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Swift Elegance Grande 850

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Swift elegance 850 Grande

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Swift Elegance Grande 850

A quick look at the Swift Elegance Grande 850. I’d just like to say that I’m not here to either blow smoke up Swift’s backside or indeed demonise you for wanting or liking the Swift Elegance, I’m just playing devil’s advocate…That said…

As with all manufacturers, they take a well designed, attractive, fully equipped caravan and sell it as the top of the range, in Swift’s case, it’s the Elegance. Then, they start crippling it, but removing the pricey stuff and putting in cheaper items. Cheaper cabinets, fridge, carpets, worktops, draws, shower, sinks, cheaper upholstery and soft furnishings. etc. They then remove safety features such as ATC. They make the bodywork less resistant to water ingress and offer you less of a warranty. They remove desirable extras such as Alde heating, wheel locks….The list goes on.. None of these things should bother you in the slightest, as long as you know that the entry-level caravan really doesn’t better value, it just costs less because it has less. Phew, I feel better after that!

Grande, Grande Size, Grande Price Tag

Manufacturers continue with the theme of calling 8 foot wide caravans “Grande”. I guess if it was called 850 Grand you’d think it was a rather expensive caravan.

Swift have made quite a few changes with the model line up, for example, dropping the 650 Elegance with our favourite rear island bed and mid washroom. In fact, they’ve slimmed their line up down quite a bit.

The Elegance still remains their “high end” caravan, sporting a different body shell from the rest of the lineup and offers a “no wood” construction, including the floor. So confident are Swift in the design that they’ll offer a lifetime water ingress warranty. However, this is only good for the original owner. If you sell it, the lifetime warranty isn’t transferred. Yes, you read right So, it’s a marketing ploy to get you to buy new then?

I personally think that Swift have really nailed the exterior design of the Swift Elegance Grande 850. it’s a beautiful looking caravan if you’re into that sort of thing. If I had any criticism at all it would be the black front locker. Although it makes it distinctive, I think I marginally prefer the white look. However, I guess black lockers matter.

How Much?

Whilst I’m being critical. £34, 905? WTF? Where did they get that figure from, just about £35k! Don’t be conned by this 8-foot trick. Although I have been in 8 foot wide caravans and they do look bigger, it’s only 3 inches each side. A non 8 foot wide is 2.28 m (7’6″) whereas the 8foot is actually 2.43m, doesn’t sound as big if you say it in metres. 2.28 vs 2.43. Having said that, you could also argue the size difference between single and twin-axle. That’s me ordering an 8 foot wide, twin-axle then!

Internal Features

On paper and in videos I’m a big fan of the Swift Elegance Grande 850, it just looks, well, Elegant! Who knew? But having seen them in the flesh, do I really think the Elegance is that much better than, say, the Challenger? In a word No. BUT, it’s a personal opinion of course. I’ve been in both recently and I have to say, I prefer the interior of the Challenger, the cheaper sibling. Like I say, it’s a personal thing. I think the issue I had is that I was thinking the Elegance was just SO much better on paper and actually, it wasn’t (interior wise).

Swift Elegance Interior

Conclusion

I really don’t know about the Swift Elegance Grande 850 or indeed the Elegance range, or any “premium” caravans. They’re all just caravans. You could argue it’s a bit like putting shag pile carpet in your shed. It’s a bloody shed! I’m not saying a caravan is a shed, of course, what I’m wondering is if the top of the range caravans is actually good value for most people. I freely admit I’m a sucker of top of the range things. Given the choice, I think I’d rather buy a 3-year-old elegance than a brand new Sprite for example. Of course, I know not everyone has this opinion and that’s absolutely fine. There are other things, like a warranty to consider.

If you have the budget, an Elegance gives you much more than just an upmarket interior. I’d advise you head to Swift’s website to check out the full specs.

The below information is stolen, without permission, from Swift’s website.

Interior Features

  • 1.95m (6’5″) headroom
  • Panoramic front sunroof with surround incorporating recessed lights and speakers
  • ‘Pivot’ soft furnishing scheme
  • Stylish front binnacle design incorporating chrome effect sockets surround and audio jack plug to speakers (835 & 845)
  • Luxury curtains with full width fabric on all side and centre front windows complemented by fabric covered wall pads
  • Twin curtain track for improved hanging and ease of use
  • Aralie Sen’ woodgrain with contemporary colouring and ‘Oyster Grey’ upper locker doors with stylish colour inlay
  • Chrome handles with push-button locks on overhead locker doors
  • NEW underlocker LED lighting within fascia moulding
  • Decorative ‘Ocean Drive’ wall covering in specific models (835 & 850)
  • Hessian effect upper locker doors to kitchen area
  • Injection moulded SRIM covers on rear corners
  • Positive overhead locker catches for secure storage on the move with chrome handles
  • Soft close drawers throughout for smooth operation
  • Lightweight, strong composite furniture construction
  • Overhead locker doors with injection moulded spaceframe construction
  • Front corner opening lockers for extra storage
  • Chrome effect sockets and switches
  • Thermoformed seat and backrest ventilation boards with bevelled back for better cushion angle and heating performance
  • Automotive style, quality cast foam seating for comfort and durability
  • Fixed bolsters either side of front chest with integrated rear heating vents
  • Sectioned removable carpets for flexibility
  • ‘French Oak’ effect, high impact, scratch resistant floor lino
  • Two large scatter cushions and two fixed bolsters
  • Beech slat seat and bed bases for extra comfort and sprung hinged tops for easy access
  • NEW sumptuous full height, deep padded headboard to fixed beds
  • Exclusive Duvalay Duvalite Apollo Luxe mattress containing Freshtec – a market leading high spec foam offering maximum airflow for a cool, comfortable good night’s sleep (model specific)
  • Fixed beds with aluminium bed frames to maximise strength and storage space (model specific)
  • Areas under beds and seats and washroom areas warmed by Alde perimeter radiators
  • Large freestanding table (suitable for full-size place settings)
  • Midi-Heki rooflight with flyscreen and adjustable concertina blind in lounge
  • Mini-Heki rooflight with flyscreen and adjustable concertina blind in bedrooms
  • Domestic style kitchen with soft close drawers and doors with positive catches for secure storage
  • FENIX NTM®kitchen worktops (resistant to scratches, hygienic and easy to clean) and underslung stainless steel sink
  • Removable drainer and food grade nylon chopping board nestle together for easy storage in dedicated location
  • Kitchen illuminated splashback
  • NEW feature LED strip lighting under kitchen worktop
  • Foldaway kitchen worktop extension
  • Cutlery drawers on smooth-action steel runners (model specific)
  • Two pull-out wire baskets in kitchen cupboard
  • Chrome finish crockery rack
  • Chrome effect swivel spout kitchen and vanity taps for improved use
  • 32mm thick washroom doors with domestic style locks and handles
  • Decorative inlay to washroom door (model specific)
  • Dedicated washroom incorporating ‘illuminated’ shower console and durable shower tray
  • Shower bi-fold door retained on track for improved access (845)
  • One piece ‘Vellamo’ shower cubicle with curved sliding door (835 & 850)
  • Folding washroom ceiling mounted garment hanging rail (845)
  • Dedicated storage shelf in shower area of rear washroom (845)
  • Shaving mirror in washroom (model specific)
  • Mini Heki rooflight in washroom with flyscreen and concertina blind (micro heki in 845)
  • Door flyscreen with easy concertina action
  • Pleated blinds and flyscreens to all windows
  • Retained embroidered entrance mat

Exterior Features

  • European Whole Vehicle Type Approval ensures compliance with strict weight, dimension and safety regulations
  • EN1645 Grade 3 classification for heating and thermal insulation
  • AL-KO galvanised steel chassis with Euro-axle
  • SMART 3 construction – the third generation of totally timberless SMART caravan construction featuring a revolutionary floor construction which comes with a lifetime water ingress warranty*;
    • Strong, moisture proof ‘PURe’ Polyurethane timberless framed bodyshell with polystyrene insulation core (22mm in sidewalls, 28mm in roof)
    • Robust GRP inner and outer balanced side walls
    • 45mm ‘sandwich’ floor construction with GRP inner and outer skins, and engineered structural foam core
    • S-RIM corner jointing system
    • Hail resistant exterior GRP roof, fully bonded for extra strength and flatness
  • Sweeping front panel in GRP with exclusive LED front marker lights
  • Full height GRP rear panel with exclusive LED rear light clusters, LED high level marker and brake light which provide better visibility in poor weather
  • Streamlined aerodynamic profile with panoramic sunroof design
  • New stylish exterior graphics scheme
  • LED side marker running lights
  • Chrome effect two part grab handles to front and rear
  • Fully double-glazed opening windows (no single-glazed cold areas)
  • Surface mounted impact resistant skirt system
  • Semi-recessed body colour awning rail both sides
  • External service doors (access under nearside front bed and fixed beds)
  • Heavy duty corner steadies
  • Rear view camera for improved all round vision
  • ‘Edge’ alloy wheels
  • High tyre rating – a load margin is included in the tyre specifications
  • Spare wheel on underslung carrier
  • High quality jockey wheel
  • 13-pin ‘Jaeger’ 12V car connector
  • Shock absorbers for a smoother towing experience
  • AL-KO Euro overrun device with two-way assisted handbrake
  • AL-KO side-mounted jacking point and jack
  • AL-KO carabineer breakaway cable
  • Step-on hitch cover for easy cleaning of front windows
  • Bulkhead mounted regulator suitable for use with either propane or butane bottles
  • LED awning light with key fob control
  • Flush fitting one piece exterior door with magnetic stay, interior moulded liner, window with blind and bin
  • Aerial point in battery box for portable satellite dish connection
  • Exterior access battery box with mains electric inlet (battery not included)
  • BBQ point
  • 230V socket
  • Cold water shower point
  • Entrance step
  • Fixing bars for optional Thule rear mounted cycle rack (except 835)

* Subject to terms and conditions – for details see swiftgroup.co.uk/owners/warranty

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