Wards Auto has announced its of the top 10 Best interiors, and there are a few surprises.
Selected from 47 eligible contenders, which needed to be all-new or heavily revised for the 2016 model year with no regard for market segment or price. Each was judged based on aesthetics, design harmony, materials, ergonomics, safety, comfort, value, fit-and-finish, and overall user experience.
It must be noted that the rising cost of cars and in conjunction with the decreasing cost of consumer technology means customers now have very high expectations for even inexpensive transportation.
2016 Chevrolet Camaro
Ward’s choosing the gen-6 Camaro doesn’t surprise us one bit. Not only is it a significant improvement over the previous Camaro’s interior, but it supposedly offers high enough material quality and flare to “set a new standard for an interior in this segment.”
“Who knew the cabin of a muscle car could incorporate so many soft surfaces and still feel like a sporty coupe intended to be driven hard?”
2016 Chrysler Pacifica
The new Chrysler Pacifica makes its predecessor, the Town and Country, look like something out of the 90s. It offers everything a minivan should more, including an ascetically-tasteful design, a plethora of creature comforts for both parents and kids, and a vacuum cleaner.
A selection of rich color combinations and high quality materials help deliver a soothing first impression.
2016 Honda Civic
Honda was panned years ago by critics who found the interior of the previous-generation Civic to be dull, cheap and uninviting. Those memories have since been erased by the 10th-generation Civic, which treats buyers to a fresh, upscale cabin that not only stands apart from its segment rivals, but also “reminds the world why the Civic remains one of America’s most popular small cars.”
The new Civic is the least-expensive vehicle on 2016’s best interior list, but it hardly qualifies as cheap.
2016 Cadillac XT5
The XT5 replaces the SRX, Cadillac’s best-selling vehicle, and is lauded for its first-rate materials, impressive integration of advanced technology, seamless connectivity of the Cadillac User Experience, Ultraview panoramic sunroof, overall comfort and ergonomics, and generally flawless fit-and-finish.
“After climbing into a new XT5, Cadillac lovers will scarcely remember the SRX nameplate.”
2016 Audi TTS
The second-generation Audi TTS’ driver-focused virtual cockpit impressed the judges with its sporty style and ergonomics.
“Audi redefines how a driver experiences a compact sports coupe by integrating buttons and climate controls in clever places on the instrument panel, freeing up space and resulting in a cabin that feels less cramped.”
2016 BMW 7 Series
BMW faced a tall challenge when Mercedes-Benz launched the latest S-Class sedan a few years ago with a stunningly beautiful interior that set the benchmark for luxury sedans, but Wards believes the Bavarian automaker rose to the occasion.
The new 7 Series is said to elevate BMW’s interior design language and features enough electronic wizardry to entertain a tech geek for hours on end. Frankly, we think it looks plain compared to the competition and would have left it off the list.
2016 Lexus RX
Having pioneered the idea of the luxury crossover, the Lexus RX remains a groundbreaking entity. It is the best-selling vehicle in its class, outselling many of its rivals by a factor of three.
It made the best interiors list thanks largely to its impeccable fit-and-finish; high quality leather, wood and metallic trim elements; form-fitting seats; and crisply lit gauges and display screen. It also won a lot points for its space-freeing packaging.
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC
Previously called the GLK , the new GLC comes flush with the premium features you expect from a Mercedes but at a reasonably low price… you know, for a Mercedes.
Its interior is virtually identical to that of the C-Class, so it’s not something that would win any freshness awards. Even so, it’s classy, very premium and techy; comes with a long list of options; and is “supremely comfortable.”
2016 Volvo XC90
The Volvo XC90 interior probably makes the most dramatic styling statement of the bunch, leveraging a uniquely Scandinavian sensibility that largely explains why Ikea is so successful.
It’s so simple yet engaging and employs the kind of far-reaching elements seen only in concept vehicles, particularly the 2-tier center console.
2016 Nissan Maxima
The Maxima remains Nissan’s flagship car after eight generations on the market and the spacious interior of the latest model delivers a warm and inviting environment that competes with significantly more expensive luxury vehicles.
“It makes a brilliant first impression with expert craftsmanship, a unique black-and-camel color scheme and loads of spectacular touches, such as the 2-tone flat-bottom steering wheel, expertly applied contrast stitching, cushy Zero-Gravity front seats and Alcantara diamond-quilted seating surfaces.”
Do you agree with Ward’s list of 10 Best interiors of 2016? Let us know what changes you would make to it in the comments below.
New Audi e-tron GT Concept Previews Audi’s Tesla Model S Fighter
The electrified fastback sedan will eventually join the e-tron SUV in Audi’s growing electric vehicle lineup.
Audi has revealed the e-tron GT concept, effectively previewing its answer to the Tesla Model S.
Based on the same platform as the Porsche Taycan, the e-tron GT will follow the e-tron and e-tron Sportback crossovers as the brand’s third electric car. It features a five-door liftback bodystyle that’s similar to the A7, though it slightly wider and sits lower to the ground than that Audi. In fact, the car’s center of gravity is more inline with an R8 supercar thanks to having its battery mounted below the floor.
Powered by an electric drivetrain that produces 590 horsepower, and with a permanent all-wheel drive with torque vectoring distributing that power, the e-tron GT can rocket to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 3.5 seconds and to 124 mph (200 km/h) in around 12 seconds. A 90-kWh battery allows it to drive over 249 miles (402 km) according to the WLTP test cycle, and drivers can expect to recharge a depleted battery to 80 percent in just 20 minutes
As with the e-tron SUV, the production e-tron GT’s design is expected to stay true to the concept. Audi says production will begin sometime in 2020.
What do you think about the Audi e-tron GT Concept? Do you like what you see, and does Tesla have something to be worried about? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Next Audi TT Sports Car Will Be A Four-Door Sedan?
The coupe and convertible segments have never been big, and they are declining very fast.
The SUV and crossover craze could result in the demise of the Audi TT as we know it.
According to a new report, the German sports car will reportedly ditch its two door and convertible layouts to become an a four-door only sports car.
Coupe and convertible sales are declining in North America and Europe, and they never really took off off in China. An Audi board member told that both the TT coupe and convertible are no longer financially feasibly given the perceptible decline of their respective segments.
If you set falling demand against rising costs, it’s obvious Audi cannot sustain its present course in the medium term,” the anonymous board member stated. ” Instead, there has been intensive consideration of the coupe and the convertible in the compact segment.”
Audi actually hinted at a four-door TT back in 2014 with the TT Sportback concept (pictured); however, plans to bring the model to market never got off the ground largely due to the Dieselgate scandal.
It appears the plans are back on, and Audi’s board of management has supposedly approved a design of the four-door model.
If the report is true, the four-door TT will be based on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform and could arrive before 2020. Its proportions will remain roughly the same as the concept’s but the front- and rear-end design will adopt Audi’s latest design elements.
Audi R8 Puts On Sharper Look For 2019, Pumps Out 612 HP
Audi’s top model is more engaging to drive and stops sooner.
The Audi R8 has gone under the knife, emerging with a sharper look, more power, better handling and a number of tech upgrades for 2019.
Designers updated the German supercar’s front end with a wider grille surrounded by a frame that now underlines the headlights and three slots right under the hood inspired by the original Audi Sport Quattro coupe, while the rear gains a lower-positioned rear vent that stretches the entire width of the car and a more prominent diffuser.
Contrary to rumors, power still comes from a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 rather than a turbocharged V6 as speculated, and output has been increased to 562 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque compared to the previous 533 horsepower and 396 pound-feet of torque.
A sprint from 0 to 62 miles per hour (100 km/h) comes in at 3.4 seconds for the coupe and 3.5 seconds for the convertible, while top speed is reached at 201.3 mph (324km/h) and 200.1 mph (322 km/h), respectively.
The R8 V10 Plus model has been renamed ‘R8 Performance’ and gets an evolution of the 5.2-liter that puts out 612 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque, representing an increase of 9 hp and 14.75 lb-ft. The V10 Plus coupe bolts to 62 mph in 3.1 seconds, while the Spyder takes 3.2 seconds. Top speed is limited to 205.7 mph (331 kph) and 204.4 mph (329 kph), respectively.
All R8 variants use a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system.
Elsewhere, Audi’s engineers dialed more response and feedback into the R8’s steering to deliver a more engaging drive and re-calibrated the ECU to reduce stopping distance by 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) from 62 mph and by 16.4 feet (5 meters) from 124 mph (200 km/h).
They also gave the dynamic handling system more distinct separations between the drive modes and added new settings for the R8 V10 Performance Quattro: dry, wet, and snow.
The updated Audi R8 goes on sale in Europe in early 2019, with North American delivers following at a later date. Do you like how it turned out?