Swift is the largest leisure-vehicle brand in the UK, so its start-of-season new product launches are always fascinating to attend – there’s bound to be something of note to see.
This year’s event was no exception, with a raft of new products to look around, including, most excitingly, a range of budget coachbuilts that look ideal for first-timers, or those touring with a family.
Last year, the big news was the introduction of the Escape Compact, and freshening-up the Kon-tiki; both of these ranges are retained for this year. One major deletion for 2020, though, is the Bessacarr brand.
All of Swift’s vehicles continue to be based on the Fiat Ducato; they will get the new Euro 6D engine, although limited numbers of vehicles with the previous unit will be available.
A SELECT CHOICE
Select is Swift’s van conversion line-up; this body shape is currently very popular with UK buyers, so the East Yorkshire company has given the range only minor tweaks in appearance.
There’s a new overcab panoramic sunroof, which helps flood the lounges with light; but the biggest change is the introduction of the all-new, three-berth, four-seat 174 model.
It features a rear lounge, central kitchen and washroom, and a dinette that can be made into a single bed.
That takes the Select range up to a total of five models, including one two-berth (the 122), two three-berths (144 and 164) and the 184 four-berth. Prices range from £45,790 to £50,970 OTR.
But it was Swift’s new entry-level coachbuilt range that caused the biggest stir at the July event.
Named Swift Edge, it’s a line-up of five models: two low-profiles and three overcabs. Berths range from two to six, and all of the models can be driven on a B category licence. Swift describes the Edge as ‘an ideal first motorhome that has been primarily designed with family life in mind”.
It will certainly stand out on site: the white exterior gets bright orange graphics that are likely to appeal to younger buyers.
In this case, entry-level doesn’t mean poorly equipped: the models are fitted out with Truma dual-fuel blow-air heating, a Dometic 8 Series fridge and combined thermostatic oven with grill, and a three-burner gas hob.
Washrooms, meanwhile, include a shower in their inventory, and the 100-litre fresh-water tank (waste-water tank is 60 litres) should prove very practical.
Soft furnishings should withstand the rigours of family life – seats and backrests are made from Swift’s Airwave foam, and there’s a Duvalay mattress to fall onto at the end of a long day spent exploring.
The standard level of kit in the Edge is fairly basic, but buyers can choose to upgrade according to their budget, by selecting one of the numerous Packs. These include the Drivers Pack, which adds cruise control, passenger airbag, DAB radio and more.
The two low-profile Edge models are the 412 (a two-berth with front dinette and rear kitchen and washroom) and 464 (a four-berth with a front dinette, rear washroom and rear fixed bed).
The overcabs, meanwhile, are the 476 (six-berth with fixed rear single beds over a garage), the 486 (six-berth with a rear lounge), and the 494 (four-berth featuring a transverse rear island bed). Prices range from £46,625 to £48,255 OTR.
Swift’s next range is the low-profile Escape Compact, which was launched last year. For 2019, it included three models, all slimmer than the regular Escape and all under 6m in length.
Due to join those three models (the two-berth, rear-fixed bed C205; the two-berth rear-lounge C402 and the four-berth, rear-lounge C404) from February 2020 is the longer, two-berth C502.
This will get a mid-kitchen and washroom, with the additional body length allowing for fixed single beds at the rear. It wasn’t available to view at the launch; we’re expecting it to go on public display for the first time at the February (2020) NEC show.
The regular Escape range, meanwhile – which features eight low-profiles with between two and six berths – is joined by the four-berth 675: this has a front lounge, mid-kitchen, twin beds and a rear washroom.
Both Escape and Escape Compact get new exterior graphics, as well as new ‘Langholme’ soft furnishings and ‘Aralie Sen’ upper locker doors. Escape Compact costs from £48,095 to £52,260 OTR, while Escape ranges from £47,970 to £54,650 OTR.
BE A KON-TIKI SPORT
For 2019, Bessacarr sat as the next range up the Swift Ladder, but no more: the line-up and name have been deleted for the new season.
Instead comes Kon-tiki Sport, featuring eight low-profile models with a high-specification level and a great-looking, modern exterior.
They range from the two-berth 562 (rear lounge and side kitchen) up to the family-friendly six-berth 596 (rear lounge, drop-down bed, and dinette). On five models, you have the option of replacing the front dinette (which has belted seats) with parallel lounge sofas.
Styling cues come from the Sport’s big brother, the regular Kon-Tiki: the exterior features a black chassis cab and smart graphics, while inside, you’ll find the ‘Darwin’ soft furnishing scheme. The kit level is also very high: standard equipment on board includes a Thule 4900 full-length roll-out awning, Duvalay mattress, twin-lens reversing camera and cab air conditioning. Kon-Tiki Sport models will range in price from £63,700 to £71,845 OTR.
Swift’s flagship range, the Kon-Tiki has proved wildly successful over the years, and it received a full make-over last year, so it’s mostly been left untouched for 2020.
The 625 (four or six berths, with front lounge and rear island bed) and 635 (four or six berths, with front lounge and rear fixed single beds) are the two single-axle models, while the three big TAG-axles are the 649 (six berths, rear lounge and front dinette); the 650 (four or six berths, with front lounge and island bed); and the 675 (four or six berths, with front lounge and rear twin singles that can be made up into a double bed). Kon-Tiki will cost between £89,860 and £101,475 OTR.
All of Swift’s coachbuilt ranges for 2020 are constructed using the company’s SMART methods, which employ a timberless frame structure.
Swift’s Command Tracker and a VIN chip are fitted for extra security, and all models come with the Swift Command operating system. Coachbuilts also get a 10-year manufacturer-backed bodyshell warranty.
OUR PICK: SWIFT EDGE 486
Swift does popular, family-friendly coachbuilts very well, and this new entry-level model looks as though it’ll be no exception. It’s a six-berth overcab coachbuilt with six belted seats, a rear lounge and front dinette. There’s plenty of space for the whole family to relax in, too.
Swift describes the Edge as an ideal first motorhome that has been primarily designed with family life in mind