Airstream motor coach not quite car reviewer's style

James Raia

Reviewing a Bugatti Veyron, Mercedes-Benz sedan or any of the new influx of green vehicles — the Toyota Prius to Tesla Roadster — is what Dan Neil does weekly with his column in the Wall Street Journal called “Rumble Seat.”

But Neil is an essayist more than a straight-forward reviewer. The facts are all there and Neil has vast automotive knowledge. But the journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary recently left the his routine reviews that detail performance and comparison shopping among car manufacturers and took on the RV industry.Airstream motor coach not quite car reviewer's style 1

With his family along for the ride, Neil reviewed the 2011 Airstream Interstate 3500. But while providing a detailed article on the motor coach, Neil also discusses a retired friend’s unique personality, his relationship with his wife and Jack Kerouac. And then there’s an epic review.

Neil’s editors seemingly give him carte blanche to write what he pleases. There’s little filter, and the result is always entertaining.

Here’s a glimpse of the Neil’s review of the 2011 Airstream Interstate 3500 from a review titled “Roughing It in a Not-So-Luxurious Luxury RV.”Airstream motor coach not quite car reviewer's style 2

“Meet the 2011 Airstream Interstate 3500, a class “B” motor coach built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van chassis with coachwork by the good folks in Jackson Center, Ohio.

“At a time when RV sales in the U.S. are about a third off their historic highs, the Airstream Interstate has been a mega-hit for the company, and small wonder.”

“What began life as a humble, windowless turbo-diesel Mercedes-Benz Sprinter delivery van has been transformed into a rocking and rolling ultrasuede shag palace stocked with four captain’s chairs, 19-inch LCD monitors with high-def TV, a motorized bench-seat/lounge, Corian countertops, sink, cooktop, refrigerator, convection microwave, toilet/shower and much more.”

To read the full review, visit: Rumble Seat

Article Last Updated: May 25, 2011.

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