Wards AutoWorld narrows down a field of 35 vehicles to come up with winners in eleven categories.
Where do you spend most of your time
Here at LotPro.com, we’re, we’re as much of a sucker as the next person when it comes to beautiful automobile designs. But while a vehicle’s exterior usually generates the most excitement, it’s actually the interior of those same cars where most of us spend our time – which is precisely why Wards AutoWorld created these awards.
“There are certain aspects we look at closely in the Interior of the Year competition, and value is just as important to us as fit-and-finish, styling, comfort and safety,” says Drew Winter, editor-in-chief of Ward’s AutoWorld magazine.
“An interior doesn’t have to be expensive to be good,” Winter says. “But it does have to convey a sense of high-quality craftsmanship and have pleasing textures and low-gloss surfaces. Electronic systems have to be intuitive and easy to use and not just focus on offering a high number of features and functions. Consumers are becoming a lot savvier about what they want inside their vehicles.”
This year, 35 vehicles were nominated for the four car categories (economy-priced, popular-priced, premium-priced and sports car) and two truck categories (popular-priced and premium-priced) as well as special-achievement awards in five other areas (grooviest interior, best redesign, best graphic display, design harmony and best brand expression).
And the winners are…
Honda Fit Sport (Economy-priced car)
According to the judges, “With its ingenious second-row flexibility, ample headroom and premium materials, Honda proves an inexpensive car need not feel cheap.”
Volkswagen CC (Popular-priced car)
The judges had this to say about the CC, “In the popular-priced car category, the Volkswagen CC springs from the well-regarded Passat architecture and adds a beautifully executed interior that puts this $28,225 4-door coupe in serious competition with more expensive luxury cars.”
Acura TL (Premium-priced car)
“The all-new Acura TL, at $42, 995,” according to Wards, “delivers creamy caramel-tone leather and sporty luxury in a breathtaking combination that instantly raises Acura’s stature among upscale buyers.
Nissan 370Z Touring (Sports car)
Nissan received kudos for designing an interior that is both modern and retro: “If price is an object, the 2-seat Nissan 370Z Touring pairs a potent 332 hp with a purposeful passenger compartment that manages to be both spacious and sporty, while paying homage to famous Z cars of the past, all for $36,865.“
Dodge Ram (Popular-priced truck)
Wards felt that the new Dodge Ram was a great value for the money and that it “trumps its rival, the new Ford F-150, with a spacious, well-conceived interior that fits as well on the job site as at the soccer field.”
Ford Flex (Premium-priced truck)
“The Flex demonstrates marvelous flexibility (their pun, not ours) in a 6-passenger seating configuration that employs high-quality materials and a supremely nifty power folding function for second-row seats, allowing easy access to the third row.”
Kia Soul (Grooviest Interior)
The judges really liked the Soul’s red interior. “Priced at $18,345, the 5-passenger Soul Sport reaches out to youthful buyers with an ideal mix of comfort, quality and funkiness, with lighted door speakers that flash to the beat of the music.”
Audi A4 (Best Redesign)
Reflecting on the A4’s relationship with the rest of the Audi lineup, the panel of experts had this to say, “The all-new Audi A4 secures the German auto maker’s sterling reputation for benchmark interiors. Priced at $40,825, the new A4 exudes understated but unmistakable elegance.”
Ford Fusion Hybrid (Best Graphic Display)
The editors of the magazine “marveled at the amount of information Ford engineers managed to fit into the Fusion Hybrid’s relatively small instrument cluster above the steering wheel, all the while encouraging fuel-efficient driving with a digitally projected vine that sprouts leaves as mileage grows.”
Lexus RX 450h (Design Harmony)
According to Wards, “The RX, with its riveting asymmetrical center stack, tasteful wood steering wheel and luscious color palette, is recognized with a special-achievement award for Design Harmony.”
Cadillac CTS-V (Best Brand Expression)
Finally, the Cadillac CTS-V, “with its intoxicating styling and angular instrument panel, wins a special-achievement award for Brand Expression. Priced at $68,135 with a dizzying array of electronic gadgets, the 556-hp CTS-V is for the serious driver who craves equal amounts of performance and style.”