The Sprite Quattro EW is a masterpiece of design ingenuity. Makers Swift have managed to shoehorn a double bed, a lounge, a sizeable kitchen, a dining area and a full-width shower room into a caravan with an overall length of 7.92m. How? By making the lounge L-shaped. Clever.
The same layout appears in the Sterling range, as the Eccles SE Coral, with a higher spec, a price of £23,555 and an MTPLM of 1800kg. With no wish to detract from the gloss of the Coral, when you can get the same layout, albeit with less equipment, for £6905 less, the Quattro has to be worthy of your consideration if you’re in the market for a six-berth caravan with the bonus of twin-axle stability.
You might also consider the other Quattro, the long-established FB, which also has a double bed (that’s what the FB stands for). It has a longer lounge than the EW, and a parallel settee layout. And it has its shower alongside the bed, sharing a compartment with the toilet.
The Quattro EW (end washroom), though, has the edge for buyers who prefer to shower in the caravan rather than use campsite facilities…
The shower room is a familiar layout, with the shower on the nearside, the basin in the centre and the loo on the offside.
Floor space is not enormous, at 90cm at its deepest point, tapering to 48cm at the entrance to the shower. It’s worth bearing in mind that this space isn’t really enough for a parent to conduct the showering routine of small caravanners; whether this matters simply depends on the ages, and therefore the degree of independence, of your children.
There’s no carpet in the shower room, which may be fine in summer but isn’t great in winter, so buyers of Quattros will probably be also buying a bathroom-type rug to prevent cold feet from being a problem.
This layout gives the parents a permanent bed, divisible from the rest of the caravan by a pleated partition plus an extended kitchen surface which hinges up to become part of a wall.
The offside dining area transforms into bunks that are 1.73m long. The mattresses are created by folding out each section of the seating upholstery, so that they become half the thickness of the seats. That’s fine in terms of comfort for small, lightweight caravanners but, it has to be said, less comfortable as they become bigger and heavier.
The lounge makes into a double bed by sliding out a slatted base from under the settee which runs across the front of the caravan. The really useful asset here is that if you need beds for five, rather than six, the lounge creates a ready-made single bed, simply the front settee, which is just over 2m long. Think teenager. Or think grandparent, perhaps; the Quattro EW offers lots of family versatility.
If you’re using the lounge as a bedroom you’ll attach importance to the ease of getting sleeping bags in and out of the spaces under the settees. Full-length drop-down hatches take care of that.
You get into the spaces under the dining area seats by raising the tops; both the bases and the upholstery are light in weight so this is an easy task.
And of course there’s a lovely big space under the double bed. It has unrestricted access (no bed-base structure to get in the way). The spare wheel takes up some of the space but that’s fine. And you can open an exterior hatch to put stuff in and out if you wish; ideal for outdoor furniture.
With seven top lockers and a wardrobe that gives you 82cm of hanging width, storage opportunities in the EW have to be regarded as excellent and well up to the task of catering for the needs of up to six.
L-shaped lounges are generally regarded as less convenient than parallel configurations when they’re in dining mode. But the EW is different. In this caravan you can definitely seat four around the table, because there is a seat under the offside window. So, two on the front seat, and one on each end. True, there’s a bit of an issue about plate spacing; on test we found the best way is to have the two end place settings as far towards the edge of the table nearest to the back of the caravan as possible, so leaving enough space for the plates of the people sitting on the front settee.
That’s how you’d cope if there are six aboard, with two eating at the side dining table. If there are four or five, it’s easier.
The main table sits on a single, chunky metal pole which inserts into a recess in the floor. The table top is stored in clips against the wall, to the rear of the wardrobe.
Quattros have the Truma Combi 6 heating system, delivering 6kW when using gas and 1.8kW on electricity. When you use gas and mains together, the output is 5.8kW. The control panel is conveniently above the door and there are five outlets for the warmed air, including one in the lounge, to keep your toes toasty as you relax here.
There’s a good deep windowsill to put books and other stuff on, and TV connections are above the mini dresser that juts out to divide the lounge from the dining area, making these two regions feel quite separate.
We’ve analysed the sleeping, dining, storage and lounging facets of the EW but how about the beating heart of family holidays, the kitchen? Is it up to the task of catering for up to six hungry holidaymakers without stressing the cook?
Hinge down the section of surface that partitions off the bedroom and take a look… The surface stretches 1.3m backwards from the hob, with only the sink to interrupt it. And at its deepest point it’s 71cm (it curves slightly). There’s a full oven and grill, three burners and a microwave.
Lower storage space is the only aspect of the kitchen that you might question. The cabinet between the oven and the fridge is just 26cm wide with a 14cm-wide shelf running along one side. There’s space for pans under the oven, and the small dresser gives you a deep, two-shelf cabinet that’s 28cm wide, with two slide-out shelves and plenty of space beneath for tall items.
If you think this isn’t enough space for your needs, we’d recommend considering getting a couple of plastic boxes to keep under one of the settees, specifically for kitchen stuff. It’s a device we’ve used previously in a caravan we owned with restricted kitchen storage space, and it works well.
If you want something that’s easy to tow, buy a Quattro! We’ve towed several Quattros over the last year or two and every time their performance has been impressively positive (as you’d expect). The really great thing is that you don’t need a car as beefy as our Sorento to do the job. This caravan is one of only four twin-axles on the market that are 1600kg or less. The other three are the Quattro FB, the Venus 620/6 and the new Lunar Quasar 646.
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