Andrew McPhee

See other motorhome reviews written by Andrew McPhee

Read the Practical Motorhome review of the British built Swift Sundance 590RL

Design

Swift’s latest treatment of the Sundance puts it at the flashy end of the spectrum, with a contemporary look topped off by items such as aluminium side skirts and a touch of style to its rear panel. The overcab pod looks good, and the caravan doorstep automatically retracts when you drive off.

When it comes down to interior aesthetics, the Sundance is a real winner. Our testers all agreed that it makes a real effort to look like it has a properly designed, contemporary interior throughout. Then again, that's just our opinion, and you might want to check the alternatives in the excellent brochure. Swift’s clear Sundance website also deserves special praise – it even lets you check the prices of options and recalculate vehicle weights and payloads.

On the road

The Sundance is based on the Fiat Ducato, and Swift offers the option of trading up from the 100bhp engine to a 130bhp, six-speed unit.

In the cab area, you are provided with more than you might take for granted, including an upgrade from the standard radio/CD to a Blaupunkt unit with MP3 connectivity, and the fitting of night-time blinds to the cab windows.

However, while some rivals come with full-size spare wheels, the Sundance has only Fiat’s Fix-and-Go instant puncture repair kit. Would you sooner fish about under your chassis for a near-impossible-to-access spare, or trust to the as-yet-unproven qualities of a temporary, get-you-home spray sealant?

Lounging & dining

The Sundance has an L-shaped settee with what seem to be rather small rear windows. The included free-standing table is a good size, and another plus is that its heater can be operated while you’re on the road. As it's a two-berth ’van, there are no rear-seat passengers (at least in theory) to keep warm, but arriving on site in the cold, to have the advantage of snug living quarters, is more than just on-site one-upmanship!

A Heki rooflight is fitted as standard in the lounge.

Kitchen

The Sundance has an excellent cooker – a Stoves, with electric hotplate. It also boasts a large fridge with AES, an impressive worksurface area and superior storage space. Its layout even allows for a longer kitchen than most, with some extra worktop area. We could go on, but we think you’ve got the point.

Sleeping

The Sundance has a first-class overcab bed with its interior-sprung one-piece mattress on a slatted base. The only snag here is that on our test model it needed quite a tug to pull it down on its hydraulic struts.

The sleeping area has a window one side and a reading lamp on the other. The ladder stores above a couple of plastic storage trays and looks good, but you have to find somewhere else to put it if you want the bed down to use as a storage facility for gear.

At the back, the L-shaped sofa converts neatly into a fair-sized double bed.

Washroom

In a clever arrangement with the sink on a hinged bulkhead, you can re-arrange the washroom to create a fully lined shower cubicle. The only missed trick here is that there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to hang your shower gel and shampoo bottle. Yes, the Sundance washroom makes some rivals seem positively dated.

To top it all, it has a very substantial-feeling washroom door with a domestic-style handle and lock. It also has the latest Thetford toilet, complete with wheeled holding tank.

Storage

When it comes to lockers, the Sundance has the competition licked. All its overhead lockers are shelved and they have good-quality catches.

There is a choice of hinged seat bases and locker doors at the sides for access to the underseat storage areas.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats2
MTPLM3500kg
Payload555kg
Length6.32m20′9″
Width2.24m7′4″
Height3.05m10′
Waste water68L
External Options
Aluminium sidewalls, Electric step
Kitchen Equipment
Thetford Fridge, 3-burner gas with electric hot plate, Combined Oven/Grill
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet
Heating
Truma Electric/Gas Blown air heater, Truma Electric/Gas water heater

Verdict

A British success story that keeps getting better.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Superb all-rounder, with a host of improvements on the previous model.

Cons

  • Occasional sense of style over practicality; L-shaped lounge rules out twin single beds.
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