Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Price from: £50,125 (plus £995 for Black Edition) Berths: 6 Travel seats: 6 Length: 7.32m Width: 2.39m Height: 2.98m Gross weight: 3,500kg (3,650kg if automatic) Payload: 509kg
The Edge is a new range of coachbuilts for 2020 from the UK’s largest leisure vehicle manufacturer. Its introduction is a response to the company’s feeling that the Escape had crept upmarket of its traditional competitors, leaving room for a new model below.
Swift describes the newcomer as ‘specifically designed as a starter motorhome’, so it’s no shock to see family-friendly layouts with up to six berths and six travel seats – choose from this 476 or the 486 with a rear lounge in place of the twin beds.
It’s an overcab coachbuilt but the luton lacks the usual baseball cap-style peak so, when lowered into position, the bed sits partially above the lounge. The bed is also simply on a hinged base and the Duvalay mattress sits on a solid plywood panel.
The Fiat cab has the entry-level 120bhp engine. The Driver’s Pack (£1,195) adds a passenger airbag, cruise control, DAB radio and reversing sensors, while the recent introduction of the Black Edition option brings a black cab and alloy wheels for £995.
The Edge sits on a standard-height chassis, so the floor is quite high, with a consequent effect on weight distribution – and the need for a manual step at the habitation door.
There’s a bin on the door and a flyscreen here, too, plus an awning light. Bike rack fixings are factory-fitted, and it’s great to see that the chassis frame has been extended right to the back, supporting a garage with 200kg load limit.
However, the waste tank is small (60 litres) and looks vulnerably low. The garage will be a key reason to buy – it measures up to 1.12m wide and 0.97m high but the lower lip of the garage door is around 850mm off the ground.
Where the Edge differs is in being a true six-berth. Instead of the usual half-dinette lounge and swivel cab seats (with belted places for four or, at most, five), the Edge has a pullman dinette with a pair of three-point seatbelts on both the forward and the rearward-facing benches.
There’s a small side sofa in addition to the dinette, so six could sit here if several are youngsters. It’s pleasing to see that the table does stow away (in the rear nearside wardrobe) for safety when travelling.
Crucially important in a layout like this is the rear bedroom and the lack of any top cupboards back here allows you to sit up comfortably in bed. More plus points come in the form of the Duvalay mattresses and the fairly generous bed sizes. With four berths instantly available, it’s only larger families who will have to rearrange the lounge at night.
The kitchen has a Triplex cooker with three gas rings and an oven/grill. There’s also a decent amount of worktop but the fridge capacity is modest, at 85 litres.
Opposite the galley is the washroom, with a simple all-in-one design that will be familiar to owners of some Escape models. The basin’s tap doubles as the showerhead and you’ll need to pull a curtain around.
Unlike many British motorhomes, the Edge also has its (100-litre) fresh water tank inboard – by far the best bet if you’re serious about winter camping. It has fairly generous storage, too, and a payload of over 500kg on a licence-friendly 3.5-tonne chassis.