Special Coverage

Auto Interiors Conference

Acura ZDX ($56,855)

Roominess abounds; kudos to Honda/Acura for interior styling risk-taking.

Audi Q5 ($45,225)

Beautiful matte-finish wood trim, but overall predictable.

BMW 550i Gran Turismo ($80,375)

Lovely materials, great flexibility; but power liftgate should be standard.

Buick LaCrosse ($36,190)

Can go head-to-head with Lexus, but Buick needs more style.

Buick Regal ($26,995)

Still too much down-market plastic, especially on instrument panel.

Cadillac SRX ($47,010)

Materials blended beautifully; Cadillac has achieved edgy elegance.

Chevrolet Camaro ($29,175)

Right mix of retro, modern styling; cool ambient lighting.

Chevrolet Equinox ($33,435)

Highly crafted details, ambient lighting make great first impression.

Dodge Caliber ($26,955)

Disappointing, and expensive to boot. Awful second-row ergonomics.

Ford Taurus SHO ($44,480)

Heated and cooled seats are nice, but fans are too loud.

Honda Accord Crosstour ($36,930)

Beautifully stitched leather and good use of wood accents.

Honda Insight ($23,810)

Suffers from overwhelming “greige” tone; backseats lack adult headroom.

Hyundai Genesis coupe ($32,925)

Not much pizzazz; too much like sedate sedan.

Hyundai Sonata ($28,215)

Likable enough, but where’s unique personality?

Hyundai Tucson ($28,090)

Exceptional layout; lovely tan leather makes for bold color scheme.

Infiniti M56 ($67,715)

Who else puts silver flecks together with ash-wood trim? Bravo!

Jeep Patriot ($30,510)

Chrome on dash seems out of place; too much black.

Kia Forte ($19,290)

Excellent execution for inexpensive car; youthful, sporty, fun.

Kia Sorento ($30,290)

Two-tone leather, panoramic roof, flat load floor are nice features.

Land Rover LR4 ($58,415)

Gorgeous wood, aluminum trim; third row actually useful.

Lexus GX ($65,754)

Elegant but rugged styling; third-row accessibility poor.

Lexus HS 250h ($46,547)

Feels less like a hybrid, more like luxury car.

Lexus IS 250C ($48,200)

Fine droptop execution, but power sliding seat slows second-row access.

Lincoln MKT ($55,085)

Unique gold-ish metallic trim; third row ridiculous.

Mazda3 ($25,535)

Back seat cramped, disappointing; lacks fifth head restraint.

Mazda CX-9 ($39,265)

Wood trim obviously fake; old-school navigation system.

Mazdaspeed3 ($25,840)

Shimmering red fabric very distinctive; no USB jack?

Mercedes E350 coupe ($58,295)

Great attention to detail; beautiful high-resolution nav-traffic system.

Nissan Altima hybrid ($34,810)

A step up from bare-bones hybrids; Lacks fifth head restraint.

Nissan Maxima ($38,660)

Rough door-trim edges; shows excessive wear after 3,900 miles.

Nissan Z roadster ($44,355)

Cabin loud from road and wind noise; Bluetooth connection balky.

Porsche Panamera ($153,640)

Enough technology and decadent luxury to satisfy Russian billionaire.

Ram Heavy Duty pickup ($39,955)

Fold-up second-row seats first-rate; plastics well done.

Subaru Outback ($28,295)

Good storage, driver feedback; excellent fit-and-finish.

Suzuki Kizashi ($27,484)

Definitely takes Suzuki upmarket; stylish brushed aluminum IP trim.

Toyota 4Runner ($36,634)

Too much plastic, but retracting cargo package tray a bonus.

Toyota Prius ($25,750)

Instrumentation brands vehicle nicely, but needs more soft surfaces.

Toyota Sienna ($42,211)

Hard-plastic IP feels like sandpaper; all seating positions comfortable.

Volkswagen Golf ($21,364)

Child seat access superb; kudos for five head restraints.

Volvo XC60 ($44,240)

Oak center stack is visually stunning, bargain priced at $295.

tmurphy@wardsauto.com