Special Coverage

Auto Interiors Conference

Acura TL: Bold, bright colors herald new day for Japanese luxury interiors. Audi A4: How long can Audi hold the bar so high? BMW 7-Series: iDrive improved, head-up nav works well, but who’s spending $92k?

BMW X6 50i: Conveys brand nicely, but sort of feels like a Panzer tank.

Cadillac CTS-V: Occupants can find paradise by these sultry dashboard lights.

Cadillac Escalade Platinum: Awesome leather, wood, but back seats are cramped, lack head restraints.

Chevrolet Traverse: Chevy interiors improving, but this one’s too gray.

Dodge Challenger SRT8: Bland for such an iconic exterior; suede seats are spot-on.

Dodge Ram: Chrysler needs a strong product; Ram arrives just in time.

Ford F-150 XLT: Keeps Ford atop pickup market, but lacks mid-rear head restraint.

Ford Flex: Ford exits minivans, but storms upscale CUV segment with style.

Ford Fusion Hybrid: Interior gives Ford serious midsize contender; eco gauge cluster outstanding.

Ford Mustang GT: Best interior yet for this classic muscle car.

Honda Fit: Still the benchmark for compact, affordable fuel-efficient utility.

Honda Pilot: Interior lacks harmony; too much hard plastic. Button overload.

Hyundai Elantra Touring wagon: Good use of intriguing textures, low-gloss finishes throughout.

Hyundai Genesis: Interior is simple, unique, airy and luxurious; black-tan dash gorgeous.

Infiniti FX50: styling, but poor trim fits in cargo hold scuttled scores.

Kia Borrego: Well done HMI, but plain plastic surfaces make for monotonous design.

Kia Soul: Searing red cabin grooves like none other, man.

Lexus RX 450h: Fabulous redo; clever console-mounted mouse redefines HMI. Lincoln MKS: take seriously as luxury car without five head restraints.

Lincoln MKZ: Less expensive than MKS, but highly functional interior scores better.

Mazda6: Roomy, handsomely appointed cabin, but rivals are less expensive.

Mercedes GLK: Well done, but excessive gloss diminishes wood trim on dash.

Mini Clubman S: Charming, retro and roomy, but still catering to narrow niche.

Nissan 370Z Touring: No-nonsense cabin feels mechanical, purposeful and right for market.

Nissan Cube: Seuss-mobile is bizarre, but delivers most artsy headliner ever.

Smart Fortwo: Admirable package, but it’s noisy, expensive and serves limited purpose.

Toyota Matrix: A step up from Corolla, but still forgettable.

Toyota Venza: Kudos for unique design/materials, but it needs more harmony.

Toyota Yaris Liftback: Needs pizzazz, but near top of class in materials, fit/finish.

Volkswagen CC: Inside and out, CC looks like an expensive luxury car.

Volkswagen Routan: Good interpretation of Chrysler minivan, but still too expensive.

Volkswagen Tiguan: Not up to highest VW standards, but a decent value nonetheless.