Andy Jenkinson

See other motorhome reviews written by Andy Jenkinson

Want rear island-bed luxury and contemporary design in a 3500kg British motorhome for less than £45,000? Don't miss our 2017 Swift Escape 694 review

Overview

Although launched as a budget motorhome range, these days Swift Group’s Escape line-up has far less of an entry-level feel about it.

It has positively flown off dealer forecourts, giving Swift a little problem in the process, namely how to keep improving on it. But the Hull-based behemoth has pulled several rabbits out of the hat for the 2017 touring season.

The new Swift Escape continues on the Fiat Ducato chassis, but gets the latest, Euro 6 compliant, 2.3-litre engine – here in 130bhp flavour.

Design

The 2017 Escape has a new profile. It’s smart, modern and borrows styling cues from its more expensive siblings. It also boasts a low-line moulded pod unit above the cab that gives it a more upmarket look than its predecessor.

GRP sides and inner walls mean the Escape now utilises Swift’s Smart Plus construction. With a new moulded GRP back panel that houses LED road lights, the Escape is already well ahead of entry-level expectations.

Attractively simple graphics give the Escape a classy look that’s a match for many higher-priced competitors. That’s why the 694 is set to be one of the top sellers in the Swift 2017 line up.

Lounging & dining

The interior bears little resemblance to that of the outgoing model. It now has a contemporary appearance with genuine wow factor through its curvy styling and white door panels.

The Swift Escape 694 layout comprises a front lounge area with L-shaped seating on the offside. A swivel table is used for mealtimes, and the front seats swivel around to face this.

LED integrated lighting underneath the overhead lockers adds to concentrated lighting all over the interior, so the ’van will be very well lit, even after dark.

Kitchen

The Swift Escape 694's kitchen is placed on the nearside by the entrance door. It is L-shaped and features good worktop space, especially with the additional fold-up worktop extension.

An oven/grill cooker is fitted, along with a three-burner hob with an 800W microwave above. The slimline Dometic fridge/freezer sits opposite the side washroom.

The kitchen area also comes with reasonable storage, comprising a large cupboard and two smaller ones, plus an overhead locker. Night lighting is well taken care of with LED lights, while two power sockets are provided as well.

Sleeping

At the rear of this motorhome is a bedroom with an island bed and twin wardrobes. As is the case with all Swift Group fixed beds, a Duvalay mattress comes as standard and also slides out to extend the bed size for night use.

The bedroom is a good size. In addition, access around the bed is easy, so there’s no need to try to squeeze through a narrow gap.

Side wardrobes are fitted, but they don’t come with any drawers. However, two overhead lockers add to the storage here.

The bedroom comes with a Heki and two large side windows that have full-frame pelmets. We’re sure that couples will find the Swift Escape 694’s roomy, well-planned rear bedroom layout perfect, even for the rigours of longer tours.

Have guests? No problem! The table area in the living room can also be turned into a double bed when the motorhome is being used as a four-berth.

Washroom

You may think the washroom could be a touch cramped for four people, but it isn’t. Escape washrooms have been redesigned and the 694’s centrally sited unit comes with a Thetford electric-flush swivel toilet and a corner sink.

The shower room is part-lined and has a shower curtain. It also has an eco shower head to maximise water use.

The 694's washroom has a mirror, too, and there's a blown air outlet. Storage wise, there's a cupboard below the sink and a locker above the loo.

It’s not the biggest washroom, but we think it should prove practical.

Storage

There are large overhead lockers throughout the Swift Escape 694. There's also a shelf over the front cab that's fitted with two convenient side cubby storage holes.

There’s a decent amount of storage for a couple’s belongings under the bed, too, although parties of four would most likely have to leave some things behind.

Underneath the bedroom is a storage area that’s accessible from an exterior hatch, as well as storage for two gas bottles.

Equipment

The 2017-season Swift Escape has an impressive list of standard equipment. This includes the new Command system that allows you to control the motorhome's heating, power use and lighting through an app on your smartphone or tablet. Swift’s new Air Wave seating is extremely comfortable, while the aforementioned LED lighting is great.

If the equipment count isn’t enough, then the Escape 694 can be also specified with the optional Comfort Pack (£1695), which adds cruise control, reversing sensors, a panoramic sunroof, a Status 530 TV aerial, cab air-conditioning, a passenger airbag, a door flyscreen and pleated blinds for the cab.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload620kg
Length7.41m24′4″
Width2.31m7′7″
Height2.88m9′5″
Engine (power)130
Fresh/waste water100L / 68L
Leisure battery95 Ah
Gas tank size6kg
Number of gas tank compartments2
External Options
GRP sidewalls
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill, Microwave
Washroom
Shower curtain

Verdict

The 2017 Swift Escape will give the competition something to think about. We really like the comfortable lounge area, and the contemporary fabrics.

The washroom is a touch small but it is practical, and most users will use on-site facilities anyway. All said, the Escape is a stylish entry-level ’van that punches well above its weight.

And to see other Swift motorhomes for sale, click here.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It is a stylish, contemporary-looking ’van inside and out
  • Swift Command is a great bit of standard kit
  • The island bed is a good size and easy to access

Cons

  • The washroom isn't awfully big
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