Every year, the editors at WardsAuto release a list of the 10 best car interiors that they’ve tested. Any new or recently updated car is eligible, and for 2015, that meant 42 cars were considered.
They were scored on “materials, ergonomics, safety, comfort, value and fit-and-finish.” At the end of the process, the cars that scored best ranged from a $21,000 hatchback to a $65,000 luxury sedan. As a result, there’s a car in nearly every price bracket.
“It’s important that great interiors be available in every class of vehicle, not just luxury models that most consumers will never be able to afford,” said WardsAuto World Editor-in-Chief Drew Winter.
So which cars made the list? Take a look — you may be surprised how wide the selection is. There’s even a minivan.
1. BMW i3
With an electric powertrain and futuristic looks, you expect the BMW i3 to have an interior to match, and in that regard, it does not disappoint. With its utility, use of recycled materials, and “clever new interior design elements,” the i3 has a great interior. It especially received praise for its use of recycled soda bottles and hemp throughout, as well as leather tanned with olive-leaf extract. Considering its diminutive size, the i3 is surprisingly roomy as well.
2. Chrysler 300C Platinum
The Chrysler 300C already made the list in 2012, but for 2015, it gets even nicer than it was before. Its quilted Napa leather seats and open-pore wood trim give the 300C an upscale feel, and the new information cluster is wider and easier on the eyes than ever. Even better, much of the interior pieces are wrapped in Foligno leather, leading the editors to call it “dramatic and soothing, a fine companion for a long jaunt or a short trip to the office.” While Chrysler might not be considered a luxury brand, the 300C Platinum is certainly a luxury sedan.
3. Ford F-150 King Ranch
Ford has received a lot of positive press for its redesigned F-150, and its interior is no exception. In King Ranch trim, the F-150 offers “a cabin that is stylishly rugged, comfortable and as spacious as the prairie it’s designed to traverse,” according to WardsAuto. The interior trim uses real Kaya wood to dress up its door panels, center console, and instrument panel. Ranch-themed accents are more visual than practical, but the multi-contoured massage seats and self-parking capability add function to the luxury.
4. GMC Canyon SLT
Between the Nissan Frontier and the Toyota Tacoma, midsize truck interiors haven’t been particularly noteworthy for the past several years, but GMC changed that when it introduced the new Canyon. In the SLT trim, it offers soft-touch materials, high-quality leather, a nice sound system, and an easy-to-use touchscreen infotainment system. With room for passengers in the back, the Canyon marries the utility and practicality of a truck with the content and refinement of a crossover SUV.
5. Honda Fit EX-L
The Honda Fit might not be large or expensive, but it provides a lot of content for the price. Fully loaded in EX-L trim, it tops out at just $22,000 but still offers heated, leather-trimmed seats; a leather-wrapped steering wheel; navigation system; a 7-inch display; and a sunroof. In any trim, though, the Fit offers an intelligently designed cabin with seats that are almost infinitely configurable, making the Honda Fit more practical than its size would suggest.
6. Jeep Renegade Limited
While the Jeep Renegade is the baby of the Jeep lineup, it still gets the Jeep look, and those design cues carry over into the interior, as well. What the WardsAuto editors liked most was its color scheme, with gray leather and brown trim creating an inviting, upscale atmosphere. Jeep then finishes it off with orange trim, because what’s life without a little whimsy?
7. Kia Sedona SXL
The Kia Sedona may be a minivan, but it sets the style bar high with its interior. In fact, it’s the first minivan to appear on the list since 2011, when the Honda Odyssey received the honor. Kia took some major risks with the new Sedona’s interior design, but it’s paid off. The black and tan color scheme is paired with white piping on the Napa leather seats, with orange accent stitching pulling it all together. With adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel, an easy-to-use infotainment system, and second-row First Class lounge seating, it’s hard to beat the Sedona on a road trip.
8. Mazda6 Grand Touring
The Mazda6 is already extremely good looking, and a refresh now makes the interior one of the best in the industry as well. The center console and instrument panel have been redesigned, with a new information screen that works quite well. The Mazda6 might not sell as well as the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, but with this mid-cycle update, it establishes itself as the best in the segment. In fact, the WardsAuto editors even go so far as to say that the Mazda6 “truly is a near-luxury sport sedan.”
9. Mercedes-Benz C400
To the untrained eye, the Mercedes-Benz C400 could easily be mistaken for an S-Class. Despite costing half as much money, the same could be said about the C400’s interior, too. It maintains a lot of the same design elements that make the S-Class stand out, with brushed aluminum surfaces, massage seats, premium leather, a panoramic sunroof, and a high-resolution color display all contributing to its luxury car feel.
10. Nissan Murano SL
The second-generation Nissan Murano was never a particularly attractive crossover SUV, but with the third generation, Nissan really turned up the style. The interior is both stylish and luxurious, and the WardsAuto editors called the Murano “elegant and contemporary while achieving a serenity uncommon among midsize CUVs.” It’s distinctive, attractive, and “brilliantly executed,” adding some much-needed style to the crossover SUV segment.
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