Fantastic voyager

Swift’s Voyager 4 series is new for 2024. Nick Harding spends some time with the keenly priced, island-bed 494

Hot on the heels of the Voyager 5 series of low-profile coachbuilts comes the 4 series – a three-strong line-up of overcab models, again based on the Ford Transit, with the 494 available from £68,995. These days, that’s something of a bargain for a vehicle such as this. 

The 494 is a proven floorplan for Swift, offering the combination of a permanent island bed at the back and a large double in the overcab area, in an overall body length of 7.5m.

Build quality – 78%

The GRP bodywork comes with the reassurance of a Swift-backed 10-year integrity warranty. New for this season on all Voyagers are the external shower (cold only) and gas connections.

The chassis-cab is Magnetic Grey, while the Swift graphics work well with the predominantly white body. Also of note are the wider-than-average (60cm) habitation door with fixed window, the 16in alloy wheels and the 100W solar panel. The garage can be accessed from both sides and inside are lashing points, two lights, sockets, some handy corner shelving and even heating. Despite the size of the doors, getting bikes in here is tricky, but there are fixing points for a bike rack outside, at the back.

Keeping it at a driving licence-friendly MTPLM of 3,500kg and offering a reasonable 412kg payload will make it attractive to many. 

Driving – 83%

Refined as the manual version of the Ford Transit is to drive, do think seriously about the option of automatic transmission for the 155bhp engine. It’s £1,795, but money well spent if you want your driving to be as relaxing as possible. 

There’s a real quality feel to the cab area, where equipment is particularly impressive, especially the Zenec Xzent F-285 infotainment system with 9in touchscreen, DAB/FM radio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, plus Bluetooth connectivity. There’s also the Ford Pass app, which allows you to remotely operate the central locking etc. This is a fully-fledged four-berth – the rear seating comes with Isofix points, while the double seat itself has fixed head restraints and shaped backrests.

A slight concern on this example was the creaking coming from over the cab when driving, even with the bed lowered. There was a bit of wind noise around the overcab pod, too, but arguably that’s to be expected. We suspect that economical drivers will have no trouble getting into the 30s in terms of miles per gallon.

Daytime – 81%

The Voyager 494’s lounge comprises swivelled cab seats and a forward-facing bench seat for two, around a table that fixes to the side wall. The table stores in the garage for safe travel. 

Side windows have concertina blinds and flyscreens as well as curtains (unlined) and voiles. There are also blinds for the cab windows. 

Overall décor is an inoffensive blend of greys, blacks and whites, as is very much the trend these days. The upholstery has a stain resistant finish that should also make it easy to clean. You can add your own splashes of colour, of course, if you want a bit more than the two scatter cushions provide.

Night-time – 79%

The rear bedroom zone is particularly well-designed, with curves to the wardrobes either side of the bed helping to optimise mattress width as well as hanging space. There’s a handy cubbyhole hole either side, too – perfect for a glass of water, spectacles, book, etc. There are USB charging points (offside) and a mains socket (nearside). 

Even before you lie on it, it’s easy to see the attractions of an island double like this. What it lacks in length (1.83m or 6ft) it makes up for in width (1.43m/4ft 8in). You can, of course, dangle your feet off the end – and you’re not hemmed in by any side walls. 

Over the cab, the second double measures 1.90m (6ft 3in) x 1.33m (4ft 4in) and there’s just over half a metre of headroom. Accessed via a ladder, the mattress is on a solid base, while there is a single window and light. Both beds benefit from the same Duvalay Duvalite Alto mattress. 

Kitchen – 70%

Chefs get a Thetford Triplex Plus cooker, comprising a dual-fuel hob (three gas rings, one electric hotplate) and a combined oven and grill. There’s a circular sink to its immediate right (it comes with a loose cover-cum-chopping board, plastic drainer and a washing-up bowl) and a flip-up section of worktop next to that. Also here is a single mains socket.

A flat bed microwave oven is a £185 option. It was not fitted on this test model, and if you can live without it you get plenty of additional storage instead – two upper-level lockers, in fact. There’s also a large locker to the right of these two, where – despite the presence of a plate rack – it’s surely tall enough to warrant the fitting of a shelf. Under the sink is a trio of soft-closing drawers, all different sizes, the top one containing a loose cutlery tray. 

The slimline fridge sits across the corridor. It’s a Dometic Series 10 model with a 133-litre capacity and removable, 12-litre freezer compartment. It features automatic energy selection and a dual-hinged door. There’s more storage over here, too, with lockers above and below the fridge. 

Washroom – 70%

If there’s one area of this Voyager where there has been a bit of compromise, it’s in the washroom. The tambour door is a space-saver (meaning a shower curtain isn’t needed) with the rest of the walls protected by marble-effect wallboarding. 

The Ecocamel Jetstorm shower has just the one fixing point, but there are two plugholes. Complementing this is a Thetford swivel-bowl toilet and a drop-down handbasin, the latter with some particularly neat plastic mouldings around it. 

Storage is in the form of side-by-side, upper-level, fixed shelf lockers – one with a see-through door, the other mirrored. There’s no window but there is an opening rooflight. 

Details – 78%

The lack of hooks is a shame – both for coats when you come in via the habitation door and for towels and/or clothing in the washroom (although you’ll appreciate the waterproof toilet roll holder in here).

And there are a few places where it would be more aesthetically pleasing were wiring better concealed, for instance at the foot of the habitation door and in the backs of some lockers. There are plenty of attractive features elsewhere to counter these small gripes, including a tyre pressure monitoring system, reversing camera, removable carpet sections, central locking that includes the habitation door, sockets for TV (aerial, 12V, 230V) in the lounge and the rear bedroom, double USB ports in the lounge and bedroom, and additional strip lighting for reading, again in the lounge and over the island bed. It’s also worth mentioning the slim wardrobe to the left of the kitchen – more handy storage space.

You should be happy using the Voyager year-round. The fresh and waste water tanks have frost protection and the Truma heating can be used while you’re travelling. 

Verdict – 77%

Swift has left nothing to chance here. This Voyager boasts everything you’d want from a modern motorhome, with an island bed on a very impressive base vehicle. It’s a keenly priced package, too.

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