen and you get to the full-width washroom. It has the usual fare in terms of a shower cubicle, fixed basin and swivel-bowl toilet – as well as plenty of hooks and holders to add to the convenience. What you won’t be prepared for, though, is the simply huge wardrobe sitting over the garage below. There’s extensive hanging width (although it’s not full depth) as well as open shelving to three sides that will surely swallow up all your clothing, no matter how extensive your touring.
Below, the garage space has three-way access from outside – as already explained.It’s but one of a number of star features of this highly impressive motorhome.
A straightforward, what-you-see-is-what-you-get specification with no hidden extras counts in Benimar’s favour, too. Indeed, there are only three factory-fitted options – awning, towbar and six-speed automatic transmission. The latter is smooth enough to send shivers up Fiat’s Ducato’s back, reportedly already accounting for a quarter of total Tessoro sales (and climbing), despite the £1,750 premium.
Plus, with a Trackstar Leisure Cat 6 tracking system, you’re going to get a healthy discount on your motorhome insurance.
Verdict: Great blend of specification and price
Plus: Loads of kit as standard, Ford base, relatively roomy quarters
Minus: Cramped kitchen
In-a-nutshell: Affordable Ford
There’s more information on the Tessoro range on the Marquis Leisure website www.marquisleisure.co.uk. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Chausson Welcome 610
Benimar Tessoro 483 factfile
|Model||Benimar Tessoro 483|
|Base vehicle||Ford Transit, 2-litre, 168bhp, Euro VI|
|Dimensions||6.70m L x 2.30m W x 2.89m H|
|RRP||From £53,995 on the road|
|Safety & security||Trackstar Leisure CAT 6 tracker (with first year’s subscription), electronic immobiliser, remote central locking, ESP, Traction Control, Hill Assist, ABS and EBD, twin airbags, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, reversing camera, quick windscreen defrost function, heated electric wing mirrors, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers|
|Key options||Automatic transmission (£1,750), towbar (£1,250), awning (£695)|