Mattefinish wood accents very handsome on Volvo XC60

Matte-finish wood accents very handsome on Volvo XC60.

2014 Ward’s 10 Best Interiors Quick Hits

A concise summation of all 41 interiors evaluated as part of the 2014 competition. Many of these comments are taken directly from score sheets submitted by WardsAuto editors. Prices listed are sticker.

Acura MDX ($56,505)

Faux-wood trim a turn-off, but build quality is excellent and third row is reasonably comfortable.

Audi A3 ($43,540)

Probably the nicest of Germany’s new entry-lux cars. Dash-mounted vents resembling jet engines a nice touch.

Audi SQ5 ($61,420) 

Carbon-fiber trim on center console and instrument panel shine as if plugged in. Beautiful high-def nav map, too.

Bentley Flying Spur ($230,665)  

The kind of interior you should bring home to meet your mother.

BMW M235i  ($46,575)

A blast to drive, for sure. But it’s expensive, and interior doesn’t sell the car.

BMW X5 ($88,475)

Fabulous ambient lighting a selling point, but third-row seat should deploy electrically at this price.

Cadillac CTS Vsport ($59,995)

Compelling black-and-blue color scheme, but three backseat occupants need three head restraints.

Cadillac ELR ($82,135)

Handsome instrumentation and carbon-fiber, metallic and suede-like trim, but price is problematic.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ($71,960) 

Clearly the best ’Vette interior yet, and did anyone notice the brow shaped like a stingray atop instrument cluster?

Chevrolet Silverado High Country ($53,470) 

Comfortable, functional, ergonomic and well-appointed, but faux-wood trim could be more convincing.

Chevrolet SS ($45,770)

Really nice work from land Down Under, with sporty feel, lots of room and suede-like instrument panel.

Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, GMC, Hyundai, Infiniti

Chrysler 200C ($31,470)

Thank you, Chrysler, for a truly competitive midsize car interior that is stylish, roomy and clever.

Dodge Durango ($50,965)

Effectively executes black-and-tan color scheme, but a few fit-and-finish concerns cost it points.

Fiat 500L ($25,445)

Two-tone gray cabin feels disjointed with caramel-colored leather accents. And what’s with four A-pillars?

GMC Sierra Denali ($56,685)

Reconfigurable gauges, excellent ergonomics and plugs-aplenty help GMC advance market for premium pickups.

GMC Yukon Denali ($71,780)

Would like more third-row space, but power-folding second and third rows could seal deal.

Hyundai Equus ($68,920)

If luxury-brand honchos weren’t sweating before, they should be now. Money saved can pay for chauffeur.

Hyundai Genesis ($55,700 estimated)

Door trim successfully blends five disparate materials, and Hyundai pulls it off beautifully.

Infiniti Q50S Hybrid ($55,455)

With one display screen atop another, Q50 is a test lab for how much info drivers can handle in center stack.

Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Lexus Maserati

Jaguar F-Type ($100,370)

Gorgeous ambient lighting, but overall probably needs more pizzazz. ’Vette better value.

Jeep Cherokee ($37,525)

Bold interior colors and styling should make this Jeep popular at the next Jamboree.

Kia Cadenza ($41,900) 

Another well-done Korean interior, but price creeps too high and middle backseat is laughably cramped.

Kia K900 ($66,400)

Same as above. Also, Mercedes called. They want their door-mounted seat controls back.

Kia Soul ($24,010)

What Kia does really well: edgy styling and lots of content, all at a good price.

Lexus IS 250  ($44,140)

Cool instrument cluster slides mechanically at touch of a button. Red leather with black stitching really pops.

Maserati Ghibli ($94,470)

Flame-red leather pulls you in, but some egregious fit-and-finish issues turn you off.

Maserati Quattroporte ($119,150)

Brown leather is distinctive, but wood trim looks dated and hard-plastic center cupholders scream cheap.

Mazda, Mercedes, Nissan, Range Rover, Rolls

Mazda3 ($30,415)

Up-level content and sporty personality make this interior a cut above compact rivals.

Mercedes-Benz CLA250 ($38,555) 

Is this the interior Mercedes buyers have been clamoring for all these years?

Mercedes-Benz E350 ($73,275)

Thank you for the lovely matte-finish wood. We’ll take more, please. Jury out on rumble seat.

Mercedes-Benz S550 ($122,895)

So nice to see a production-car interior that retains the flash and sizzle of concept-car glory.

Nissan Rogue ($32,630)

Probably would have presented in a better color than gun-metal, but overall interior feels “costed.”

Nissan Versa Note ($19,280)

Not as fun as it needs to be. And supplier needs to stop cutting headliner fabric with a chainsaw.

Range Rover Sport ($88,585)

From door to door, there’s a seriously solid feel to handles, knobs, switches, levers and the shifter.

Rolls-Royce Wraith ($372,800)

Take issue with our selection if you must, but only after recognizing this interior is built old-school – by hand.

Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo

Subaru WRX ($34,490)

Handsome red stitching not enough to compensate for tiny radio controls, cheap headliner.

Toyota Corolla ($22,870)

Seats with tan fabric and black leather trim highlight this otherwise dull interior.

Toyota Highlander ($44,450)

Nice interior with lovely lighted passenger-side storage trough, but why put radio controls out of reach?

Toyota Tundra 1794 Crew ($49,715)

Excellent fit-and-finish and follows Ram Laramie Longhorn with dramatic design. Gotta love snakeskin seat trim.

Volkswagen GTI ($30,695)

Great seats and effective use of metallic accents and bold red stitching. Even middle backseat is comfy.

Volvo V60 ($43,570)

Stylish, functional Scandinavian interior doesn’t advance brand’s styling language.

Volvo XC60 ($53,215)

Same as above, but matte-finish wood is very handsome. And those sleek head restraints still are way cool.

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