Sarah Wakely
Editor

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Family-friendly and offering value for money, the Edge 486 so impressed our judges, it won one of our prestigious awards. Sarah Wakely finds out more.

Overview

Swift has a strong reputation for value-for-money, family-friendly coachbuilts: witness the popular Escape range, which was launched with a fanfare at the February 2009 NEC show. The name, at least, has run and run - there's an Escape line-up for 2020 - but these days it's a more sophisticated affair than its early ancestor. So there's a gap to fill.

Enter the Edge, launched with similar fanfare this summer. This five-model line-up majors on value: prices start from £46,625 OTR, resulting in one model - the 494 - taking the Best Budget Motorhome category win in our recent awards.

The model on test here, the 486, was another winner, scooping the Best Family Motorhome trophy.

Design

The 486 is a six-berth, with six belted seats; ideal, then, for transporting a large family. The layout is well designed for six occupants: it has various 'zones' that allow the adults to escape from the youngsters during the evening, and children can make the mid-dinette their base for the duration.

On the road

The 486 is based on the Fiat Ducato, and a limited number of early models are available with the Fiat Euro 6B, 2.3-litre engine for a slightly cheaper price (otherwise it's the brand new 6D unit). You should speak to your dealership to find out more, if this option appeals.

Lounging & dining

Adults are sure to love the rear lounge: it's a good size, and is surrounded by windows to allow in masses of natural light.

The 'Vittata' soft-furnishing scheme looks smart and feels hardwearing; Swift AirWave foam features in seats and backrests for comfort. All occupants should be kept snug and warm by the Truma Combi dual-fuel heating system.

Kitchen

Sizeable kitchens are vital in family-friendly 'vans, allowing the convenience of cooking up a feast for multiple occupants with ease. This model scores well here: there's plenty of work surface to make use of - and a foldaway flap offers even more. The worktop is in 'Fero' dark grey, which should prove a practical colour for a family on tour.

The kit list has a Dometic 8 series manual energy selection fridge, combination thermostatic oven, three-burner gas hob and a grill.

Sleeping

The rear lounge can be made up into one of the three double beds: it's the smallest, but they're all a good size (ranging from 2.14 x 1.31m upwards). One other is made up from the double dinette, with the final bed living in the overcab area.

This overcab bed gets Swift's exclusive Duvalay Duvalite Gravity Luxe mattress.

Washroom

A spacious washroom is also an essential in a family 'van, and that in the 486 should prove large enough for most families.

There's no separate shower cubicle (although that should make hosing down grubby children a bit easier); there is, however, a handy towel shelf up top, and a small amount of storage in the unit beneath the handbasin.

Equipment

It's possible to upgrade to the £545 Living Pack (a factory-fit option), which looks good value - it includes sectioned carpets, a microwave, Status TV aerial, TV bracket, habitation door flyscreen, the Winter Pack (a waste-water tank heater and underfloor waste-pipe insulation), and more.

You can also choose the Driver's Pack (cruise control, DAB radio and more) - it's well worth the additional £1195.

Another option (if you have the correct driving licence) is the opportunity to upgrade the chassis to a 3650kg MTPLM; this costs £99 and increases the 509kg payload by 150kg.

Technical specs

LayoutRear lounge
Sleeps6
Travel seats6
MTPLM3500kg
Payload509kg
Length7.32m24′
Width2.39m7′10″
Height2.98m9′9″
Engine (capacity)2300
Fresh/waste water100L / 60L
Leisure battery80 Ah
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill
Heating
Truma Combi heater

Verdict

This is a practical floorplan that should really appeal to families - there's plenty of space for everyone to enjoy their holiday, and loads of room for them to take all of the kit that they need, even for longer tours. It's not the cheapest of models, but is good value - and a great entry-level 'van for first-time buyers.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Plenty of workspace in kitchen
  • Layout offers zones for adults and children

Cons

  • Not the cheapest of 6-berth models

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