Motorhome review: Swift Bolero 684FB

By: Peta Stavelli


2014 Swift Bolero FB 2014 Swift Bolero FB
2014 Swift Bolero FB The Swift Bolero has exceptional manoeuvrability. 2014 Swift Bolero FB
2014 Swift Bolero FB 2014 Swift Bolero FB
2014 Swift Bolero FB The cosy dining nook converts to a 2.11m by 1.25m bed. 2014 Swift Bolero FB
2014 Swift Bolero FB The cab seats swivel to create a comfortable dining area. 2014 Swift Bolero FB
2014 Swift Bolero FB This motorhome has good ventilation and privacy in spades. 2014 Swift Bolero FB
2014 Swift Bolero FB The dry bathroom continues the high-end trend. 2014 Swift Bolero FB

Stepping up from entry-level two-berth vehicles, Peta Stavelli takes the top-end Swift Bolero for a spin and finds a taste of luxury is very easy to swallow.

With a run through Christchurch's oft-chaotic streetscape to undergo before we headed for the open road, I was a little nervous about picking up the Swift Bolero 684FB, with its overall length of just 7m.

I need not have worried — this vehicle is as easy to drive to as a family car and I soon found myself easing into the busy traffic flow of Ferry Road and negotiating the numerous lane changes needed to cross to the other side of the city.

There are a few reasons for this ease of driving: the highly-responsive automatic transmission, low profile, generous side mirrors, and the rear-view camera.

Kitchen/dining

The Bolero 684FB is designed for up to four passengers. Two forward-facing passenger seats with three-point seatbelts sit behind the dining table. These can be used to safely transport infants and adults. The cab seats swivel and make a comfortable dining area forward of the split kitchen.

As I have come to expect of Swift, the design of the kitchen is high-end and extremely polished. The below bench carousel makes storing and finding utensils especially easy. There's plenty of other storage as well in overhead and under-bench lockers.

This is a dream kitchen with plenty of bench space, a generous (and very quiet) three-way Dometic fridge-freezer, oven and hob with three gas burners and one electric. Masses of lighting, a good-sized sink, natural light, and ventilation from the well-placed window, and an easy-clean satin finish makes for a very pleasant workspace.

Interior

Swift really does create exceptionally elegant interiors and I found the design and décor very much to my taste. In addition to the previously-mentioned satin finish on cupboard and locker fronts, is a harmonious blend of matt-cream wall finish with oatmeal seat covers in hard-wearing fabric, and on-trend '60s inspired curtains in browns and greens.

Swift _Bolero _6

Which brings us to the bedroom with its fixed chocolate-brown north-south bed with super-comfort award-winning Duvalay mattress which is exclusive to Swift. This 1.9m-by-1.32m rear bed was a pleasant place to curl up and read during the day; and a well-thought-out boudoir with an easily-deployed privacy screen for the night.

Iconic both rents and sells these vehicles and I was very impressed by the luxurious appointment overall, and the super-soft pillows specifically. It is exceptionally rare for me to find comfortable pillows away from home (where I only use feather pillows) so I was hugely impressed by this.

The cosy dining nook converts to a 2.11m-by-1.25m bed and — going by the comforts of the master bed — I imagine there would be few complaints about it from passengers.

Bathroom

The dry bathroom continues the high-end trend. First up is the mahogany-style floor grid which brings to mind a luxury launch. This is a well-lit, thoughtfully-appointed space with storage, hooks, mirrors, and lighting in abundance, and a good-sized shower, corner basin and swivelling flush toilet.

Other comforts

Central heating and hot water is provided by a powerful combi-boiler, powered by electricity if hooked up to the mains, or LPG when out and about. Warm air is vented through four central-heating hot air vents and the Alde radiator system with double-glazed windows to keep the warm air in.

Concertina blinds, screens, and curtains make this an extremely well-thought-out motorhome that has privacy in spades. Meanwhile, a good combination of downlights and spotlights covers all requirements, including night reading.

Other thoughtful touches include the wet well on the door step, fixed rubbish bin, and full-length mirror for last-minute checks before stepping out. The electronics panel is well designed and easy to use (once mastered), and the heating system makes for a very cosy ship.

Swift _Bolero _1

Driving the Swift Bolero

Now, to on-road performance… I have made mention of its manoeuvrability in dense city traffic, and the ease of parking in tight situations on suburban streets, but you'll no doubt want to know how it performs on the open road.

By golly, give it some road room, and the Bolero performs like a sports car. It's an aggressive wee beast on a hill; it tackles the climbs and certainly doesn't fade. It effortlessly maintains the legal speed while going uphill.

The verdict

Let me round this off by saying, if you are in the market for a high-end, high-performance vehicle to take two to four people cruising for extended periods – winter or summer – the Bolero 684 FB may be just what you're looking for.

Ask about the Bolero winter special for $148,500. Iconic is also running out the 2011+ Swift Bolero 680s from $120,000.

For more information contact Iconic Motorhomes, 260 Ferry Road, Christchurch, (03) 366 4364; or 26 Rennie Drive, Auckland Oaks, Auckland, 09) 275 3306.

For the full review, check out issue 121 of Motorhomes Caravans & Destinations. Subscribe here.

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