No matter how cool your car looks on the outside, the truth is, you won't spend much time looking at it from a distance. No matter how fast it is, you'll spend most of your time in it idling in traffic and traveling at neighborhood speeds. For most of us, it's the comfort of the seats, the quality of the materials, the sound of the stereo and the feel of the wheel in your hands that makes a car enjoyable to own...or a disappointment six months in.
You don't have to spend a fortune, though, to get a near-luxury interior. Some cars feature cabins that look and feel more expensive than their sticker price would lead you to believe.
Here are five interiors that punch above their weight class:
2009 ford fiesta motorauthority 009Enlarge Photo
You probably don't expect much from a car that, fully-equipped, costs less than $18,000. But Ford's new subcompact might surprise you. Ford's outstanding SYNC infotainment system, which allows you to control Bluetooth-enabled phones and music players inside the car with voice commands, is a feature some luxury automakers are still struggling to counter, and here it is available in an affordable subcompact car. Other unexpected amenities in this price range include leather and heated seats.