Niall Hampton
Editor

See other motorhome reviews written by Niall Hampton

Great for touring couples and revised for 2016, find out more about the two-berth, end lounge Swift Escape 622 in the Practical Motorhome review

Overview

Originally conceived to make a stand against cut-price foreign imports, Swift Group’s entry level coachbuilt range has become one of the UK’s biggest-selling motorhome line-ups, winning a sackful of awards along the way. Now rolling into its seventh season, Escape clearly thrives on the stiff competition it faces from rivals including Elddis Autoquest, Tribute coachbuilts and most recently Bailey, with the Approach Advance

Critical to the ongoing popularity – and resilience – of Escape has been a focus on layouts that appeal to both families and newcomers to the pastime, available for a modest outlay and including very respectable equipment lists. Layouts catering from two to six berths are offered, in low-profile (622 and 664) and overcab coachbuilt form (624, 644, 686 and 696).

Following a flurry of improvements to complement the previous year’s base vehicle update, changes for 2016 comprise routine spec bumps. And how better to see how these have been incorporated by taking a look at the 622, a 6.3m-long, end lounge, two-berth – and the newest model to join the range. 

Design

Brilliant white was clearly the design brief for Escape’s current exterior appearance, where colour-coded bumpers, side and rear skirts all feature – in contrast to a previous iteration which preferred black skirts. This uncluttered look is easy on the eye, with subtle blue, black and grey decals added to break up the whiteness and give the ’vans their best chance of being spotted in a snowstorm.

Bodyshells have been nudged up to SMART Plus, which adds a new sandwich floor with GRP-coated skin to the timber-free construction method rolled out across Swift Group’s coachbuilt motorhome portfolio in 2015.

On the road

All Swift Escape motorhomes are based on the Fiat Ducato, with a 2.3-litre turbodiesel producing 130bhp, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. With a MiRO of 2760kg, this engine is particularly well matched to the 622.

Fiat’s ComfortMatic robotised gearbox is available as a cost option, in conjunction with the Comfort Pack, a £1295 upgrade fitted to our test ’van which adds extras including cab air con, a passenger airbag, an electric entrance step, a windscreen blind, a TV aerial and a Winter Pack (adding a heated waste water tank and insulated water pipes).

Lounging & dining

Stepping inside via the nearside habitation door, the rear lounge is where all the action takes place in the 622 – a multi-function space that fulfils three roles: lounge, bedroom and dining room.

The interior ambience is pleasing, with little shouting ‘budget’ – three windows and a central rooflight provide natural illumination, with support from LED reading lights in the corners. The seating is comfortable, with good support, although tall people may prefer taller backrests. A folding leaf table fits snugly into the lounge from its storage position in the wardrobe.

Kitchen

The Swift Escape 622's galley kitchen serves the available space well, with extra work surface provided courtesy of a hinged flap extension. Many equipment boxes are ticked, namely a three-burner hob, a combination oven and grill, a microwave plus a dual-fuel 80-litre fridge with a separate freezer compartment.

Sleeping

Come night-time, the spacious rear double bed deploys by pulling slats out from the seat box under the rear window and rearranging the cushions. It’s a simple operation that takes a couple of minutes, and gives a generous 2.08m x 1.34m (6ft 10in x 4ft 5in) double berth.

Alternatively, the parallel lounge seats can be used as single beds, with the offside bed 2in longer than the nearside one (1.86m x 0.68m; 6ft 1in x 2ft 3in).

Washroom

A multi-function washroom occupies the area opposite the kitchen, where a swivelling cassette toilet, a shower area and a corner vanity unit vie for their share of the available space. New for 2016, the efficient Ecocamel Orbit shower head will help get the most from the 65-litre fresh water tank.

Storage

Seat boxes and overhead lockers provide the majority of places to stash any inanimate objects that will count towards the Swift Escape 622’s generous 534kg payload. Other locations include a small cupboard, two cubbies and a cutlery drawer in the kitchen unit. A vanity unit under the washroom sink will please those who prefer to keep lotions and potions tidied away.

Equipment

As part of the standard kit, buyers get a DAB radio with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, removable cab and habitation carpets, LED lighting throughout, three 230V sockets, dual-fuel Truma Combi 4 space and water heating, a spare wheel on an underslung carrier and Thatcham Tracker Retrieve.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats2
MTPLM3300kg
Payload534kg
Length6.3m20′8″
Width2.31m7′7″
Height2.85m9′4″
Engine (power)130
Fresh/waste water65L / 68L
Leisure battery80 Ah
Gas tank size7kg
Number of gas tank compartments2
Kitchen Equipment
3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill, Microwave
Heating
Truma Combi heater

Verdict

The Swift Escape 622 will appeal to couples looking for a straightforward and user-friendly motorhome with the comfort and convenience of an end lounge. Well equipped, with plenty of change from £40,000, and now packing some desirable upgrades including DAB radio and an Ecocamel Orbit shower head, the 622 should offer years of happy touring. And to see other Swift motorhomes for sale, click here.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It represents good value for money
  • This definitely doesn't feel like a budget 'van

Cons

  • With only two travel seats, occasional touring guests can't be accommodated
Share with friends

Follow us on

Recently added motorhomes for sale

Most recent motorhome reviews

Swift Escape 604

£47,580OTR

The Practical Motorhome 2018 Swift Escape 604 review – 1 - The Fiat Ducato-based Swift Escape 604 has a licence-friendly MTPLM of 3500kg – it is £47,580 OTR, £49,275 as tested (© Peter Spinney/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Auto-Trail Imala 732 review – 1 - The 2018 Auto-Trail Imala 732 is a four-to-six-berth, with two-to-four travel seats, depending on options (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Adria Coral Supreme 670 SLT review – 1 - The silver 2018 Adria Coral Supreme 670 SLT is certainly a head-turner – and has a handy 3500kg MTPLM (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Wellhouse Terrier Lux-XL review – 1 - The Wellhouse Terrier Lux-XL is priced from £42,000 OTR – this example is £44,175 OTR (© Nick Harding/Practical Motorhome)

Devon Vitesse

£52,536OTR

The Practical Motorhome Devon Vitesse review – 1 - You get an unusually high pop-top in this Mercedes-Benz-based camper van from Devon Conversions (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)

Auto Campers MRV

£47,500OTR

The Practical Motorhome Auto Campers MRV review – 1 - The Auto Campers MRV is priced from £47,500 – this example with its options comes to £53,836 (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)