Question of the Day: How Much Do Interiors Matter?

Jonny Lieberman
by Jonny Lieberman
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
question of the day how much do interiors matter

As auto hacks we spill a lot of ink crying and moaning about a car's interior. And unlike handling, there's not much to debate. Every other journalist I've ever spoken with agrees that Chrysler's interiors are in fact below the bargain basement. While you will find differences of opinions about the layout of a given cabin (I've been catching a lot of heat from my A5 review), crap remains crap while good stays good. Speaking of other journalists, I was sitting around drinking free booze with the usual suspects at a Ford event (soon, soon) and the age-old 911 vs. Corvette debate reared its head. As a natural contrarian I took up the Chevy cause. I explained how getting a hot lap on a runway in a Z06 piloted by King of the 'Ring John Heinricy was the most violent, exhilarating experience of my life. Their rebuttal? The interior sucks. All I could think to yell was, "Who cares?" But the truth is, I do care. A little. I think. Well, maybe just sometimes. Or not. Er, you?

Jonny Lieberman
Jonny Lieberman

Cleanup driver for Team Black Metal V8olvo.

More by Jonny Lieberman

Join the conversation
4 of 60 comments
  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on May 25, 2008

    The seats are the most important part. BMW has this nailed. VW also at a much lower price point. Chrysler has "short seats" which probably make the car look larger but hurt if you have long legs. Honda used to but fixed this in the most recent cars and trucks. When the BMW's were 'bangelized", I wasn't put off by the exterior, but the change from a fully functional interior to an "artsy" interior sucked. Form must follow function inside. by far, cheap seats are the biggest flaw of most cars. My BMW sport seats are the best chairs I've ever sat in, but likewise, cheap seats make an otherwise decent car unworkable. The VW beetle had decent seats. There is no excuse, not even money for badly designed seating. You may not get forty functions, but the basic lines are not news. Seat tracks that move.... now don't get me started on that one.

  • Veefiddy Veefiddy on May 26, 2008

    Car shopping fall 07. Sat in a Forester. Was depressed. Why? Who knows, but it wasn't nice in there. Sat in a Jetta. Felt like my old Golf, a bit austere, but well done. Sat in a Passat with the leatherette. Felt vaguely S+M to be honest. Sat in an Audi A4. My wife wanted to know why there was a shiny band of aluminum on the dash and doors that made her squint. I didn't know. But the car was all around me waiting for me to drive it. It felt businesslike and well put together, though dour, and far too serious for me. Finally sat in a Volvo V50. It felt cheerful (it had the Nordic Oak trim which is light wood). It felt roomier than than the others, though it isn't. Perhaps I mean airier. It gave me a great position to drive. And the seats were made of wetsuits which I thought was brilliant. The interiors meant a lot. We bought a V50.

  • Markm49uk Markm49uk on May 26, 2008

    Very important - I am a big fan of the Audi interiors - real quality switchgear, solid & heavy doors, good plastics and so tightly put together that a squeak or rattle is cause for a trip to the dealer ! Went in a Dodge over here (UK) the other week - oh dear it was like stepping back in time to the early 90's in terms of the design and feel - urgh. In my opinion the Audi interiors are the best in the world at that price point.

  • Davey49 Davey49 on May 26, 2008

    veefiddy- the new Volvos do have bright interiors. The Forester rules all in outward visibility though.