Acura ILX ($32,810)
It’s hard taking a compact car (Honda Civic) that’s lost its luster over the years and dress it up for a luxury showroom.
Acura TLX ($35,920)
Two display screens in the center stack are visually overwhelming. Time for a new vision, Acura.
Alfa Romeo 4C ($64,445)
This is a track car that’s fun to drive. But as interiors go, it’s no Italian supermodel. And it’s really loud inside.
BMW i3 ($52,550)
Suicide doors can be awkward, but BMW shows they are worth doing. Hail to the hatchback!
BMW i8 ($141,650)
Inside and out, lush, sensuous and an absolute head-turner. Love the Bavarian blue seatbelts.
Cadillac Escalade ($94,565)
Power folding seats are cool, but a large SUV approaching six figures needs a third row usable by adults.
Chevrolet Colorado ($36,710)
Seats, dash and carpet all look and feel durable. But 50 shades of gray make for a monotone work-truck feel.
Chevrolet Trax ($23,815)
Good package for the money, but much of this interior was seen two years ago in award-winning Spark.
Chrysler 300C ($51,175)
Expensive, but excellent value. Thanks for all the info, but do I really need to know transmission fluid temp?
Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat ($65,870)
Powertrain aside, if interior quality could be measured in horsepower, the reading would be 707.
Dodge Charger ($37,470)
A well-equipped bargain with distinctive styling, spectacular seats. Love the double shelf in glovebox.
Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jeep, Kia
Ford Edge ($45,980)
A black interior that rises well above drab, thanks to metallic and carbon-fiber-like trim, aluminum pedals.
Ford Mustang ($34,865)
Successful homage to iconic marque, with lots of goodies for the money. Sync keeps getting better. Toggle switches cool.
Ford F-150 King Ranch ($60,675)
Hard to take your eyes off the gorgeous Khaya wood trim. How long will buyers gobble up $60k trucks?
GMC Canyon ($40,465)
GMC creates sophisticated, attractive, well-equipped interior that does not pander to macho pickup ethos.
Honda CR-V ($33,600)
Tasteful, low-gloss materials make CR-V look and feel like near-luxury CUV inside. Thanks for easy-fold second row.
Honda Fit ($21,590)
Impressively simple and uncluttered. Cozy seats with firm bolsters set the right mood. Excellent fit-and-finish.
Hyundai Sonata ($34,460)
We used to like the Sonata when it was edgy, but the tastiest entry in the segment has gone vanilla.
Infiniti QX80 ($89,845)
A forest of elegant wood makes this interior unforgettable. Could have been in the running if priced at $75,000.
Jeep Renegade ($33,205)
Engaging overall with excellent use of color. Jeep heritage honored throughout this innovative interior.
Kia Sedona ($43,295)
Comes with bells, whistles and second-row lounge chairs. A stylish minivan for the buyer who despises minivans.
Kia Sorento ($45,095)
Merlot Nappa leather is unique, but $45k for a 5-passenger Kia CUV with 4-cyl. power seems awfully high.
Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes
Land Rover Discovery Sport ($51,750)
Outstanding interface, but touchscreen seems small. Ho-hum material selection leaves this CUV light on “wow” factor.
Lexus RC 350 ($54,720)
Successfully combines sport with luxury. Quality leather cleanly stitched, and carbon-fiber inserts are convincing.
Lexus NX 300h ($52,013)
Nicely done, but interface is frustrating. Touch panel is too sensitive and at other times unresponsive.
Lincoln MKC Black Label ($57,115)
Microsuede headliner and saddle brown leather certainly take donor Ford Escape upscale. But $57k?
Lincoln MKZ Black Label ($58,165)
Sweeping bridge-like center console is stunning, but fit-and-finish problems from standard MKZ persist.
Lincoln Navigator ($75,065)
Once leading this segment, Navigator, even refreshed, shows its age. And no heated steering wheel? The barbarians!
You get a lot for $33k, including some of the best seats in the competition. Mazda’s onto something with HMI.
Mercedes C400 ($65,000)
Some fine interiors this year from Mercedes, but this C-Class is most deserving. Liked the head-up display.
Mercedes CLS400 ($86,280)
Familiar interior design, but at least one generation behind groundbreaking S-Class. Massaging seats a plus.
Mercedes GLA250 ($41,950)
Warm and inviting. Thankfully upgraded over platform mate CLA sedan, but not a great interior by any means.
Mercedes S550 Coupe ($149,575)
A soothing, bespoke interior, but hard to raise the bar beyond what S-Class sedan achieved last year.
Mitsubishi, Nissan, Ram, Subaru, Toyota, VW
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ($30,495)
Too much cheap, black plastic, disappointing leather and a headliner that feels like cardboard.
Nissan Murano ($41,905)
Upscale, dramatic approach to mainstream segment. Only concern is how cream-colored interior looks after a year.
Ram ProMaster city van ($26,365)
Fits the bill as a really nice cargo van or down-market minivan. Lots of headroom, but not much legroom.
Subaru Legacy ($25,984)
Tremendous value, with loads of content. Some styling flourishes may have put this interior on the list.
Subaru Outback ($36,385)
Great new display screen and HMI (same as on Legacy), and EyeSight camera system enhances safety. Functionally sound.
Subaru WRX ($29,639)
Black interior needs color splashes from hot red exterior. Next-generation WRX should get new HMI.
Toyota Camry ($35,768)
Great to see Toyota taking interior design chances with America’s best-selling sedan, but it lags behind Mazda6.
Toyota Sienna ($44,953)
Comfortable and utilitarian, but cheap wood trim and dull gray upholstery signal need for new minivan interior strategy.
VW Touareg ($60,080)
Scored well with top-notch materials, outstanding ergonomics. But can VW compete with BMW, Mercedes?