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Interior Nominee Quick Hits

Executive Summary

In 10 words or less, Ward’s summarizes this year’s Interior of the Year entries. Many of these comments come direct from editor scoresheets.

Special Coverage

Auto Interiors Conference

Acura ZDX ($56,855)

Roominess abounds; kudos to Honda/Acura for interior styling risk-taking.

Audi Q5 ($45,225)

Beautiful matte-finish wood trim, but overall predictable.

BMW 550i Gran Turismo ($80,375)

Lovely materials, great flexibility; but power liftgate should be standard.

Buick LaCrosse ($36,190)

Can go head-to-head with Lexus, but Buick needs more style.

Buick Regal ($26,995)

Still too much down-market plastic, especially on instrument panel.

Cadillac SRX ($47,010)

Materials blended beautifully; Cadillac has achieved edgy elegance.

Chevrolet Camaro ($29,175)

Right mix of retro, modern styling; cool ambient lighting.

Chevrolet Equinox ($33,435)

Highly crafted details, ambient lighting make great first impression.

Dodge Caliber ($26,955)

Disappointing, and expensive to boot. Awful second-row ergonomics.

Ford Taurus SHO ($44,480)

Heated and cooled seats are nice, but fans are too loud.

Honda Accord Crosstour ($36,930)

Beautifully stitched leather and good use of wood accents.

Honda Insight ($23,810)

Suffers from overwhelming “greige” tone; backseats lack adult headroom.

Hyundai Genesis coupe ($32,925)

Not much pizzazz; too much like sedate sedan.

Hyundai Sonata ($28,215)

Likable enough, but where’s unique personality?

Hyundai Tucson ($28,090)

Exceptional layout; lovely tan leather makes for bold color scheme.

Infiniti M56 ($67,715)

Who else puts silver flecks together with ash-wood trim? Bravo!

Jeep Patriot ($30,510)

Chrome on dash seems out of place; too much black.

Kia Forte ($19,290)

Excellent execution for inexpensive car; youthful, sporty, fun.

Kia Sorento ($30,290)

Two-tone leather, panoramic roof, flat load floor are nice features.

Land Rover LR4 ($58,415)

Gorgeous wood, aluminum trim; third row actually useful.

Lexus GX ($65,754)

Elegant but rugged styling; third-row accessibility poor.

Lexus HS 250h ($46,547)

Feels less like a hybrid, more like luxury car.

Lexus IS 250C ($48,200)

Fine droptop execution, but power sliding seat slows second-row access.

Lincoln MKT ($55,085)

Unique gold-ish metallic trim; third row ridiculous.

Mazda3 ($25,535)

Back seat cramped, disappointing; lacks fifth head restraint.

Mazda CX-9 ($39,265)

Wood trim obviously fake; old-school navigation system.

Mazdaspeed3 ($25,840)

Shimmering red fabric very distinctive; no USB jack?

Mercedes E350 coupe ($58,295)

Great attention to detail; beautiful high-resolution nav-traffic system.

Nissan Altima hybrid ($34,810)

A step up from bare-bones hybrids; Lacks fifth head restraint.

Nissan Maxima ($38,660)

Rough door-trim edges; shows excessive wear after 3,900 miles.

Nissan Z roadster ($44,355)

Cabin loud from road and wind noise; Bluetooth connection balky.

Porsche Panamera ($153,640)

Enough technology and decadent luxury to satisfy Russian billionaire.

Ram Heavy Duty pickup ($39,955)

Fold-up second-row seats first-rate; plastics well done.

Subaru Outback ($28,295)

Good storage, driver feedback; excellent fit-and-finish.

Suzuki Kizashi ($27,484)

Definitely takes Suzuki upmarket; stylish brushed aluminum IP trim.

Toyota 4Runner ($36,634)

Too much plastic, but retracting cargo package tray a bonus.

Toyota Prius ($25,750)

Instrumentation brands vehicle nicely, but needs more soft surfaces.

Toyota Sienna ($42,211)

Hard-plastic IP feels like sandpaper; all seating positions comfortable.

Volkswagen Golf ($21,364)

Child seat access superb; kudos for five head restraints.

Volvo XC60 ($44,240)

Oak center stack is visually stunning, bargain priced at $295.

tmurphy@wardsauto.com

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