Top 10: Best Car Interiors for 2009 (25-35k)
Can the stakes get any higher? They sure can! There are less vehicles in this bracket but the standards are even higher. Once again, 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 - Toyota Avalon
Toyota's Avalon is certainly a more plush and respectable piece of equipment than the Camry, at least as far as interior style, material quality and overall beauty go. The color schemes flow better, and the style is more traditional. The leather is far more plush, especially in the driver and front passanger seat. The faux-wood is impressive, but obviously synthetic. The two flip-up compartments below the digital console feel of thin plastic and seem below the near luxury-class Avalon fits into.
#9 - Acura TSX
The Honda Accord's upscale brother; based off the same platform--they share many characteristics, yet the Acura TSX makes sure to distiguish it's near-luxury class. With that said, I would classify it more so as the "50/50" vehicle in it's class--50% performance, 50% luxury, in terms of interior style of course. This comes from its Type S roots, and obviously its 30K+ price tag. Excellent workmanship, and a quality (if not a bit bland) interior. Acura does its best to sell you as many interior upgrades as possible, so beware of the escalating price when upgrading!
#8 - Hyundai Genesis
Hyundai is beginning to make itself felt in the near-luxury / entry-level class. The genesis is intimidating to competitors, due to three qualities:
- An affordable price tag, respective to competitors
- Excellent reputation in workmanship and durability (which they did not have in the 90's)
- Industry leader in extensive and comprehensive warranty coverage--they've set the bar.
The genesis is aiming to become Hyundai's flagship; It has durable and soft upholstery, good leather (not excellent, but better than average), an interior lighting & ambiance that flows and commands attention, and convincing wood trim. The main let down is budget plastic pieces (around the center console), the CD tray looks tacky and below the Genesis' status, and the plastic surrounding the transmission.
Other than that, give Genesis some time to evolve, since it's only in its first generation. Expect good sales from this high reaching vehicle.
#7 - Lexus IS Series
The sporty IS 250 & 350 certainly like to show off--The interior is handsome and well rounded (better than last generation, which was messy and offbeat). Quality rubberized surfaces and plush leather seats give the IS a mix of sport and splendor. Plastics roam, but don't feel cheap. Squeeks, rattles and misaligned pieces have been found in the new IS--drive before you buy. If you do indeed catch one or two of these issues after purchase, don't worry, report it to Lexus immediately and they will resolve the problem. Lexus is known for its excellent customer service.
#6 - Audi A3
A simple and elegant interior which seems to please all eyes. Not a lot of risk in terms of style, but the materials are finer than the entry-level luxury class demands. Plastics can be found, but feel reinforced and high quality. Aluminum trim is available. Workmanship and fit & finish is outstanding.
#5 - Infiniti G Series
Nissan & Infiniti have been known to flounder the interiors of their vehicles--leaving them with budget grade material and occasional lapses in workmanship. The G series is for the most part, an exception to this rule. Quality aerated leather seats provide a sporty feel, with beautiful aluminum and wood grain trims available. No clinks and clanks when the door shuts, a bright and blue ambiance fills the inside at night, and rubberized surfaces feel sturdy. Fit & finish is fine, but buzzing and rattles have been known to occur behind the dashboard or under the glove compartment--drive before you buy.
Note*: Infiniti has some of the best customer service in the Industry, if you experience workmanship lapses after you buy a vehicle, they will repair the car ASAP, or give you another one.
#4 - Acura TL
A sporty, even more beautiful interior graces the interior of the Acura TL (relative to the TSX, which is based off the same design). More aluminum, less plastic, better leather, (somehow) finer workmanship and more interior features helped the TL achieve #4 on our list (keep in mind, that it carries a higher pricetag, of course).
#3 - Audi A4
The same comments of the TSX in respect to the TL are also that of the A3 and A4. A higher price tag, finer materials and more features mesh together to make one heck of a car. Some of the best fit & finish I have seen to date.
#2 - Lexus ES 350
An elegant creature based off the Camry design. Plush, aerated leather, real wood trim, a great list of basic features, and many generations of trial and error have created one of the best selling entry-level luxury cars to date. Its reputation for durability of its fine materials, fit & finish and comfort are difficult to match. A traditional design attracts an older generation, but expect this to change when the ES series is revamped soon!
#1 - BMW 3-Series
The best selling entry-level luxury car to date. The 3-series is known for uncompromising ultra-plush comfort, performance and sickeningly high quality of materials. The basic feature list is pages long, and it has a price tag to match (the BMW 1-series was created for those who could live with a relatively bland interior, less room, and a less-hefty price tag).
What else do you want me to say? There's a reason it's at the top of its class!
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