Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 280kg
Maybe it’s because Marquis (Britain’s biggest motorhome dealer group) has such a high level of input into the Benimar motorhomes sold here that this latest Mileo model not only has two lounge areas, but the rear lounge is so very 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.
Up front, there’s a much more conventional seating area combining travel for four with a 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 we had a Mileo on long-term test a year or so ago.
Rear lounge aside, then, this seems a pretty conventional low-profile motorhome that’s very open and spacious – as well as surprisingly well equipped. There is another surprise in store, though – the fact that both beds are of the drop-down variety.
The rear bed (with a 230kg limit) will be your first choice because it comes down lower and it does so electrically. The front one is manually operated and has a lower, 150kg weight limit.
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).
The whole kitchen is positioned along the nearside wall, aft of the habitation door (which – take note – is on the British side). Very few continental motorhomes come with a fully Anglicised layout like this.
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. The basin is the trendy clear ‘salad bowl’ style.
You get a surprisingly generous spec for your money with these Benimars – with no need to turn to options packs or lists of extras. Top value has been what the brand has represented since it returned to our shores in 2014, and Marquis has upped the ante again this season.
For a start, the new graphics, logos and rear styling all give an impression of a more upmarket vehicle.
Standard kit includes automatic lights and wipers, sat-nav, reversing camera, 150bhp Euro VI engine, flush-fit framed windows, solar panel, barbecue point and 6kW heating. The 2017 spec also encompasses alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel, ESP, Traction+ and Hill Descent Control.
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 and, if you want a gargantuan load-carrying ability, a 4.4-tonne chassis is a £1,425 option.
If you enjoyed this review, you can read the full version and more in the May 2017 issue of What Motorhome magazine.