Dancing on nice!
Sleek and not exactly short, not only is this about as long as you get before considering a tag axle. It also has very much the look of a contemporary leisure vehicle.
Not exactly demure, Swift’s range-topping Bolero 744PR sports a black cab and all-new complementary overcab sunroof section. Then there are fancy alloy wheels, 4.5m long semi-recessed awning, LED rear lights as well as front day-running units and fixing points for a bike rack. Only the truly picky will notice those black windows aren’t the kind of fully flush-fitting units you’d expect in such an aspirational vehicle.
The bodywork employs Swift’s latest Smart Plus construction, with double-skinned GRP sides, roof, as well as underfloor GRP protection and timber-less framework (it’s all polyurethane), with Styrofoam insulation. It’s all backed by a 10-year warranty.
It’s the Maxi version of Fiat’s Ducato coupled to Al-Ko’s low-line chassis that provide the running gear here, with the impressive 150bhp engine as standard. The cab sports all the latest technology too – from DAB radio to USB socket, to padded steering wheel with controls. Swift also adds paddle-style reading lights over each of the captain’s style cab chairs that swivel to join the rest of the forward lounge.
But, there’s one other aspect of the Bolero 744PR that will endear itself to British motorcaravanners, especially, and just possibly those considering a switch from a touring caravan. It’s that huge rear lounge, with wraparound seating and great views out to three sides, with settees long enough to make twin single beds (1.85m x 0.60m) or a generous enough 2.01m x 1.85m double.
This Bolero is also a full four-berth, with its forward lounge converting into a second double, also 2.01m long but tapering from 1.51m to 1.04m to allow unimpeded access at the habitation door.
Step down from that rear lounge and there’s an impressive run of kitchen along the nearside – again, another feature that British users seem to appreciate over that of our cousins on the mainland.
Not only is it particularly well equipped – from its full cooker with dual-fuel hob and separate oven and grill, to 110-litre fridge with removable freezer box, to microwave oven etc – it’s the surroundings that impress. There’s a new slate-style worktop for this season, with an anti-bacterial, scratch-resistant finish, with inset stainless steel sink served by a Swift-branded mixer tap.
The washroom is across the corridor from the kitchen and again it’s impressive. There’s a plastic-lined cubicle with Ecocamel Orbit shower and that’s a new vanity unit for this season, while the basin is angled ever so slightly, just to enhance the feeling of space.
Fittings like Alde’s 3020 programmable central heating and hot water system are standard. The faux fur scatter cushions? They’re arguably a bit take-it-or-leave-it, but, there’s no disputing the careful co-ordination of colours throughout, with two-tone locker doors and smart soft furnishings, plus ambient as well as direct lighting and a generally high specification. Not quite so impressive are the flimsy plastic mouldings and stick-on padding on the settee slide-outs.
It’s the Vogue Pack that grates ever so slightly here. Should you really have to pay a £1,295 premium for items like cab air conditioning, cruise control, colour reversing camera and TV aerial in a vehicle that’s already topping £65,000? The irony is, everyone will. That reversing camera could shave a little off your insurance premium, Caravan Guard offer a discount for motorhome reversing aids. Don’t forget also the Bolero’s standard fit tracking device which could again lower the cost to insure this motorhome.
And while that pricing will seem high compared to Swift’s continental rival manufacturers, you’ll have to search hard to find their attempts at rear lounge layouts.
Verdict: Stylish, practical and pitched at a premium
Plus: Big rear lounge, excellent kitchen, good washroom, contemporary feel
Minus: The occasional non-premium fitting
In-a-nutshell: Large-ing it in the lounge(s)
There’s more information on the Bolero range on the Swift website www.swiftgroup.co.uk Find out more insuring this or your motorhome on our motorhome insurance discounts page
Alternatives: Auto-Trail Scout, Frankia Exclusive Selection T69 FF2
Swift Bolero 744PR factfile
|Model||Swift Bolero 744PR|
|Base vehicle||Fiat Ducato/Al-Ko, 2.3-litre, 150bhp, Euro V+|
|Dimensions||8.07m L x 2.38m W x 2.79m H|
|RRP||From £65,310 on the road|
|Safety & security||ABS with EBD (electronic brake distribution), engine immobiliser, driver’s and passenger’s airbags, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, Tracker Retrieve, vehicle battery isolation switch, spare wheel and tyre.|
|Key options||Comfort-Matic automatic transmission (£1,695), roof rack and ladder (£550), detachable towbar and electrics (£595), SwiftShield upholstery (£895), Vogue Pack (£1,295)|