Right on track

Nick Harding takes a look at the award-winning, four-berth Monza

These are very interesting times in the ever-growing campervan sector – especially with big guns like Swift stepping in. Launched for the 2022 season, the Swift Monza, based on Ford’s Tourneo, scooped a class win in the Club’s 2023 Motorhome & Campervan Design Awards. Supplied in Titanium trim level, you can expect a high base-vehicle equipment offering – to this, Swift has added an elevating roof conversion with more than a dash of style.

Starting at just under £68,000 at the time of writing, buyers pay a £1,395 premium for an automatic gearbox, or £3,895 for an auto box and an engine upgrade from 128bhp to 168bhp. The standard Monza on review here sports part-leather upholstery, adding £1,895 but still keeping the price under £70,000.

Build quality – 83%

Swift is one of only a few converters that have Ford’s Pro Convertor (previously Qualified Vehicle Modifier) status. National Caravan Council approval adds further peace of mind for any Monza purchaser. 

The Tourneo base vehicle is particularly well specified, coming with twin sliding side doors, 17in alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring and more. There’s a choice of four metallic paints, including the Magnetic Grey you can see here.

Swift’s conversion work includes a high-quality elevating roof from SCA as well as an equally highly regarded Reimo Variotech rear seat system.  

Among the other Monza fittings are a 100W solar panel, an extra-wide Thule electric step at the nearside sliding door (although there is still 30cm to negotiate from the ground upwards), underslung 40-litre fresh and waste water tanks and a Reimo Multirail with awning attachment and awning light. Swift opts not to go the whole hog with a gas tank – instead, there’s an internal locker for a 6kg propane cylinder. 

Driving – 81%

Even with the less powerful 128bhp engine as standard, there’s plenty of pep available and the six-speed manual gearbox is pretty slick. Any Monza driver will also appreciate the particularly car-like cockpit in terms of kit as well as quality of fittings. 

There are plenty of features adding to the driving experience, including traction control; hill start assist; QuickClear heated windscreen; electric heated folding door mirrors; rain-sensing windscreen wipers and rear-view camera. All that’s missing from the infotainment system is sat-nav, although you do have Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality. 

Travel seating for five will be valued on the school run although, at 2.12m, the Monza won’t slip under every car park height barrier. In terms of economy, you should be looking to record mpgs in the mid-30s, at least. 

Daytime – 80%

A rear seat on rails, like the Reimo Variotech unit here, offers lots of flexibility, while the cab seats are also particularly easy to swivel. 

There’s a free-standing table that stows on rear of the seat – not ideal, especially if you’re putting lots of luggage in the back. However, its top is angled at the corners, which makes getting around it easy once it’s set up in the living area. And you could use it outside too. If the interior is too dark for your liking, there’s a cream furniture finish available at no extra cost. 

Night-time – 83%

Downstairs you can make up a particularly long double, measuring 2.05m (6ft 9in) × 1.11m (3ft 8in). The roof bed is nearly as generous – 1.89m (6ft 2in) × 1.10m (3ft 7in). Access to the latter is by fold-up ladder, although, like the table, storage when it’s not in use is a challenge. The upstairs mattress may look thin, but it features Froli’s plastic spring system and is arguably the more comfortable of the two. If you’re using the Monza as a couple you can leave the downstairs in situ if you’re happy to sleep up top. 

Ignore the fabric curtains you can see in our image to the right – Swift is working on versions with a tighter fit to provide better blackout. The elevating roof benefits from an acrylic window on the offside and flyscreen meshes front and nearside, all with zipped covers.  

To keep the chill away on colder nights and mornings, there’s an Eberspächer diesel heater – never the quietest, but definitely one of the most efficient and reliable. 

Kitchen – 78%

There’s a typical campervan set-up in the kitchen with a combined two-burner hob and sink complemented by a 42-litre drawer-style compressor fridge. 

Storage is very good by campervan standards. There’s a very handy pull-out shelf rack immediately behind the driver, although the seat, when swivelled, can foul its operation if you’re not careful. Extra lockers over the kitchen are always a bonus. Following on from the kitchen, a tambour door slides back to reveal a wardrobe (there’s also a mains socket in here). 

A grill is £195 extra, but think carefully because it will steal a lot of locker space. The external gas socket for hooking up to outdoor cookers, etc, will surely be put to good use. 

Washroom – n/a

You get a Dometic 972 portable toilet and an external shower point. But it’s the lack of a dedicated washroom that differentiates a campervan from a (larger, admittedly) van conversion. 

Details – 86%

The offside sliding door proves useful for access to the toilet as well as the shower fitting and both side windows slide open. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms feature on the underside of the roof bed. The all-LED lighting is generous and offset the particularly dark interior of this example.

Verdict – 82%

Swift has nailed it with the Monza. To a high-specification Ford base vehicle it has added stylish conversion elements with few obvious downsides. It’s competitively priced, too.

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