For this year’s list, the American trade publication has given awards to eight cars from Asian or American brands.
During February, the editorial team at Ward’s Auto evaluated the interiors of 42 new or significantly upgraded vehicles that went on sale in the US during the previous 12 months.
The list below is presented in alphabetical order.
BMW i3 US$52,550 ($69,100)
The electric and range-extended i3 hatchback is a radical looking beast, both inside and out. Ward’s gave it a gong this year “for its utility, use of recycled materials and for breaking ground with clever new interior design elements”.
Chrysler 300C Platinum ($51,175)
This is not the first time that this generation of the Chrysler 300 has managed to find its way onto the Ward’s list. This year the editors gave it gong on the back of its mid-life facelift that brought with it “creamy quilted Nappa leather seats and lightly finished natural-pore wood to the meticulously stitched Foligno leather-wrapped instrument panel, steering wheel and center console”, as well as the standard 7-inch multi-function display in the instrumentation panel.
Ford F-150 King Ranch ($60,675)
The house that Henry built aimed high with the latest generation of its top-selling pickup truck. Not only does it feature an aluminium-intensive body, but, in the opinion of the trade publication, it also deserves a place on this year’s list of interiors as this high-spec model features “rich genuine Khaya wood that dresses the instrument panel and center console and cascades down the door panel from the window line, edged in brightwork”.
GMC Canyon SLT ($40,465)
The North American-made GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado may use the same basic underpinnings as the Holden Colorado, but the Americanisation process ended up gifting the ute numerous functional and stylistic differences, such as front-end revised styling, unique interiors and altered trays.
According to the American magazine, the Canyon deserves its spot because it has “extensive feature content, contrast stitching and thoughtful layout [that helps to] erase the dark memories of old-school compact work trucks and make the Canyon more like a well-equipped SUV, but with a bed in back”.
Honda Fit EX-L ($21,590)
We, of course, know Honda’s tall-boy hatch as the Jazz. The Fit/Jazz earns its place courtesy of its “second-row ‘Magic Seats’ (top) that fold upright and lock in place for easy storage of bikes and other large objects”.
Jeep Renegade Limited ($33,205)
Built in Italy and twinned with the Fiat 500X, the judging panel gave the smallest Jeep yet a place on this year’s list. According to Ward’s: “Truly setting the Renegade apart is its vibrant color scheme, blending creamy gray leather with the ‘Bark Brown’ carpet, door trim and instrument panel. Pulling it all together, unexpectedly, are crisp lava accents and contrast stitching”.
Kia Sedona SXL ($43,295)
Ward’s claims that the people mover that we know as the Carnival has “taken so many chances”, but its appeal goes “beyond the aesthetic” with an easy-to-use infotainment system, second-row lounge seats and adaptive cruise control.
Mazda 6 Grand Touring ($33,395)
The Mazda 6 is praised as being “arguably the best-looking midsize sedan on the planet, inside and out”, and it regains its place on the list thanks to a redesigned dashboard that now incorporates the company’s latest infotainment unit.
Mercedes C400 ($65,000)
For the crew at the trade mag, the latest-generation C-Class more than earns its place because features from the S-Class, such as “multiple ambient-light options, massaging front seats [and] the stunning brushed-aluminum surfaces” are available in the C “at less than half the price”.
Nissan Murano SL ($41,905)
We know now that the latest-generation Murano will not being heading down under. The publication praised the look and feel of the new Murano’s interior, stating that “it is easy to understand what designers mean when they talk about expressive, holistic styling” and concluding that the “Murano is elegant and contemporary while achieving a serenity uncommon among midsize CUVs”.
Let us know what you think of the interiors on this year’s list in the comments section below.