Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 280kg
The success of the Benimar brand in the UK – from a standing start in 2014, rising to become one of Britain’s best- selling imported motorhome marques – has been well documented. That success also means that importer, Marquis, has not messed around too much with a winning formula for 2019.
Key changes are new van conversions (Benivan 120 and 122) and some Mileo layouts being transferred into a new lower spec’d, lower-priced range, called Primero. Other than that, the Fiat Ducato-based Mileo gets new fabrics (not shown here) – Bergen as standard or Copenhague as a cost option. There’s a new habitation door with two-point locking and a new washbasin and matching accessories in the bathroom, while garage areas get improved locks and lighting.
Turning to the specifics of this 282 model, the layout is unchanged and the key selling point is its rear lounge, which is especially comfy. Rear L-shaped lounges are nothing new, of course, but this one is exceptionally conducive to lounging, relaxing, sprawling and, generally, unwinding. And it doesn’t even have to make into a bed, because a double berth lowers from the ceiling above.
p front, there’s a much more conventional seating area combining travel for four with a typically continental fixed table and swivel cab seats. Six could squeeze around the table, which unfolds for full-scale dining. And, like a number of other aspects, the table shows improved operation since the brand debuted here.
Rear lounge aside, this is a conventional low-profile motorhome that’s very open and spacious – as well as being well equipped, as we’ve come to expect with Benimar. There is another surprise in store, though – the fact that both beds are of the drop-down variety – no more cushion shuffling, even when you’re touring with four folk on board.
The central galley has a respectable amount of worktop, an oven/grill, a mains hotplate, a microwave and a massive fridge/freezer (149-litre capacity with automatic energy selection). It’s positioned along the nearside wall, aft of the habitation door (which – take note – is on the British side).
On the opposite flank of the motorhome, the bathroom has a separate shower (with stylish dark tinted bifold door and wooden duckboard) that’s unusually generous in size. You get a lot of spec for your money with these Benimars – with no need to turn to a list of extras – a Comfort-Matic gearbox (£1,900) and a towbar (£1,250) are the key options, bar the fabric choice and a chassis weight upgrade.
Top value has been what the brand has represented since it returned to our shores. Standard kit includes automatic lights and wipers, sat-nav, reversing camera, 150bhp engine, flush-fit framed windows, solar panel, barbecue point, 6kW gas/mains heating, alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel, ESP, Traction+ and Hill Descent Control. Even a Category 6 tracking system and a year’s free insurance are included in the price.
Built as standard on a 3,500kg chassis, the Mileo 282 looks a little light on payload, but, if your licence will allow, you can upgrade the gross weight to 3,650kg at no extra cost. Or, if you want a gargantuan load-carrying ability, a 4.4-tonne chassis is a £1,750 option.