Peter Baber
Reviews Editor

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For the new season, Swift is expanding the Escape with a sub-range of compact motorhomes, while the more upmarket Kon-tiki has a make-over

Swift's 2019 line-up has several exciting changes, not least the fresh make-over of the upmarket Kon-tiki range.

Last year Swift announced a major consolidation of brands that led to the disappearance of the Autocruise name. This theme has continued for the 2019 season, with the Bolero name and the only relatively recently launched Rio range both being axed. 

In their place, however, the Escape range - which underwent a complete overhaul last season - is expanded, with the addition of the new three-model Escape Compact sub-range. 

And, looking towards the other end of the market, while the Bessacarr range was also overhauled for the previous season, this year, it remains pretty much unchanged. The most upmarket Kon-tiki range, meanwhile, gets a completely new look, and two additional models. 

Kon-tiki

For 2019, Kon-tiki models have been given a more aerodynamic exterior profile, with a new overcab on High-line models that ends at the windscreen, rather than extending over it, to reduce drag. The improved GRP bodyshell on these models now includes a redesigned rear panel, with a distinctive stargazer window that crosses the top corner to run a little way across the roof as well. 

Road safety has also been improved, as all of the Kon-tikis now come with new Swift Vision camera technology, which allows you to see right down the sides and back of the motorhome. 

This is linked with parking sensors at the rear, and an integrated sat-nav system. Hill-hold and ESP are now included as standard on the manual models. Captain's chair cab seats are now heated, and Isofix has been added, to make fitting a child car seat easier. 

You'll find new underfloor pannier lockers on the outside while, going inside, the habitation door has been widened and telescopic tables have been included in the front dinettes - which also benefit from underfloor heating. New aircraft-style overhead lockers provide more storage space. 

The new Darwin upholstery scheme combines woven and velvety textures.

Kitchen worktops are now Corian, while the new dual-hinged Series 10 fridge from Dometic fitted here has a door that you can open both ways. The same applies to the new Dometic CU600 oven. Kitchen fittings are completed by a dual-fuel hob, including an 800W electric hotplate.

Two new twin-axle models have been added to the range. The 650 is a four- to six-berth, with a central washroom spread across the 'van and a rear island bed, while the 675 has fixed single beds in the rear and a garage beneath. 

These two models replace the island-bed 669 and transverse-bed 679, which have been discontinued. 

All five Kon-tikis are available in Low-line or High-line format, except for the rear-lounge 649, which is high-line only.

Escape Compact

The new Escape Compact motorhomes are all less than 6m long and just 2.25m wide, designed to make them easier to manoeuvre around narrow country and city roads, and to park on smaller driveways. 

Another advantage is that they can all be driven by those who do not have a C1 licence. 

They come with the same Nova soft furnishings and white lockers that you'll find in the standard Escape range, with LED lights, over-locker lighting and USB sockets, and a kitchen with a smart grey worktop, three-burner hob, oven and grill, and microwave. 

The Escape Comfort Pack provides you with a panoramic sunroof, cab air conditioning, cruise control and reversing sensors. 

The three layouts available from launch include a couple of two-berths, the C205 with a manual-elevating transverse bed over the garage, and the C402, with a rear lounge. There is also a four-berth, the C404, with the same layout as the C402, plus a drop-down bed. 

Not to be outdone, the conventional Escape range has one new additional layout this year. The Escape 612 is an end-kitchen two-berth that is less than 6m long. The whole range has also been improved with a telescopic table in the dinette, a new worktop and tabletop colour, and enhanced exterior graphics. 

The van conversion Swift Select range continues with four models, while Bessacarr is reduced to 13 - the end-kitchen 512 and end-washroom 542 have been deleted. 

Finally, all Swift motorhomes benefit this year from an improved Swift Command system, with a completely redesigned touchscreen control panel. The Swift Command app has been upgraded to match the changes. 

They also continue to benefit from VIN CHIP identification. Swift says it is the first UK manufacturer to fit this tracking system to its motorhomes. VIN CHIP is designed to provide extra protection and increase the likelihood of a speedy recovery of your vehicle. 

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