Elite was Sterling’s traditional flagship model for years before the über Continental came along and stole all its thunder. But the brand made its comeback for 2016, and we got a sneak preview of the fixed-bed Sterling Elite 630 at the Swift factory a few weeks before the official launch.

And it was well worth the trek up to Cottingham, since the Sterling Elite range (along with the Swift Conqueror equivalent) has enjoyed a major upward shift in terms of looks, build and design for 2016. Indeed, the uninitiated would be hard-pressed to distinguish between the 2016 Elite 630 and its more expensive sibling, now that it has adopted much of the Sterling Continental’s looks and Swift’s timber-free SMART HT construction.

Elite’s return also plugs what was previously a rather obvious gap in the company’s line-up. Over in camp Swift, there was Challenger Sport and Challenger SE, then Conqueror, then Elegance. Curiously, though, there was no Conqueror equivalent in the Sterling line-up, meaning there was quite a jump from Eccles SE to Continental.

And this Sterling Elite 630 is one of the most intriguing models in the range, offering a comfortingly familiar layout (French bed, end washroom, L-shaped lounge) in a caravan that looks and feels bang up to date for 2016. And to see other Sterling caravans for sale, click here.