Alastair ClementsSee other caravan reviews written by Alastair Clements
Group Head of Content
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
A ‘Belfast’-style sink tops a cabinet, and alongside there’s a fully lined shower cubicle with an EcoCamel Orbit showerhead.
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.
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.
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!
- There's a cheerful, modern interior ambience
- It has flexible storage options
- The kitchen is well-specified for an entry-level model
- 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