All at C
Bolstering its highly successful Escape range – even at the expense of loyal stablemates – makes sense for Swift. Hence the compact models formerly sold under the Rio label are set for a new lease of life in the 2019 season ahead, as a trio of Escape Compacts.
All live up to the Compact name, too. They’re 5.99m long as well as being both narrower and shorter than typical coachbuilt motorhomes.
All are based on Fiat’s Ducato, with 2.3-litre 130bhp engine as standard on 3,300kg chassis.
The C205 here sleeps two, but there’s travel for four, thanks to a floorplan that has a movable double bed set over a garage at the back and a front lounge with double forward facing travel seats and both cab chairs on swivels.
Mid-‘van, the kitchen is along the nearside, and washroom offside.
So far, so compact. It’s a rather upright rear seat and the habitation door lacks a window – also, it doesn’t open fully, so beware sudden gusts of wind – but you’ll recognise plenty of style points from the latest Escape range – the curved shelving, white locker doors, ambient lighting, USB sockets and more.
If anything, there’s more to the kitchen than you’d expect in a motorhome calling itself Compact. You get a Thetford Triplex cooker – three-ring hob, combined oven and grill – with sink to the immediate right of the hob and fridge underneath. There’s a worktop extension plus a microwave oven.
Washroom is classic Swift. There’s a swivel-bowl toilet, narrow fixed basin, mirror and rooflight. The blue finish to the splash panel and upper level locker helps lift things, and you’ll be calling into duty a curtain if you want to shower in here. The shower itself is trigger-operated, to save water.
Next door to the washroom, perhaps the slim wardrobe represents the biggest compromise. Also, the fact that the table and leg, plus TV aerial pole area already in here means clothes hanging space isn’t optimised.
Sure, the transverse bed across the back means a cutback in living space, but the storage underneath surely more than compensates. There are hinged steps to help you up to bed. The shape of the mattress means there’s extra width where you need it most, at upper body level. The mattress itself is Duvalay’s latest Duvalite Apollo Luxe, with Freshtec for airflow – all exclusive to Swift. It sits on a slatted base, for extra support and ventilation.
Despite the presence of lockers along the back wall, you can sit up in bed, and there’s a small window on the offside plus a rooflight overhead.
The bed hinges on pneumatic struts for access to the storage space below, but in truth you’ll probably find it easier to get at your gear from either of the external side hatches.
Budget for the Comfort Pack option that gives you cab upgrades like a sunroof, air conditioning and cruise control, plus reversing sensors – the latter may even save you a few pennies on your motorhome insurance. It’s not cheap, but it rounds off a very neat little motorhome.
Verdict: Clever compact with a fixed bed
Plus: Use of space, modern fittings and furnishings
Minus: Compromised wardrobe
In-a-nutshell: Best things in a small package
There’s more information on the Escape range on the Swift website. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Benimar Mileo 201, Elddis Accordo 125
Swift Escape C205 factfile
|Model||Swift Escape C205|
|Base vehicle||Fiat Ducato|
|Dimensions||5.99m L x 2.26m W x 2.78m H|
|RRP||From £46,450 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 tracking system, VIN Chip.|
|Key options||Comfort Pack (£1,740), SwiftShield upholstery (£450), satellite TV systems (from £2,293), detachable towbar and electrics (£655) Swift Command tracking system subscription (£95), Comfort-Matic automatic transmission (£1,750)|