Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Price from: £54,345 Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Length: 5.97m Width: 2.31m Height: 2.91m Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 643kg
If you’re looking for a compact low-profile motorhome then Swift offers sub-6m layouts in both Escape and the slightly slimmer (2.26m wide) Escape Compact ranges.
At 2.31m overall, this Escape 604 is the same width as its bigger brothers (ranging up to 7.86m) but it is now the only compact Escape that isn’t an Escape Compact, if you see what we mean.
The Escape 612 and 622 (classic two-berth layouts with front and rear lounges, respectively) have been dropped from the rationalised range for 2021.
The good news, though, is that the little 604 is very much an on-trend design with its drop-down bed and four-berth/four travel seat versatility.
It’s also been upgraded for the year ahead, not only with new graphics but extra spec, too.
Our photos are of the 2020-season version, so don’t show the new alloy wheels but the panoramic sunroof seen here is now a standard feature, rather than part of the optional Comfort Pack.
In fact, there is no longer any pack to factor into the cost of your new Escape.
The only options listed from the factory are a 140bhp engine upgrade (£1,295), that motor with the nine-speed automatic gearbox (£3,495), a Thule roll-out awning (£795), a detachable towbar (£655) and SwiftShield upholstery (£450).
The standard spec now includes cruise control, a reversing camera and reversing sensors, removable carpets, a microwave, a flyscreen for the habitation door and a pleated windscreen blind.
The Winter Pack – waste water tank heater (including en route heating), underfloor pipe insulation and fridge vent covers – is also now part of the standard spec. And, best of all, the new list price (£54,345) is less than 2020’s figure when the previous Comfort Pack is taken into account.
Fundamentally, this is still the same motorhome. It looks neat and its ultra-short rear overhang should ensure excellent stability and handling.
The gas locker (at the rear offside) is rather high, so you’ll need to eat your spinach before changing gas cylinders, but alongside is a second hatch that reveals shelved storage for your mains lead, hose, etc.
There’s no larger external storage for chairs, bikes, etc, and the habitation door doesn’t have a window but neither does it need an external step, as the entrance is nice and low.
Being so compact, the standard 120bhp Fiat diesel engine should be perfectly adequate, too, unless you’re drawn to the delights of the automatic option.
Inside, the drop-down bed over the front lounge is a defining feature. It’s manually operated but doesn’t require a great deal of effort and it is shaped (narrower on the nearside) to avoid obstructing the entrance when down.
Its dimensions of 1.88m by 1.29m (max) are adequate and it lowers until the cupboards hung from its underside rest on the settees. At that point, it’s 1.11m off the floor.
Swift has thought about ventilation and fitted a small rooflight directly above, but there are no reading lights, just an LED strip adjacent.
If you want to use the 604 as an occasional four-berth, you can stop the bed in a mid-position and convert the sofas below into a second double bed (2.09m by 1.48m, according to Swift) – just watch the headroom as those underslung cupboards will reduce it for ‘downstairs’ sleepers.
When the lounge is acting as a lounge, it’s both a good size and comfortable, despite the cab floor being higher than in the rest of the motorhome.
The front seats rotate through a full 180 degrees, too, so you can get socks on sofas for complete chillout. The padded window surrounds are typically Swift and a contemporary piece of design.
The overcab sunroof means there’s no shortage of daylight, while artificial illumination (plenty of it) is provided by pin LEDs under the top lockers, ambient lighting above the top cupboards and flexible arm reading lights in the cab. There’s a TV bracket above the travel seats and USB ports adjacent.
In this rather continental-style layout there’s a Euro-style fixed table that’s quite compact (840mm by 495mm) but perfectly adequate for a couple.
If you’re feeding four there’s a rather fiddly slot-in extension panel to increase the acreage of the table, although it’s nothing like as slick as the usual swing-out panel.
The kitchen is a small unit to the rear of the habitation door but, although it’s compact, it’s not short of facilities.
There’s a Thetford three-burner hob with combined oven/grill below and a microwave is installed above, at eye level.
There’s a cutlery drawer in the cupboard under the sink and another drawer below the oven, but the worktop flap that opens across the doorway will be essential for all but the most basic culinary endeavours.
There’s better news across on the offside, where the 139-litre fridge is the latest Dometic type with a door that can be opened from either side. Then, alongside that, is a tall ‘n’ slim wardrobe with generous hanging height, as well as shelves top and bottom.
However, another reason to buy this baby Swift will be its anything-but-diminutive washroom, running right across the back of the motorhome.
There’s a second decent-sized wardrobe in here, plus a large shelved cupboard behind the fixed basin and an unusually generous amount of worktop for make-up, etc.
A separate shower is included here, too, complete with a Swift-branded panel incorporating the riser bar, but there’s no storage for your gels and shampoo.
With a lot more living space than a van conversion of the same length, a great washroom and an almost instant double bed, the little Escape 604 is an appealing couples motorhome that might serve as an occasional four-berth.
With more kit, the 2021 version is even more appealing but there are some good competitors to consider before you decide.