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Top 10: Best Car Interiors for 2009 (35-45k)

Updated on February 21, 2011


The standards increase further as the 35-45k bracket winners are announced! Although the bar has indeed been set higher, there are fewer cars in this category--only 12-15 of them. Enjoy the review, and be sure to comment if you have suggestions or comments!

And, as always, 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 - Nissan 350z

Nissan's 350z is the flagship for their sport and performance market but is a general let-down in terms of interior décor. The amount of plastic present is unacceptable (although they are textured), and squeeks & rattles have been a common complaint.

Not all is bad news for this hot seller--the leather is of decent durability and quality, padded surfaces are present, and the orange ambiance from the console and instrument panel gives 350z a sporty and spicy feel.

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#9 - Saab 9-5

A simple, traditional and classy design. I wouldn't call it an exciting interior, but the driver-facing console & dash is certainly a sporty plus. The interior feature list is extensive, and there is decent bang-for-buck content. The dress-kit selection is few and far between, leaving an interior that needs a pick-me-up.

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#8 - Volvo XC70 / S80

A simple and tastful interior, albeit a tad drab. The XC70's interior is less dull though. The standard color scheme is grey and monotonous, with an extra dark, boring wood trim. Other color schemes are two-toned and bring life to the delectable design.

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#7 - Audi TT

Although there isn't a lot of interior in this micro-machine--that which is present is solid, rich and eye-pleasing. The red glow of the vehicle at night adds a particularly sporty feel. As always, workmanship and assembly is tight and precise on this Audi.

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#6 - Lincoln MKS

Lincoln pegs its future on this hopeful flagship--the interior is classy, simple and pleases many crowds. The ambiance is bright, fun and feels refreshing.

A lincoln representitive declared that all wood used in the vehicle (such as the trim) shall be manufactured from recovered antique furniture--a "green" selling point, and thus very revolutionary.

The leather feels a tad thin for this price bracket, and budget-grade plastic can be found. Borrowed pieces from other Ford, Mercury and Lincoln vehicles are terribly obvious (which is becoming a serious problem for Ford). Besides these sour points, the vehicle is worthy of this class.

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#5 - Audi A5

The A4's more expensive brother has been fine-tuned to match this price bracket. There are more curves in the interior design, and the navigation system has been replaced with a larger, more modern one. The manual transmission knob has been replaced with a sportier design as well. The leather and rubberized surfaces feel the same as the A4's. Workmanship, fit & finish and quality of materials are all fantastic, although I wish Audi had done more to differentiate the A5 from the A4.

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#4 - Mercedes-Benz C-Class

As promised, the C-Class would have a spot here. The interior ranges from spartan to spicy. All materials were found to be quality, though some plastic pieces looked out of place. The base model C-Class is a bit drab, but that falls below 35k. Many interior options are available to make this beauty unique and yours.

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#3 - Lexus GS Series

The Lexus GS has a traditional and well behaved interior. Although a bit bland, the quality of the materials is excellent. No cost cutting could be found (although the rubberized surfaces on the dash were a tad thin for GS's price). The real wood trim looks nice, but makes a good point--the stain makes it look a tad fake (as goes with other lexus models that have tinted wood trim). The GS takes little risks inside, but all criteria is met, and basic features are plentiful.

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#2 - BMW 5-Series

BMW's 5-Series continues to please the senses with its luxurious leather, real wood grain, and its generous rubbized surfaces and padding. Cutting edge features continue to roam the interior of this best seller, as they always have. No squeeks or rattles were found (as expected). The ambiance is simply a modest delight--not overwhelming, but you can still feel the vehicle's status when you sit inside. The 5-series' interior lets its presence be felt, without saying a word.

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#1 - Cadillac CTS

The most dashing example of a 50/50 vehicle (50% performance, 50% luxury), and even more so on the CTS-V. There is something magical about the interior of this vehicle--you simply get excited when you put the key in the ignition. This new generation of CTS leans more towards luxury, than performance, compared to the last generation. Although the price is steeper now, the premium leather, thick rubberized surfaces and less plastic keeps the price reasonable for what you get.

Fun, revolutionary and exotic--there is a reason that this is a best buy on every review site, and that it continues to bring profitable success to GM's Cadillac marque.

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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Id put the a5's at number 1. Atleast not the cadillac.its "cheapy" in feeling and it has that "american car" feeling

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice hub, thanks you for post.

    • Evan Hutchinson profile image

      Evan Hutchinson 

      9 years ago from The Dirty South

      Ugh, that CTS interior is beautiful... How about the Jag XF though? Or does that come in above 45K?

    • Dink96 profile image


      9 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      I see, this is where my comment should have been placed. You've really done your homework on these....great job!!

    • britneydavidson profile image


      10 years ago from united kingdom

      great hub...all of them are amazing its really tought to find the best among them...great job done..thanx for sharing this...

    • skydiver profile image


      10 years ago from UK

      Very nice hub. My favourite interior was the inside of the Aston Martin used in Casion Royale. It was parked up at a Convention in London and I was lucky enough to sit inside :) I'll have to try and dig out the pics!

    • profile image

      English Teacher 

      10 years ago

      Hey, Direxmd - Another great set of articles! As I dream of winning the Lotto to afford one of these, all I can say is "Wow!" Some nice "rides" here.


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