Sarah Wakely
Editor

See other motorhome reviews written by Sarah Wakely

Couples can enjoy the luxury of a well-specced coachbuilt on the footprint of a panel van conversion in this Swift Rio 325, with a few compromises...

Overview

Swift’s Rio compact coachbuilt range was launched in 2014, with the transverse-double-bed 325 making its debut the following year.

It’s remained in the range ever since, and continues to be part of the Black Edition family, with its black cab and striking graphics.

Swift’s Rios are designed to be a genuine coachbuilt rival to a panel van conversion.

As well as being below the magic 6m mark in length – meaning it should fit in a regular parking space – the 325 is just 2.26m wide.

On the road

On the road, the ’van’s dimensions and short overhang mean it’s easy to manoeuvre.

Our test vehicle had the standard, six-speed manual gearbox – the Comfort-Matic auto is a £1750 option.

Lounging & dining

Despite its diminutive size, the lounge, with its two forward-facing belted seats and the two swivelling cab seats, still feels spacious.

That’s helped in part by the large skylight, the Cordone soft furnishings and the high-gloss lockers.

That said, those belted seats are rather upright, so you’ll need to recline the cab chairs to really relax.

Kitchen

The Swift Rio 325’s well-equipped kitchen has a Dometic 112-litre fridge with a removable freezer compartment, a Dometic CU600 oven, a microwave, a granite-effect sink and more.

Particularly pleasing is the worksurface – there doesn’t appear to be a huge amount at first glance, but the lift-up extension flap by the door is a reasonable size.

There’s also a fair amount of storage here. In addition to the two positive-catch lockers (one with a crockery rack), there’s a cupboard by the fridge, with a drawer above.

If you are busy preparing food in the kitchen, access to the washroom is a little tight – the door swings open towards the former.

Sleeping

The transverse bed is a good size, at 1.84 x 1.33m (6’0” x 4’4”), although if you’re tall, you could find it a little short.

But as in all fixed-bed Swifts, there’s a comfortable Duvalay mattress. It’s wider at the head than the foot, meaning more comfort for occupants at night.

There’s also space for a TV at the (offside) foot of the bed, with all of the relevant sockets that you’d need.

The Swift Rio 325’s bed can be manually raised or lowered. Need more space in the garage? Wind it up. Finding the bed tricky to access? Wind it down.

The latter shouldn’t really be a problem, thanks to the slide-out unit on the floor, which provides a step up.

The front dinette can be made up into a bed, but it’s small and only really suitable for occasional use – Swift lists the Rio as a two-berth.

Washroom

The washroom feels the most compromised area of this Swift motorhome: there’s no separate shower cubicle, so you need to grapple with the fabric curtain.

There’s only one plughole, so you’ll want to ensure your ’van is level, too. The showerhead itself doubles as the washbasin tap.

Elsewhere here you’ll find an electric-flush swivel toilet and a small cupboard.

Storage

The two-berth 325 is the only ’van in the trio of Rio models that doesn’t have a lift-up tailgate, because of the rear transverse bed.

Storage is instead taken care of by an enormous garage across the rear – this has a 200kg limit and, with the bed above in its higher position, it should be big enough for a pair of bikes.

Storage towards the rear – that whopping garage aside – consists of a trio of lockers and a couple of cubbyholes above the bed.

There’s also a half-height wardrobe towards the foot of the bed.

The motorhome’s 700kg payload should be more than enough for all the kit you need.

Equipment

Among the other options for the 2018 season are the £995 Lux Pack, which provides cab air-con, cruise control and a Status 570 TV aerial.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload700kg
Length5.99m19′8″
Width2.26m7′5″
Height2.78m9′1″
Engine (power)130
Fresh/waste water80L / 68L
Leisure battery80 Ah
Gas tank size7kg
Number of gas tank compartments2
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas with electric hot plate, Oven, Separate grill, Microwave
Washroom
Shower curtain

Verdict

That enormous garage and high payload mean this ’van would be great for a couple on a longer tour, who want the benefit of compact dimensions but with a high specification.

They’ll need to be happy to live with the Swift Rio 325’s small washroom, however, and the upright dinette seats in the lounge.

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

Conclusion

Pros

  • We're fans of that large garage and the ’van has a generous payload
  • This is a well specced ’van
  • Its usefully compact dimensions make it easy to handle

Cons

  • The washroom is an all-in-one affair
  • The belted travel seats in the lounge aren't great for relaxing in
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