Now in its fourth year, the 2014 Ward’s 10 Best Interiors list has given gongs to four American vehicles.
Last year not a single European car featured in a list dominated by Asian manufacturers. For 2014 the glory is much more evenly spread around, with four American vehicles, and three each from Europe and Asia.
Over the past two months eight WardsAuto editors have assessed 41 vehicles’ interiors across a standard set of criteria, including ergonomics, fit and finish, materials, value, driver information and design harmony.
Here’s this year’s list in alphabetical order:
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray US$71,960 ($76,320)
While previous generations of America’s own supercar have had interiors that were better suited to economy sedans, the new ‘Vette is much improved. The judges were particularly pleased with the “high-visibility reconfigurable digital graphics … [that] do a great job communicating mission-critical information to the driver both on and off the track”.
Chrysler 200C US$31,470 ($33,380)
According to WardsAuto, the new 200 is arguably the company’s best mid-size sedan in decades, with value and the interior design being the car’s high points.
GMC Sierra Denali US$56,685 ($59,100)
Although it may be hard for non-enthusiasts to tell the current generation of GM pickups from their predecessors, the interior has been given a big upgrade while maintaining its ruggedness.
Hyundai Equus Ultimate US$68,920 ($73,100)
Despite undercutting its European competition, in WardAuto’s opinion the Equus offers the same limo-like experience as the much more ballyhooed brands.
Jeep Cherokee Limited US$37,525 ($39,800)
The Cherokee’s “excellent quick-response central display touchscreen … is easily navigated without being overwhelming”.
Kia Soul+ US$24,010 ($25,470)
The editors liked the US market Soul’s neon-green stitching, as well as its “outstanding comfort, space, ergonomics and value”.
Mazda3 US$30,415 ($32,265)
In the words of the trade magazine: “It’s not every day an entry-level model can be had with beautiful interior styling, a sophisticated central controller that resembles that of an Audi“.
Mercedes-Benz S550 US$122,895 ($130,400)
According to WardsAuto, the new S-Class is not only rich and stylish, but also incorporates tech-savvy features without being intimidating.
Rolls-Royce Wraith US$372,800 ($395,590)
It’s hard not to fall in love with the Wraith’s buttery smooth leather, acres of wood accents and the optional headlining with star-like fibre-optic lighting. Added together they give the Wraith “an unrivaled driving and riding experience”.
Volkswagen Golf GTI US$30,695 ($32,560)
The GTI’s interior “demonstrates VW’s desire to execute well-appointed, sporty cabins that don’t break the bank”.