What makes a good interior? It’s more than whether a vehicle hails from a luxury brand or a mass-market marque. Generally, comfortable seating, user-friendly technology and high-end materials conspire to create a sense of refinement shoppers search for on the showroom floor.
Good interiors are getting easier to find, as cabins receive more leather upholstery, more space, and more technology with each model year upgrade. But how can a shopper separate the good from the best? U.S. News & World Report evaluated dozens of data points to calculate an average interior score for each car brand.
Read ahead to check out the car brands with the best interiors.
9) Land Rover
Average U.S. News Interior Score: 8.06/10 (Details Below)
Land Rover, the upscale British marque, manages to make off-roading look and feel elegant.
Top-ranking off-road SUVs, the Land Rover Range Rover and Land Rover Range Rover Sport are swathed in genuine leather, aluminum, and wood accents. Seating is spacious and comfortable, and the cabin is insulated from road and engine noise. A larger, 10.2-inch touch screen – up from 8 inches in outgoing models – is standard for 2017.
Average U.S. News Interior Score: 8.07/10 (Details Below)
Volkswagen may not count as a luxury automaker, but its interiors are competitive.
New for 2018, the Volkswagen Atlas ranks highly in our midsize SUV and SUV with 3 rows categories. It features spacious, comfortable seating throughout, as well as soft-touch materials and wood and metal accents.
The Tiguan compact SUV is equipped with leatherette upholstery and brushed metal trim, which is unusual for the class.
Average U.S. News Interior Score: 8.15/10 (Details Below)
Mercedes-Benz, currently the world’s largest luxury automaker, knows how to put together a smart interior.
Take, for example, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, a top-ranked luxury midsize car. Redesigned for 2017, the E-Class’ cabin is trimmed with walnut and soft-touch plastics.
The Mercedes-Benz GLS, a high-ranking luxury large SUV and a finalist for our 2017 Best Luxury Large SUV for Families award, comes standard with heated seats and leatherette upholstery and can be outfitted with diamond-quilted leather and premium woodgrain trim.
Average U.S. News Interior Score: 8.17/10 (Details Below)
It comes as no surprise that GMC, Chevrolet’s upscale sister brand, offers upscale cabins with plenty of technology.
The GMC Acadia midsize SUV, for example, comes standard with an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, five USB ports, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. It’s also versatile, allowing buyers to configure the number of seats in the cabin based on their needs. The base model seats seven with a third-row bench seat. Swapping captain’s chairs for the second-row bench seat allows space for six. The new, two-row All Terrain model seats five.
Average U.S. News Interior Score: 8.22/10 (Details Below)
Porsche stands out among the high-end luxury automakers for its upscale interiors and comfortable seating.
Earning top spots in our rankings of luxury SUVs with 2 Rows and luxury crossover SUVs, the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid and Porsche Macan come with high-quality materials, including wood trim and leather upholstery and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen.
Average U.S. News Interior Score: 8.26/10 (Details Below)
Kia vehicles boast plenty of luxury for a mass-market brand. The Korean automaker’s lineup features quiet cabins, spacious seating, and intuitive dashboard controls.
The Kia Sorento, which sits atop our rankings of midsize SUVs and SUVs with 3 rows and won our 2017 Best 3-Row SUV for the Money award, comes with options for leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats, and a heated steering wheel, as well as the brand’s UVO infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen and navigation.
Average U.S. News Interior Score: 8.28/10 (Details Below)
Audi’s reputation for smartly designed interiors has been solidified with its latest models, including the new A4 sedan, a highly ranked luxury small car and the winner of our 2017 Best Luxury Small Car for the Money award.
Models across Audi’s portfolio are equipped with leather upholstery, as well as Audi’s MMI infotainment system, a pair of USB ports, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Redesigned for 2017, the Audi Q7 3-row SUV gets nicely padded seating, wood trim, and tri-zone automatic climate control.
Average U.S. News Interior Score: 8.29/10 (Details Below)
Known for comfortable and supportive seating, Honda’s portfolio of interiors is becoming increasingly refined with each generation.
The Accord midsize sedan, for example, features high-end materials and leather upholstery. The Honda HR-V and CR-V, which sit atop our rankings for subcompact SUVs and compact SUVs respectively, are trimmed with soft-touch plastics and insulate passengers from road noise.
Some Honda models come with options for power-adjustable front seats and heated rear seats.
Average U.S. News Interior Score: 8.44/10 (Details Below)
Volvo has staked its reputation on elegant interiors trimmed in high-end materials. After completing a makeover of its 90 series, including its famed station wagon, the Swedish automaker has solidified its reputation for luxury.
The Volvo XC90 SUV, which was named a finalist for our 2017 Best Luxury 3-Row SUV for the Money and 2017 Best Luxury 3-Row SUV for Families awards, features spacious seating, ample cargo room, and standard dashboard technology that includes a tablet-like 9-inch touch screen with navigation.
Honorary Mention: Chrysler
Average U.S. News Interior Score: 8.54/10 (Details Below)
Our “honorary mention” brands didn’t make the official best interiors list because they have too few vehicles to offer an adequate sample size. However, they score too highly to not mention.
Chrysler scored a hit with its new-for-2017 Pacifica, a highly ranked minivan and winner of our 2017 Best Minivan for the Money award. Inside, the Pacifica feels comfortable and spacious. Cloth upholstery is standard, but Nappa leather is available in higher trims. Aside from the Pacifica, Chrysler also offers the midsize 200, which will be discontinued for 2018, and the large 300. Both cars also offer refined, upscale interiors.
Honorary Mention: Ram
Average U.S. News Interior Score: 8.70/10 (Details Below)
The Ram 1500, named a finalist for our 2017 Best Full Size Truck for the Money award, comes with high-end materials and optional rear seats with ample legroom. In fact, the Ram 1500 has the best U.S. News interior score among all new full sized pickups. However, it is Ram’s only new model listed on our site.
Honorary Mention: Genesis
Average U.S. News Interior Score: 9.05/10 (Details Below)
The Genesis brand launched as Hyundai’s luxury label with the 2017 Genesis G90, a spacious sedan with heated seats, standard Nappa leather upholstery, and wood and stainless steel trim. Genesis also offers the G80, which earned one of the highest U.S. News interior scores in the luxury midsize car class.