Swift Kontiki 665
Below is an independant and unbiased review of a Swift Kontiki 665
The Swift has been purchased in anticipation of either fulltiming or a minimum of six months away.
Base vehicle - The Swift is powered by the Fiat 2.8 on an Alko chassis. The cab area is equipped with CD player, electric windows and mirrors, power steering, seats that are adjustable to just about any position imaginable, steering wheel adjustment and adjustable seat belts. A cigarette lighter is provided, as is a second socket for extras - such as travel kettle or mobile phone charger. The CD player functions with the ignotion off and two additional speakers are fitted as standard in the lounging quarters. ABS is a standard fit as is a colour screen reversing camera. The Kontiki sits on the Alko chassis - which has been upgraded to 4000kg in expectation of a heavy load to bear. Cruising at 60 mph in top gear sees the engine revving at about 2100 revs per minute. This gives for minimal engine noise - a situation further helped by the standard fit under bonnet insulation. Early indications - 700 miles covered so far - suggest an average 25 miles per gallon. I would expect to nudge maybe 27 or 28 on motorway runs and possible increasing this figure even further once the engine has loosened up. 5th gear is however little use below 50 mph. The cab features central door locking whcih whilst not remote controlled from the keyfob, does include the habitation door.
The Kontiki - the standard spec list is high and includes bathroom with domestic style shower cubicle, dual fuel heating, 2 x mini hekis and 1 x heki 3 roof light, Stoves oven with 3 gas burners and one electric solid hot plate, Sharp Microwave, integral awning, 3 way fridge with freezer box and the Status 530 aeriel with booster.
So what do I think of this package?
The bathroom makes use of a Thetford swivel/cassette toilet, shower with sliding screen and sink. There is storage under the sink and also a wall cupboard. Also fitted as standard are two towel holders, toilet roll holder and soap dish. The under sink storage cup also has a unit attached to the door for the housing of tooth brushes and the like. Unfortuntely, the recess designed to take a toothbrush does not do so.....or is it that I have a large toothbrush? This standard feature has been removed and replaced with a B&Q version costing £2.99!
Towards the rear is a fixed double bed - very comfortable indeed. The bed base lifts up to reveal a large storage area - presently housing deck charis, silver screen covers and the usual array of motorhoming goodies. This storage area can also be housed externally.
Mid ships, sits a stoves cooker alongside the pretty much standard Dometic fridge. Above is the sink - but no draining board. The draining board is a removable type with dedicated storage beneath the sink. The lack of fixed draining surface does free up work top space. There is also a dedicated place for washing up liquid and cloths etc. At high level - possibly dangerously high for some is the microwave. I am over 6 feet tall so no issue there but I suspect that for some, using this oven and lifting out hot food stuffs could present a danger. A Dometic extractor fan is easily capable of taking away the smell of freshly fried smoked bacon, and is also fairly quiet in operation.
Forward are two sofas, these convert into a huge double although will remain as sofas for my own use. Lift up the base of the offside sofa - and a good sized storage area awaits. I have lined this whole area with rubber matting and then purchased four plastic storage boxes which fit beautifully.
The opposite sofa lifts up in the same manner and offers storage - this side can however be accessed from the outside.
An overcab Luton completes the living quarters - the bed here is a good size and has two opening windows.
There are eight overhead lockers, plus one housing the TV (not standard - purchased separately) and a further locker for the microwave. Swift fitted a lovely crockery holder as standard - unfortunately this does not hold very much and has been replaced by various accessories from O Leary Motorhomes.
Hot water is provided by a Truma system - on either gas, electricity or both. The blown air heating runs off the same system. The thermostat for this was however adjacent to the principal heat source and hence it was difficult to keep the heating on. The thermostat thought the room to be warm enough - when infact the room was cold but the immediate area of the thermostat was hot! Clelveland Motorhomes have removed the original thermostat and re sited it to a more suitable point. There are warm air ducts in the bathroom (1) living sleeping area (5) and Luton (1). Each one can be operated independently.
There are two pull out sliding drawer units - one is fitted with a selection of fixed wire baskets to hold your belongings but sadly - and given how this looks like being principally a food storage area - Swift have also placed a waste bin in here! This has been removed and extra wire baskets are currently on order from Swift. There is however a waste bin within the door housing and this is adequate, easy to remove and empty - lined with a carrier bag for ease. The second slide out unit again features wire storage and also a dedictated bottle storage facility. The recess for the bottles will hold standard sized 70cl bottles and not the 1 litre duty free types. I am adding more wire baskets here and will lose three of the bottle storage points, but I feel that two bottles in store, one on the table and one in the fridge should be OK.
The van feels cosy - with muslin curtains, heavy feel lined curtains and also blinds for convenience. I prefer to use blinds for speed but maybe on a cold winters evening will close the curtains and 'cosy up'. Loose lays carpets - presently removed for the time being - sit on a lino floor.
Externally, the van is good looking with alloy wheels and attractive graphics. There is no rear window on this model - a feature I really like. A ladder will take the owner to the roof where a luggage rack system is in place.
Entrance to the van is via a single electric step - which retracts automatically when the ignition is started. The habitation door has an opening window and has both blackout and fly screens fitted.
External storage is good - under the bed space and under the sofa - both can be reached from outside. The under sofa space extends the width of the motorhome and is begging for some skis or similar sporting accessories to be kept there. There is a further locker which is accessable from the outside only and currently houses hose pipes, gas connectors, electrical leads and so on. This is an excellent feature and keeps all 'such items' under one roof.
Optional extras - the van has been fitted with 2 x 11 kg Gaslow refillable cylinders, an additional coffee table and awaits satellite dish and roof mouted air con unit. Various smaller items have also been retro fitted - such as crockery storage, kitchen roll holder and so on.
I am in the very early days with this van and whilst we got off to a bad start - gas leak, external habitation door not closing, problems with heating thermostat, cupboard doors falling off, toilet door falling off and various other niggles, these appear to have been ironned out.
The list price for the van is not cheap. At £46,910.00 to include the chassis upgrade and occasional table, this motorhome has a lot to live up to. Given the poor initial start, I have rated the van 8 out of 10 although I would like to see this rise after a few more trips away.
I shall add more photo's in due course.
Swift Kontiki 665
July 27th 2006
[ Back to Reviews Index | Back to Coachbuilt Index | Post Comment ]