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Top 10: Best Car Interiors for 2009 (15-25k)



The stakes are higher for this bracket of the best car interiors of 2009! There are more vehicles present, and the standards are higher for this sector. Once again, the graded areas include:

  • Quality of Interior Materials
  • Amount of Soft Touch Surfaces
  • Basic Interior Features
  • Available Interior Features
  • General Flow of Interior

Value relative to interior design & quality was an important factor in the rating system.

#10 - Honda Civic

Starting off this top 10 series is the infamous Honda Civic with its revolutionary interior; the digital dash and bright ambiance invites the driver to experience life behind a civic. Plastics awash the interior, but don't seem cheap. The fabrics are thin, but suffice well under use. Upmarket feel for the price. Civic EX and Si have an even plusher, spicier feel, respectively.

Photo courtesy Motortrend.com

Photo courtesy Motortrend.com

#9 - Toyota Camry

A top 10 isn't complete without the camry, but it didn't place terribly high this year. The Camry's interior is decent enough for 9th place. High grade plastics are common, but don't look cheap. Although, the clear plastic knobs do look cheap and out of place. Fabric on the center armrest is thin and prone to wear. Upgrading to leather is a high recommendation, although finer leather can be found among upholstery specialists. The previous generation's interior was superior to the current.

Photo courtesy Motortrend.com

Photo courtesy Motortrend.com

#8 - Mini Cooper

The interior of this little guy simply packs a punch. It's either for you, or isn't. The quality and workmanship is excellent, and the instrument panels are hard to miss. Mini took a lot of risks with the interior of the Cooper, and seem to have succeeded with high sales. The Cooper is beginning to show it's age though, so look for a redesign coming soon!

Photo courtesy Motortrend.com

Photo courtesy Motortrend.com

Great Reads For Those in The Market!

#7 - Saturn Astra

The Astra is unique among the GM line, at least in the American and Canadian markets. It is imported from Opel (which belongs to GM) and is built in Belgium.

This certainly shows--the quality is remarkable. The vehicle has plenty of plastic, but doesn't look cheap and isn't thin. Soft touch surfaces can be found in often-felt places. The center console screen resists glare by design. The interior is a bit bland and monotonous, but perks are available to spice it up. It is certainly the finest GM vehicle in the compact family.

Photo courtesy Motortrend.com

Photo courtesy Motortrend.com

#6 - Volkswagen Rabbit / GTI

Soft touch surfaces and plush material are precisely placed in this vehicle. The inside sports a "night life" feel and has plenty of glow. Workmanship lapses were present last year (squeeks and rattles), but Volkswagen seems to have fixed that issue with tighter assembly.

Photo courtesy Motortrend.com

Photo courtesy Motortrend.com

#5 - Mazda 6

Mazda's 6 series feels like a young Honda Accord. Although it isn't as refined, it certainly feels a tad less bland and certainly more personalized. The shiny black plastics look cheap to some eyes, sporty to some. The interior of this vehicle was risky for Mazda, but they seem to have succeeded (at least partially). Not a market leader, but worth taking a look at.

Photo courtesy Gearpatrol.com

Photo courtesy Gearpatrol.com

#4 - Hyundai Azera

The only vehicle under $25,000 that is genuinely taking a stab at Lexus and Acura. The interior is plush and inviting, certainly a market leader in this category. Although it isn't a lexus, it looks $10,000 more expensive than it is--which was Hyundai's objective. It isn't quite as refined as a Lexus, but is debatably a better value than some of Lexus' entry level vehicles. Value is the key term with this vehicle, and has succeeded so much that (rumor has it!) Hyundai is considering developing a luxury line in the US and Canadian markets.

Photo courtesy Edmunds.com

Photo courtesy Edmunds.com

#3 - Chevrolet Malibu

The Malibu's interior ranges from spartan to exciting and vibrant. Although awash in hard plastics, GM really wants to show the world that they will invest more dollars into their small and medium-size vehicles. Workmanship is better than most, although it's no Volvo C30. The two-tone color schemes available make the Malibu jazzy and fun. This is the only vehicle in GM's inventory that saw an increase in units sold from last year.


#2 - Honda Accord

The accord is known for its awesome array of quality materials and excellent assembly--and this year is no exception. Plush materials, fine workmanship and convincing faux-woods complete this vehicle. Plastics are existant, but don't look cheap. Sedans and coupes have slightly different decor--a plus. No squeeks or workmanship lapses reported.

Photo courtesy theyreviewed.blogspot.com

Photo courtesy theyreviewed.blogspot.com

#1 - Volvo C30

The only true entry-level luxury vehicle on this top 10 (although Hyundai's Azera is taking a good shot at luxury, it still needs a little more work). Plump leather, well placed padded surfaces, and real metal trim roam the C30. The center console pop-up navigation system is wooing and fancy. Workmanship seems fine, with no squeeks or uneven surfaces found. Beware though: The price can escalate quickly with enough options.

Photo courtesy portalcoaches.net

Photo courtesy portalcoaches.net

Visit my Other Top 10: Best Car Interiors Articles!


prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on October 10, 2009:

it looks great interior car. wonderful design. thanks for share.

Evan Hutchinson from The Dirty South on August 08, 2009:

Sorry bro, the Azera should have been number 1 by a landslide. There is ZERO comparison to any of the others on this list.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on March 14, 2009:

Again nice pictures and interesting info! I better stop here...I am starting to want a new car :)

issues veritas on March 10, 2009:

Enjoyed the hub and the interiors.

Direxmd (author) on March 10, 2009:

Proud Mom,

That's a good story :) I bet you were a wild kid! Yup, cup holders are a relatively new phenomenon (I wonder how rich the inventer is now?)


No problem Jim, happy sailing--The astra comes in a 5 door and a 3 door configuration, and it's quite roomy. I recommend the vehicle :)

Take care, and thanks for dropping by :)

jim10 from ma on March 10, 2009:

Great Hub, I am looking into getting a new car, but I need something a little bigger. I need to try and fit a car seat, a booster seat and my oldest son in the back. Currently my Buick Regal just fits everything. So I would like something a little wider at least. For the Mini Copper being such a small car those are some pretty big instrument panels. Also thanks for introducing me to the Saturn Astra I never heard of it but, it looks great.

Proud Mom from USA on March 10, 2009:

1988--really? I had no idea! I got my license just a couple of years before that and was strapped with a 1976 mercury Montego MX in granny gold for a car. We called it "The Boat" and discovered 14 people could fit inside (illegally of course) and an extra 6 could fit on the hood and trunk if we the area in front of the driver empty. It was an UGLY car, but we managed to have quite a bit of fun in it. No cup holders, though. I assumed it was because it was so old. I didn't realize that even with a brand new car it would have been an upgrade!!

My husband was reading your hub just now and thought you made some pretty excellent suggestions!

Direxmd (author) on March 10, 2009:

Well, I chose not to include minivans, trucks and SUVs--I think I will have special top 10s for them.

Yeah, the Opel branch of GM (in Germany) designed the Astra. It's a pretty neat vehicle. I will have to look into the cup holder thing, that's pretty crazy!

I remember when cup holders weren't even standard--1988 was when I first started seeing them :P

Proud Mom from USA on March 10, 2009:

This is pretty cool, Mike.  My truck didn't make the cut, but that's okay.  I love the interior of the Astra.  We looked at those while our Saturn was being repaired.  It is a very cool interior.  My oldest says that's what she wants when she gets her license now that PT Cruisers aren't being made.  (Of course she's still got a couple of years or more) I do have one issue with it, though.  The only cupholder that is even remotely accessible to the front seat is in the very back of the middle console.  It was even farther back than my elbow.  I can see problems with the driver trying to reach for it while driving.  I know several of my friends who don't allow drinks in their cars, but in my household, it's a given that we'll stop at any Sonic we see for Iced Tea.

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