Narrow enough to be considered compact, but nevertheless a considerable length, this new-for-2022 model brings Swift’s Select Compact sub-range up to four models, all based on Fiat’s Ducato chassis-cab which itself has seen several enticing upgrades for the season ahead.
The long and narrow of it
First, there’s a series of new 2.2-litre engines. The Swift Select Compact C500 motorhome has the lowest-powered 120bhp variant as standard, but there are upgrades to the 140bhp available, meaning you could also order automatic transmission (although there’s a hefty premium on this).
There are changes in the cab, too, where the uplifts include a snazzy new main instruments housing and steering wheel with controls. There’s also a new “infotainment” system that includes DAB radio, various Bluetooth and music app connectivities and a 7in touchscreen that’s also the monitor for the motorhome insurance saving twin reversing camera. Features like air conditioning and cruise control are also standard.
Swift’s coachbuilt bodywork uses a construction that’s timber-free (instead relying on virtually indestructible polyurethane blocks with Styrofoam insulation). The outer panels have a tough GRP with flush-fitting windows and the whole lot has the backing of a 10-year warranty.
The Swift Select Compact C500 turns on the style with 15in black alloy wheels and opening overcab sunroof, with the cab itself in Lanzarote Grey. At the back, there are fittings for a bike rack.
It’s a one-piece, windowed habitation door with inset step and once you head inside you’ll appreciate the style that Swift has added to what is otherwise a standard, popular two-berth floorplan. The rear lounge is large enough to be able to convert to singles beds (the longest of which touches 6ft 5in) or a transverse double. In daytime mode, you’ll appreciate the views out to three sides as well as star-gazing opportunities via the Midi-Heki rooflight.
True, the Select Compact C500 only offers sleeping accommodation for two, but you can take an extra two passengers with you, thanks to a forward-facing seat behind the driver. Parked up and with the cab seats swivelled, you also have a second lounge area, which may prove more suitable for dining, leaving the back are for pure lounging.
Mid-’van, the kitchen should have no problem catering for two, albeit storage is a bit restricted. Key kit includes a Thetford Triplex Plus cooker with dual-fuel hob (three gas rings and one electric hotplate, plus a combined oven and grill), supplemented by a microwave oven, directly over the hob.
There’s a generous capacity stainless steel sink immediately next to the cooker, leaving some permanent worktop that can be supplemented by a flip-up extension, as needed.
Included in the kitchen unit is an 85-litre fridge with automatic energy selection. Hot water and heating are via Truma’s trusty Combi system.
Opposite the kitchen, the washroom provides the usual shower and toilet facilities – the latter a Thetford swivel-bowl unit. When it comes to showering, the whole room is used (a curtain extends across the door) and the tap outlet at the fixed basin extends to become a trigger-operated showerhead. Ventilation is courtesy of a small rooflight. A large mirror next to the basin is handy, as is the upper-level vanity unit.
The Swift Select Compact C500 motorhome is prepared for year-round use, with inboard fresh (100 litres) and heated waste water tanks, as well as a regulator that means the Truma system can be used whilst travelling.
Other details – everything from the underslung spare wheel, to the coat hook just inside the habitation door, to the LED interior lighting, TV aerial and more – should be sufficient to convince this is a well thought-out motorhome that keeps its price keen.
Verdict: Competent all-rounder with a sense of style
Plus: End-lounge appeal, slightly narrower body width bodes better for accessibility, general appeal
Minus: Only sleeps two (despite four travel seats), 120bhp engine may feel a little underpowered
In-a-nutshell: Compact by name, if not quite by nature
There’s more information on the Select Compact range on the Swift website. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our motorhome insurance page.
Alternatives: Auto-Trail Expedition C72, Elddis Accordo 120, McLouis Fusion 330
Swift Select Compact C500 factfile
|Model||Swift Select Compact C500|
|Base vehicle||Fiat Ducato|
|Dimensions||6.65m L x 2.26m W x 2.78m H|
|Safety & security||VIN CHIP, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, remote central locking, ABS and EBD, ESC (electronic stability control) with ASR (anti-slip regulation), ROM (roll-over mitigation) and hill-holder, electronic immobiliser, Eco Pack (stop-start system, smart alternator, energy-saving fuel pump), reversing camera.|
|Key options||140bhp engine (£995), 140bhp engine with automatic transmission (£3,495), SwiftShield upholstery (£495), towbar and electrics (£695), Thule awning (£695), Thule bike rack £315)|