Top 10: Best Car Interiors for 2009 (45-55k)

Introduction

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.

Photo courtesy z.about.com
Photo courtesy z.about.com

#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.

Photo courtesy Lincoln.com
Photo courtesy Lincoln.com

#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.

Photo courtesy Motortrend.com
Photo courtesy Motortrend.com

#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.

Photo courtesy www.automedia.com
Photo courtesy www.automedia.com

#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).

Photo courtesy Motortrend.com
Photo courtesy Motortrend.com

#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.

Photo courtesy autos.yahoo.com
Photo courtesy autos.yahoo.com

#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.

Photo courtesy Automedia.com
Photo courtesy Automedia.com

#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.

Photo courtesy Automotivetraveler.com
Photo courtesy Automotivetraveler.com

#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.

Photo courtesy Roadfly.com
Photo courtesy Roadfly.com

#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.

Photo courtesy Motortrend.com
Photo courtesy Motortrend.com

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Comments 12 comments

WHoArtNow profile image

WHoArtNow 7 years ago from Leicester, UK

Wahoo for Jaguar! Great hub Mike!


Direxmd profile image

Direxmd 7 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

thanks man :)

Just got back from vacation and was dreading doing this one--but it turned out to be pretty fun


Abhishek87 profile image

Abhishek87 7 years ago from India

Infiniti tops for me...... Great hub again Mike :)


Direxmd profile image

Direxmd 7 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

I like the M a lot too, Abhishek87 :)

Thanks for your compliments--they are nice to hear at 6:30am haha :)


Abhishek87 profile image

Abhishek87 7 years ago from India

Its 6.30 here too but P.M. --- haha :)


Amy G 7 years ago

hmmm... I think I like the Audi... it's clean, and I don't have an overwhelming urge to wipe that damn woodgrain off, like I do all the others!

Thanks for the peek!


kristenkiya profile image

kristenkiya 7 years ago from India

Oh Love this Hub beacause it is of my taste...........


tomerr profile image

tomerr 7 years ago from Far Far Away...

Very nice!


keliix06 profile image

keliix06 6 years ago from USA

The reason there is a recurring theme with the Audis is you don't need to fix what isn't broken :)

It also helps keep down production (and therefore retail) costs.


Direxmd profile image

Direxmd 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Keliix I disagree on two points; Resistance to change does not equal success is the first point. The stark similarity in Audi interiors makes the brand a somewhat wallflower amongst European importers in the United States and North American Markets. The same issue (to a greater extent) is present with Volvo--this is highly reflective in their declining market share.

The second point is that 'economies of scale' dictates that increased (and thus streamlined) production equals lower costs for the manufacturer.

Thanks for your support!

-Direxmd


Phillyfreeze69 profile image

Phillyfreeze69 6 years ago

Governor Steve Breshear has recently(two weeks ago)name the Chevrolet Corvette as the "Official State Car" of the state of Kentucky. Enjoyed viewing and reading the details of these luxury cabins.


Direxmd profile image

Direxmd 6 years ago from Sonoma County, California Author

Phillyfreeze69,

That makes sense since the Corvette has been manufactured in Bowling Green, KY since... well... as long as I can remember.

I'm glad you enjoyed this hub! I appreciate your viewership!

-Direxmd

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