Acura TL ($42,395)

’09 TL was award winner; redesign didn’t go far enough.

Acura TSX Wagon ($35,470)

Clean, consistent design overall, but too many buttons.

*Audi A8 4.2 FSI ($93,525)

Aesthetically breathtaking, functionally sound, elegantly intuitive, supremely comfortable.

*BMW X3 ($52,025)

Great driver’s interior, unmistakably BMW. Big step up for X3.

Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon ($69,585)

Not enough differentiation from standard CTS, but Recaro seats are nice.

*Chevrolet Cruze 2LT ($22,910)

Multiple colors mesh beautifully; comfortable front seats for taller people.

Chevy Silverado 3500 Crew ($51,825)

Disappointing when compared with highly styled Ram, Ford HD offerings.

Chevrolet Volt ($44,180)

Strong use of graphics and color; excellent HMI. Unique finishes for plastic trim.

Chrysler 200 Limited ($27,455)

Much improved but the bar has risen in the segment.

Chrysler 300 Limited ($40,775)

Stunning instrument cluster and Mercedes-level seats highlight elegant redesign.

Chrysler Town & Country Limited ($40,385)

Good value, but other Chrysler interior redesigns are more thorough.

*Dodge Charger Rallye Plus ($34,635)

Bold use of color, high-quality surfaces and trim set this sedan apart.

Dodge Durango Citadel ($42,645)

Superb execution of 7-passenger vehicle, but uses old-school audio/navigation system.

Dodge Journey Lux ($34,510)

Great style; engaging color choices make up for unusable third row.

Fiat 500 Lounge ($23,150)

Love the IP, funky design; sitting in back a challenge.

Ford Edge Sport ($40,530)

Sleek interior front to rear, but not much “sport.”

Ford Explorer Limited ($45,415)

Spacious and highly functional, but $45,000 we expect a little more luxury.

Ford F-250 King Ranch ($63,470)

Well done but incomplete when compared with Ram Laramie HD.

Ford Fiesta ($19,605)

On par for price segment. Buttons stylish, but less ergonomic.

*Ford Focus Titanium ($27,520)

Dazzling with gray/cranberry color scheme; dynamic information display.

Ford Mustang GT ($39,680)

Captures essence of legendary brand without being overly nostalgic.

GMC Acadia Denali ($49,725)

Looks dated, with too much hard plastic for the price.

Honda CR-Z ($23,310)

Unique design, bright trim commendable; a great bargain.

*Honda Odyssey Elite ($44,030)

It’s not cheap, but well crafted and luxurious. This minivan soothes in style.

*Hyundai Elantra Limited ($22,110)

Beautifully shaped center stack; Hyundai interiors are copycat no more.

Hyundai Equus ($65,400)

Ultra luxury for the price of mid-level luxury; lavish features, conservative styling.

Infiniti QX56 ($71,850)

Clever folding second row; gorgeous ash-wood trim.

Jaguar XJ Supersport ($111,075)

Spectacular materials, including leather headliner. LCD gauges controversial.

Jeep Wrangler Sahara ($33,340)

Liked all-weather seats; Wrangler has come a long way.

*Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit ($48,770)

Highly crafted interior redefines luxury in the SUV segment.

*Kia Optima EX ($27,440)

Craftsmanship, flowing lines and dramatic use of color make this look like a luxury car.

Kia Sportage EX ($29,490)

Kudos for high-quality stitching and other details, but orange trim was too much.

Lexus CT200h ($38,239)

Extra points for clever HMI, but it’s been done before.

Lincoln MKX ($51,135)

High-gloss caramel faux wood hurts an otherwise upscale interior.

Mazda2 ($16,985)

Very basic; Honda Fit is a better value, more stylish.

Mazda5 ($24,720)

Comfortable 6-passenger seating in a small package is strongest feature.

Mini Cooper S Countryman ALL4 ($35,150)

A little busy, but captures Mini flavor; plenty of room.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE ($28,570)

Too many hard plastic surfaces; lacks upscale details.

Nissan Juke ($22,490)

Interior more attractive than exterior; loaded with character.

Nissan Leaf ($35,440)

Futuristic, but still functional, comfortable and user-friendly.

Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet ($47,825)

Interior does not help sell this unusual value proposition.

Nissan Quest LE ($43,790)

Design less polarizing than predecessor, but Honda and Chrysler tough to beat.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo ($117,610)

Beautifully styled, but many cues carried over from Panamera sedan.

Ram 3500 Longhorn Crew ($59,535)

Spectacularly rugged; impressive attention to design details and graphics.

Saab 9-5 Turbo ($50,140)

Disappointing reminder that Saab needs to rediscover its own design language.

Scion tC ($18,995)

Spacious backseat, but interior surprisingly bland for a youth brand.

Subaru Forester Touring ($29,068)

Nicely sculpted instrument panel, but materials lack upscale finishes and textures of segment leaders.

Toyota Avalon ($38,884)

Design a bit old school, but plenty of space and storage.

Volkswagen Jetta SEL ($23,065)

Yes, VW took out content, but interior more than adequate.

Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid ($61,385)

Attractive, with improved ergonomics; but still kinda plain for the price.

*Volvo S60 T6 ($46,200)

Eye-catching colors and textures, distinctive floating center stack, superb seats.

tmurphy@wardsauto.com