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Swift Elegance Grande 645 - caravan review

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Key Features

  • Model Year : 2019
  • Class : Twin Axle
  • Berths : 4
  • Internal Length (m) : 6.36
  • Shipping Length (m) : 7.98
  • MRO (kg) : 1695
  • MTPLM (kg) : 1855
  • Max Width (m) : 2.45
  • External Height (m) : 2.59

The Verdict

Naturally, we’d expected ‘grand’ things of the big Elegance Grande. And, for sure, we’re impressed all round, both with the extensive list of equipment and the quality everywhere. The 645 is a candidate for your shortlist if you want a high level of spec and loads of space.


Swift Caravans View more details about the manufacturer of this vehicle over in our manufacturers section.

AT A GLANCE

If you're a fan of Swift's Elegance range, you're sure to love its big cousin, the eight-feet-wide Elegance Grande.

Pros
  • The level of spec
  • The reversing camera
  • The dimmable lighting (how refined!)
  • The programmable Alde heating system
Cons
  • Some may find the shower room is a bit small

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model Year
2019
Manufacturer
Swift Caravans
Class
Twin Axle
Range
Elegance
Price From (£)
33725
Berths
4
Shipping Length (m)
7.98
MRO (kg)
1695
MTPLM (kg)
1855
Max Width (m)
2.45
External Height (m)
2.59
End Washroom
Yes
Island Double
Yes
Fixed Singles/Bunks
No
Triple Bunks
No
End Kitchen
No
Back & Front Dinette
No
Side Dinette
No
Caravan Test Date
Caravan Buyer Test Date

DETAILED REVIEW

If you're a fan of Swift's Elegance range, you're sure to love its big cousin, the eight-feet-wide Elegance Grande.

The concept of eight-feet-wide caravans is now well and truly entrenched in the market. Buccaneer, Elddis and Compass (all part of the Erwin Hymer Group) have 11 between them, Adria has five, Lunar now has four and Bailey has also unveiled a range of eight-feet-wide vans.

Swift launched into max-width territory early in 2018 with the two Sprite Supers. Now, with the arrival of a new range for 2019, at the top of the spec tree, Swift has established itself as a major player in the sector.

There are now 29 max-width caravans on the mainstream British market, but it's the Swift Elegance Grande 645 that has all our attention right now, though – and what a creation!
The layout follows a well-established pattern.

There are a transverse island bed and a full-width rear shower room. It's already proved to be popular in the standard-width Swift Elegance 645, Eccles 645 and Challenger 645. Now all the same elements are here – with a lot more space.

Our review example has an additional element, it's fitted with the option-leather upholstery, which adds £1295 to the price.

It feels comfortable and seems to encapsulate the Grande 645's character – sumptuous and laden with equipment, including:

  • a reversing camera
  • Alde heating (as you'd expect)
  • an inboard water tank
  • an external shower
  • a connection to enable you to take water straight from your tap on a pitch
  • an exterior mains socket

As you step inside the Grande 645 the first impression is of space; from the doorway to the kitchen units it's a massive 1.52m.

As we walked into the bedroom, towards the full-width rear shower room, we paused to measure the width of the corridor – again, a generous width of 75cm.

The Elegance Grande lives up to its name.

Showering

The shower room, though, isn't massive, but it doesn't have to be. The shower is 64cm x 83cm, which isn't as large as some.

There is just enough space for the preening routine; the floor space depth is 68cm. What's impressive here is the level of refinement.

There's a circular make-up or shaving mirror on an adjustable bracket, a hinge-down towel rail within the shower cubicle, a towel loop and double hook alongside the shower, plus a heated towel rail on the rear wall.

The black panel shower riser bar bracket is stunningly backlit with lines of LEDs along each side. Lighting is inset along both sides of the mirror. And there's a glass-effect black panel alongside the washbasin, with a silver pattern of diamonds, graduating in size.

Cupboard accommodation is good, too, with two wall cabinets plus a capacious cabinet beneath the basin.

And there are two speakers in the washroom, delivering an even higher quality of sound than in the lounge – that's due, we think, to the natural acoustics created by the quantity of wood in the washroom, and the positioning of the speakers.

The result is a richer and fuller sound than at the front of the Swift.

Sleeping

The bedroom continues the lavishly-styled theme, with upholstered panels flanking the window, lighting hidden behind the top of the headboard (leather and upholstered to match the lounge!) and a large, corner dressing table.

Practicalities are taken care of, too, with power and aerial points for a TV, plus two USB charging ports alongside the bed, complete with a ledge that's the perfect dimension for phones.

The bed frame incorporates a mechanism which enables you to retract it by day and extend it, to 1.82m for the night.

If you're taller than that, in this layout your feet can overhang the edge of the bed (something you can't do with rear beds which have a wall at their foot).

When you push the mechanism back, to give you maximum, walk-through floor space, the bed measures 1.6m long. A neat and simple-to-use pleated partition divides the bedroom from the kitchen.

Making the bed in the lounge involves pulling out the bases of each settee to meet in the middle. Each has a sturdy hinge-down leg.

Storage

Often, in caravans with transverse beds, the wardrobes are of unequal size. Not so in the 645. Each has a hanging width of 43cm and has a drawer and cabinet beneath.

Two large top lockers plus a big space in the wedge-shaped dressing table and corner cabinet above, all amount to great bedroom storage.

The bed raises easily, and there's an exterior hatch to the storage space beneath. The storage under the lounge is equally easy to access, with full-length drop-down doors, plus exterior access to space under the nearside settee.

Dining

We love the storage position of the dining table, in its own cabinet aft of the kitchen. What's special here is you're lifting at waist height, easy. Shelves above and below the wide space for the table deliver useful additional storage.

The 645's central pull-out table and the cabinet are impressive. It gives you a table measuring 68cm x 79cm when you extend it, while the single, deep, soft-close drawer beneath it also contains a hidden, second drawer.

Lounge

Floor space is, of course, the keynote here, together with lots of light coming in through the wide sunroof.

Styling points to notice are rims of light defining the tops of the overhead lockers and tiny spotlights set into the forward frame of the sunroof. More tiny spotlights are above the kitchen – and there's one by the door, at floor level, too.

Two USB ports plus a 3.5mm aux input and a mains socket take care of the media practicalities. Two speakers are forward of the sunroof – and there are two more in the washroom.

Dimmable lighting is controlled from the Swift Command panel above the door. This panel also controls the heating timer function, and it syncs with Swift's Command app, which you can use to remotely control your heating.

Kitchen

The kitchen storage is impressive, both in terms of quality and design. The drawer is 75cm wide and contains a 30cm-wide, four-section cutlery tray plus a 39cm x 43cm cabinet beneath it.

This cabinet contains two shelf spaces, plus a pull-out metal basket shelf unit.

Linen-effect top cabinets, plus cabinets above and below the Dometic fridge-freezer, and a top and lower cabinet in the dresser alongside the door, deliver brilliant storage capacity.

All of the spotlights here are dimmable, using a rotating dial on the rear of each unit.
The cooker is a Dometic model, with a light to illuminate the oven; the switch is above the knobs. There's an extractor fan, too.

Lighting is concealed behind the startling black and silver splashback. Two mains power points are above the kitchen surface, 1.14m long with the hinge-up extension in place; that's ample for meal-making for two (recognising most 645s will be bought by couples).

The cover for the nicely proportioned, 36cm-diameter, recessed-rim sink hides away conveniently in its own cradle in the kitchen cabinet, together with the removable drainer.

Towing

With twin-axle stability, plus ATC for extra security against snaking, the 645's towing credentials are exceptional. Would you notice the extra width on the road (Grandes are 17cm wider than standard Elegance models)?

Probably not, after a few miles. In our experience of towing eight-feet-wide caravans, we quickly adjusted to the size.

The Elegance and Grande range also boast a reversing camera, so there's no need for assistance when you're reversing onto a pitch.

Verdict

Naturally, we'd expected 'grand' things of the big Elegance Grande (one of two in this new range with island beds). And, for sure, we're impressed all round, both with the extensive list of equipment and the quality everywhere.

The 645 is a candidate for your shortlist if you want a high level of spec and loads of space.

Some may consider the shower room to be a little confined but, elsewhere, space is utterly brilliant.

The Grande 645 and its sister model, the 635, also with an island bed and with the washroom in the centre, together take island-bed Elegance to a whole new level.

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