Top 10 Best Car Interiors for 2010 (15-25k)
Welcome to the Top 10 Best Car Interiors for the 15-25k class! Many of the vehicles that crushed the under-15k class are no match for this higher division. The exceptions are getting scarcer and the demands much higher. The value of the interior (for the vehicle) is important, but the overall quality of the interior is the most crucial aspect of judgment for this class.
No real new changes for this year, except that some vehicles (Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Dodge Caliber, etc.) have entered the 15-25k bracket to compete. MSRP and invoice prices have been added this year for reference (current 02/10). All prices are USD. An 11th place candidate (which did not qualify) has been included for 2010. Value relative to interior design and quality was an important factor in the rating system.
#11 (Did Not Qualify) - Honda Insight
Decent arrangement of controls, although they can be slightly confusing. Plastic is a bit too dominant in the cabin, and the dashboard arrangement is too similar to the Civic. Feels like a Civic—this isn't bad but I feel the Insight should stand in its class more soundly. Overall, hollow plastic pieces and paneling kept this competitor from competing this year; a no-no at this level of play.
2010 MSRP: $19,800 - $23,100
2010 Invoice: $18,688 - $21,790
#10 - Honda Civic
The Honda Civic feels like the genuine article and one of the best interiors I have seen for the compact category. This class is mostly dominated by larger vehicles, so the Civic inherently does not have as many features and qualities as the larger vehicles. The Civic has a well-padded interior, good enough to compete here. Paneling felt adequately strong, one or two thin plastic knobs found. Good array of standard and available features. Jazzy digital dashboard feels fresh and inventive.
2010 MSRP: $15,455 - $27,000
2010 Invoice: $14,250 - $24,839
#9 - Chevy Camaro
The interior of the Chevy's new Camaro seems to follow suit with American sports-car interiors as of late. It is made of cheaper materials but avoids looking terribly cheap. It does feel a bit cut-cornerish, though. Very thin padding, when found. Metallic trim is unconvincing—but not disappointing. Center console is a good arrangement of useful and confusing features. Dashboard is difficult to see during the day sometimes. Decent build quality.
2010 MSRP: $22,680 - $33,745
2010 Invoice: $21,773 - $32,395
#8 - Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius' interior used to feel a little below the class it demands. That problem is corrected this year, although some issues were found. This futuristic interior feels fun and useful. The car feels a little bit more human, oddly. Fabrics still feel thin and cheap, especially around the leg and foot housings. Panels lined up well, but one was slightly off-set. Different style of interior, may not be for everyone—but I found it fun.
2010 MSRP: $21,000 - $27,270
2010 Invoice: $19,950 - $25,384
#7 - Hyundai Sonata
The Hyundai Sonata is the slightly less refined version of the Honda Accord. This allows it to compete well in this higher-end bracket. The leather feels fairly plush, but not as full. Panels are adequately strong. Some cheap plastic buttons were found. Faux-wood trim remains convincing as it gets. Useful placement of instruments—well lit during nighttime.
2010 MSRP: $18,700 - $26,550
2010 Invoice: $17,922 - $24,809
#6 - Chevy Malibu
Fun and jazzy color schemes are available. Good placement of padding, although it felt slightly thin. All panels lined up correctly and felt strong. Logical arrangement of instruments, both on the dashboard and console. Somewhat fun interior aimed to appeal to the 20-40-year-old demographic. Fabric feels strong and well done.
2010 MSRP: $21,825 - $26,605
2010 Invoice: $20,625 - $25,142
#5 - Subaru Legacy & Outback
Although the quality of Subaru's Legacy & Outback has fallen, it still remains a strong competitor. Paneling feels thin, too thin for Legacy & Outback's advertised terrain traveled. Instruments clustered logically, although some take time to search for. Interior door handles felt strong and not loose. Adequate build quality, although Subaru's reputation for build quality has fallen. Try before you buy.
2010 MSRP (Legacy): $19,995 - $29,995
2010 Invoice (Legacy): $18,926 - $28,061
2010 MSRP (Outback): $22,995 - $30,995
2010 Invoice (Outback): $21,663 - $29,024
#4 - Hyundai Genesis Coupe
Hyundai brings a strong contender to this category. The Hyundai Genesis trades in its luxury for luxury-sport with its Genesis Coupe version. This trade allows the Genesis to compete in this lesser category. The leather feels strong, fresh, and plush. Paneling feels strong, and padding is adequately found where needed. Padding feels of normal plush and strength. Overall refinement not as strong or as earned as some of Honda or Volvo's vehicles.
2010 MSRP: $22,000 - $32,000
2010 Invoice: $20,930 - $30,010
#3 - Mazda 6
The Mazda 6 still feels solid with its good overall refinement and quality of materials. Arrangement of instruments on dashboard and console are logical and precise. Pretty red lighting theme adds ambiance. Interior seems agreeable with most buyers. A great competitor in this category.
2010 MSRP: $18,450 - $28,390
2010 Invoice: $17,507 - $24,434
#2 - Volvo C30
A beautiful and safe interior. This is both in style and literal meaning! The interior is that of a higher quality vehicle with thick padding, plush available leather, and standard and available high-end options. Feels like a BMW 3-series. Base C30's interior has a drab color scheme, quality still excellent. May cost over 25k to get the most premier interior—a ding for the C30.
2010 MSRP: $24,100 - $26,300
2010 Invoice: $22,654 - $24,722
With historic levels of quality and refinement at the 15-25k level is the Honda Accord at number one. This vehicle has been in the making since the early 1980s and has always stood for quality. Higher-end models feel luxurious and exciting. Generous standard features and useful available ones. Excellent build assembly, good quality fabrics.
2010 MSRP: $21,055 - $31,305
2010 Invoice: $19,101 - $28,363
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.