2012 Swift Kon-Tiki 659 – Two (extra) wheels on my wagon…


 

swift kontiki exterior

We might be feeling the economic squeeze elsewhere, but there’s still no end of market-topping motorhomes available and, at this level, Swift’s latest Kon-Tikis actually look like bargains.

You’ll still see a lot of imported brands at significantly higher prices, but if it’s flagship British build – and specification – you want, start right here.

For this season, the Kon-Tiki line-up is four models (look out also for their direct equivalents in the Bessacarr E700 series) all six-wheelers with rear tag axles. You can also specify each model as High Line (ie with a full-size overcab section) or sleeker Low Line. The strictly two-berth 659, here, is the exception, coming in Low Line form only, which is logical enough.

What’s so great about a tag axle? Two extra wheels, significantly more overall vehicle length and, frankly, when it’s a motorhome like this, it’s something of a head-turner.

You’ll notice the difference those two extra wheels make when it comes to travelling, too. It’s a particularly steady drive, relatively unaffected by cross-winds. And, Fiat’s 150bhp engine as standard, now with the option of Comfort-Matic transmission. Anything over 23mpg is a power to the lightness of your right foot.

Swift Kontiki exterior side on

But it also should go without saying, sometimes tighter manoeuvres can be tricky.

This, of course, is the Euro V version of Fiat’s Ducato, specified by Swift with a superior stereo system plus rear view camera system developed for use whilst travelling forwards as well as back.

The ten-year bodywork warranty is new for this season, too. Other 2012 improvements small but significant, such as the slide-out exterior locker, gas struts for exterior doors, carbon monoxide alarm and a rather useful isolation switch which should ensure your battery doesn’t go flat during long periods of storage. The electrical control panel is that bit easier to use this year, too.

cab seating area

The proven luxury two-berth format remains the same, of course. Swivel those cab seats to join an extensive twin-settee lounge and you could easily wine and dine six adults. Indeed, two could even sleep over (the settees make up a double bed).

living room seating area

Beyond this, there’s a kitchen of dreams for anyone who expects a full line-up of food preparation gear that’s all been thoughtfully put together. Think 175-litre fridge-freezer, dual-fuel hob, grill/oven plus microwave, and more, not forgetting excellent storage.

Keep going and you’ll reach the bedroom – a French bed along the nearside.

But there’s more. After that supremely comfortable bed there’s a class-leading full-width washroom with corner shower cubicle and lots of changing room space.

bathroom

Yes, space. That’s very much what this whole motorhome is about. Plus, almost limitless luxury and comfort.

Caravan Guard would require buyers of this ‘van to fit a tracking device, but bear in mind that this at the same time will bag you a sizable discount on motorhome insurance.

Pros

  • Superb combination of space and equipment
  • Strong UK dealer network Swift name should ensure strong residual values
  • Ultra comfortable bed
  • Huge washroom
  • Ten-year bodywork warranty

Cons

  • Can be tricky to manoeuvre in tight positions

Verdict

One of the UK’s most iconic motorhomes. It’s laden to the gunnels with all the very latest specification

Summed up in one word? Majestic.

Fact file

Based on: Fiat Ducato X2/50 150 Multijet/Al-Ko low frame tag axle

Price from: £69,595

Dimensions: 8.56m L, 2.35m W, 2.98/3.08m H (Low Line/High Line)

Maximum weight: 5000kg

Key options: Comfort-Matic transmission £1,695, 180bhp engine with Comfort-Matic £3,995, roof rack and ladder £350, detachable towbar and electrics £550, Impala upholstery £450

Security: Engine immobiliser, remote central locking to all three doors, ABS and EBD

Cost to insure: £417.50*
More info: Swift Motorhomes http://www.swiftleisure.co.uk/

 

*Motorhome insurance based on 2012 Swift Kon-Tiki 659 valued at £69,595. Fitted with Manufacturer’s Immobiliser system and approved tracking device. Kept on driveway at home at TD9 8ED. Insured & spouse, 57 years old, professionals, with no claims, convictions or health conditions in last 3 years. 5 years transferred protected NCD, 5 years motorhome driving experience. Members of motorhome club doing less than 5000 miles annually. £300 excess applies. Includes European cover. European Breakdown is £43 extra. Premium includes Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) at 6% and is correct as of 20.03.12.


Have a comment? Tell us what you think below

9 thoughts on “2012 Swift Kon-Tiki 659 – Two (extra) wheels on my wagon…

  1. Little Mo says:

    How many belted seats?

  2. keith thompson says:

    lovely van always liked the kontiki but why do they not include an onboard generator so you can have total freedom if you wanted

  3. Neil says:

    Mo – The Swift Kontiki 659 has two belted seats.

    Keith – This is something more and more people are asking us about. Hopefully one of the manufacturers will produce a motorhome with a generator built in over the next few years, we agree there are times when a leisure battery just won’t cut it!

    Neil
    Caravan Guard

  4. derek c says:

    NICE RIG BIT TO BIG FOR ME WATCH THE KERB WHEN CORNERING

  5. Bruce Whittall says:

    I have a Kon-tiki 669 and am very pleased with it. I have fitted tracking to the side which now allows me to attach a full Isabells awning. Such tracking should be fitted as standard. Much better than privacy rooms. Many people have commented on it and agree that tracking should be on motor homes as well as caravans.

  6. Jon vennard says:

    Yes very nice I nave a toyota optimo converted myself as I am a carpenter hence e mail address, but yes very nice ,i hope you do well with it.
    Always ook forward to your mail
    Regards jon

  7. Tj2k says:

    We’ve just ordered a 12 plate (669 H/Line), note; the Roof-rack & ladder plus the Cab roof-mounted TV (with the built-in DVD player) are all removed which were standard spec from last years specification, which we hadn’t realised (hence needing more money!). The review does mention that the ladder & rack are £350 though :)

    On the Generator front, lots of people are moving toward the use of Solar Panels – which are great for recharging (more so than powering appliances / lighting directly – especially at night!) though circa 140 watts isn’t too bad, which seems to be the average power delivery on most installations).

    We can’t afford the luxuries such as solar, satellite (and even a TV aerial – which is not standard spec) as we’re pushing the boat out a little just to get the M/Home – but we’ll get those as time progresses & think it worth the stretch for a new model.

    We do have a Honda EU20i which is great – so we’ll be using that where needed. Our Tv will have to be 240v ac – so will need an inverter for short-term use. Although the E20i is quiet (for a generator), there’s still that stigma attached to using them – by other campers (not that we’ve ever used one on a quiet site).

  8. David Smith says:

    Why doesn’t the swift kontiki 659 come in high line version

  9. Kevin & Gay Renwick says:

    We loved our recently sold Kontiki & will be buying another . We wonder if, with a slight design change, if the Living Area TV could be viewed from the captains chairs? Ie could the TV be sited near the kitchen area to facilitate this? We imported our 669 into NZ after a European tour & have had no regrets.

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