Swift Kontiki 679 lowline review

I had previously owned a Swift Kontiki 669, the model with the island bed. I decided that I would like a replacement ‘van with a larger rear locker and also a transverse bed. This type of bed is usually longer than any other type within a motorhome.  I looked at various ‘vans in the market place, from both UK and German manufacturers. However, the attention to detail within the Swift Kontiki gave Cottingham a 1-0 victory over the competition. The Swift Kontiki 679 was ordered and eagerly awaited…

Swift Kontiki 679 lowline

The first day of ownership, autumn 2008. The Swift Kontiki 679 poses in the early autumn sunshine.

The Mighty Quinn? No, the Mighty Multi-Jet!

Externally, the Swift Kontiki stands proudly on six alloy wheels and runs on the Al-Ko chassis. Fiat’s “mighty 3.0 litre Multi-Jet” provides the power. With a six speed manual gearbox, both performance and fuel economy are impressive for a five tonne ‘van. My overall average since taking ownership of the 679 is just under 24 mpg. Fuel economy seems to be about 10 – 15% better than the previous “Luton” style motorhome that I owned. This can only be good for the pocket and the environment.

The TAG axle holds the road well and “buffeting” when overtaking lorries and coaches is minimal. The cab area features electric front windows, electrically adjusted and heated external door mirrors, power steering, ABS, driver’s airbag and Blaupunkt sat-nav incorporating reverse assist monitor. Cab air conditioning is also standard, along with internal blinds to all cab windows. Two glove boxes are available for storage of maps and so on. Finally there is another small storage area within upper area of the dash.

The motorhome is heavily loaded but despite this, acceleration is effortless and the ‘van is up to motorway cruising speed within moments. A recent check at a local weighbridge showed my mass in running order standing at 4820 kg, against a 5000 kg maximum.

The Swift Kontiki 679 layout consists of forward lounge – L shape seating group, swivel front seats and a longitudinal bench seat. A “trapdoor” allows access to the under seat storage within the “L shape”. The longitudinal seat lifts and is supported on struts to reveal another storage area. Beneath the front cab/passenger seat resides the vehicle jack, whilst under the driver’s seat there is a space that I use to store high viz vests, warning triangle and a first aid kit.

Five overhead cupboards add to the storage capabilities. Each cupboard has a fitted shelf. Above the driver’s cab are two very deep and spacious storage areas both having a positive closing access door. There is also a central “lift up section”. We use the former for storing a duvet, the latter suitable for heavy crockery, CD’s, DVD’s – in fact – you name it!

There are a total of four 230v power points in the lounge. Interestingly, two of these are within the cab area. These two power sockets are ideal for the ‘phone charger or the laptop. This simple yet effective feature means I can use the laptop whilst sitting in the swivel front seats, without trailing wires here, there and everywhere.

Entertainment in the lounge takes the form of a flip down monitor incorporating “Freeview”. Furthermore, the in-cab CD player is also connected to speakers within the habitation area of the motorhome. If I was a school teacher treating the Swift Kontiki as a piece of homework to mark, she would certainly attain ten out of ten for the lounge area.

Swift Kon-tiki 679 lowline

Swift Kontiki 679 at the Camping and Caravanning Club, Boroughbridge.

Cooking a la carte? Or A la Swift Kontiki 679?
A la carte – no – A la Swift Kontiki 679 – yes!  The kitchen in my Swift Kontiki has all the features found in a modern home. A two door fridge freezer, Dometic extractor fan, Sharp microwave and Stoves oven. The latter features three gas burners and an electric hot plate. Storage is more than generous. Below worktop level, a large cupboard featuring shelving and three pull out metal drawers, a smaller cupboard with a fitted shelf and a further cupboard with two pull out metal drawers. A cutlery drawer completes the picture.

Overhead are more cupboards, two of which feature the Swift crockery storage rack. This standard piece of equipment will hold even the heaviest of crockery in place. I use “Denby” tableware and this has travelled Europe – without breakage or fuss! Thetford supply the twin door fridge freezer, which I have enhanced further by the addition of an extra shelf. After all, there has always got to be a bottle or three on chill! Beneath the fridge is a cupboard which is large enough accommodate casserole dishes and the like, whilst above the fridge is a further cupboard which has been modified with additional shelving to provide a home to my satellite receiver and other audio/visual accessories.

Two power points are standard, along with dedicated sockets for the cooker, microwave and also the fridge freezer. I have however added a further 230v socket in the locker above the fridge freezer to allow the connection of a satellite receiver. A Truma Combi 6 boiler – operating on gas, electric or both provides heating and hot water. Electrically heated waste and fresh water tanks help to keep the water flowing in the coldest of weather.

The bathroom is pretty standard stuff and comes with a Thetford electric flush toilet, wash basin and a fully enclosed shower area. A cupboard is available below the sink whilst twin cupboards above the opening frosted window complete the storage in this area. For 2009, Swift have added a front piece within the cupboard and this simple, yet effective addition ensures that the contents of the cupboards remain “in situ” during transit. Other fittings include a clothes hook, towel holder, soap dish and tumbler holder. These items are finished in bright chrome and complement the shower and mixer tap.

Storage for clothing is more than generous with both a twin door and a single door wardrobe fitted as standard equipment. The latter also houses the principal dining table and both wardrobes are fitted with interior lighting. I have also added an additional shelf to the twin door ‘robe, and this has doubled the storage area available for shoes and so on. Two further drawers – ideal for “smalls” and a low-level cupboard complete the picture.

Swift Kontiki 679 low line

Pausing for a relaxing break at Oswestry Camping and Caravanning Club

Good night sweetheart – good night Swift Kontiki!

The principal bed is at the rear of the Swift Kontiki 679 in the form of a fixed double, sitting atop a garage. This double seems unusual in the “garage sector” of the motorhome industry as, wait for it, a headboard is fitted. Yes, a headboard, nothing more complex than that. Whilst many transverse, over garage beds have a window at each end, Swift have opted to fit a headboard instead of a window at one end. RESULT – I can sit up in bed to read and watch TV! I do not rest against a cold window or a flimsy blind as in many other “garage type” motorhomes.

Two 230v sockets and a TV point are towards the base of the bed whilst a further two power points stand aside a useful cabinet top area – an ideal place for specs, books and the occasional glass of something stronger. Towards the front of the motorhome, the “L-shaped” seating area will make into a generous single, or when combined with the opposite seating, a good-sized double.

External storage is another strong point. The rear garage is fitted with anchoring points for use when carrying a scooter. The garage has shelving, lighting and also blown air heating as standard. The spare wheel lives in here too. Towards the front of the motorhome, the partial twin floor is accessed externally and houses, amongst other things, two decks chairs, a step ladder, various boxes and my most loyal travelling accessory, the bucket! 12v lighting is fitted to this under floor storage area, useful when poking about in there in the dark!

 

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