Alastair Clements
Group Head of Content

See other caravan reviews written by Alastair Clements

Designed for family fun on a flexible floorplan, the rechristened Swift Sprite Major 6 has been updated inside and out – is it still a successful recipe?

Overview

Sprite. It’s an iconic name in caravanning, and the jewel in Swift’s crown – despite it representing the first step on the firm’s ladder.

For 2018, however, like every other model in the group portfolio, it’s a Swift first and a Sprite second.

Yet the shift from brand to range represents no dilution of Sprite’s importance.

On the contrary, new chrome-effect badging down its flanks, set off by simple yet elegant teal graphics, shows that Swift is still keen to reinforce the importance of its entry-level range.

And you do have to remind yourself that this is an entry-level caravan.

Sure, our test model – like every Sprite that will emerge from the factory in the coming months – has the optional panoramic front sunroof, but this is a seriously good-looking caravan.

The aerodynamic front end takes its lead from the flagship Elegance, and gives the Sprite an upmarket look at odds with its budget status.

While we’re talking budget, a major change for 2018 is the departure of the ‘Freedom’ line from the range.

However, every full-fat Sprite layout remains, including popular family vans such as this six-berth Major 6.

They are joined by a 10th layout for 2018, the centre-washroom, fixed-bed, twin-axle Quattro EB.

And to see other Sprite caravans for sale, click here.

Pitching and setting up

Another obligatory tick on the order form is the Diamond Pack.

With it, the kit list looks strong because it brings new ‘Edge’ alloy wheels, a Secure wheel lock receiver, an AKS stabiliser, a stereo, a microwave and cushions.

Among the highlights of the standard spec are mounts for a Thule bike rack and, of course, Swift Command, a sophisticated control panel that allows you to monitor and operate various systems remotely via an app.

In addition to the Truma Combi 6 heating and the lighting, you now also have access to the fridge functions as well as an air-con system, if fitted.

Command has a built-in Thatcham Category 6 tracker, too, along with a link to Swift’s Connect Direct online customer service account.

The curve of that front panel means a smaller gas locker lid, but it’s still a usefully large space.

All services are on the offside – including an aerial point – and the standard steadies are easy to access via cutouts in the new aluminium sideskirts.

These are surface-mounted to protect the sidewalls, and easily replaced if you pick up a dent.

Lounge

Last year Swift redesigned its entry-level Escape motorhome to great acclaim, so it’s no surprise to see its influence inside this new Sprite’s six-seater lounge.

In particular, the extensive use of white for the shelving and locker doors lifts the ambience, aided by that large front sunroof and triple front windows.

The upholstery, too, feels cheerful and modern. Gone are the rather turgid browns and greens of old, replaced by the blues and greys of the two-tone ‘Tyrion’ scheme – which looks practical as well as being pleasing to the eye.

A combination of LED downlighters and over-locker strips gives an attractive glow at night, though we’re not sure how successful the non-directional corner spotlights will be for reading.

There are no USB points in here, but a charging hub atop the front centre chest contains two 230V and one 12V socket, plus a TV point.

It’s the only obvious place for a television in this van – not ideal for lounging, but that’s a common problem with this layout.

There’s a wardrobe behind the offside sofa, with a shelf and cupboard beneath, though we’d have expected to find storage for the lounge table in here, rather than right at the back of the van.

Kitchen

There is a more than adequate family kitchen in this Swift caravan, with plenty of worktop and a proper cooker with separate oven and grill and three gas burners.

It’s good to see the hob located well away from the entrance door, too, albeit hard up against a bulkhead.

The microwave is sensibly sited, and there’s a rooflight overhead to evacuate cooking smells.

The traditional low-set Dometic 100-litre fridge/freezer works well in this application, and there’s a good-sized circular sink.

But more than just being practical, it looks stylish, too, with a curved shelf inspired once again by the Escape range, with a single socket behind.

Our only complaint would be that there isn’t a vast amount of grocery storage, but the lockers over the dinette opposite could accommodate any overspill.

That dinette is an excellent size for a relatively compact van, too, with a sturdy table and room for four young kids at a push.

Washroom

There’s nothing glitzy about the Swift Sprite Major 6’s compact offside corner washroom, but it has pretty much all you could need, from the frosted window to the mirror and new Micro-Heki rooflight.

A ‘Belfast’-style sink tops a cabinet, and alongside there’s a fully lined shower cubicle with an EcoCamel Orbit showerhead.

Beds

Mum and dad will need to make up their own bed each evening, using pull-out slats beneath the front chest, but once they have rearranged the sofa cushions they’ll find a large – 6ft 8in x 5ft 7in – and well-shaped double bed.

The top choice for kids is the nearside fixed bunks. These have a window and a light each, plus curtains and a fixed ladder, and are a useful 6ft long but narrow at just 1ft 10in.

A teenager may prefer the single made up from the dinette, which measures 5ft 11in x 2ft 9in.

The fold-out bunk above is best saved for younger children or occasional use, but it’s still a fair 5ft 11in x 2ft 9in.

Storage

The 2018 Swift Sprite Major 6 is compact, but not especially light – and that means a healthy payload to make the most of the generous storage.

There are nine overhead lockers, all with proper positive catches, plus new corner cabinets on either side of the front sunroof.

There’s not one but two wardrobes: one by the lounge, the other a full-height unit on the rear wall.

It’s great to see drop-down access flaps to the spaces beneath the front sofas and indeed that under the fixed bunks – which also has an external access hatch.

There’s even additional storage beneath the dinette seats, too.

Technical specs

Berth6
MiRO1249kg
Payload219kg
MTPLM1468kg
Interior length5.6m
Shipping length7.31m
Width2.25m
Height2.59m
Awning size985cm

Verdict

The old Sprite was arguably the most desirable entry-level tourer on the market – and it seems that buyers are happy, too, because Sprite came top in our Owner Satisfaction Awards for new caravan manufacturers in 2016 and 2017.

This new version shifts the goalposts further from its rivals.

Inside and out it looks superb, with a youthful modernity that perfectly suits this six-berth layout, and practical features that should make it an ideal base for a family holiday.

In fact, it is our Tourer of the Year 2018!

Conclusion

Pros

  • There's a cheerful, modern interior ambience
  • It has flexible storage options
  • The kitchen is well-specified for an entry-level model

Cons

  • The reading lights in the lounge are non-directional
  • That corner washroom is rather compact
  • You'll need to select a few choice options to get a satisfactory kit level
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