A design team can be overwhelmed when tasked with reviving a cherished nameplate from long ago but ensuring the interior space includes every modern amenity. A connection to past styling cues is important but so is impressing a shopper with something unexpected and contemporary.

General Motors absolutely succeeds on all fronts with the new Chevrolet Camaro, which comes with enough significantly upgraded materials 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?

Our well-equipped Camaro SS came with a mostly black interior, but the beefy seats and door panels tie in a striking accent with Ceramic White trim inserts and contrast stitching.

And this V8-powered bruiser is well suited for comfortable cruising with a heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats and more than 20 ambient lighting colors to fit your every mood. It’s a classic in the making.

If today’s minivan is supposed to be more about function than form, the Fiat Chrysler design team never got that memo. Instead, the folks who put the minivan on the map in the 1980s have stunned the segment yet again with the lavishly appointed Chrysler Pacifica, which replaces the well-regarded Town and Country minivan.

Consumers needing space and flexibility but wanting pizzazz and even a bit of coddling when the kids aren’t in the back seats will find the Pacifica interior to be a breath of fresh air.

The black and Deep Mocha color scheme on the leather-trimmed seats, door panels and instrument panel make an immediate and soothing first impression that will beckon every harried parent who must transport little ones to school, dance recitals and hockey practice.

The Stow ’n Vac vacuum integrated near the rear of the driver-side sliding door makes for easy cleanup, and the updated Stow ’n Go seats fold into the floor in the second and third rows when extra cargo room is needed. Surprisingly, the third row is quite comfortable for an adult, especially with seatbacks that recline at the touch of a button.

Honda was drubbed four years ago by critics who found the interior of the ninth-generation Civic compact car to be dull and uninviting.

Now, the 10th-generation Civic has arrived, erasing those memories with a fresh, upscale cabin that stands apart from its segment rivals and reminds the world why the Civic remains one of America’s most popular small cars.

​Aesthetically, the new Civic is spot-on, with two shades of adjoining metallic trim (bronze and silver) on the instrument panel and doors. In addition, this beige interior is spiced up by a single black stripe down the center of each front seat.

For $27,335, a top-of-the-range Civic can be had with a 10-speaker audio system with subwoofer, Bluetooth HandsFree link, Honda LaneWatch, text-message capability, a clever and spacious center storage bin and leather seats, steering wheel and shift knob, as well as a suite of active-safety technologies.

The new Civic is the least-expensive vehicle on our list this year, but it hardly qualifies as cheap.