Swift Escape Esprit 494 review

By: Peta Stavelli


Swift Escape Esprit 494 review Swift Escape Esprit 494 review
Swift Escape Esprit 494 review Swift Escape Esprit 494 review
Swift Escape Esprit 494 review Swift Escape Esprit 494 review
Swift Escape Esprit 494 review Swift Escape Esprit 494 review

It’s an unexpectedly brilliant Christchurch day when Motorhomes Caravans & Destinations editor Peta Stavelli drops by Iconic Motorhomes to review the Swift Escape Esprit 494 motorhome.

On this most glorious of autumn days I was at Iconic’s Christchurch yard to test the new Esprit, which at $148,000 is considered a mid-range vehicle.

The panoramic opening skylight is one of a raft of innovations in this year’s Esprit range. It’s part of a new streamlined body shell constructed using Swift’s proven SMART timber-less construction method, which is moisture-resistant, light and durable. 

Did I mention aerodynamic? Swift designers have made even more effort to create fluid exterior designs. The 494 drives like a family car, smoothly negotiating the uneven surfaces and tight turns of Sumner roads lined with cones.

In this model – the Esprit 494 – also comprises an east-west double bed room, together with a settee which also converts on smooth-glide slides to a double. 

And this was one of the features I most liked about the Esprit – a small detail but one which would be valued by families – the privacy screens for each sleeping compartment. As a grand-parent I imagine how nice it would be to turn the front cab into a kid’s room by deploying the block out blinds and pulling the curtain.

The beds are equipped with the Duvulay Duvalite memory foam mattress system to ensure a good night’s rest.

With a second TV and screen across the rear (Iconic installs TVs as standard in each vehicle, together with a SAMY auto dish satellite), parents or grandparents can retire to the privacy of their own suite with the added comfort of an adjacent bathroom.

Esprit 494_1

Since I’ve made mention of it, I might as well tell you that the Swift bathrooms are fine ablution rooms to behold. No matter which of the vehicles you buy, the quality fitments, space and high end design of the bathroom will sell you on a Swift.

You’ll also be sold on the décor. The Esprit offers a harmonious and restful blend of turquoise and fawn. This combination of colours is a particular favourite of mine. Swift’s designers have incorporated flush-fronted cupboards with a smooth linen-look detail to finish. This creates a quiet palette – one I feel would be very easy to live with over a long period of time.

Storage options are plentiful – even in vehicles with dual sleeping layouts designed for active families – with four standard seatbelts and the bathroom and galley amid-ship.

The galley is well-equipped with a full oven and grill with four-burner hob; 95-litre Dometic fridge/freezer; overhead microwave; and granite look benchtops with fold-down extension.
Trans-seasonal comfort is assured by way of the grade-three thermal insulation and dual-fuel heating with digital control which can be used while the vehicle is underway, ensuring you’ll remain cosy and warm throughout your journey, and across the seasons.

The verdict

It all adds up to a very smart package that I am sure will have broad appeal for small families, couples of all ages, and for those who occasionally want to have the children or grandchildren aboard.

To read the full review, check out issue #129 of Motorhomes, Caravans & Destinations magazine. Subscribe here.

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