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Ward’s Names Interior Winners for 2007

Winners include Honda’s Fit and CR-V, along with GM’s Chevy Silverado, Cadillac SRX and Saturn Aura, and Ford’s Lincoln Navigator and Volvo S80.

DETROIT – Ward’s Automotive Group bestows “Interior of the Year” honors today at an awards ceremony during the Ward’s 2007 Auto Interiors Show here at Cobo Center, with General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. taking home multiple trophies.

In the new-for-2007 Economy-Priced Car category, the Honda Fit was selected by Ward’s editors as having the best interior for cars under $17,000. Honda also snagged top honors for its CR-V cross/utility vehicle, which won in the Popular-Priced CUV category.

GM’s Saturn Aura’s interior was judged tops in the Popular-Priced Cars category, while the Cadillac SRX and Chevy Silverado took top honors in the Premium-Priced CUV and Popular-Priced Truck categories, respectively.

Ward’s editors named Ford’s Lincoln Navigator as the Premium-Priced Truck with the best interior, while the Volvo S80 was named the winner in the Premium-Priced Car group.

In specialty categories, the interior of Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus LS 460L large luxury sedan, which includes such features as reclining rear seats with footrests, wins for Best Overall Comfort.

Chrysler’s Jeep Wrangler SUV takes home top honors for Best Brand Expression for the interior that best sums up its brand’s image.

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.’s Infiniti G35 luxury sport sedan is honored for having the Best Interior Trim, thanks to its brushed aluminum that mimics the look of Japanese rice paper, and the Chrysler Sebring midsize car wins the Best Cup Holder award for its heated and cooled receptacles.

Ward’s editors selected these 11 winners after evaluating and scoring the interiors of 34 models over a 2-month period on the basis of eight criteria: material selection; ergonomics; driver information; safety; overall value; comfort; fit and finish; and aesthetics and design harmony.

Ward’s also opened up the voting to the auto industry at the website, with more than 1,400 popular votes cast.

In industry-at-large balloting, three of the winners mimicked Ward’s choices: the Saturn Aura (Popular-Priced Car); the Cadillac SRX (Premium-Priced CUV); and the Chevy Silverado (Popular-Priced Truck).

Online voters, however, selected the Dodge Caliber in the Economy-Priced Car category; the Saturn Outlook in the Popular-Priced CUV group; and the Cadillac Escalade in the Premium-Priced Truck category.

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