This year’s Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX winners list includes a record six battery-electric vehicles, up one from last year’s five, further illustrating how BEV interiors and user-experience technologies and features can be as boundary-breaking as their propulsion systems.
Including the Kia Sportage Hybrid, seven of the winners are electrified, either fully or partially, up from six electrified models in the 2022 winner’s circle (BMW iX, Kia EV6, Lucid Air, Mercedes-Benz EQS, Rivian R1T and the hybrid Toyota Tundra).
The 2023 BEV winners feature outside-the-box design cues and technologies, such as electric-powered doors that open and close on demand, giant, high-resolution display screens, unique gear selectors, cool graphics and beautiful ambient lighting.
But providing a great interior and UX tech isn’t the domain of just BEVs or hybrids, and the Hyundai Palisade, Jeep Wagoneer L and Land Rover Range Rover also take their rightful spots on our 2023 list. All three utility vehicles have lovely materials such as supple leathers, circular knit or faux suede headliners and oodles of comfortable seating, not to mention fun interior tech and lavish amounts of passenger and cargo room.
BMW, Ford, Genesis, Jeep and Kia are repeat winners in 2023, with each brand taking home a 2022 Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX trophy. (Editor’s note: Last year marked the first time Wards combined the 10 Best Interiors and 10 Best UX competitions).
“For automotive interior and user-experience technology enthusiasts, there’s perhaps been no better era to be alive,” says Christie Schweinsberg, Wards editor and 10 Best Interiors & UX judge. “The creative design cues we’re witnessing are bold and refreshing, and trim materials are unique and eye-catching. Furthermore, the user experience has been elevated by the increasing digitization of the cockpit, with showy animation greeting drivers on displays and ambient lighting taking center stage like never before.
“Infotainment systems also are better than ever, with menus less cluttered and easier to navigate. The performance of voice recognition and ease of connecting a phone to utilize wireless Apple CarPlay also was impressive in many of our 2023 winners.”
Another trend for this year’s winners is that nine of 10 are light trucks, reflecting the more than decade-long shift in the U.S. new-vehicle market toward that vehicle type and away from passenger cars. Only one of our winners, the BMW i7 sedan, is a car, not a CUV, SUV or pickup truck. Of our 21 test-driven nominees, only four were cars. Out of our initial nominee group of 35 vehicles, just seven were cars.
While they may be powered differently, all of the 2023 Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX-winning vehicles have the common thread of excellent interior design, high-quality and distinctive materials, good fit-and-finish and comfortable seating, as well as in-vehicle technology that excels in its appearance and user-friendliness.
Evaluations took place earlier this year, with judges experiencing the vehicles during their daily driving.
The 2023 Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX trophies will be presented at our awards ceremony on June 8 during the AutoTech: Detroit conference, beginning June 7 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI.
Beginning May 22, we’ll begin posting profiles of each of our winners here on wardsauto.com.
2023 Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX nominees list (asterisk denotes winner):
Ford F-150 Lightning*
Honda CR-V Hybrid
Jeep Wagoneer L*
Kia Sportage Hybrid*
Land Rover Range Rover*
Lexus RX 500h
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV