Swift’s SMART HT construction system, which replaces all of the timber in the tourer with polyurethane, rightly gained plenty of plaudits when it was launched in the flagship Elegance range (and its sister Sterling Continental) in 2014. However, the Swift SMART HT construction has always had two fairly substantial stumbling blocks: price, and weight. So Swift’s decision to move its much-loved Conqueror range into the same structure makes sense, bringing down both price and weight, and also distancing the luxury line from the updated mid-range Swift Challenger.

As well as revamping the look and feel inside and out, Swift has added two new layouts to the range, this Conqueror 560, and its twin-axle equivalent, the Swift Conqueror 650. These take the tally of island-bed models in the range to four but, unlike the transverse-bed Swift Conqueror 580 and Swift Conqueror 645, the 560 reviewed here features the layout very much of the moment, with a central washroom and an in-line bed with its headboard against the rear wall of the caravan. 

And, of course, it’s worth pointing out that if the décor doesn’t appeal, the return of the Sterling Elite line as the Conqueror’s near-identical twin means that there’s a 2016 Sterling Elite 560 offering a more modern interior with the same layout.

Often an island bed means an ugly blank sidewall. Not so with the Swift Conqueror 560, which has four double-glazed windows along the offside, and a pair of windows plus a glazed one-piece door on the nearside. Add these to the minimal but stylish graphics, and the streamlined nose with its triple front window and panoramic sunroof, and this is an unusually attractive caravan.

The overall appeal is aided by neat automotive detailing, with LED running lights and rear light clusters, a high-level brake lamp and an aerofoil-style rainwater diverter over the front window. Plus, like all 2016 Swift caravans, the Conqueror features fixing bars on the rear wall for an optional Thule bicycle rack.

SMART HT construction means glassfibre inner and outer skins to the roof, walls and the five-layer composite floor. The aluminium frame has an integral cold bridge, and the internal structure is polyurethane with polystyrene insulation.

The headline news inside is Swift’s new Command system. Replacing the traditional control panel, it includes functions such as a battery-level meter, lighting and water-pump controls, internal and external temperature, internal humidity levels, a 230V load limiter, heating controls, plus charging levels for the roof-mounted 80W solar panel. Much of this information can be accessed and even controlled remotely, too, using the Swift Command app on your smartphone.

We towed the Swift Conqueror 560 behind our long-term Kia Sorento – for which it would be bang-on the 85% match ratio if the caravan were laden, despite only being a single-axle. In fact, it had little gear on board, yet this is a tourer that you never forget is behind you, with its Mass in Running Order of 1515kg.

On bumpy, twisty roads it makes itself known with the occasional shove and clonk on the towbar; however, it’s pleasingly narrow. This tourer’s galvanised steel Al-Ko chassis is equipped with every trick in the book, too – including shock absorbers, an AKS 3004 hitch stabiliser and ATC trailer stability control – so it never gets unruly. And, on the flipside, on a dual carriageway or motorway it is truly serene, thanks to the slippery, aerodynamic shape, feeling rock-steady at the speed limit even in crosswinds and when you’re following lorries. And to see other Swift caravans for sale, click here.