Top 10: Best Car Interiors for 2010 (45-55k)
Look at these beauties! The finest in luxury automotive engineering is available to deep pockets and enthusiasts alike. Thick leather, plush padding, dual-zone climate control, superior navigation units and wood / metal / carbon fiber trims are required to enter this class, among other requirements. Ambiance is extremely importance, along with a dead-silent interior. Only the best in modern interiors are excepted in this Top 10: Best Car Interiors. No exceptions. Only the best. Need I say more? Enjoy!
No real new changes for this year's Top 10: Best Car Interiors, except some vehicles (Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Dodge Caliber, etc.) have entered the 15-25k bracket to compete. MSRP & invoice prices have been added this year for reference (current 02/10). All prices are USD. 11th place (did not qualify) has been included for 2010. Value relative to interior design & quality was an important factor in the rating system.
#11 (Did Not Qualify) - Cadillac STS
Although Cadillac's STS model qualified for 8th place last year, it simply cannot compete against greater behemoths of vehicle interiors. Great volumes of rubbized padding set the STS back, along with a relatively poor rattle & squeek to price ratio. The STS seems doomed to merge with the DTS in the near future--to create Cadillac's new flagship. Wood trim remains unconvincing, although the blue dashboard enhances the STS's already large size interior. Standard leather feels thicker this year, but could be the same material. The minuses were simply greater than the pluses relative to other competitors--keeping STS out of this year's Top 10: Best Car Interiors for this class.
2010 MSRP: $46,845 - $56,345
2010 Invoice: $44,034 - $52,964
#10 - Audi A6
An overall good quality interior for the base model A6 snags the 10 spot for the 45-55k class. Prices for interior improvements bump the A6 out of the 45-55k range quickly--buyer beware. Rear-side airbags should be standard, but can be forgiven. Fine grain leather is present and welcomed. Real aluminum trim a plus. Somewhat boring interior and quickly rising prices stagnate the A6 from ranking hiring in this bracket.
2010 MSRP: $45,200 - $76,100
2010 Invoice: $42,036 - $74,589
#9 - Infiniti M
M's interior seems somewhat under-performing when compared to other competitors this year--but it does have its strengths. The first strength is value--it is hard to find other vehicles in this bracket that hold its luxury to price ratio when compared to Infiniti's M. Available wood trim a welcome replacement to bargain-bin plastics that would be present in the trim's place. Leather is plush, but roaming plastics become a nuisance when noticed. Interior large, roomy--but headroom is not M's strength when compared to others. Pretty ambiance, navigation unit a little confusing. My recommendation--wait for the new 2011 Infiniti M, unless you are eager for slashed prices on the 2010 model.
2010 MSRP: $45,800 - $54,650
2010 Invoice: $~42,286 - $50,439
#8 - Mercedes SLK-Class
Pretty cute interior for this well-known convertible--SLK fits plenty of nice interior features in a small space. White and black color scheme gives a tuxedo, James Bond feel to the SLK. All instruments clearly marked. Contours in leather seating create a comfortable environment. Good quality leather. Some plastic buttons unconvincing, but are given a pass when compared to overall great material quality. Head room leaves tall individuals feeling left out (but hey, it's a convertible after all right?). Very good competitor in this class, although prices climb quickly with options.
2010 MSRP: $46,900 - $66,650
2010 Invoice: $43,617 - $61,984
#7 - BMW Z4
"The BMW convertible 5-series" as I like to call it. I used to consider BMW's Z4 model a weak competitor in both convertible and luxury classes when it was young--but Z4 has changed. Doors no longer clank shut, and the vehicle's interior is overall more appealing now. Pop-up navigation unit is fun--although I need to lean forward to read it clearly (I have good eye sight, dont worry). Leather surfaces generous and very plush ("Kansas leather" is available, but wasn't in the model I tried). Wood trim being optional is a ding--but perhaps modesty and simplicity is the Z4 best attribute.
2010 MSRP: $45,750 - $51,650
2010 Invoice: $42,090 - $47,250
#6 - Porshe Boxster
2010 MSRP: $47,600 - $58,000
2010 Invoice: $42,660 - $52,020
#5 - Acura RL
A good deal for humble luxury. RL aims for an upper-middle class clientele and it is received the same on Top 10: Best Car Interiors. Quality is very good, although not mercedes-benz, but the same deal at a relative price. Dashboard padding somewhat thin, but adequate. Center console has too much obvious plastic for its class. Common, but plush feeling leather is a plus. Wood grain convincing, nice ambiance color scheme.
2010 MSRP: $46,830 - $54,250
2010 Invoice: $42,070 - $48,723
#4 - Lexus GS
Perfect blend of modern and traditional styles. Comfortable seats, plush leather. No squeeks/ rattles heard. Pretty ambiance when dark. Convincing wood trim, fits in well (much better than the last generation). Control layoff straightforward. Worth checking out!
2010 MSRP: $45,600 - $54,070
2010 Invoice: ~$42,100 - ~$50,450
#3 - BMW 5-Series
This vehicle's interior is outstanding, but not the best. Fresh soft carpeting when there is not thick leather avail. Some of the most high quality wood i've seen in a car. Few plastic knobs/parts floating around. Confusing navigation system, but audio controls easier. Nice smell to the car, unique. Padding a little thin in some places.
2010 MSRP: $45,800 - $85,500
2010 Invoice: $42,135 - $78,660
#2 - Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Fantastic vehicle. Simple magnificent at all prices--but they do escalate quickly. Nice color schemes, good supply of luxorious surfaces and features, thick leather and well groomed plastic pieces as accent. What else can I say? I like the euro-feel to it.
2010 MSRP: $48,050 - $85,500
2010 Invoice: $44,686 - ~$81,500
#1 - Jaguar XF
Second year winner for this bracket! All around great interior. Well placed knobs, simple navigation unit, jazzy console/dash, useful center console. Good quality leather. Nice use of aluminum and plastic metallic trim. Fun interior!
2010 MSRP: $51,150 - $79,150
2010 Invoice: $46,547 - $72,027