Buick has a long history of premium cars, and its fully redesigned LaCrosse sedan interior ushers the brand into a new era that sees it soaring in China and pushing new product in the U.S.

Expressive lines on the 2-tier instrument panel and door trim create a soothing, contemporary environment inside the LaCrosse, enhanced by light neutral leather with dark brown accents, rich wood-grain film, an uncluttered center console, massaging front seats, a roomy backseat and a general feeling of spaciousness.

WardsAuto editors appreciate the lightning-fast phone pairing, circular-knit headliner, exemplary driver-assistance features, branded brushed-aluminum sillplates, generous storage hold below the center console, textured rubber floors in cubbies and bins and outboard second-row seats that fold without interference from seatbelts.

Honda has earned Wards 10 Best Interiors trophies in past years for its Civic, Fit and Odyssey, and this year the CR-V, America’s best-selling utility vehicle, lands in the winners’ circle with a cabin that is upscale, clean, functional and supremely well built.

A cargo hold that can accommodate four suitcases, a slick center console with a movable tray and two USB chargers in the front and two in the rear suggest the design team overlooked nothing in taking the CR-V interior to a new level. The automaker claims top-in-class cabin quietness and interior space for a ute priced to start at $24,045.

Our Touring test model gets high marks from WardsAuto editors for its bronze-tinted strips decorating the doors and instrument panel, the half-moon touch-sensitive volume button on the steering wheel, the floating (and easy-to-use) display screen and a digital gauge cluster that some judges found retro while others called futuristic.

Looking to the future, Lexus creates a dramatic new design language with its new LC 500 coupe that promises to win Toyota’s luxury brand serious consideration among well-heeled buyers of exotic sports cars.

The muscular, low-slung exterior is reinforced once the doors open and reveal a cabin appointed with carbon-fiber scuff plates, grippy high-shoulder leather seats and Alcantara microsuede overhead. We always knew Lexus was capable of a breathtaking interior like we see now in the LC.

The color palette alone for this interior is striking, from the rich crimson Rioja Red to Bespoke White, which blends ivory with blue and orange accent colors for the customer who wants something truly unique. Even with a seemingly conservative color scheme – caramel beige in our test car – the design elements, such as the dramatic door trim with grooves that flow like drapery, immediately won over our judges.

Ford’s Lincoln luxury brand is counting on its new Continental flagship sedan to lead a resurgence for the brand. Its gorgeous interior surely will help its fortunes, with soft ambient lighting that glows at night, reconfigurable gauges, supple Alpine Venetian leather seats and a cavernous second row.

The Line Validation Center at the assembly plant in Flat Rock, MI, conducts a “white glove” test to make sure no seam is askew in the new Continental, and this attention to detail shows in the rich multi-colored grain of the real “Silver Wood” used throughout the interior; thigh bolsters that can extend one leg at a time; the 2-tone steering wheel carefully stitched; and the decorative soft panels trimmed in chrome (and lit at night) on either side of the center console – a space between the knee and foot that usually gets little design attention.

Some of these extras came as part of our Black Label test model, a package that carries a $6,000 premium and includes the 19-speaker Revel Ultima audio system. Premium sound systems are all the rage, but Revel Ultima, with its ability to virtually put the listener in the studio, on stage or in the concert hall, creates auditory magic that will have drivers taking the long way home.