Asian Automakers Dominate WardsAuto’s Annual List of 10 Best New Vehicle Interiors

WardsAuto’s 2013 list of the 10 Best New Vehicle Interiors included an unprecedented number of Asian automakers as well as General Motors and Chrysler Group LLC’s Ram truck division.

WardsAuto’s executive editor Tom Murphy said the absence of German automakers was largely due to the fact that so few new German autos were introduced last year.

More surprising is the fact that Ford Motor Company failed to make the cut. Among the Ford vehicles eligible for inclusion were the highly successful Fusion mid-size sedan, the Escape compact crossover and the Lincoln MKZ mid-size, entry-level sedan. According to Murphy, “Some of Ford’s fit and finish problems were pretty severe.”

The ten winning vehicles were culled from 46 all-new and significantly upgraded sedans, SUVs, crossovers and light trucks over a three month period beginning last February. WardsAuto editors assessed the interiors on a number of factors including comfort, safety, quality of construction, fit and finish, and ergonomics, in real-world driving conditions.

World Editor-in-Chief Drew Winter said, “It wasn’t uncommon all that long ago for auto makers to view interiors as the best place to take cost out of a vehicle. They eventually figured out that’s a big mistake, because people spend a lot more time looking at the inside of their car than the outside.”

He went on to say, “This year’s batch of winners really drives home the point that interiors are a vital part of the battle for consumers’ hearts and minds.”

This year’s winners included the Acura RDX compact luxury SUV, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport mid-size SUV, the Cadillac XTS luxury sedan, the Chevrolet Spark mini car, the Kia Forte compact sedan, the Lexus GS 450h luxury hybrid sedan, the Mazda6 full size sedan, the Nissan Pathfinder crossover, and the Toyota Avalon full-size sedan.

The Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn was the only light truck to make the list, and WardsAuto hailed its interior as “incredibly stylish.”

With a sticker price of just $15,795, the inclusion of the Chevrolet Spark in the Top-10 list may seem somewhat surprising, but Murphy said, “The Chevrolet Spark is geared toward young buyers, but its design appealed to all ages, and it had a lot of nice features for a low price,”

This year’s winners will be profiled in the May issue of WardsAuto World magazine and on beginning on April 29.

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