Ward's AutoWorld is well known for its annual "10 Best Engines" list, but the trade publication has been compiling a second list for interiors for a few years now. Formerly known as the "Interior of the Year" competition, Ward's rebranded the list last year, naming the coolest cockpits under the "10 Best Interiors" moniker.

This year's winners are a relatively diverse lot, with hatchbacks, sedans and crossovers all making the list. While Ward's lists them in alphabetical order rather than crowning a single winner, we're choosing to present them with the lowest as-tested MSRP first:
The first thing we noticed then is that while fully half the models carrying base sticker prices under $25,000, Ward's was clearly not testing the base models of any of these vehicles. The Chevy Sonic, for instance, starts nearly $5,000 below the price of the car Ward's drove. Even so, that half of the cars on the list could be legitimately called "affordable" is impressive.

Ward's says 40 vehicles qualified for the competition by having "new or significantly improved interiors," and while 13 of those were luxury vehicles, they only made up half of the winners. Ward's says it judged the interiors based on design, fit-and-finish, comfort, ergonomics, safety, material selection, overall value, aesthetics, and human-machine interface.

Check out all the award winners in our high-res image gallery above.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 101 Comments
      suthrn2nr
      • 2 Years Ago
      its pretty different from Healthystuff.org's 10 Best (and 10 Worst) on page 6 of their report: http://www.healthystuff.org/documents/2012_Cars.pdf
        desinerd1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @suthrn2nr
        and this is why you should not lick the dashboard of your car.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Sean
      • 2 Years Ago
      wheres the jaguar XJ and XF?!!!
      jay3429
      • 2 Years Ago
      How in the hell did the 300 get on there? It is awful. Clearly there has been money passing under the table.
        Hazdaz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jay3429
        How? Probably because the judges OPENED THEIR EYES. The new 300 has a very nice interior for large near-luxury car. It definitely deserves to be on that list. http://image.motortrend.com/f/39378015+w786+ar1/2012-Chrysler-300C-interior.jpg
        sirjaysmith
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jay3429
        so your ONE worthless opinion differs and clearly its rigged? palease, get over yourself.
      dmclone
      • 2 Years Ago
      This article should have been titled "Some decent cheap car interiors and a few ok expensive interiors". Accent=Ok for a cheap car Sonic=Trying a little too hard. This is one of those interiors that will look ridiculous in about 5 years. Dart-Bad on so many levels. One of the worst I've seen. The big screen is the only savior. Beetle-Typical VW interior. Pretty nice. CX-5-Just average. Hate the black plastic Azera-Just ok for a $35K car. Please stop copying Mercedes with the seat controls on the doors. Although I guess Hyundai copies everything else.. 300-Can't really tell. Most car makers get the wood wrong and I've never seen the Big 3 get it right so I'll assume this looks cheezy as well. Range Rover-Range Rover makes some of the best interiors. I wouldn't choose the multi color but everything else looks good. Infiniti JX-Infiniti owner here and I don't like it. except the screen between the tach and speedo. Too many buttons and too similar to the Infiniti dash from 10 years ago. Audi A7-Love it! Looks simple and elegant.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dmclone
        [blocked]
        jtav2002
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dmclone
        It's their OPINION. The same way you have your OPINION. Don't try to pass off their report as being wrong by implying your assessment is fact.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dmclone
        [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        futuramautoblog
        • 2 Years Ago
        The thing is... if Accent costed as much as RR, you can be damm sure it will have the quality and craftmanship you are talking about and forget about cheap, plastic made interiors. "Best" doesn't mean the most money spent!
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Hazdaz
        • 2 Years Ago
        Why in god's name would the CLS get an award? Its a mess of buttons and dials like every other M-B interior for the past few years. Awful. M-B interiors from 15 years ago looked better. http://www.okedab.com/2012-mercedes-cls-63-amg/2012-mercedes-cls-63-amg-interior
        Justin Campanale
        • 2 Years Ago
        CLS? Are you completely loony? Mercedes interiors have been behind the curve for a long time.
          Hazdaz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          @ Spellchecker Yeah, that is a FACT. They are over-priced automobiles with interiors that aren't as nice as cars costing 1/2 as much. Their fit-and-finish isn't that great. Their material selection is awful. Their ergonomics is laughable and they seem to need 2X as many buttons to accomplish what other automakers can do with far less clutter. They also seem to have a design aesthetic that would have fit in better back in the 80s. Look to Audi for some great interiors. Even BMW interiors look a little boring, but years ahead of M-B. It wasn't always like this. M-B used to make some very functional, high-class interiors. A little stark in terms of colors, but that was part of their German heritage. Now a days however, they are just downright bad.
          Spellchecker
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          "CLS? Are you completely loony? Mercedes interiors have been behind the curve for a long time." Is that a FACT or another one of your stupid anti-Mercedes opinions? Geez. Anytime something with Mercedes' comes up you're the first one to hate on them and you fail to backup your views. There's nothing "behind the curve" with Mercedes interiors at all. You don't like the design? Fine. So shut up and stop talking trash about these cars as if what you have to say is a FACT. It's not.
          Justin Campanale
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          @ Hazdaz, couldn't agree more. Though Infiniti these days is also coming up with some nice interiors. Spellchecker, put down the MB koolaid.
          Spellchecker
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          @ Hazdaz So let me get this straight. You don't own a Mercedes, but when you visit a Benz dealership to check them out you can't understand how the dashboard systems function and that's basically why you're classifying their interiors as garbage, eh? Are you for real? Every car has a different interior layout and it's all a question of GETTING USED TO IT. Very friggin simple. There's a reason I don't bother to read car magazines because the journalists reviewing the cars DON'T OWN THEM and will never get used to how the cockpit systems function due to that. An owner of these cars WILL. Furthermore, your claim that MB uses "cheap materials" is laughable. They use high quality materials like everyone else in this class. But I guess you and Justin must be chemistry whizzes who can automatically ascertain the quality of interior materials from sight, feel and appearance. Wow, I wish I had that amazing skill!!!! My father drives a 2010 E350 CGI and the interior is well made and uses good materials. Even his previous W211 E320 Sport had a great interior. MB interiors are conservative in terms of styling, not flashy. If you want a flashy interior go get a Pagani Zonda. Then again, you and Justin are the known anti-MB guys on this board. And before you accuse me of being some kind of MB lover, keep in mind that I drive a BMW and just happened to work at an MB dealership in the past.
        jonnybimmer
        • 2 Years Ago
        Price isn't everything. Audi is the only premium brand I really expect to see win an award for interiors.
      frankleo908
      • 2 Years Ago
      Anybody that cries foul because your precious Honda or Toyota wasn't on this list should wake up and smell the 21st century. If the award was named "the most oddly styled and over use of average quality plastics in drab monochrome interiors" then yes, Honda and Toyota would win hands-down. I think Toyota is finally waking up to this, but Honda is living in a vacuum.
        kagroyalo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @frankleo908
        I couldn't agree more. Honda's current interiors are about as bland as you can get with drab colors and all these lines and crease that don't really do anything. While I've never been a fan of Toyots interiors I gave the new Camry a chance, while I think it's an improvement Car and Driver recently panned it as well
          suthrn2nr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @kagroyalo
          Yea, Honda/toyota real world mpg might be better than competition, but with interiors like the new civic they will lose market share to Cruze/focus/elantra. The new Cruze especially has a very upscale styled interior since it looks like the CTS, which is my favorite interior.
      Temple
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wards is a joke. I can think of dozen cars that have better interiors than the Accent.
        Synthono
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Temple
        As can I, but most of them are more expensive.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Temple
        [blocked]
      bonehead
      • 2 Years Ago
      BTW not that im a fan of the cars themselves but i have to say that Acura has some of the nicest interiors these days
        futuramautoblog
        • 2 Years Ago
        @bonehead
        oh boy... which planet do you live in?
        bonehead
        • 2 Years Ago
        @bonehead
        guess i stand alone on that one. The TL has a very nice interior (if you like modern and no wood grain). Far superior to that Azera interior. So what sub $40k sedan interior do you think is better? BMW, maybe but its busy, Mercedes? too busy, Audi a4 is nice for sure, Infiniti is bloated looking, lexus it too swoopy or plain. Seriously.... Id put Acura and Audi as the best interiors in the sub $40k range. Is there something im missing?
          • 2 Years Ago
          @bonehead
          [blocked]
        futuramautoblog
        • 2 Years Ago
        @bonehead
        sorry.. maybe i didn't catch your sarcasm?
      EverythingBagel
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Sonic's interior is nauseating. That was a poor choice, in my opinion. The other one that sticks out to me as an awkward choice is the CX-5. I am a Mazda fan, but that interior is nothing write home about.
      miketim1
      • 2 Years Ago
      This list is really bad.....
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