Sarah Wakely
Editor

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The winner of our 2019 Best Compact Motorhome award employs clever design and a high-level spec to offer couples a classy two-berth.

Overview

Swift's Escape range was launched back in 2009, and it's testament to the brand's enduring popularity that it's still going stronger than ever. This began as a range for those who were looking for a modern, budget coachbuilt; while those traits remain, these days it looks a lot more classy - it can easily hold its own among other, more expensive models. 

The range received a major revamp in 2017, but 2019 sees an arguably even more exciting development - the launch of a new Escape sub-brand, the Compact. 

The demand for compacts has grown, so this is timely, and the range features a trio of layouts that are likely to prove very popular. 

One - the C205 - has a lift up, transverse bed over a garage, while the other two - the C402 and C404 both feature a rear lounge. All come in at less than six metres in length, and are narrower than the standard Escape, making them easier to drive on country roads or through busy towns. 

Design

The motorhome looks stylish. The exterior graphics are smart and blend well with the Fiat Ducato cab, while the interior feels modern and fresh.

That's partly down to the attractive 'Nova' grey upholstery scheme, with matching scatter cushions, but mostly the matte-white lockers, which help prevent the interior feeling too confined.

Lounging & dining

We Brits do love a lounge at the back of our motorhomes, and what's really clever about this one is that it's shorter than usual. While that does mean there's a bit less room to stretch out in, the payoff is the space that it frees up elsewhere in the vehicle.

This offers enough room for a dinette up front, with a pair of belted seats - so you can travel with four people on board, making this an ideal 'van for running children around in before they pitch up a pup tent and sleep outside.

If you want four sleeping berths, the C404 has a drop-down bed over that rear lounge.

Alternatively, you can use the dinette as somewhere to eat and leave the bed up permanently - ideal if you're planning to arrive on site late at night and don't want the hassle of making up a bed.

Kitchen

The kitchen sits in the centre of the motorhome, on the nearside, and it's a generous size.

What's more, it's well specified: the kit count here includes an 85-litre Dometic automatic energy selection fridge, three-burner gas hob, oven/grill, and microwave.

Washroom

The washroom in the C402 is also surprisingly large for a compact motorhome; although there's no separate shower cubicle, you'll find plenty of room to get washed in here, and the area is fully lined, too.

There's storage space, in the form of a small cupboard, as well as a towel ring and toothbrush holder.

Storage

There's plenty of room to store your bits and bobs, too, incuding space under the rear sofas and lockers above the lounge.

Equipment

Escape Motorhomes used to feel noticeably budget in terms of kit, but no longer. There are plenty of neat design touches, including, for example, the fact that the lockers have positive catches. The window blinds are also pleated, rather than the roller variety, and en-route heating helps protect underslung water tanks from freezing.

If you want even more kit, you can choose the optional, factory-fit Comfort Pack (£1740), which adds cruise control, an opening sunroof, cab air-con, a passenger airbag, a door flyscreen and a windscreen concertina blind, among other items.

If you choose this option, you'll need to deduct 16kg from your payload - but that seems less of an issue when you consider that the C402 starts at a 603kg payload (586kg with the £1750 upgrade to Fiat's Comfort-Matic auto gearbox).

Technical specs

LayoutRear lounge
Sleeps2
Travel seats4
MTPLM3300kg
Payload603kg
Length5.99m19′8″
Width2.26m7′5″
Height2.78m9′1″
Fresh/waste water100L / 60L
Leisure battery80 Ah
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill, Microwave

Verdict

At 1.93 x 1.2m, the rear double bed isn't the largest we've seen, but if you can live with that, this little motorhome will make a good buy for couples wanting a compact two-berth. The kit level is high and the layout cleverly designed to make maximum use of the space. It's also well-priced and modern-looking. 

Conclusion

Pros

  • The central kitchen is generous in size and well-equipped
  • Dinette up front provides two belted travel seats

Cons

  • The make-up bed in the rear lounge isn't the largest we've seen

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