Tom Murphy

Senior Editor,

Tom writes about suppliers, automotive technology and other wide-ranging topics.

Shell Eco-Marathon Detroit
Young, open minds undeterred by the fog of realism converged on Detroit’s Cobo Center over the weekend for the Shell Eco-marathon Americas, the ultimate fuel-economy challenge. About 1,000 students representing 110 high schools and colleges from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Guatamala brought their hand-built concepts.
2015 Ward's 10 Best Interiors Nominee: Infiniti QX80
Infiniti's flagship SUV, the QX80, seats seven and is loaded with premium features, such as Truffle Brown semi-aniline leather and copious amounts of open-pore matte finish ash wood trim. Base price of this AWD model with 5.6L V-8 is $66,350, but our loaded test model stickers for $89,845.
2015 Ward's 10 Best Interiors Nominee: Toyota Camry
Bright red contrast stitching and microsuede inserts on seats and door panels inject the latest-generation Toyota Camry with a healthy dose of attitude and sportiness – words not often associated with America's best-selling family sedan. The XSE V-6 test model, with a base price of $31,370, stickers for $35,768.
OEMs Reimagining Interiors, Competition Finds
From entry-level economy cars and rear-wheel-drive sport coupes to luxury plug-in hybrids and a raft of utility vehicles, this year’s Ward’s 10 Best Interiors pool finds automakers thinking creatively about passenger compartments.
2015 Ward’s 10 Best Interiors Nominees
Editors evaluated 42 vehicles as part of the 2015 Ward's 10 Best Interiors competition. Here are some of the nominees. Winners will be announced April 16.
Volvo Fighting for Premium CUV Customers
Long overdue, the new XC90 arrives with a brilliant interior, two efficient powertrains, an intuitive human-machine interface and just enough exterior styling tweaks to draw the attention of luxury-minded shoppers.
2015 Ward's 10 Best Interiors Nominee: Ford Edge Sport
Ford expects its redesigned Edge CUV to lure back current owners, particularly empty-nesters, as well as young couples. The Edge Sport test vehicle carries a base price of $40,095, and options take sticker up to $45,980.
2015 Ward's 10 Best Interiors Nominee: Alfa Romeo 4C
Climbing behind the wheel isn't exactly simple, but the interior of the Alfa Romeo 4C 2-seat coupe is largely worthwhile. The styling is emboldened by rich, red leather and contrast stitching, as well as the structural carbon fiber used for the tub. Test vehicle sticker price is $64,445, including about $10,000 in options.
Subaru Taking STI to New Level
With a corporate initiative to establish STI as Subaru’s performance division, the automaker demonstrates how the right chassis and suspension components can make a world of difference. It’s not all about horsepower.
2015 Ward's 10 Best Interiors Nominee: BMW i8
The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid is not cheap, starting at $136,650, but the cabin sees the automaker taking chances like never before with sleek seat designs, bold blue seatbelts and ambient lighting that seems fitting for a space shuttle. Test vehicle includes $2,000 Giga package plus optional blue seatbelts.
2015 Ward's 10 Best Interiors Nominee: Lincoln Black Label MKZ
Lincoln is trying to boost its sagging brand image by launching Black Label versions of new vehicles as they arrive. For $6,000, customers can pick from four main design themes named Indulgence, Oasis, Modern Heritage and Center Stage, all emphasizing premium materials and build quality. The Lincoln Black Label MKZ, priced at $58,165, was judged as part of this year's Ward's 10 Best Interiors competition.
2015 Ward's 10 Best Interiors Nominee: Volkswagen Touareg
The Volkswagen Touareg has been a laggard in Ward's burgeoning Middle Luxury CUV segment, selling only 6,961 units in 2014. Yes, VW is a mainstream brand, but the Touareg has skewed near-luxury based on price and premium content. The refreshed Touareg sticks with that formula and is much improved. Our AWD V-6 diesel test vehicle stickers for $60,080.
2015 Ward's 10 Best Interiors Nominee: Subaru WRX
Subaru's redesigned AWD turbocharged WRX sedan, always popular among rally-car enthusiasts, arrives for interior evaluation with stylish carbon-fiber trim, gray and red stitching, a flat-bottom steering wheel and an updated central display that includes a boost gauge. Test vehicle sticker price, including $795 destination charges, is $29,639.
2015 Ward's 10 Best Interiors Nominee: Acura TLX
Acura's new TLX sedan represents a cross between two vehicles no longer available: the smaller TSX and more stately TL. The interior carries on Honda/Acura's excellent reputation for fit-and-finish, as well as a deep-rooted reluctance to take stylistic chances. Our TLX 2.4L Tech carries a sticker price of $35,920, including $895 in destination charges.
2015 Ward's 10 Best Interiors Nominee: Mazda6

The redesigned Mazda6 won a Ward's 10 Best Interiors trophy two years ago, and this mid-cycle refresh delivers a new display screen and multimedia interface, as well as more premium materials. Our Grand Touring test vehicle stickered for $33,395.

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