Claudia Dowell
Features Editor

See other caravan reviews written by Claudia Dowell

Pitching and setting up

Swift supplies the Charisma with an Al-Ko chassis and stabiliser, a buttonless handbrake and 13-pin electrics. The front locker is large, although access is slightly restricted by a small door that is supported by two gas struts.

Winding down the steadies is simple, thanks to guides at the front and exposed winding bolts at the rear. External access to the storage area under the fixed-bed and an LED awning light are also welcome features. Improved controls are above the doorway. The waste pipes and an external locker are at the offside rear.

Lounge

New fabrics are featured this season, along with light woods and neutral curtain materials, to keep the Charisma looking fresh and modern. This is accentuated by a huge Heki rooflight above the space. There is enough room for four to sit comfortably, with two bolster cushions included as standard.

For night-time illumination there are two spots, two corner lights and one overhead lamp. The four front lockers are solid and provide good space; one of them houses the radio/CD/MP3 player. The seat and back cushions are very comfortable, and can be lifted easily to access the switchgear beneath.

Kitchen

You won't be left wanting in the Charisma's kitchen. A 112-litre fridge, separate oven and grill, hob with three gas burners and an electric hotplate, and a microwave are all part of the package. There is a cupboard below the cooker, a cutlery drawer, one overhead locker with cup and plate holders and a tall cupboard for transporting the table safely.

Worktop space is very generous and an extendable work surface can be opened to provide extra room. The removable drainage board means this space is even more flexible. The new pull-out wire baskets fitted in the kitchen cupboard are very handy.

Washroom

Space is tight in the washroom, but four people will be able to cope. The toilet is accessed through the shower and these can be divided with a folding glass door. Storage is poor, with only three small shelves.

However, outside the washroom in the vanity area, a good-sized cupboard has all the space you'll need for toiletries. A neat basin and large mirror complete the package. While you won't be able to dry off in the washroom with any ease, there is room for dressing between the fixed bed and vanity unit.

Beds

The front double is easily put together using pull-out slats on runners and all the seat cushions. Although the cushions are a tight fit, this ensures a stable platform for sleeping. Thanks to the cushions and the bed's 2.08m x 1.34m dimensions, sleeping in the front lounge is comfortable.

At the rear is a sprung-mattress fixed bed, measuring 1.88m long and 1.37m wide. The bed can easily be lifted using gas struts to access the storage space underneath. The area is well lit thanks to a Heki rooflight, large side window and twin spotlights. The front lounge and rear bed can be kept separate with a folding fabric divider.

Storage

Four lockers can be found in the lounge, three at the rear and one in the kitchen. All are deep with removable shelves. The storage space beneath the front benches can be reached via either a fold-down front flap or by lifting the cushions and slats. The huge space under the fixed bed is accessed safely by lifting the frame, which is held up by gas struts.

At the top right of the kitchen, on one side, is a useful raised area for mugs or cups. Opposite this is a space for a flat-screen TV, which can be manoeuvred using the extendable wall bracket. To finish things off, a very large wardrobe provides ample hanging space and drawers beneath it.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1167kg
Payload155kg
MTPLM1322kg
Interior length3.83m
Shipping length5.52m
Width2.23m
Height2.61m
Awning size8.2cm

Verdict

A fixed-bed design is always a challenge for those tasked with designing a caravan's interior layout, and although the Charisma provides ample wardrobe and kitchen worktop space, overall it doesn't exude the spacious feel managed by some rivals.

The bedding, however, has been cleverly designed, and those who appreciate a user-friendly, well equipped kitchen may well want to beat a path to Swift's door.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Despite the squeeze on space, the Charisma packs a lot into the kitchen, including an ample worktop
  • The special TV compartment is well thought out, as is the wardrobe
  • There's plenty of light and storage.

Cons

  • The washroom is too cramped, even though pressure has been taken off by the vanity unit
  • The lack of a central chest of drawers and the provision of only two bolster cushions may bother some buyers.
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