Niall HamptonSee other motorhome reviews written by Niall Hampton
Family fun is on the cards with the twin-lounge Escape 685 that's a compact 7m long and a handy 3500kg, but still has the space to ensure domestic bliss
It’s popular with buyers on a budget, is a bedrock of motorhome hire fleets and a trusty base for many dealer special editions.
However, it’s ‘all change’ for 2017, with the biggest revision in Escape’s history.
There are no more overcab sections: all Escape models are now low-profiles. The line-up expands to eight, with six new models, including this, the 685.
With lounges front and back, the Swift Escape 685 packs in five belted travel seats and six berths over a 6.92m body length, riding on a 3500kg chassis with a 605kg user payload.
SMART Plus bodyshell construction features, with hard-wearing GRP sidewalls.
Fiat’s low-frame Ducato chassis is adopted, so there’s no need for an entrance step.
On the road
The low-frame Fiat chassis offers improved roadholding, but there’s another advantage to using the Ducato: buyers can choose the ComfortMatic robotised gearbox as a cost option (it’s only available alongside the optional Comfort Pack).
Lounging & dining
There’s a half-dinette at the front, and a U-shaped lounge at the rear.
In addition to the two belts in the cab, three travel seats are located in the front dinette (two front-facing and one rear-facing), making five in total.
The 685 is certainly a bona fide large-families ’van. To the left as you enter, the half-dinette can seat up to five (or seven when the cab seats are rotated) around a central table that can easily be removed for cab access.
Large windows on either side compensate for the lack of a rooflight (thanks to the drop-down bed above); all lighting is low-energy LEDs.
The rear U-shaped lounge, with triple-aspect windows and a large rooflight, should never feel dingy. Just add a single-leg table to convert the space for use at mealtimes.
Above is a microwave oven, while Dometic’s on-trend skinny fridge stands on the other side of the gangway.
It’s a well equipped, compact space, and a tip-up worktop extension to the right of the hob is also available.
Like all Swift Group fixed beds, the mattress is a Duvalay Duvalite (memory foam).
Underneath it is a make-up double bed, plus there is another large make-up double in the rear lounge.
To the right as you enter is a corner sink and vanity unit, with a swivelling cassette toilet at the opposite end.
Between the two is the shower attachment, which runs off its own supply rather than sharing the sink’s tap.
A wraparound curtain will prevent spray from reaching the room’s wooden surfaces.
For the 2017 touring season, Escape washrooms have been fitted with new vanity units and improved lighting.
Drivers with C1 licence entitlement can bump up the payload by 200kg with the 3700kg chassis upgrade (£99).
Choose from 10 overhead lockers, a half-length floating wardrobe, three large cupboards in the kitchen and a vanity unit in the washroom to stow your touring kit in.
Habitation kit includes Truma Combi 4kW dual-fuel space and water heating, drop-in carpets and LED lighting throughout, plus three 230V sockets.
The Comfort Pack costs £1695 and includes cab air-con, a passenger airbag, cruise control, reversing sensors, an overcab rooflight, pleated windscreen blinds and a Winter Pack (waste-water-tank heaters, underfloor pipe insulation and fridge vent covers).
Further options include Fiat’s ComfortMatic transmission (£1750, and only available in conjunction with the Comfort Pack).
|Fresh/waste water||100L / 68L|
|Leisure battery||80 Ah|
|Gas tank size||13kg|
|Number of gas tank compartments||1|
|Gas bottle size||7kg|
|Number of gas bottles||1|
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill, Microwave
Under 7m, with two fine lounges for multi-generational touring, a kit list that covers pretty much everything and priced just below the psychological £50k barrier…
Escape just gets better and better.
And to see other Swift motorhomes for sale, click here.
- A great and truly usable motorhome for family touring
- The compact kitchen is well equipped
- Its sub-7m length and 3500kg MTPLM
- The washroom might make full-facility sites a must