Top 10: Best Car Interiors for 2009 (45-55k)
The last of the Best Car Interior series for 2009 is coming to a close with these top 10 vehicles! I will see you all in 2010 (or hopefully before) to do more reviews on the best cars interiors in the industry, within their respective markets. Thanks a bunch, and enjoy the read!
For the last time this year; the graded areas include:
- Quality of Interior Materials
- Amount of Soft Touch Surfaces
- Basic Interior Features
- Available Interior Features
- General Flow of Interior
Value relative to interior design & quality was an important factor in the rating system.
#10 - Chevrolet Corvette
The interior of Chevy's Corvette never fails to disappoint; the vehicle always seems to be awash in grainy plastic, with sparse (if any) padded surfaces. The quick corvette seems to charm the buyer in to excusing the interior of the vehicle, seemingly screaming "You expect me to have an elegant interior? I mean, I could, but that would add weight to my already gorgeous body--plus i'm an inexpensive buy (relative to competitors). I mean, the price is dirt cheap--how greedy can you be?"
The marketing does work, however, most parts of the vehicle (especially the buttons) seem to have been poached from the bargain bin of old GM vehicles. The interior feels drab, cheap and old--due for a freshening.
#9 - Lincoln Town Car
Another 45-55k range vehicle whose interior has been neglected by design. Although, with this vehicle, the interior simply feels old and dying--another great marketing ploy for the audience it appeals to (men aged 70 years and upwards). Lincoln knows that it does not need to freshen this vehicle up as often as other vehicles, since their market share (and thus customer loyalty) is monopolized by decades of tradition amongst the elderly population. This demographic seems to purchase this series of vehicles (Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Lincoln Town Car) consistently and demands little change for it, due to old-tyme tradition. Social stigma among this demographic simply demands that a man who is 70+ years old buy one of these three vehicles, if he has the money. This social engineering has been in the works for a while, and has proven to be successful for these three vehicles, the Town Car included.
On the other hand--the leather is plump, the wood trim is convincing, and the assembly is solid, free of squeaks and rattles.
#8 - Cadillac STS
A pleasant interior with expansive use of decent padding, leather and fabrics. The STS has a fancy (and rather sporty looking) instrument panel, center console and navigation system.
The quality of materials is good all around, but the rubberized padding, leather and plastics feel a little thin for this class. The material used in this vehicle is par, but doesn't compete with class competitors well. The wood trim looks rather fake, and could be synthetic. Also, STS has had issues with squeaks and rattles--make sure to keep the radio off while driving, if you choose to test-drive the vehicle.
#7 - Cadillac DTS
Cadillac brings another vehicle to the mix--one similar to the STS, but is aimed at a more traditional (perhaps elderly) demographic. My sentiments for the STS thus are similar to the DTS--a good looking interior, but falls short of class competitors for the same reasons.
With that said, the wood appears to look real on this vehicle, the leather seems thicker, and the curvy lines of the STS are replaced with straighter lines for the DTS.
#6 - Audi A6
Solid workmanship, top grade material, and handsome (not too risky) lines & styling keep the Audi A series present in this sector.
The primary reason that the A6 did not make it further down (or should we say up?) the list is that there are very few style and material differences between the A5 and the A6. This seems to be a reoccurring issue for Audi, as the A4 & A5, and the A3 & A4 have the same problem. Although it is a minor complaint, it does hold merit in terms of vehicle personality and the correlating uniqueness of the vehicle(s).
#5 - Mercedes-Benz R-Class
A bubbly interior that reminds me of the Cadillac STS's interior--except the R-Class has much thicker padding and leather, and also has more convincing wood trim. No complaints on workmanship here--squeak and rattle free.
A well behaved interior that feels less traditional than the E-Class sedan. Oh, also, the color schemes for the R-Class actually match, which is a quality STS does not have yet.
#4 - Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Rock hard assembly and mercedes-quality materials line and pad this presidential piece of equipment. Everything seems either padded in rubber, leather or wood. Looking for plastic is actually a task. A solid class leader with a bullet-proof repertoire to match.
#3 - Acura RL
Clean, cut and modern--maybe they should have named it the Acura CCM! The vehicle is impressive in terms of styling (obviously from my corny joke), and holds true with top of the line material and workmanship. No squeaks or rattles reported here. Also, the satin trim goes well with the silver buttons and gunmetal padding and leather.
With that said, some people feel the RL's interior is somewhat dull and monotonous. It aims to reach an exact middle-ground between a performance and luxury feel. Yet, it doesn't have the jazz and techno of Infiniti's M, or the "look at me!" glamour of the Jaguar XF. Also, it's stiff pricing doesn't help.
#2 - Infiniti M Class
The modern face of luxury is here, and boy is it refreshing! The interior is complex, but symmetrical and has some traditional styling (e.g. the center analog clock). The wood trim is convincing, and blends well with the real satin nickel trim. The leather feels thick, ripe, and kind of sporty (evoking the image Infiniti hoped for).
On the down side, some plastic buttons in the center console seem recycled from other Nissan and Infiniti vehicles, compromising the uniqueness of the M.
#1 - Jaguar XF
Jaguar's XF is simply a beauty; it has the lines and muscular figure of a coupe, but is really a fresh take on a sedan--this goes for the outside and inside, by the way.
The inside is smart and fun, not to mention great in quality of material and fit & finish. The knob-transmission is quirky, and seems to be a hit or miss with customers. The color schemes are well behaved and match. The leather is plump and aerated--the way a luxury car's leather should be.
Jaguar is on the rise from years of bad reliability (both initial and long-term), and the XF should lead the way to the brand's recovery.
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