It’s what’s on the inside that counts, and no one knows that better than Wards Auto, the automotive industry news source that just released its annual list of 10 best interiors.
Now in its seventh year, the awards program honors outstanding achievement in aesthetics, comfort, ergonomics, materials usage, fit-and-finish and user-friendly electronics.
There’s no price cap, and the nominees feature interiors that are all-new or significantly improved from the previous year.
This year’s winners include seven brands never to have made the top 10 before, plus three returning winners – Lexus, Honda and Mazda – with “groundbreaking designs and features that promise to win over new customers.”
Following are the 2017 Wards Auto 10 best interiors in alphabetical order, the thoughts of the Wards Auto editors, and the prices of the models tested.
Alfa Romeo Giulia ($50,490)
What they liked: F1-inspired steering wheel, creamy leather seats, walnut trim, metallic accents, outstanding build quality, artistic lines and intuitive control screen
Bentley Bentayga ($278,730)
What they liked: State-of-the-art infotainment for both rows; massaging seats; burnt orange leather; $4,700 Naim premium audio system; top-notch driver assistance features; fold-out leather bench seat
Buick LaCrosse ($50,270)
What they liked: Soothing, contemporary environment; massaging front seats; roomy backseat; general feeling of spaciousness; lightning-fast phone pairing; exemplary driver-assistance features
Honda CR-V ($34,635)
What they liked: Cargo hold to accommodate four suitcases; slick center console with two USB chargers front and rear; top-in-class cabin quietness; floating display screen and digital gauge cluster
Lexus LC 500 ($102,995)
What they liked: Carbon fiber scuff plates; high-shoulder leather seats with microsuede overhead; striking color palette
Lincoln Continental ($72,870)
What they liked: Ambient lighting that glows at night; 19-speaker Revel Ultima audio system; cavernous second-row; thigh bolsters that extend one leg at a time; two-tone steering wheel
Maserati Levante ($90,000)
What they liked: Easy-to-reach controls; user-friendly UConnect infotainment; 900-watt Harmon Kardon sound system; large gear shift paddles put in place like an F1 car
Mazda CX-9 ($45,855)
What they liked: Impeccable fit-and-finish; comfortable third row; intuitive central controller and head-up display; aluminum and rosewood on the doors, instrument panel and center console
Mini Countryman ($38,450)
What they liked: Headroom and legroom; airplane-like toggles; kitchen-clock-like display screen; heavy-duty package tray; “Chesterfield” mocha leather seats
Subaru Impreza ($29,260)
What they liked: Crisp, easy-to-use telematics screen; well-bolstered and artfully sewn seats; driver-assistance features
“We strive every year to compile a list that is diverse, representing as many segments and price points as possible, says Drew Winter, senior content director at Wards Auto.
“The fact that seven brands are receiving their first Wards 10 Best Interiors trophies is a testament to the advances made across the entire auto industry. Prospective buyers in all vehicle segments want and deserve functional and beautiful interiors.”
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