Benimar's new budget range for 2008 is Transit-based and offers some novel layouts including the island bed Benimar Tesseo 490
Benimar Tesseo 490 2008
IF the Tesseo model name is unfamiliar to you, the simple reason is that this is a brand-new range for 2008, and the big news – interior layout of our chosen 490 aside – is the Ford Transit underpinnings, something we haven’t seen on a UK Benimar for many a long year.
Tesseo is positioned within the Benimar hierarchy just above the entry-level (and also Ford underpinned) Sport range and directly beneath the more familiar Fiat-based Perseo.
The 490 is unique within the line-up in that it sports a full island rear bedroom in lieu of the transverse doubles fitted to the 400 and 440.
This goes the full hog, with his ‘n’ hers wardrobes, bedside cabinets and reading lights, together with the unusual provision of simply gigantic side windows to go with the Mini Heki rooflight.
It remains to be seen, also, whether the large mirror behind the headboard will make it onto UK models.
More expected is the large storage void beneath the bed, an area that is made more useful still by the provision of a huge slide-out drawer, while dedicated flatscreen television provision is factory-installed.
Up front, the kitchen sits in an unusually prominent position by the door, with the enormous marble-alike sink unit being particularly in-your-face.
Worktop space is negligible, but the latest Dometic fridge looks like something out of a blockbuster Star Wars film!
The washroom opposite manages to extend to a proper separate shower cubicle, although given the 490’s overall length, you can probably forgive the rather compact nature of this room.
The lounge does without any proper settees, so each of you will end up sitting on a single, self-contained seat, although the occupant of the nearside seat can, at least, put his or her feet up on the slightly longer seat base.
This seat converts, incidentally, into the 490’s third travel seat.
So, not the most opulent of lounges, but the startling orange upholstery is aided and abetted by a window behind the offside seat, an unusually deep nearside window, an opening panoramic rooflight over the cab and a crank-operated rooflight over the lounge.
This review first appeared in the November 2007 issue of Which Motorcaravan. To subscribe to the magazine, click here.