Low-profile coachbuilt… two lounges, two drop-down double beds. Could Benimar be onto something here?
It’s not often you get a motorhome imported into the UK with a floorplan that includes a rear lounge. Plenty of others have tried, success has been extremely limited. But, with the Tessoro 482 motorhome, Benimar seems to have nailed it, as part of a formula that includes a high overall specification, keen price, a few more subtleties to make it more Brit-friendly (like having the habitation door on the UK nearside) and even a base vehicle that’s proving particularly popular.
The Benimar Tessoro 482 motorhome’s main seating area, then. There are opening windows to three sides but no upper lockers or any kind of rooflight overhead. That’s because there’s an electrically operated drop-down double bed here.
It’s an arrangement that works particularly well because you can also lower the bed partway so occupants (children, maybe?) can sleep while others can still sit around the pedestal leg table below – or you can lower it fully for particularly easy access.
If any of that doesn’t work for you, there’s a similar bed/seating arrangement at the front, where the second drop-down double does have underside lockers (which do, ultimately, impede on the seating). Those beds are the same size at 1.90m x 1.39m.
In between these two seating and sleeping zones, the kitchen and washroom arrangements in the Benimar Tessoro 482 are just as impressive.
The L-shaped kitchen incudes a Thetford Triplex cooker (two gas rings, one electric hotplate, combined oven and grill), plus microwave oven, 145-litre fridge/freezer with automatic energy source selection, rectangular sink and some truly excellent storage – drawers, slide-out racking, etc.
There’s even an extractor unit over the hob as well as an electric roof vent.
As for the washroom, it boasts a separate shower cubicle with removable wooden duckboard and plastic wall linings, a rather small fixed basin and a Thetford swivel-bowl toilet on a plinth. Benimar also includes a window, drop-down rail, mirror, vanity unit with mirrored doors, soap dispenser and toothbrush mug.
True to the Benimar theme, the list of standard equipment for the Tessoro’s living quarters is extensive. Highlights range from solar panel to TV holder for the rear lounge, overcab sunroof, Truma Combi 6 heating with iNet and much, much more. Even keeping the overall length below 7m represents a minor miracle.
It’s all on Ford’s Transit, a base vehicle that’s growing in popularity and seems to be stacking up well versus Fiat’s Ducato which, for so long has been the benchmark. It’s popularity is no doubt helped by its superior specification as well as an automatic transmission option that is considerably less.
All Benimar Tessoro motorhomes come with the lively 168bhp engine as standard whilst, in the cab, Ford’s 9in touchscreen “infotainment” system (DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, sat nav, reversing camera and more) is a highlight among many other standard fittings and luxury touches.
That reversing camera will also give you a small discount on your motorhome insurance too, helping to prevent unwanted knocks and scrapes.
Plus, The Benimar Tessoro also has a tracking device as standard for an even bigger motorhome insurance discount.
There are a few criticisms, too. It’s not the most reassuring upholstery/cushion firmness. The cab seat covers cut costs a bit too far. There’s a considerable step up into the washroom. You can be forgiving, though, considering what you are getting for your money.
Still undecided? It’s worth knowing the 2021 Benimar motorhome portfolio extends to eight Tessoro models, all Ford-based, as well as a further 11 coachbuilts, all on a Ducato chassis. There are even two van conversions, again Fiat-based. It’s enough to make you wonder what’s coming next…?
Verdict: Enticing mix of specification, practicality and competitive pricing
Plus: Ford base with 170bhp engine, high standard kit levels, drop-down double beds
Minus: Not a great payload, upholstery and cushioning not the most reassuring
In-a-nutshell: Doubles up
There’s more information on the Tessoro range on the Marquis Leisure website. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Auto-Trail F-72, Bailey Adamo 75-4DL
Benimar Tessoro 482 factfile
|Model||Benimar Tessoro 482|
|Base vehicle||Ford Transit, 2-litre, 170bhp, Euro VI|
|Dimensions||7.38m L x 2.30m W x 2.89m H|
|RRP||From £61,995 on the road|
|Safety & security||Trackstar Leisure CAT 6 tracker (with first year’s subscription), electronic immobiliser, remote central locking to cab doors, 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 (£2,000), towbar (£1,350), Skye upholstery (£795)|