Bon Voyage!

A new, Ford Transit-based coachbuilt from Swift offers a winning blend of luxury and value, says Nick Harding

Swift’s new Voyager range – a coachbuilt line-up of four models – is built on the Ford Transit base vehicle. The 584 adopts a fixed single beds/large garage floorplan that is popular throughout Europe, includes the levels of equipment you would expect as standard, and is priced rather competitively, starting at £67,495. It’s a full four-berth, but the target audience will surely be couples who might consider taking the grandchildren away occasionally.

Build quality – 80%

Both the outer panels of the coachbuilt bodywork and internal walls are made from GRP. Underfloor is the same, with Styrofoam insulation. The days of timber joints are long gone – there’s some ply for the flooring but the rest of the bodywork is wood-free. It comes with the reassurance of a 10-year warranty. 

The cab is ‘Magnetic Grey’ and blends well with the white bodywork thanks to some premium graphics and decals. The 16in alloy wheels are standard (the spare is steel). 

At 600mm, the one-piece habitation door is slightly wider than those generally seen in rival motorhomes. It has a flush-fitting window and double locking points. 

The garage doors are large, too. You should be able to get bikes in here, along with the usual touring paraphernalia – outdoor seating, tables, barbecue, etc. There are sockets – mains, 12V, USB – just inside the nearside garage door, alongside some handy hooks and lashing points; strip lights are discreetly positioned on each side. 

Fresh and waste water tanks are underslung, but have heating to ward off frost (part of the standard Winter Pack, included in the basic price, which also includes en-route heating to the living quarters). 

Driving – 82%

Ford’s 155bhp engine gives more than a handy turn of speed to the Voyager 584. Admittedly my example was only partly laden, but it was easy to get up to a decent speed and keep up with the traffic. 

I had the added relaxation of the automatic transmission option but other reviews have reported favourably on this base vehicle’s standard, six-speed manual. The automatic upgrade will set you back £1,795 and does shave a significant 53kg off your payload, bringing it down to 371kg, which could be worth bearing in mind if you are going to use it as a full four-berth. 

What also impresses on the Ford front is the standard of the cab fittings. The plastics are good quality and the switchgear has a positive feel to it. Swift orders its Fords in upmarket ‘Trend’ trim, which means the 584 is exceptionally well equipped. Cab air conditioning is standard, along with a tyre pressure monitoring system, reversing camera, automatic windscreen wipers, stop-start technology and a Zenec Xzent infotainment system with 9in touchscreen (incorporating DAB radio, USB and Bluetooth connectivity).

Other factory-fitted options are restricted to pre-fittings for a microwave oven (your dealer will finish this) at £185, and a £315 Thule rack for two bikes. There are individual, forward-facing travel seats for two rear passengers complete with Isofix and head restraints. These fold out from each settee base.

Daytime – 80%

Swift’s design team has come up with its usual tasteful décor. You might, of course, want to jazz things up with some snazzier scatter cushions, rugs or throws etc. 

There’s plenty of room in the lounge, where both cab seats swivel to join inward-facing settees around a fixed pedestal leg table. The table has manual fore-and-aft and electric height adjustment. 

Heating comes from Truma’s Combi with the facility to operate while travelling. My only concern was whether the blown air outlets could be better situated – there needs to be one nearer the cab area, surely?

Night-time – 77%

There is lots of lighting in the back bedroom, along with two side windows and a standard rooflight. The twin 6ft 5in x 2ft 7in single beds are supremely comfortable, with fixed steps (both with hinged lids for handy storage) to aid access. However, setting the beds high means it’s hard to sit upright on the mattresses. Surprisingly, the mattresses aren’t on any kind of slats meaning you’ll want to turn or prop them up occasionally to keep them well ventilated. Their specification is otherwise impressive – Duvalay Duvalite Alto units which contain recyclable polyester and memory foam.

A double bed can also be made from the lounge seating by lowering the table to an appropriate height, plus there’s an extending section to the offside settee. 

Kitchen – 68%

Swift rarely disappoints with its kitchens and this is another fine example. However, despite the space saved using Thetford’s Triplex Plus cooker (three gas burners and an electric hotplate, plus a combined oven and grill), there’s not much in the way of work surface and no extension to alleviate the issue. Larger cutlery drawers would also be a bonus, but otherwise there is plenty of storage, and if you forgo the microwave there will be two further high-level lockers. 

Across the corridor is a 133-litre Dometic fridge with removable freezer section, automatic energy selection and dual-hinged door. It’s set off the floor to make access all the easier.

Washroom – 76%

The washing facilities are split between a shower cubicle on the offside and a toilet room nearside. It's possible to shut them both off, as required, while sliding doors keep the bedroom private and a solid door closes off the main living quarters. Underfoot you’ll find tile-effect flooring. 

The Ecocamel shower is partly on the wheel arch but that’s unlikely to provide much of a nuisance. Only one plughole might be a problem at certain times if your pitching isn’t level; my only other criticism is that the positioning of the toilet roll holder made things a bit of a squeeze. 

Details – 78%

Lots of useful details add further to the 584’s appeal. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are included (but there is no fire extinguisher), for example, and remote control central locking applies to the habitation door. Reading lights on stalks over each cab seat will be appreciated by bookworms, and there are handy mains sockets here as well. A touch-sensitive electrical control panel is easy to operate. 

Positive catches for the high-level lockers work well, and the capacity of the lockers is generous. Storage elsewhere is very good – there’s a wardrobe in the nearside bed base; a shelved cupboard offside houses the Truma boiler; there’s also room for a deep drawer in each bed base. 

A branded umbrella sits in the habitation door, and an illuminated grab handle will help when you get in. A fold-out double coat hook is a nice touch, and exterior running lights come on when you open the side door. Meanwhile, a 100W solar panel is standard and there are sockets for a TV just inside the habitation door and on the wall at the foot of the nearside bed. There are also lots of USB ports and plenty of lighting. 

Verdict – 77%

This is a well-executed motorhome that offers a touch of luxury at a competitive price. Ford’s Transit offers a lovely driving experience and Swift hasn’t compromised on the base vehicle specification.

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