Some are surprisingly affordable
Every year, WardsAuto picks 10 vehicles that they believe have the best interiors. And while spending more often means you get nicer materials and more features, that doesn’t mean all of the interiors that make the list belong to expensive luxury cars. In fact, some of them are surprisingly affordable. Considering how many crossovers were on the list last year, it’s refreshing to see sedans and even a wagon represented this time around. Here are the 10 vehicles WardsAuto thought had the best new or significantly updated interiors for 2019:
Bentley Continental GT
The Continental GT V-8 may start close to $200,000 USD, but for your money, you get a truly incredible cabin. From the wood and metal trim pieces to the leather that covers almost every other surface, the Continental GT’s interior is absolutely gorgeous. As we pointed out in our First Drive, sewing it all together requires nearly 2 miles (3.2 km) of thread and 310,675 stitches. That’s a lot of stitches.
Like the Continental GT, the BMW 8 series is a high-performance, two-door grand tourer. It’s also almost half as expensive, making the M850i a relative bargain. And even though the layout and switchgear may look a lot like what you’ll find in less expensive BMWs, the materials are much higher quality. Opinions on the crystal shift knob are split, but it certainly stands out.
Hyundai’s luxury brand has been off to a bit of a slow start, but Genesis knocked it out of the park with the G70. In fact, we liked it so much, we named the G70 the 2019 MotorTrend Car of the Year. And as you can see here, the interior is more than worthy of praise, especially when you consider how many features you get for your money. The quilted leather seats and door panels add an extra dose of style.
Hyundai Santa Fe
Over the last several years, Hyundai seems to have shifted its strategy from being less expensive than the competition to making sure it offers more features at a similar price. But in addition to offering advanced tech and good value, Hyundai has also given the Santa Fe a stylish design and high-quality interior materials. Top trims continue a trend we’re seeing across the industry of mainstream vehicles blurring the lines between what is and isn’t luxury.
Unlike most of the other vehicles on this list, the Jeep Gladiator wasn’t designed with luxury in mind. At all. No, Jeep’s pickup truck is all about rugged utility. So while you can definitely order the Gladiator with some welcomed convenience features, the clever storage solutions are what helped put it over the top. When we drove it, we appreciated the Gladiator’s exclusive back seats, which flip up to grant access to lockable storage in the floor and also fold flat to provide a handy shelf. The Gladiator is also one of just two trucks in its class to offer rear HVAC vents and USB power ports.
Lincoln has been struggling to find its identity for years, but with the Navigator last year, that appears to be changing. Like the best-in-segment Navigator, the Lincoln Nautilus packs a lot of luxury into its interior to go along with its recently refreshed exterior. The top-of-the-line Black Label is especially impressive, with wood and leather covering almost every surface.
If you drive the new A-Class back-to-back with the old CLA, it’s hard to understand how both cars can wear the same badge. The A-Class may be front-wheel drive and as affordable as a Mercedes gets, but it actually feels like a quality car. And while the exterior is understated, the interior gets a fantastic design that looks much more expensive than it is.
Starting in the mid-$20,000 USD range, the Nissan Kicks is far and away the least expensive car on this list. And while the similarly sized Juke stood out for being weird, the Kicks is just a great all-around car. Anyone in the market for an affordable daily driver will be impressed by the amount of style and number of features the Kicks offers for the money.
The Toyota Rav4 may not have won its comparison test against the venerable Honda CR-V, but one look at the new sheetmetal is all you need to see it’s a huge improvement over its predecessor. Toyota took some chances with the design, both inside and out, and it deserves to be recognized for no longer playing it completely safe. The five USB ports are a big plus, too.
Even though wagons aren’t particularly popular in the U.S., Volvo decided to sell the V60 here anyways. And as with other cars in Volvo’s current lineup, the interior looks just as good as its exterior. The best part, though, has to be the optional plaid upholstery. It’s a bold style choice, but in a Swedish wagon, it works.