• pupdaddy Posted: 3/5/2008 6:04pm PST

    The leather seats of the F-150 crew cab and the Taurus X look awfully inviting.

    Chrysler needs to spend more time in exterior design an execution. Driver and passengers have to live with th interior a lot more than wit the exterior. The General has learned this lesson. Things would improve in a hurry if top brass and engineers had to spend just one day in these cars.

  • william Posted: 3/3/2008 3:42pm PST

    I have an 02 Audi S6 Avant and I have yet to find a better interior........Black maple dash with aluminum accents everywhere, and my favorite touch is the alcantara suede headliner.
    The alcantara has now a very expensive option on the Audi's now and more ought to offer it-

  • Daniel Will Posted: 3/2/2008 10:59pm PST

    Since you sit IN a car and look and feel the interior the entire time, it's about time manufacturers were focusing on the look and feel of their interiors--and they are getting substantially better.

    I recently attended the San Francisco auto show and after looking, and sitting in virtually every car, the most beautifully designed interiors were surprising: the Chevy Malibu, in its many two-tone variations, and the Cadillac CTS, with it's stitched dash.

    The Malibu's double binnacle dash design takes cues from the past and makes them totally modern. Its availability in many colors and trims is incredibly impressive at a time when many dashes are available in your choice or black or black, or maybe gray. The seating materials and textures are totally first rate (Coach-like leather colors and feel) and are FAR more stylish than those on many Lux cars, including Lexus. They're look and feel good.

    These new interior designs from GM are quite bold and unique (something that can't be said for Audi, Mercedes, or the increasingly unrefined BMW dashes). They're also beautifully put together. I haven't seen the new Pontiac G8 dash in person, but it, too, looks well designed.

    The Malibu and CTS are, quite literally, as nice as the interior on the Maserati Quattroporte.

    Of the Japanese companies, Ever since the Mazda 3, Mazda's interiors have the highest level of refinement, and classic, elegant design.

    Current Jaguar interiors are beautiful, especially the latest XK and XF.

    The one Mercedes that has a bold interior is the CLS, which also has a bold exterior.

    Lincoln is headed the right direction with their retro-futuristic interiors that recall the classic 1960's suicide-door Continentals.

    Some of the worst:

    The Honda Civic's bizarre Klingon control panel made out of hard plastic, and the stitching on the seats of a new Civic I recently drove were puckered and pathetic.

    Scions' interiors have gone from quirkly and fun in the first versions to the new ones having a distinct "cheap hard black plastic boom box" feeling that's unpleasant.

  • ralph frank Posted: 3/2/2008 4:05pm PST

    ford has simple dash designs on their cars but unfotunately the cheap plastic is awful.if they plan to complete with the other players maybe they should get their intrior design staff to get with the program. the koreans are a better interior designers of cheap plastic than the ford.wake up you guys, its almost too late.

  • TIM Posted: 3/1/2008 12:39pm PST

    That pic of the King Ranch dash looks like it got every available accessory and trim ring rom JC Whitney

  • Chester Biswick Posted: 2/29/2008 9:00pm PST

    Volvo 80, XC70 and V70. Unique and simple. Oh, and I agree on the King Ranch leather, but I can't justify buying a big truck for that reason.

  • Leigh Posted: 2/29/2008 2:51pm PST

    Best: Mazda (materials, fit & finish, feel). Its all good.

    Worst: Chrysler, Saturn & relative newcomer Ford. Their dash materials are now the hard plastic. Its horrible. I won't touch a Ford anymore.

  • ray ray Posted: 2/29/2008 11:13am PST

    GM is on a roll, CTS,Malibu,Enclave,Acadia,Escalade.Tahoe, all great effort.

  • Craig Posted: 2/28/2008 7:23pm PST

    Audi hands down! Currently own both an Audi and a BMW; the latter's interior is showing wear while the Audi is still in show-room condition.

  • Gene Posted: 2/28/2008 4:08pm PST

    It's too easy to cite the Audi's- they've been on top for years. I'll nominate the new Malibu LTZ in two-tone. More stylish than its brethern Saturn with equally as nice materials. A pleasant surprise from GM.

  • Skywalk Posted: 2/28/2008 4:05pm PST

    Best: Audi S4, Caddy CTS, Lexus LS460
    Worst: Enty-level Chryslers

  • JEM Posted: 2/28/2008 2:44pm PST

    I disagree very strongly with the first premise of the article - that interiors overall are good. Automakers have been taking cost out of the interiors all over the place, even the Koreans are full of hard ABS plastic door panels.

    There's one simple rule of thumb when evaluating an interior for 'perceived quality' - is there anything that looks soft but is really hard molded plastic? If so, it fails. And in anything that pretends to be 'quality' hard surfaces should be limited to controls, bezels, and trim.

    Whatever one thinks of the F250 design, the material quality sucks very badly. It's got hard door panels, hard dash pad, it's a forest of cheap ABS plastic.

    Audi's still the class of the field, BMW was very good in the '90s but has slipped a bit since. The E65-chassis 7-series interior looks more like '70s German hotel than 21st-century German car, and have they fixed the embarrassingly cheesy little access door for the CD changer? The E60-platform 5-series isn't much better.

    I like the W220 E-class Benz interior a lot, the control layout is excellent, but the newer ones are starting to fall off the same cliff that BMW went over with the current 5s and 7s.

    The Volvo S60R/V70R had one of the prettiest interiors ever done. The Japanese have in general gone downhill since the late '80s/early '90s - late '80s Toyotas had some of the best overall material quality ever. These days you have to buy a Lexus to get the same grade of materials that was typical of Supras, Celicas, Camrys, etc. in the '80s and early '90s.

    Ford's got far too much hard plastic, especially in the door panels, and almost universally through their truck/SUV line. The Focus was once good in material quality even if the design was off; the last couple cheesy updates ripped out all the good stuff and filled it with hard plastic. Of the present Tahoe/Yukon/etc. only the Escalade gets a soft dash pad, it's rather cheesy of GM to put a hard ABS molding in the GMC Denali.

    The good news is that GM is starting to get religion, the new Malibu is excellent and the new CTS is spectacularly good.

  • brian Posted: 2/28/2008 1:54pm PST

    As I posted on Winding Road last nite, I especially like Audi interiors - particularly those in the turn-of-the-millenium models that were Navy with Vanilla seats and door trims, Navy welts and burled walnut insets.

    Currently, their brown and red interiors are among the best along with those of the BMW 3 and 1 series (sans iTouch/Navigation)

    Among the BGB (Black/Grey/Beige) crowd, Infiniti has the best interiors in their current M and G Series (Nissan/Infiniti also have the best Navigation systems...)

    Jaguar is also right up there with their interiors in the XK and XJ.

    Worst interiors?
    The current BMW 5 and 7 Series (the new electric shifters look like a sex-toy and I hate the double-hump binnacles)
    The new Mercedes S and CL-Class (what's up w/ putting the shifter on the column like an old Polara?)
    Anything Ford - including your precious F-Series pickups; They may look good in the brochures, but Rubbermaid makes better interior plastics.

  • Gubbins Posted: 2/28/2008 1:15pm PST

    The "King Ranch" cabin? THAT ugly mish-mash of colors and textures?
    Don't tell us you're taken in by the baseball glove leather...
    Check out the cheapo floor mat that looks like a carpet remnant; the poor fit of the
    navi screen in its nacelle, the large gap in the pull-out tray to the right of the steering column, the ugly plastic surrounds on the IP small controls.
    Sorry, but I agree with Joe T--Audi's still the King of Cabins

  • Marty Padgett Posted: 2/28/2008 12:54pm PST

    The Lancer is an interesting mix of old and new. It's a surprise to get into one and see a big screen for a navi - but it kind of makes sense with the whole videogame feel of the car.

  • Andy Posted: 2/28/2008 12:19pm PST

    VW/Audi has the best interiors by far, in terms of looks,fit and finish. Especially the Audi brand. The entire GM family is so much better looking that the designers really deserve a nod for FINALLY giving their vehicles decent looking interiors. Saturn is probably the most notable.

    The worst? Chrysler, especially the Compass(and it's Dodge equivalent, whose name escapes me right now),the Patriot, the Sebring. The Tupperware interior looks hideous and the steering wheel looks like it's out of a 89 Plymouth Voyager. The new Ram interior isn't bad though.

    Ford is very hit or miss right now. Too much hard plastic and cheap black plastic in the Edge/MKX and base Fusion. The new Lancer interior is an improvement, but not a big one, over the previous Lancer (which I owned). Most Mitsubishi's have strange interiors. One part says "Wow, this is really nice" and another "Boy, that's really cheap."

    I too wonder why Ford never put King Ranch into Explorer or Expedition.

  • billyjoejimbob Posted: 2/28/2008 12:05pm PST

    Ford F-250 King Ranch? Every bit as subtle and sophisticated as the last Toby Keith video I saw on the Country Music channel ;-)

    The 2008 Cadillac CTS is more my style... A world class effort at a very compitive price.

  • Marty Padgett Posted: 2/28/2008 11:38am PST

    America's fear? I just named two examples of interesting textures and materials...but yeah, they are brown.

  • Erik McCullough Posted: 2/28/2008 11:19am PST

    As an owner of an 08 F-350, I tend to agree with you on the interior. I don't know why manufacturers spend so little time or attention to the interiors of their cars.

    The exterior is important, perhaps, but other people look at it more than me and they didn't spend the money. I spent the money, so I care what I look at -- which is what I see from the drivers seat inside.

  • rick e Posted: 2/28/2008 11:17am PST

    Infiniti EX crossover

  • Romy Locklear Posted: 2/28/2008 11:15am PST

    It has to be ANY red leather interior, especially BMW's quality leathers. Let's just say anything with some color in it is interesting. If any manufacturer offers something other than gray, tan or black, I'm interested. America's fear of color/styling amazes me.

  • Dennis Posted: 2/28/2008 11:15am PST

    When you are talking about mid priced vehicles nobody comes close to the full Mazda zoom-zoom lineup...and please, no wood in a car...nothing screams old timer more than wood...

  • Joe T. Posted: 2/28/2008 11:13am PST

    Audi by far has the best interiors in the world, especially S5, A8L and R8! World class in materials, fit and finish.

  • Wayne K Posted: 2/28/2008 9:53am PST

    Ford King Ranch SuperDuty truck