While there's things to love about all of them, you've narrowed your search down to the Interstate Grand Tour EXT or the Interstate Lounge EXT. Standing in front of them, they look identical.
So what are the differences between the Grand Tour and the Lounge? What makes them unique?
Before you step inside, let’s explain a few of the differences you can expect to see inside – that way you’ll be primed and ready to answer the dealer on which one is the right one for you. First things first: What commonalities do the GT and the Lounge share between them?
Both models are built on the famed Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500 Chassis with 170” wheelbase. Both RVs boast the performance of Mercedes-Benz 3.0L V6 Turbo Diesel engines, with 325 pounds of torque and 188 horse-power. The 7-speed automatic transmission gives an ultra smooth ride, and you can expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 miles-per-gallon in either van (depending on how much lead is in your foot and how much weight you’re hauling). On the subject of hauling, both the Grand Tour and the Lounge can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
From the exterior you’ll want to note that your eyes are not playing tricks on you: The two vans are identical. Coming in three brilliant colors (Iridium Silver Metallic, Arctic White and Jet Black), the exteriors are both 24’6” long and 9’8” tall (9’11” in the 4x4 option). With the beautiful and subtle badging from Mercedes-Benz and Airstream, the EXT models exhibit incredible styling and sleek lines that will be sure to turn heads as you drive down the road.
Climb inside the cockpit of either Class-B RV and you’ll be surrounded by the elegance of Mercedes married to the craftsmanship of Airstream. In the newest Airstreams, you’re greeted by the Mercedes MBUX Infotainment system (standard for model year 2020). With a commitment to safety and performance in both models, you’ll see the plethora of options included standard by Airstream to make your adventures safe and enjoyable.
At this point, you may be thinking that the Grand Tour and the Lounge models are too similar to really separate. So let’s dig into the nitty-gritty differences that make them stand apart.
Open the powered-sliding door on the 2020 Interstate Grand Tour and you face the workstation nestled in behind the lavy. Directly to your left is the extended galley area. Contrast that to the Lounge, where opening the same door takes you directly into the second row of ultra-comfortable captain’s chairs. The Grand Tour comes standard with 7 belted positions, while the Lounge can seat up to 9 (in the 4-wheel-drive option the Lounge seats 7). While most people might not need seating for eight of their closest friends, seating availability is something to consider when choosing between the Grand Tour and the Lounge.
Maybe you plan on making every meal inside your Class-B RV. Or perhaps you’re one of the people who aren’t even sure why a galley is included in the vehicle. Either way, the differences in the galley might help inform the decision you make. The Grand Tour provides the largest galley in Airstream’s line of Class-B Touring Coaches. The GT has plenty of countertop space and a large refrigerator (5 cubic ft., with a 1.6 cubic ft. freezer). While the Lounge still has a beautiful and spacious galley, it exchanges some of that galley space for more seating. The refrigerator and freezer are 3.1 cubic ft. combined in the Lounge – still large enough to hold your groceries but definitely smaller than what you’ll find in the Grand Tour.
Tank Sizes and Capacities
You were warned that we were going to get into the nitty gritty!
Let’s compare tank sizes between the Grand Tour and the Lounge – everything from your water tanks to LPG and see how the two models stack up against each other.
|Diesel||LPG||Fresh Water||Grey Water||Black Water|
|Grand Tour||24.5 gals||14.6 gals||27 gals||21 gals||13 gals|
|Lounge||24.5 gals||9.8 gals||26 gals||27 gals||11 gals|
At a quick glance, there are only a few differences. Most notably – beginning with production in 2020 – the Grand Tour LPG tank was increased to 14.6 gals (a 49% increase in capacity over the Lounge). This helps accommodate trips of longer duration – versus a shorter trip in the Lounge with more passengers. Additionally, while the differences are small, the fresh, grey, and black water tanks do have slight differences. Both models come standard with a 24.5 gallon fuel tank, giving you a range of 350-450 miles (assuming you aren’t accelerating like a racecar driver or hauling your prized steer to market!).
A few other differences you will notice inside the two units are the placement of the televisions and the positioning of the modular table in the front of the units. In the Grand Tour, you’ll find the front television tucked behind the wardrobe at the work-station behind the driver’s seat. Nestled into that area, the TV is quite inconspicuous. In the Lounge you’ll find the front television mounted to the ceiling between the two front captain’s chairs. Upon releasing the television, it conveniently flips down to a comfortable viewing position. The front modular table in the Grand Tour is mounted with the Lagun system and an articulating arm, allowing the table to be positioned in several different ways. The Lounge, however, has tables that install into pucks on the floor, positioned precisely for ease of use in the two seating areas.
From safety features, to decor packages, to exterior aesthetics, the Interstate Grand Tour and the Interstate Lounge seem hard to separate. But once you dig into the details, you’ll find subtle differences that may be significant depending on your use case. Those differences can help you determine which floor plan is right for you.
Airstream also has a convenient comparison tool here to help you find which touring coach best suits your needs.
Of course, the best way to see which Interstate is the right one for you and your family is to visit your local Airstream dealer. Climb inside, take a test drive, and elevate your adventures with an Airstream Touring Coach built for you.