21/01/2019 Share this review   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Motorhome review: Benimar Primero 331 coachbuilt motorhome

49afab08-a3a2-426d-8975-78774976edc6

Key Features

  • Model Year : 2019
  • Class : Overcab Coachbuilt
  • Base Vehicle : Fiat Ducato
  • Engine Size : 2.3TD
  • Maximum Weight (Kg) : 3500
  • Berths : 4
  • Layout : French Bed

AT A GLANCE

Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 850kg

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model Year
2019
Manufacturer
Benimar
Class
Overcab Coachbuilt
Range
Primero
Base Vehicle
Fiat Ducato
Engine Size
2.3TD
Payload (kg)
850
Belted Seats
4
Maximum weight (kg)
3500
Price from (£)
44995
Length (m)
5.99
Width (m)
2.30
Height (m)
3.05
Berths
4
Main Layout
French Bed
Price from (€)
Campervan Test Date

DETAILED REVIEW

With so many motorhome ranges offering lookalike layouts, often centred around twin single beds or an island double, it’s good to find a variation from the norm. Equally refreshing, here, is to find that overcab coachbuilts are not dead – the type still has its advantages and this maker from the Iberian peninsula offers them in both its established Mileo range and its new-for-2019 Primero line-up.

The quartet of Primeros, in fact, includes both low-profiles and overcabs, all based on a Fiat Ducato with 130bhp Multijet engine and all, crucially, measuring just 5.99m long. The overcab models are the 301 (with a transverse double bed at the back) and the 331 (with a French bed). Both layouts previously featured in the higher spec Mileo range.

You can easily tell the Primero from the Mileo by its unpainted, black front bumper and steel wheels with plastic trims (rather than alloys), as well as different graphics. Crucially, you still get a body that’s 99% wood-free in its construction and insulated to the Grade III standard, while the vehicles are approved by the National Caravan Council (NCC) and to a full UK specification (with the habitation door on our nearside). But, while a 2019 Mileo will set you back at least £50,995 (the same as last year), a brand-new Primero 331 starts at £44,995. And you don’t have to worry about expensive packs inflating that figure – the only extra cost option here is the Comfort-Matic gearbox (priced at £2,100 including an upgrade to the 150bhp engine). A 3,650kg chassis is also available – at no extra charge – but, as the standard model has a whopping 850kg payload, we can’t see the need. Even travelling four-up, this is one of those rare 3.5-tonne coachbuilts in which you’ll not be worrying about overloading.

And, despite this Primero’s diminutive length, you could consider using it as a four-berth on a regular basis. There are four travel seats, of course, thanks to the half-dinette-style lounge but it’s the overcab bed that really makes a difference. Here’s an instant, always-available double (which the brochure says is a mightily generous 2.05m by 1.55m) that comes with lighting, a roof vent and an opening window. And, when it’s occupied, you haven’t lost your lounge, so you can pop the kids up there – in their own ‘den’ – and still relax down below.

When it comes to mum and dad’s bedtime, the French bed (that’s a lengthways double alongside a wall) positioned here at the offside rear is a decent size and, again, requires no bed-making. Claimed measurements this time are a more modest 1.90m by 1.36m but neither the overhanging (second) wardrobe at the foot, nor the usual tapering bed width, look as if they will compromise comfort.

Obviously, the Primero cannot match the fullness of the Mileo’s specification, but neither is this a motorhome offering Soviet Gulag levels of luxury. There’s no sat-nav or fitted microwave here, but everything you really need is standard. On the base vehicle, that includes driver and passenger airbags, air-conditioning, cruise control, ESP, electric mirrors and the wider rear axle of the Camper-spec chassis. Then, in the living area, you benefit from generous water tank capacities (120 litres fresh, 105 litres waste), framed windows, a TV aerial, 4kW gas/electric heating, dual-fuel hob and a combined oven/grill. Only the fridge capacity – 80 litres – seems a bit ‘back to basics’. The glasses cabinet and concealed bottle rack behind the small inward-facing seat in the lounge are unexpected touches in an entry-level model.

If you enjoyed this review, you can read loads more like it in What Motorhome magazine. You can get a digital version of this latest issue of What Motorhome magazine here.

Marquis Motorhomes (Sussex)


Eastbourne Road
Golden Cross
East Sussex
BN27 4AN
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
Adria, Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Benimar, Elddis, Majestic, Mobilvetta, Randger new motorhomes.

Marquis Motorhomes (Gloucestershire)

Mill Avon Holiday Park
Gloucester Road
Tewkesbury
Gloucestershire
GL20 5SW
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
sales@marquismotorhomes.co.uk
Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Benimar, Elddis, Majestic, Mobilvetta, Randger new motorhomes. Base & habitation service & repairs.

Marquis Motorhomes (Devon)

Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Benimar, Benivan, Elddis, Majestic, Mobilvetta, Randger new motorhomes. Base & habitation service & repairs.

Marquis Motorhomes (Dorset)

41-45
Old Wareham Road
Poole
Dorset
BH12 4QN
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
sales@marquismotorhomes.co.uk
Adria, Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Benimar, Elddis, Majestic, Mobilvetta, Randger new motorhomes. Base & habitation service & repairs.

Marquis Motorhomes (Lancashire)

Riversway Leisure Village
Chain Caul Road
Preston
Lancashire
PR2 2PD
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
sales@marquismotorhomes.co.uk
Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Benimar, Benivan, Elddis, Majestic, Mobilvetta, Randger new motorhomes. Adria, Caravelair, Coachman, Lunar caravans.

Marquis Motorhomes (Berkshire)


Oxford Road
Newbury
Berkshire
RG20 8RU
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
sales@marquismotorhomes.co.uk
Adria, Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Benimar, Elddis, Majestic, Mobilvetta, Randger new motorhomes. Servicing & minor repairs.

Marquis Motorhomes (Hampshire)


Winchester Road
Southampton
Hampshire
SO32 1HA
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
Adria, Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Benimar, Elddis, Lunar, Majestic, Mobilvetta, Randger new motorhomes. Base & habitation service & repairs.

Marquis Motorhomes (Northants)


The Causeway
Northampton
Northamptonshire
NN3 9EX
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
sales@marquismotorhomes.co.uk
Adria, Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Benimar, Elddis, Majestic, Mobilvetta, Randger new motorhomes. Adria, Caravelair, Coachman, Lunar caravans.

Marquis Motorhomes (Durham)


Durham Road
Chester-le-Street
Co Durham
DH3 2QZ
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
sales@marquismotorhomes.co.uk
Adria, Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Benimar, Elddis, Majestic, Mobilvetta, Randger new motorhomes.

Marquis Motorhomes (Suffolk)


Farthing Road
Ipswich
Suffolk
IP1 5AP
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
Adria, Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Benimar, Elddis, Majestic, Mobilvetta, Randger new motorhomes. Base & habitation service & repairs.

Marquis Motorhomes (South Yorkshire)

2
Rotherham Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
S25 3RF
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
sales@marquismotorhomes.co.uk
Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Benimar, Elddis, Lunar, Majestic, Mobilvetta, Randger new motorhomes.