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.
Open on December 31, 2014:
This will be the appropriate wolbeg for everyone who desires to find out about this subject. You realize so much its pretty much tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want?-HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject that's been written about for years. Very good stuff, just awesome!
Nga on December 30, 2014:
So the future sicraneo seems gas for long range and electricity for town. An electrical auto for town ...In your 100 per cent battery powered car, do you expect to have air conditioning in hot weather and heat/defrost in cold weather?Heat, windshield defroster, headlights and windshield wipers on may require a considerable portion of the car's stored electricity....One point in natural gas' favor is that North America has more nat. gas than petroleum left in the ground, so they say. In regard to obtaining more energy density, we can also think about liquefied natural gas. Liquefied natural gas may be the right choice for an alternative fuel for airliners, as well as commercial ground vehicles.From Wikipedia:Basic factsLNG is principally used for transporting natural gas to markets, where it is regasified and distributed as pipeline natural gas. LNG offers an energy density comparable to petrol and diesel fuels and produces less pollution, but its relatively high cost of production and the need to store it in expensive cryogenic tanks have prevented its widespread use in commercial applications. It can be used in natural gas vehicles, although it is more common to design vehicles to use compressed natural gas.The density of LNG is roughly 0.41 to 0.5 kg/L, depending on temperature, pressure and composition, compared to water at 1.0 kg/L. The heat value depends on the source of gas that is used and the process that is used to liquefy the gas. The higher heating value of LNG is estimated to be 24 MJ/L at 164 degrees Celsius. This corresponds to a lower heating value of 21 MJ/L.The natural gas fed into the LNG plant will be treated to remove water, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and other components that will freeze (e.g., benzene) under the low temperatures needed for storage or be destructive to the liquefaction facility. LNG typically contains more than 90% methane. ( Sometimes less. All natural gas isn't exactly the same. --DD) It also contains small amounts of ethane, propane, butane and some heavier alkanes. The purification process can be designed to give almost 100% methane.The most important infrastructure needed for LNG production and transportation is an LNG plant consisting of one or more LNG trains, each of which is an independent unit for gas liquefaction. The largest LNG train in operation is the Train 4 of Atlantic LNG with a production capacity of 5.2 million metric ton per annum (mmtpa), followed by the SEGAS LNG plant in Egypt with a capacity of 5 mmtpa. The Qatargas II plant, under construction by QP and ExxonMobil, will have a production capacity of 7.8 mmtpa for each of its two trains. LNG is loaded onto ships and delivered to a regasification terminal, where the LNG is reheated and turned into gas. Regasification terminals are usually connected to a storage and pipeline distribution network to distribute natural gas to local distribution companies (LDCs) or Independent Power Plants (IPPs).
Simba on March 20, 2012:
i like the volov, i like my dash simple, but make sure
RedSoxFan on February 19, 2012:
I think you should do this article again, but now with the new interiors of the 2012 and 2013, I think you'll see the Hyundai Sonata will be much higher on the list! Great article! When buying a car, if the dash doesn't look good, I wont buy it!
paul on February 14, 2012:
what about the Mazda 3 interior?
khaled on February 13, 2012:
HONDA is the best ...
deadlyking on August 18, 2011:
would u guide me best sound system for swift... price range b/w 20k-30k
Sams Spot on July 24, 2011:
You definitly did your homework, love your hub
metaxeirismena aytokinhta on July 17, 2011:
THis cars create a headache on me .I'm working so hard for this.I love this much.But for now i had metaxeirismena aytokinhta and i happy with it
s82a84 from Olympia on May 25, 2011:
VW GTI should be #1
Steve on February 08, 2011:
The A5 Jetta has a nicer interior than any of these. It's not even particularly close (although I do like the Accord's)
emtechd on January 17, 2011:
that's so good
very good work
secret squirrel on January 08, 2011:
watch out for the latest interior designed by acme. I was lucky enough to be on the design team.
The interior has the ability to alter its colour and composition at the press of a button.
The heads up display is intuative. The best feature, has to be the management centre. It is controlled by voice.
Unfortunately, it will only recognize cartoon character voices.....well i am a cartoon character
Vineeth on December 07, 2010:
No Volkswagen in the list? Shocking omission! Golf/GTI surely deserve to make it!
DavidLivingston on December 06, 2010:
A good post, keep posting hubs like this.
jessica_alias on November 23, 2010:
I'm looking to add accessories to my Honda Accord and found this article a very suitable one. Thank you for posting this.
Vangor7 from Texas on November 17, 2010:
Nice post! Good info.
jeremy k on September 20, 2010:
volkswagen should be number on this list, whatre they smoking?
Babatona on September 12, 2010:
Ronald Nolbort on August 24, 2010:
I'm surprised high end cars didn't make it in this list.
Roni2010 from Santa Barbara on August 24, 2010:
Really nice cars
TRD101 on August 20, 2010:
Where's the Toyota Camry XLE or Hybrid Interior?
Alexis7411 on August 02, 2010:
Love the Honda Accord Interior!
avi on July 28, 2010:
i love Hyundai i10 interior ...its too stylish ..i have this car second hand since last year which i bought thru Trovit site...great car with great interior
Mercedes-Benz30 from Memphis, TN on July 27, 2010:
Great reviews. I believe that the Civic has the best interior out of the bunch, at least aesthetically. I say "aesthetically" because I have not had the luxury of sitting in one yet; judging from the styling, though, it looks like a very inviting place to spend time.
The Accord's interior is probably my second favorite on this list. The main reason it isn't first is because I'm not a big fan of wood trim in this segment of the market, whether it's faux or real veneer.
ces on July 18, 2010:
honda civic and accord def. have the best interior
Brett on July 17, 2010:
Its amazing how they have the same basic elements but all are so different.
I'd still like to sit in the car and get a feel for them, the common button in close reach sort of thing.
280244 on July 16, 2010:
This is very good hub
Direxmd (author) on July 15, 2010:
Well i'm glad you all love car interiors as much as I! I'm happy that we all have our opinions and wonderfully unique tastes :)
Thank you all for your readership!
Rismayanti from Tropical Island on June 10, 2010:
informative.. nice hub.thanks for share
earnestshub from Melbourne Australia on May 28, 2010:
The Honda Accord does it hands down for me.
It always was a good interior. It just gets better with every update. Great hub by the way!
raj5 on April 24, 2010:
did u ever llok at VW GTI interior
Steve on January 30, 2010:
The 2010 Suzuki Kizashi should be high on this list. It's interior is my personal favorite despite the fact the the Accord's interior is probably slightly higher quality.
Ralph Deeds from Birmingham, Michigan on October 13, 2009:
Direxmd (author) on October 12, 2009:
The Legacy is a nice vehicle, but I question its overall build quality. Subarus used to last 200-300k miles, and volvos did to. Volvos require more maintenance nowadays and very expensive, Volvo-specific repairs are now required to make it to 200k miles. Subarus are having a difficult time making it to 170k miles now...
I actually like the C30's interior, but watch how Volvo performs in the upcoming 25-35k bracket... very interesting results.
Thanks for your response,
advoco from cadiz on October 12, 2009:
The Subaru Legacy looks cool. Agree the Volvo looks dull.