WardsAuto editors "10 Best Interiors" list for 2012 includes four subcompact or compact models, suggesting yet again that driving a cheap car doesn’t always mean settling for a cheap cabin. This year’s competition included 40 entries; editors do not place rankings on the 10 winners.
“We saw a tremendously diverse group of interiors this year, and it’s obvious to us that automakers are pushing their design staffs harder than ever for interiors that are beautifully appointed, well-equipped and extremely comfortable,” says WardsAuto World Editor-in-Chief Drew Winter. "Based on some of the vehicles we have seen at recent auto shows, we can tell the competition among interiors will be fierce in the next few years."
The subcompact Chevrolet Sonic and Hyundai Accent made the list this year. Ward’s says the Sonic "brings a new level of style," while the Accent’s interior "shows incredible attention to detail" despite its low sticker price. Rounding off the small cars are the Volkswagen Beetle -- which Ward’s says has the "right mix of contemporary technology and familiar aspects that pay tribute to decades of the iconic Bug" -- and the Dodge Dart that impressed editors with premium features such as a heated steering wheel, Nappa leather, and dual-zone climate control. The Fiat 500 Abarth and Toyota Prius c small cars didn’t make the cut.
Not surprisingly, the list is otherwise dominated by luxury cars and SUVs. The Audi A7 made an impression with matte wood and dramatic interior styling. The all-new Hyundai Azera interior made the cut, described by Ward’s as full of "flash, sizzle, substance and proof there is no substitute for premium materials." The Chrysler 300 Luxury Series made the list with a bold statement from the editors: "If Bentley sold an affordable family sedan, it would look like the 300 Luxury." Rounding off the luxury group are the Infiniti JX and the Land Rover Evoque. Premium cars that missed the mark include the new BMW 3 Series, the Mercedes-Benz C250, and the Audi A6.
Finally, the all-new 2013 Mazda CX-5 crossover completes WardsAuto’s "10 Best Interior" list, beating the 2012 Honda CR-V. The editors were impressed with the CX-5’s overall package that includes soft-touch materials, metallic accents, rear seats that are simple to fold flat, and available perforated leather seats.
Check out the full list below and click the links to see what our editors thought of each car, inside and out:
- Audi A7
- Chevrolet Sonic
- Chrysler 300 (SRT8)
- Dodge Dart
- Hyundai Accent
- Hyundai Azera
- Infiniti JX35
- Mazda CX-5
- Range Rover Evoque
- Volkswagen Beetle