You sometimes wonder if certain motorhome designs are too clever, too ahead of their time. Swift’s Rio 340 is one such example.
Announced back in 2015, it’s a short 6.40m low-profile coachbuilt, with a somewhat unique tailgate. Yep, a full-size, top-hinged GRP door. Designed primarily for the loading of sportier kinds of outdoor gear – from biking to boating – it’s also great for just letting the outdoors come to you when you’re parked up and sat inside.
It’s that bit narrower than a typical coachbuilt motorhome. And although it’s a none-too-short 6.4m, it’s the kind of motorhome that could get away with being used as a car on a daily basis, especially as the 340 boasts a double rear travel seat. If you want to keep to strictly two-berth, take a look at the smaller Rio 320.
It’s the 340 here that tops the three-model range, though. And it can indeed cater for up to four. At the back, daytime mode is twin inward-facing settees, above which sits a double bed, waiting to pull down when needed, complete with proper mattress.
You’ll have to compromise with the upper bed’s location if you plan to sleep four, but those settees do contribute to a 1.93m x 1.26m double bed (that compares to the drop-down’s 1.86m x 1.23m dimensions).
A ladder is provided for the upper bed, although – if you’re using the vehicle as a two-berth – the whole structure can go all the way down to an easily accessible level. It does mean relocating the settee backrests before activation.
In case you haven’t guessed, such bed arrangements free up a considerable amount of living space further forward. There’s a second lounge, for instance, with the swivel cab seats and forward-facing travel seat. The sunroof overhead helps add to the ambience here.
There’s a full run of kitchen, too, with permanent worktop as well as a flip-up extension, designed not to fully cut across the doorway. There’s space for a full cooker (dual-fuel hob, separate oven and grill), plus a sink with add-on plastic drainer. Everything from a microwave oven to acrylic splash panel with LED lighting is included in the kitchen. Critically, there’s also a generous amount of storage space. That includes a 112-litre fridge with removable freezer and automatic energy selection.
The washroom is plastic-lined. There’s a swivel-bowl toilet, plus a somewhat narrow fixed basin with pull-out shower. The only thing that’s a bit out of step here is the reliance on a clingy curtain of yesteryear.
Reversing sensors and a pull-out exterior locker join the Rio 340 specification for this season. Plus Swift’s Command system – which allows you to operate much of the vehicle remotely – has been upgraded so you can control the fridge or even find a campsite.
though others, notably key German manufacturers, have attempted similar offerings, it’s fair to say nothing comes close to the Rio 340 at the moment. Just don’t forget to factor in the £995 Lux Pack, if you want cab air conditioning, cruise control and a Status 570 TV aerial. Among other options, annual subscription for the in built Swift Command Tracker system starts at £95 – but at least you’ll be able to offset some of this with a reduction in your motorhome insurance premium.
Verdict: Swift tries something different – and it works
Plus: Compact exterior dimensions, roomy interior, unique tailgate offering
Minus: Restricted washroom
In-a-nutshell: Open the door to a different kind of coachbuilt
There’s more information on the Rio range on the Swift website. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our motorhome insurance discounts page.
Swift Rio 340 factfile
|Model||Swift Rio 340|
|Base vehicle||Fiat Ducato|
|Dimensions||6.40m L x 2.26m W x 2.78m H|
|RRP||From £55,340 on the road|
|Safety & security||Electronic immobiliser, remote central locking, ABS and EBD, EBA (emergency brake assist), twin airbags, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, Swift Command system with Thatcham Category 6 approved pro-active tracking system.|
|Key options||Lux Pack (£995), SwiftShield upholstery (£450), satellite TV systems (from £2,248), habitation air conditioning (£1,500), reversing camera (£599), detachable towbar and electrics (£655), wind-out awning (£535), Swift Command tracking system subscription (£95), Comfort-Matic automatic transmission (£1,750)|