The interior is one of the most important aspects of a vehicle. While people want a pleasing exterior design, the interior is where people spend their time and it is one aspect of cars that receive too little attention from the car buying public, besides how many cupholders the model has.
Ward’s, an organization that has covered the automotive industry for over 80 years, published their Ward’s 10 Best Interiors list for 2011 models. Ward’s tested 51 models. In order to qualify, vehicles had to either be all-new or significantly upgraded for 2011.
Best SUV Interior Winners
According to Ward’s, the best SUV interiors (2 of the 10 models on the list were SUVs) are:
– BMW X3 xDrive 35i
– Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit
Ward’s lauded the X3’s super fit-and-finish, ample space for five occupants, and fold-flat seating. They also commented that the iDrive controller has become easier to use. For 2012, the X3 added a standard black gloss finish to the instrument panel and the 35i added a standard panoramic sunroof. The 2012 X3 xDrive 35i has a starting MSRP of $42,400.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit is the halo of the Jeep brand and it shows. Its title is certainly long enough. The model has deep-grain leather seats and rich materials used in both the instrument panel and door trim. The 2012 model has an MSRP of $46,595.
Interiors Are Improving
While these best SUV interiors are in models that are not inexpensive, the good news is that there are models for about half this price that still have quality, functional interiors. The Volkswagen Tiguan, with its German engineering has a pleasant, comfortable interior, as does the Chevy Equinox and Honda CR-V.
More and more models have amenities such as BlueTooth and MP3 inputs as standard features and automakers are adding innovative interior touches. For example, the Hyundai Tucson has solar glass that helps cool interior temperatures and improves fuel economy.