Mike Le Caplain

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It’s all change at Swift Group, with a major re-shuffle to make Challenger models and above more distinct from one another, reports Mike Le Caplain

2016 is shaping up to be an extremely busy year for the Cottingham giant, with a revised Sprite line-up and all-new Swift Conqueror and Challenger stirred into the mix, together with the return of the Sterling Elite (sister brand to Conqueror) and Sterling Eccles (sister brand to Challenger). And that’s before the other news we happen to know Swift has waiting in the wings. But we can’t tell you anything about that just yet...

What we can tell you is that the entry-level Sprite gets a welcome injection of additional style and equipment for 2016, the most obvious of which is the adoption of a three-window front panel in place of the previous model’s single pane. Grey tinted side windows are also new, as are the body graphics, LED side marker lights, fixing bars for a Thule rear-mounted cycle rack, a fully bonded hail-resistant GRP roof and a 44mm sandwich floor.

Inside, the Sprite’s Truma heating system now comes fitted with a digital programmable controller that can be upgraded to an iNet remote programming system, operable from any current Apple or Android smartphone. New ‘Elodie’ soft furnishings replace last year’s scheme and the washrooms are boosted by the fitment of an Ecocamel Orbit shower head, gloss white walls and an improved design of bi-fold shower door.

Furthermore, all interior lighting is now low-energy LED. A microwave oven comes as part of the Diamond Pack, which also brings with it alloy wheels, an Al-Ko AKS 3004 hitch stabiliser, door flyscreen, MP3-compatible radio/CD player and Al-Ko Secure wheel lock receivers. Other available options include a panoramic sunroof and Al-Ko ATC trailer stability control.

Moving further up the range, the new Challenger and Eccles mark their welcome return to the line-up (replacing, at a stroke, the existing Challenger/Eccles Sport and Challenger/Eccles SE ranges) with a new GRP front panel inlaid with LED marker lights, a panoramic sunroof and a wide-access gas locker (in a contrasting graphite colour on the Eccles). The hail-resistant GRP roof (equipped with an 80W solar panel) is new, too, as is the rear panel (now fitted with LED lights) and LED side marker lights, plus the Challenger/Eccles get the Alde wet central heating option, Truma blown-air fitted as standard.

Moving inside, Swift has ensured proper distinction between Challenger and Eccles, by offering different soft furnishings (‘Zimba’ in Challenger, ‘Guetta’ in Eccles), wood (‘Aralie SEN’ and ‘Hessian’ respectively) and, on the Eccles only, graphite kitchen doors and additional floor rugs.

Elsewhere, the kitchens have been tweaked with improved lift-out drainer/chopping board storage and a new laminated splashback, while the heating system can now be programmed remotely from your smartphone (as a cost option). The washrooms, meanwhile, warrant a new Ecocamel Orbit shower head.

Now to the really big changes. Up until 2015, it has been extremely difficult to differentiate between the Conqueror and much cheaper Challenger SE. Swift clearly thought so, too, so it’s done something about it. Quite a lot, actually, since Challenger SE/Sport are no more and Conqueror (and reintroduced Elite brand) is now built using the range-topping Elegance’s SMART HT timberless construction method. Better still, Conqueror and Elite now bear a close family resemblance to the top-of-the-tree Elegance and Continental. Taken together, these major changes push Conqueror/Elite much higher up the desirability rankings, and therefore much further away from Challenger/Eccles.

In detail, SMART HT brings with it a wholly timberless 7ft 5in-wide body, GRP inner and outer skins to all panels (including the floor), a five-layer composite floor, and flush-fit awning channels and doors. Inside, the two models are most readily distinguishable from one another by their respective soft furnishings (‘Loretta’ in Conqueror, ‘Ronda’ in Elite), while greater interior space relative to last year’s model opens up longer front beds. Both models also warrant Challenger/Eccles-style reprofiled seat backs, together with new coving (which carries electrical cabling) and Fenix laminated kitchen worktops. Factor in SMART Command remote control of the major systems by smartphone or tablets with the latest Apple or Android software (through SMS and Bluetooth connections) and a new slimline 149-litre fridge-freezer, and it’s clear that this is the most improved model within Swift’s line-up for 2016. Read our 2016 Swift Conqueror 565 review.

Perhaps inevitably, both Elegance and Continental are little changed for 2016.

The 2016 Swift ranges at a glance


2016 Sprite range

A triple front window gives Sprite an upmarket new look, making way for the new-for-2016 Sprite Freedom range of budget family vans from the Swift Group.

  • Sprite Alpine 2 2 berths, front lounge, central offside kitchen, full width rear washroom, MTPLM 1191kg, £13,995.
  • Sprite Alpine 4 4 berths, front lounge, central kitchen, offside rear corner fixed bed, nearside rear corner washroom, MTPLM 1244kg, £14,155.
  • Sprite Freedom 6 6 berths, front lounge, central kitchen and dinette, offside rear corner washroom, nearside rear single bunk beds, MTPLM 1302kg, £14,395.
  • Sprite Freedom 6 TD 6 berths, front lounge, nearside central kitchen, offside central washroom, rear dinette and bunk beds, MTPLM 1350kg, £14,620.
  • Sprite Freedom FB Twin-axle 6 berths, front lounge, nearside central kitchen, offside rear corner washroom, nearside fixed double bed, MTPLM 1466kg, £15,820.
  • Sprite Major 4 FB 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, fixed bed, full width rear washroom, MTPLM 1340kg, £15,655.
  • Sprite Major 4 SB 4 berths, front lounge, central kitchen, transverse fixed double bed, full width rear washroom, MTPLM 1415kg, £15,655.
  • Sprite Major 6 6 berths, front lounge, central kitchen and dinette, offside rear corner washroom, nearside rear single bunk beds, MTPLM 1435kg, £15,755.
  • Sprite Major 6 TD 6 berths, front lounge, nearside central kitchen, offside central washroom, rear dinette and bunk beds, MTPLM 1479kg, £15,895.
  • Sprite Quattro FB Twin-axle 6 berths, front lounge, nearside central kitchen, offside rear corner washroom, nearside fixed double bed, MTPLM 1578kg £17,055.
  • Sprite Quattro EW Twin-axle 6 berths, front L-shaped lounge, central offside dinette and nearside kitchen, nearside fixed double bed, full width rear washroom, MTPLM 1584kg, £17,055.

2016 Sterling Eccles range

Swift's Sterling Eccles Sport and Sterling Eccles SE unite to become one Sterling Eccles range for 2016; Truma heating as standard, with Alde heating available as an option.

  • Sterling Eccles 480 2 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, full width rear washroom, MTPLM 1287kg, £17,375.
  • Sterling Eccles 510 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, offside rear washroom, nearside fixed double corner bed, MTPLM 1407kg, £18,325.
  • Sterling Eccles 530 4 berths, front lounge, nearside central kitchen, offside central dinette, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1462kg, £18,595.
  • Sterling Eccles 565 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, fixed twin beds, full width rear washroom, MTPLM 1479kg, £19,075.
  • Sterling Eccles 570 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, nearside fixed double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1457kg, £19,025.
  • Sterling Eccles 580 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, transverse fixed double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1491kg, £19,275.
  • Sterling Eccles 590 6 berths, front lounge, offside central washroom, nearside central kitchen, rear bunk beds, MTPLM 1571kg, £19,625.
  • Sterling Eccles 640 Twin-axle 6 berths, front lounge, offside central washroom, nearside central kitchen, rear bunk beds, MTPLM 1743kg, £20,845.

2016 Swift Challenger range

Swift Challenger Sport and Swift Challenger SE unite to become one Challenger range for 2016; Truma heating as standard, with Alde heating available as an option.

  • Swift Challenger 480, 2 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, full width rear washroom, MTPLM 1278kg, £17,375.
  • Swift Challenger 510, 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, offside rear washroom, nearside fixed double corner bed, MTPLM 1411kg, £18,325.
  • Swift Challenger 530 4 berths, front lounge, nearside central kitchen, offside central dinette, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1448kg, £18,595.
  • Swift Challenger 565 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, fixed twin beds, full width rear washroom, MTPLM 1474kg, £19,075.
  • Swift Challenger 570 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, nearside fixed double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1454kg, £19,025.
  • Swift Challenger 580 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, transverse fixed double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1479kg, £19,275.
  • Swift Challenger 590 6 berths, front lounge, offside central washroom, nearside central kitchen, rear bunk beds, MTPLM 1565kg, £19,625.
  • Swift Challenger 640 Twin-axle 6 berths, front lounge, offside central washroom, nearside central kitchen, rear bunk beds, MTPLM 1736kg, £20,845.

2016 Sterling Elite range

The famous Sterling Elite name returns, offering a more modern interior to its Swift Conqueror twin range, wrapped in a stylish new body from the Sterling Continental.

  • Sterling Elite 480 2 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1454kg, £22,450.
  • Sterling Elite 530 4 berths, front lounge, nearside central kitchen, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1585kg, £24,995.
  • Sterling Elite 560 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, rear fixed island bed, MTPLM 1648kg, £25,495.
  • Sterling Elite 565 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, fixed twin beds, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1654kg, £24,995.
  • Sterling Elite 570 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, nearside fixed double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1628kg, £24,995. 
  • Sterling Elite 580 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, nearside transverse double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1650kg, £25,995.
  • Sterling Elite 630 Twin-axle 6 berths, front L-shaped lounge, offside central dinette, nearside central kitchen, fixed double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1798kg, £27,695.
  • Sterling Elite 645 Twin-axle 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, nearside retractable transverse double bed, full width rear washroom, MTPLM 1775kg, £27,695. 
  • Sterling Elite 650 Twin-axle 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, rear island bed, MTPLM 1800kg, £27,695.

2016 Sterling Continental range

The heavyweight flagship Sterling Continental range gains leather and faux-fur soft furnishings for 2016, for the ultimate in caravanning glamour.

  • Sterling Continental 480 2 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1477kg, £22,450.
  • Sterling Continental 530 4 berths, front lounge, nearside central kitchen, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1673kg, £26,995.
  • Sterling Continental 565 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, fixed twin beds, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1726kg, £26,995.
  • Sterling Continental 570 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, nearside fixed double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1717kg, £26,995.
  • Sterling Continental 580 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, nearside transverse double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1690kg, £27,995.
  • Sterling Continental 630 Twin-axle 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, nearside fixed double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1900kg, £29,695.
  • Sterling Continental 645 Twin-axle 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, nearside transverse double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1900kg, £29,695.

2016 Swift Conqueror range

The Swift Conqueror luxury range is reinvented, offering Swift Elegance style and plenty of kit for less cost and a little less weight.

  • Swift Conqueror 480 2 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1454kg, £22,450.
  • Swift Conqueror 530 4 berths, front lounge, nearside central kitchen, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1585kg, £24,995.
  • Swift Conqueror 560 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, rear fixed island bed, MTPLM 1671kg, £25,495.
  • Swift Conqueror 565 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, fixed twin beds, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1654kg, £24,995.
  • Swift Conqueror 570 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, nearside fixed double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1628kg, £24,995.
  • Swift Conqueror 580 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, nearside transverse double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1650kg, £25,995.
  • Swift Conqueror 630 Twin-axle 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, nearside fixed double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1798kg, £27,695.
  • Swift Conqueror 645 Twin-axle 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, nearside transverse double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1651kg, £27,695.
  • Swift Conqueror 650 Twin-axle 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, rear fixed island bed, MTPLM 1800kg, £27,695



2016 Swift Elegance range

The Swift Elegance range is a heavyweight high-spec range and for 2016 it gains leather and faux-fur soft furnishings, offering chic upmarket touring.

  • Swift Elegance 480 2 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1477kg, £24,450.
  • Swift Elegance 530 4 berths, front lounge, nearside central kitchen, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1673kg, £26,995.
  • Swift Elegance 565 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, fixed twin beds, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1726kg, £26,995.
  • Swift Elegance 570 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, nearside fixed double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1717kg, £26,995.
  • Swift Elegance 580 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, nearside transverse double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1690kg, £27,995.
  • Swift Elegance 630 Twin-axle 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, nearside fixed double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1900kg, £29,695.
  • Swift Elegance 645 Twin-axle 4 berths, front lounge, offside central kitchen, nearside transverse double bed, full width end washroom, MTPLM 1900kg, £29,695.
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