It ain’t hefty…
Funny how the UK’s best-selling caravan range barely merits much in the way of mentions in the caravanning press. Yet Sprite, with the heft of its past history of touring for the masses, and its more recent reincarnation thanks to parent company, the Swift Group, remains as popular as ever. Except these days we demand a lot more.
Perhaps the fact that the 2017 Sprite line-up totals nine different models is a clue to how well it’s all going. Quattro is the designation for a twin-axle Sprite, and there are currently three of these. The EW is the French bed model with full-width washroom across the back of the ‘van.
Although the EW has been around for a while now – and, sure enough, it’s put on a little bit of weight, and the price has risen slightly – that hasn’t stopped Swift upping the ante for 2017 versions. It’s also maintained a 225kg payload.
Topping the list has to be Swift Command, the innovative all-round system that puts you in control of your lighting, water and heating – from anywhere (thanks to a free app) – and now extends to a Thatcham category 6 pro-active tracker, which will save you some money on your caravan insurance premium.
No doubt the optional Diamond Pack gives the Sprite a real edge as, for £595, it brings you such “essentials” as an Al-Ko AKS stabiliser, twin Al-Ko Secure Wheel Lock receivers, alloy wheels, and a handful of luxury bits and pieces. To be honest, not many Sprites leave the factory (where they go down the same assembly lines as other, more expensive Swift Group products) without the Diamond Pack, while a sunroof over the lounge is another much-favoured extra.
It’s a big unit, too, although hefty it isn’t. To remind you of the Quattro EW layout, the six-person accommodation is achieved thanks to a side dinette aft of the L-shaped lounge, with all of this seating converting to a transverse front double and children’s bunk beds respectively.
That main bed has a Duvalay Duvalite mattress (exclusive to Swift), and is surely the one that will be favoured by mum and dad. Beyond, it really is a family-sized washroom, with space for a large shower cubicle in the far corner. There’s also a fixed basin, plus – just inside the door – a swivel-bowl toilet. It leaves plenty of space for dressing, but storage is compromised.
New to the kitchen for this season is a Dometic 100-litre fridge (the removable freezer section can be a boon), while cooking facilities are provided by a Thetford three-ring gas hob with separate oven and grill. Considering this is a ‘van designed for parents with children – where, arguably there’s more need to be self-sufficient and less eating out opportunities – the kitchen is adequate rather than extensive. But, that’s a criticism that can be levelled at every so-called family ‘van.
All-important storage is very good, though. With seat base space as well as room under the French bed (also accessible from outside), plenty of overhead lockers and a generous wardrobe. And Truma’s more powerful Combi 6 for the heating and hot water is welcome.
What else is new? GRP outer and inner side walls, new LED awning and upper brake lights. Single key for all locks. It’s all enough to keep things tickling along nicely.
Can Swift improve on its current Sprite range? Of course it can. But, you’ll have to watch this space for a little while yet…
Verdict: Twin-axle family magic
Plus: Keenly priced, more spec’ than you might expect, twin-axle stability
Minus: A bit heavier than previously, adequate-only kitchen
In-a-nutshell: Budget bliss for six
There’s more information on the Sprite range on the Swift website. To find out more about our low-cost premiums visit the caravan insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Venus 620/6
Sprite Quattro EW factfile
|Model||Sprite Quattro EW|
|Dimensions||7.92m L, 2.23m W, 2.65m H|
|RRP||from £18,510 on the road|
|Safety & security||Thatcham CAT 6 tracking device (part of Command system), CRiS security with hidden chip, smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector.|
|Key options||Diamond Pack (£595), alternative upholstery (£195), wraparound front seating (£175), panoramic rooflight (£365), Al-Ko ATC (£365), solar panel (£275), bike rack (£215), alarm (£260), Al-Ko Secure Wheel Lock (£265)|