The first thing you notice when entering the Swift Voyager 694 is the long view through an uncluttered lounge area to the bedroom discreetly tucked away to the rear of the vehicle. This is sure to be a big plus for Kiwi buyers, for whom this feature is often at the top of their shopping list.
The adjustable-length bed is an island design – another big tick for buyers who frequently rate the island bed design above others. It’s a case of personal preference. While I do not have a favourite myself, I can certainly see the merits of all designs, but admit that the luxury of a separate bedroom is seductive indeed.
There’s another important point to make about beds in all Swift vehicles. Swift has long been offering as standard, the Duvulay Duvalite system on all fixed beds. Having driven many Swift vehicles and experienced the luxury of the beds during extended road trips, I can certainly vouch for the exceptional comfort these afford.
Another thing about Swift is the pedigree the British firm has established since it began manufacturing in 1964. More than 50 years on, Swift Group is a world leader in the recreational vehicle market.
All Swift-built motorhomes are constructed using the SMART construction system which features a timber-less framed, GRP body shell – GRP is touted as more resistant than aluminium to external damage.
Getting down to the nitty gritty of the construction technique, Swift says the method is designed to be both strong and lightweight. GRP panels are made using polyurethane batons and a high-density polystyrene core which provides strength, flexibility and good thermal properties. The external roof is hail resistant.
Merit RV’s Nathan Butler says the 2018 Voyager model is well ahead of entry-level expectations and its ‘smart, modern styling’ borrows clues from its more expensive siblings.
“GRP sides and inner walls mean the Voyager now utilises Swift’s Smart Plus construction. The new moulded GRP back panel houses LED road lights and it also boasts a low-line moulded pod above the cab which gives it a more upmarket look than its predecessor.”
Nathan explains that the 2018 model, while also based on the Fiat Ducato chassis, gets the latest, Euro 6-compliant, 2.3-litre engine, Here in 112kW form.
The front lounge comprises swivel seats combined with an L-shaped seat to make the table a convivial place for mealtimes. The table also converts to an extra double bed. The kitchen, near the entrance door, is also L-shaped with reasonable bench space and a handy fold-up extension.
Throughout the living/cooking/dining area, plenty of cupboards, lockers and good overhead storage are a recurring theme, along with thoughtfully placed power sockets and ambient LED lights attractively placed under overhead lockers. The galley comprises a three-burner hob with 800W microwave above and a combined oven and grill, together with a slim-line Dometic fridge, and the all-important extractor fan.
Any regular readers of mine will be familiar with my regard for the Swift bathrooms, which I have always thought have more in common with a good marine washroom, compared with those in many other motorhomes. I like the solid feel, as well as the design.
In the new Voyager 694 the bathroom has been redesigned to seem more spacious. The Thetford electric toilet swivels while the corner sink and the shower curtain all contribute to a harmonious whole and apparently workable bathroom. Nathan tells me that the new eco-shower is designed to maximise comfort while minimising water use. I like that idea. Water capacity overall is 120L fresh and 100L grey in monitored tanks.
I opened this review with a mention of the rear boudoir, because that was the most immediate standout feature. But I failed to tell you that the bedroom has some well-hidden secrets which Nathan helped me uncover. The bed is a space saver. It slides out for night use and has side tables as well as overhead lockers, plus under-bed storage accessible from outside as well as in. Above the bed is a delightful Heki skylight through which you can see the stars.
“The two large side windows in the bedroom have full-frame pelmets. We’re sure that couples will find the Swift Voyager 694’s roomy, well-planned rear-bedroom layout perfect, even for the rigours of longer tours,” suggests Nathan.
Standard equipment includes an automatic satellite dish, LED TV with inbuilt Freeview/DVD, 120L monitored fresh and 100L grey tanks, a solar panel and an awning. The Voyager 694 has a 120Ah AGM house battery, 12 months’ registration, a three-year WOF, 3000km Road User Charges, an NZMCA self-containment certificate, as well as gas and electrical certification.
Merit RV has added some enticing extras to the package. These include the upgraded Fiat Cab in Anthracite Grey with automatic six-speed tiptronic-style gearbox, ESC, traction control, cruise control, touch-screen stereo, steering wheel controls, leather steering wheel, LED driving lights, a rear-view camera system with monitor, 16 -inch alloy wheels and a km/h speedo. Phew. Try saying that while holding your breath.
Finally, down past the stairwell light and out the upgraded entrance door (with inbuilt window and central locking), to take in the further amenities of the Voyager. We have spoken of the construction, but what of the other enticing extras Swift offers in this Voyager 694 model? There is an external barbecue point as well as an external shower. Active owners will really enjoy the factory-installed bike racks, which I think is a great idea, saving owners the added expense and ingress of structural integrity.
In summary, expect Swift style, strength and practicality in a vehicle with a respectable pedigree and a nod to the future. If you are in the market for a well-priced four-berth, the 2018 Swift Voyager 694 will tick a lot of boxes on your wish list.
- Island bed
- Convertible lounge bed
- Chassis 150BHP Fiat six-speed auto
Storage: • There are large overhead lockers throughout the Swift Voyager 694. There’s also a shelf over the front cab that’s fitted with two convenient side cubby storage holes
- There’s a decent amount of storage for a couple’s belongings under the bed, too, although parties of four would most likely have to leave some things behind
- Underneath the bedroom is a storage area that’s accessible from an exterior hatch, as well as storage for two gas bottles
Equipment: • Automatic satellite dish system, LED TV with inbuilt Freeview/DVD, 120L monitored fresh and 100L grey tanks, solar panel, awning, 120Ah AGM house battery, 12 months’ registration
- Three-year WOF, 3000km RUC, NZMCA self-containment certification
- Gas and electrical certification
Upgraded Fiat cab in Anthracite Grey including extra features: • Automatic six-speed with Tiptronic, ESC, traction control, cruise control, touch-screen stereo, steering wheel controls, leather steering wheel, LED driving lights, rear-view camera system with monitor, 16-inch alloy wheels, KPH speedo.
More extras included in the price:
- Reverse camera
- Extractor fan in kitchen
- Wardrobe lights
- Step-well light
- Exterior shower point and shower
- Exterior BBQ point
- Rear Locker
- Factory-installed bike rack mounts
- Upgraded habitation door with window and central locking
- Wall- or floor-mounted dining table