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Wards Automotive 10 Best Interiors of 2011 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Wards Automotive takes its 10 Best Interior awards seriously. The industry mag tested 51 vehicles to come up with this year's winners, which span three luxury vehicles, three economy cars, a sport sedan, a minivan, a family sedan and an SUV. Ward's AutoWorld Editor-in-Chief Drew Winter says the publication has never tested so many vehicles, adding, "Every auto maker wants the freshest, highest-quality interior possible for all the vehicles they sell."

Showing just how much the world of interiors has changed over the years, Chrysler was the only automaker to take home two awards, thanks to the Dodge Charger and Jeep Grand Cherokee, while Kia and Hyundai could technically say the same since the Elantra and Optima each took home honors. At the same time, both Toyota and Lexus were shut out, as was Honda's Acura luxury brand and Mercedes-Benz.

Among the first-time winners for 2011 are the Ford Focus Titanium and Chevy Cruze. Click on the image above to browse through all 10 winners, or you can head over to Wards Automotive for the complete scoop.

What do you think – Did Wards get it right? If not, what was left out and what should it replace?

2011 Audi A8
  • 2011 Audi A8
  • Farbe: Quarzgrau

  • 2011 Audi A8
  • BMW X3
  • The new BMW X3 (07/2010)

  • BMW X3
  • The new BMW X3 (07/2010)

  • 2011 Chevy Cruze 2LT
  • 2011 Chevy Cruze 2LT
  • 2011 Dodge Charger
  • 2011 Dodge Charger
  • 2012 Ford Focus Titanium
  • 2012 Ford Focus Titanium
  • Focus Titanium

  • 2011 Honda Odyssey
  • 2011 Honda Odyssey
  • 2011 Hyundai Elantra
  • 2011 Hyundai Elantra
  • 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit
  • 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit. (PRNewsFoto/Chrysler Group LLC)

  • 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2011 Kia Optima EX
  • 2011 Kia Optima EX
  • 2011 Volvo S60
  • 2011 Volvo S60

[Source: Wards Automotive]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Optima's interior is not at all among the ten best. Not even close actually. Seriously. I've driven the car and the interior is a hodgepodge of materials,textures and shapes.

      And the Cruze? I guess they didn't notice the steering wheel falling off or the super cheap hand-brake.

      Cool that the Odyssey got an award though - that interior is awesome.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Panamera has by far the nicest interior...
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Acura ZDX isn't on that list? For a five-figure car, that has to have one of the best interiors I've seen.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I smell potential BS! I have a theory here.

      Note that the newly introduced Volvo's S60 interior is a winner, but the very similar holdover XC60 interior is not (it's R design is even better).

      BMW's newly introduced X3 interior is a winner, but the very similar holdover 3 series interior is not.

      There are many more advertising dollars spent on new models than on holdovers. Does Wards license these "awards" for advertising purposes like JD Powers does? Do they wind up always going to new designs for that reason? Or are only new designs eligible? (which in itself, ala MotorTrend, is BS for ad selling reasons)

      Because it seems to me that if you like the BMW's interior, you'd prefer it on both the sedans/coupes as well as the CUV. And vice-versa for Volvo.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Are you kidding me? The only good ones there are the A8 and the Honda minivan for it's price range but the Charger? Already looks way outdated. The Grand Cherokee? As somebody mentioned haven't they heard of Range Rover? The econos: Focus, Elantra and Cruze, oh, I forgot some people still want to be surrounded by late 90's early 00's flashy radio systems. And the Optima? Even the Autoblog review gave it hands down, looks like my high school home-ec stitching project. But of course, when buying a car I make my own smart decisions so why should I care?
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Charger's interior looks alright, and with the standard touchscreen I'm not sure how you can say it already looks outdated. I wasn't that impressed with it when I first saw photos, but then I actually SAT in the thing and came away very impressed. The Grand Cherokee is new, the Range Rover is not, and the Jeep really does have a fantastic interior. Like the Charger, photos can't properly convey the feel of it. Plus, I have a feeling the Evoque will have a spot on this list next year.

        Your beef with the three econocars is laughably nitpicky and, again, quite odd to me. I don't see anything remotely late 90's about those stereos. If your complaint is that the standard stereo in a modern economy car is too similar to the information-rich, graphically superior aftermarket systems that used to cost hundreds upon hundreds of dollars, then that is also just odd. It's like not giving a figure skater the gold medal because you thought their outfit had too many sequins.

        But anyway, congrats on that home ec stitching project. If it's like the seats in the Optima, then you must have serious talent. I'm guessing your talent has only grown over the years as you honed your craft, and now you must work for Bentley or Rolls-Royce.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm only saying this once.
        They only tested cars that are NEW for 2011.
        These are the following cars they tested:
        Acura TSX wagon
        Acura TL
        Chrysler Town & Country
        Dodge Charger
        Dodge Durango
        Dodge Journey
        Fiat 500
        Ford Edge
        Ford Explorer
        Ford F-Series Super Duty
        Ford Fiesta
        Ford Focus
        Audi A8
        Ford Mustang GT
        GMC Acadia Denali
        Honda CR-Z
        Honda Odyssey
        Hyundai Elantra
        Hyundai Equus
        Infiniti QX56
        Jaguar XJ
        Jeep Grand Cherokee
        Jeep Wrangler
        BMW X3
        Kia Optima
        Kia Sportage
        Lexus CT 200h
        Lincoln MKX
        Mini Countryman
        Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
        Nissan Juke
        Nissan Leaf
        Cadillac CTS-V wagon
        Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
        Nissan Quest
        Porsche Cayenne Turbo
        Ram Laramie Longhorn
        Saab 9-5 Aero
        Scion tC
        Subaru Forester
        Toyota Avalon
        VW Jetta
        VW Touareg Hybrid
        Chevy Cruze
        Volvo S60
        Chevy Silverado HD
        Chevy Volt
        Chrysler 200
        Chrysler 300

        Do you see Range Rover on that list? I don't.

        Why they chose the Charger:
        "Ward’s editors saw red, in a good way, after driving the redesigned Charger Rallye Plus, equipped with blazing red seats, door panels and center armrest.
        Ward’s editors gather to pick best interiors. But in any interior color, the $34,635 Charger would look stunning, with its 1-piece matte-finish metallic trim and sporty gauges lending an eye-catching flourish to the dashboard. Chrysler has made tremendous strides in overhauling its interiors throughout the lineup. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Charger."

        Why they chose the Grand Cherokee:
        "With shock and awe, the all-new Grand Cherokee Overland Summit carries on the tradition as a halo for the Jeep brand. The boldly stitched deep-grain tan leather seats instantly conjure images of a highly crafted saddle from the wild west. The rich material carries over seamlessly to the instrument panel and door trim, making this $48,770 V-8-powered SUV the ultimate comfort-mobile for the Rubicon Trail."

        Damn, it's like people can't read.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No Jaguars?
      • 4 Years Ago
      How could they have left out the interior of The Infinti M37/56. I sat in one and it's definitely the best looking interior in it's class(Benz E,BMW 5). For those don't know, just try looking it up.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's kind of the point of most auto awards-they're basically rigged to give everyone "winners" and then the manufacturers can pay whatever fee the awarders want to use the awards in their ads.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, it won last year.

        I'll agree that this is a strange award, with a "new or significantly improved" criteria like the Motor Trend car of the year, but yet with multiple categories like Car and Driver's 10-best, meaning 1/5 of all vehicles tested get awarded.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Focus? It doesn't even have the best Ford interior. I much prefer the interior in the new Edge or Explorer clean, simple, yet nice and with a kind of elegant feel (granted it's no Jag). I think the Focus interior is way to busy from the driver's seat. The dash also has several distinct plastic pieces which I think increases your chances of fighting rattles down the road. I like simple and elegant without loosing functionality.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, two Chrysler products, impressive considering not long ago their interiors were the laughing stock of the industry.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They must not have actually sat in those cars, as the Optima has the hardest seats I've ever sat in...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Tell me about it... That car was so attractive to me, I mean, turbo 4, wonderful styling, a crap ton of features as well... yeah it had an auto but at least it had paddles, and the promise of a sport suspension, which Hyundai has previously delivered on quite well. However, when I drove it, it was such a disappointment I went out and bought a Ford, lol.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That would be the jeep commander's back seats for me. I thought I was sitting on a bucket.
        • 4 Years Ago
        damn really? I haven't sat in one, but i must say it is a very attractive and I wouldn't mind looking at that every day
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder how much they got paid to pick those really bad interiors? The Audi and Kia were really nice, but the others make no sense.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Industry mag"? Seems rather US biased if I look at it. There's no way a European looks at those interiors and concludes the same. Just by seeing them I can tell half of them have cheap plastics and faux paneling. It's not even a secret that manufacturers have lower interior standards for the US than the EU. There's also no way the new Merc C-class interior and the E or S class ones or BMW 7 series can't have made the list, which are actually industry recognized to be some of the best interiors available.
      I look at the Charger's interior and I actually think it looks bad and poorly designed ergonomics wise, with cheap, clunky plastics.
      I agree with the A8 in the list, but you need a picture of the full interior, not just the front, to appreciate it fully.
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