Acura ILX ($30,095)
Excellent fit-and-finish, but uninspiring. This is slightly nicer than the Civic, but not quite worthy of luxury placement.
Acura RDX ($40,315)
Not flashy, but very well done and soothing and incorporates intuitive controls. Proves Acura materials are vastly under-rated.
Acura RLX ($56,950 estimated)
Stitch line arcs in near-perfect form along door and instrument panel, but overall styling language is disappointingly subdued.
Audi Allroad ($50,670)
Updated A4 variant is well-done, but changes overall are minimal. Not the type of opulent Audi interior we know and love.
Audi RS 5 ($75,820)
Engine, exterior design, lighting sell this car, while interior is just along for the ride. Overall, interior needs more brightwork.
Buick Enclave ($50,965)
Nicest of ’ Lambda CUVs, with rich reddish hues on instrument panel and center console. Pathfinder’s better.
Buick Encore ($32,230)
Nothing out there like it. Surprisingly roomy, comfortable and space-efficient. Lots of safety features for the money.
Cadillac ATS ($49,185)
Bold Morello red seats, IP and door trim make this an aesthetic homerun, but too much piano-black trim means too many fingerprints.
Cadillac SRX ($49,085)
Beautifully done interior that results from creative engineers and artists teaming up. Sleek, vertical layout works well.
Cadillac XTS ($64,695)
Ebony and ivory, together in perfect harmony, with superb ambient lighting and purple-haze accent stitching.
Chevrolet Impala ($39,510)
Fullsize sedan comes a long way, but exterior is much more upscale than interior. Needs nicer wood trim.
Chevrolet Spark ($15,795)
High-energy colors, high-quality plastics and excellent ergonomics illustrate why some designers deserve a really long leash.
Chevrolet Traverse ($46,410)
Front-center airbag a great idea, but overall it’s a bit drab inside, with mid-grade material. And sticker price is outrageous.
Really nicely done, with instrumentation that’s easy to read and understand. But still not exactly practical for U.S.
Lots of imperfections, such as uneven sew lines. One of the worst touchscreens ever. Build quality doesn’t justify price.
Interior design takes a backseat to powertrain technology. Too many hard surfaces and panel gaps.
Better materials than CR-V and RAV4. But we expect so much more from this uplevel trim. A bit bland.
Ford Fusion SE ($26,040)
Holds its own in segment, and red contrast stitching is distinctive. We prefer this package over Titanium trim.
Ford Fusion Titanium ($37,670)
Hard to understand why buyers would pick this top trim level. Serious fit-and-finish problems keep it out of contention.
GMC Acadia Denali ($51,805)
Nice effort in updating Lambda CUVs, but it lacks character and central gauges remain dated. Plastic center-console trim is cheesy.
Honda Accord V-6 ($33,140)
Surprising amount of headroom in this coupe, and build quality and materials are excellent. But the price isn’t right.
Honda Civic ($24,555)
Good effort, but bean counters still rule. Instrument panel remains an asymmetrical stew of disconnected lines.
Everything you need – nothing you don’t. Shows why Hyundai deserves some upward price creep. Still, competitively priced for segment.
Fine package and very comfortable, but not enough new content relative to award-winning Elantra from two years ago.
Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT ($69,665)
Awesome, incredibly supportive seats. This latest redesign underscores just how far Jeep and have come.
Kia Forte ($25,515)
At shut-off, this affordable compact says “goodbye” with lively color graphic showing Forte’s back end. Nice touch.
Kia Sorento ($38,550)
Too expensive, and electronic gremlins cause radio stations to go silent during our loan.
Lexus ES 350 ($43,105)
Certainly more than a gussied up Camry, and Lexus still owns the “quiet-car” segment. Seats lack support.
Lexus GS 450h ($68,139)
So beautifully appointed with bamboo and metallic accents, we can forgive lack of onboard navigation system.
Lexus LS 460L ($83,999)
Interior colors are attractive, but center stack leaves us cold. Central controller was cool when new but now feeling dated.
Lexus LX 570 ($88,670)
A beastly SUV with a pricetag to match, and it fails to raise the bar in any measurable way. Why no power-lift third-row seats?
Lincoln MKZ ($51,540)
We want to like this interior and its strong suit is style. But backseat is uncomfortable and fit-and-finish problems documented.
Gorgeous styling, simple-to-use infotainment system and creative use of three interior colors, including stitching, makes it a winner.
Mercedes SL550 ($124,345)
Typically well done high-end interior, and electrochromic sunroof is innovative. But interior overall is no benchmark.
Mini Paceman John Cooper Works ($47,100)
Probably our favorite Mini interior – just like the Cooper but with more headroom and more spacious backseat.
Also-ran in a very competitive segment this year. Another high-volume sedan that is afraid to take chances.
Nissan Pathfinder ($44,395)
Nothing cheap or flimsy about this interior – even the blinkers sound great. Makes tough sledding for competitors.
Nissan Sentra ($21,370)
Probably more than adequate for folks who want basic transportation, but interior ventures close to dowdiness.
Porsche Boxster S ($101,070)
Sight lines suffer and pricing too high for vehicle lacking active safety features. But, boy, that caramel leather really pops.
Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn ($55,390)
With rustic wood trim, copper-tinted accents and pony-express mail pouches, this rugged truck will find audience beyond ranches.
Scion FR-S ($24,930)
Another affordable sports coupe interior that gets overlooked. If not for the tiny knobs and controls, it may have had a chance.
SRT Viper GTS ($128,490)
Huge improvement but still not terribly comfortable. Foot-well remains cramped. Needs a muffler, or at least one that works.
Subaru Forester ($33,220)
Clean, straightforward interior that walks fine line between luxury and high-volume. HMI even works with gloves on.
Subaru Legacy ($30,677)
Kudos for EyeSight collision avoidance, but overall too much hard plastic. Altima, Fusion, Malibu and Mazda6 are better.
Subaru Outback ($33,607)
Panel gap on A-pillar is in a bad place: right at driver’s eye level. Special Appearance interior package nice, however.
Toyota Avalon ($42,449)
Clean and accessible, with a classic feel and quality materials throughout. Tasteful and restrained, yet highly functional.
Toyota RAV4 ($25,770)
Simple, practical, well-done and sort of minimalist. This is a high-volume, purposeful ute with a premium feel to it.