Battery-electric propulsion and charging get all the attention, but it’s clear automakers also are using their blank-sheet battery-electric-vehicle platforms as palettes for interior and UX innovations.
BEVs account for half this year’s winners of the new jointly combined Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX awards, with two of the five from upstart automakers whose vehicles were tested for the first time.
“This year marks a significant milestone for the Wards 10 Best Interiors and UX awards,” says WardsAuto Editor Drew Winter. “With 50% of our winners being battery-electric vehicles, this tells us the interiors of these models now are as awe-inspiring as their 0-60 mph performance time. Automakers are creating beautiful cabins in these vehicles that combine great new ideas with timeless designs from the past, plus packing them with great advanced technologies such as augmented reality.”
The BMW iX and Kia EV6 CUVs, Lucid Air and Mercedes-Benz EQS sedans and Rivian R1T pickup truck make the cut this year, the first time we’ve had such a large proportion of BEVs on either of our 10 Best Interiors or UX lists. It’s a solid reflection of the number of new BEVs entering the market right now – and the amount of innovation that is going into creating them.
This year’s list also marks the first appearance of BEV upstart automakers Lucid and Rivian.
The five BEV models are joined in the winners’ circle by a midsize pickup (the Ford Maverick), a sleek luxury midsize CUV (the Genesis GV70), a blinged-out 3-row SUV (the Jeep Grand Wagoneer), a hot hatch (the Volkswagen Golf GTI) and a fullsize truck (the Toyota Tundra).
Beginning May 23, we’ll post a profile each day of one of our winners. A full list of winners and nominees is posted below.
While they may be powered differently, all of the 2022 Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX winning vehicles have the common thread of excellent interior design, high-quality and distinctive interior materials, great fit-and-finish and comfortable seating, as well as in-vehicle technology that excels in its appearance and user-friendliness. Dazzling displays made up of easy-to-navigate menus, stress-free phone pairing and well-performing voice-recognition and advanced-driver-assist systems also were captivating features. Although there is no price cap for the competition, winning vehicles must provide a good value, another metric we evaluate closely.
After 11 years of Wards 10 Best Interiors and six years of Wards 10 Best UX we’ve merged the two competitions. Both interior design and in-vehicle electronics play such a critical role jointly in creating the overall user experience that we believe it now makes the most sense to judge, and reward, these vehicles in a more holistic way.
Wards editors selected our 2022 list after evaluating 22 vehicles with new or heavily redesigned interiors and user-experience technology. Evaluations took place from mid-February through late April in which judges experienced the vehicles during their daily driving.
The 2022 Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX trophies will be handed out at our awards ceremony on June 9 during the AutoTech: Detroit conference, beginning June 8 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI.
2022 Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX nominees list (asterisk denotes winner)
BMW iX *
Ford Maverick *
Genesis GV70 *
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Hyundai Santa Cruz
Jeep Grand Wagoneer *
Kia EV6 *
Lexus NX 350 F Sport
Lucid Air *
Mercedes-Benz EQS580 *
Mini Cooper SE Hardtop
Rivian R1T *
Toyota Tundra *
Volkswagen Golf GTI *