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GM sweeps Ward's Interior of the Year awards

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Since there are GM vehicles awarded, I thought of posting this here. I LMAOed when I read that there is a "Best Cup Holder" award :lol:

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GM, Ford, Honda and DCX Take Top Honors in 8th Annual Ward's 'Interior of the Year' Competition

Winners Unveiled at Auto Interiors Show

Link to Original Article @ The Auto Channel

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DETROIT, June 6 -- The votes are in and the big winners at the 2007 Ward's "Interior of the Year" awards are models from General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler and Honda.

In all, 34 vehicles from 11 manufacturers were in contention to win an "Interior of the Year" award in the annual competition sponsored by Ward's AutoWorld magazine. The prestigious awards program is part of the annual Ward's Auto Interiors Show being held this week at Detroit's Cobo Center.

Winners were determined in two ways: the editorial staff of Ward's conducted a two-month review and analysis of the 34 nominated vehicles and selected the winners based on eight evaluation categories such as comfort, safety and design harmony. In addition, members of the auto industry at-large were encouraged to participate in a popular vote online at http://www.autointeriors.com/ to see how they would evaluate the nominees compared to the Ward's judges. More than 1,400 popular votes were cast.

And the "Interior of the Year" winners are....

In the cars categories, Ward's editors voted the Honda Fit the best interior in Economy-Priced Cars; they also chose the Saturn Aura as best in Popular-Priced Cars; and the Volvo S80 as having the best interior in Premium- Priced Car category.

In light trucks, the Ward's judges selected the Honda CR-V as the winner in Popular-Priced CUV category; they agreed that the Cadillac SRX had the best interior in Premium-Priced CUV category; they also chose the Chevy Silverado as tops in Popular-Priced Trucks; and they selected the Lincoln Navigator as having the best interior in Premium-Priced Trucks.

The industry at-large winners

Voters in the industry at-large balloting agreed with Ward's editors in three categories: the Saturn Aura won in Popular-Priced Car; the Cadillac SRX took the Premium-Priced CUV category; and they voted the Chevy Silverado as best in the Popular-Priced Trucks category.

However, at-large voters went their separate way for the other vehicle categories. To them, the Dodge Caliber was the winner in the Economy-Priced Car category; the Saturn Outlook won in Popular-Priced CUV; and in Premium- Priced Trucks, the Cadillac Escalade took the honors.

The vehicle awards are summarized in this table:

Award Category Ward's Editorial Staff Industry At-Large Vote

Economy-Priced Car Honda Fit Dodge Caliber

Popular-Priced Car Saturn Aura Saturn Aura

Premium-Priced Car Volvo S80 Lincoln MKZ

Popular-Priced CUV Honda CRV Saturn Outlook

Premium-Priced CUV Cadillac SRX Cadillac SRX

Popular-Priced Truck Chevy Silverado Chevy Silverado

Premium-Priced Truck Lincoln Navigator Cadillac Escalade

Special Achievement Awards

In addition to the vehicle awards recognizing overall interiors, Ward's editors also singled out four categories for special achievement awards. These included Best Brand Expression, Best Interior Trim, Best Overall Comfort and even Best Cup Holder.

Winner of the Best Brand Expression award is the Jeep Wrangler; for Best Interior Trim is the Infiniti G35; Best Cup Holder goes to the Chrysler Sebring; and Best Overall Comfort is awarded to the Lexus LS 460L.

Awards Highlight Importance of Interiors to Vehicle Sales

With automotive interiors taking a leading role in brand differentiation and in winning over consumers, automakers are placing an increased emphasis on interiors. OEM spending on interior materials alone is projected to reach $10 billion by 2009, according to CSM Worldwide.

Further, a J.D. Power study showed interior comfort is the second most important factor in choosing a vehicle, ranking ahead of exterior styling and just behind reliability and durability. That's why automakers are eager to participate -- and win -- a Ward's Interior of the Year award. Last year, many of the winning manufacturers showcased their awards in new vehicle brochures and in national advertising to help attract consumers to their dealer showrooms.

As a result of the growing spotlight on the Interior of the Year Awards, Ward's instituted three fundamental changes this year. First, Ward's editors developed a quantitative selection process that evaluated vehicle interiors based on eight criteria to ensure the integrity, transparency and objectivity of the competition. Vehicle interiors were scored on each of the eight criteria which included material selection; ergonomics; driver information; safety; overall value; comfort; fit and finish; and aesthetics and design harmony.

Second, a new category -- Economy-Priced Cars under $17,000 -- was added. With rising fuel prices shifting consumers to more economical vehicles, Ward's editors felt it important to include the interiors of cars at the lower end of the price range.

Third, Ward's instituted a process for recognizing outstanding features and design choices instituted in new vehicles or vehicle interiors. These awards are designated "Special Achievements" and focus on areas deemed worthy of honor by a consensus of the Ward's judges.

About the Auto Interiors Show: Now in its 14th year, The Auto Interiors Show is presented by Ward's Automotive Group and is the industry's leading trade show and conference for vehicle interiors. It spotlights the latest innovations in vehicle technology and design to help suppliers respond to increasing OEM demands and changing consumer preferences. It features exhibits of leading suppliers who showcase trend setting products and materials with a view to the future of vehicle interiors. For complete information on the annual Ward's Auto Interiors Show, go to: http://www.autointeriors.com/.

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Man I thought Crapry and the Turdra were the ones with the best interiors in their respective categories.

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Did I just see Dodge Caliber somewhere on that list? Please someone explain that to me.

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Did I just see Dodge Caliber somewhere on that list? Please someone explain that to me.

I guess it all depends on what your definition of 'Best' is.

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I guess it all depends on what your definition of 'Best' is.

:lol:
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Perhaps someone hadn't come off a bunch of mushrooms....

Chris

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3 GM's, 2 Honda's, and 2 Ford's, were recognized by Ward's. Not hardly a sweep by GM as the title of this thread would suggest, lol. :AH-HA_wink:

Did I just see Dodge Caliber somewhere on that list? Please someone explain that to me.

It was voted by people, not the editors, so who knows.

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I LMAOed when I read that there is a "Best Cup Holder" award :lol:

I wouldn't laugh if I were you, it depends on the size of the cup now, doesn't it?

C-Cup

D-Cup

EEE-Cup :P

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I wouldn't laugh if I were you, it depends on the size of the cup now, doesn't it?

C-Cup

D-Cup

EEE-Cup :P

:lol:

It's quite a danger to your health if you're hit by one of those EEE-Cups :P

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Yes the SRX with navigation is the best in it's class and guess what. GM has been shy about running ads ahowing off the new interior. What a shame when they finally did one 100% right.

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I'm not sure about the S80, CR-V, or Navigator on Ward's list. It's hilarious the Caliber is on there, but maybe it won on functionality, not design/materials.

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Did I just see Dodge Caliber somewhere on that list? Please someone explain that to me.

Probably the fact that the Caliber does seem to have a highly efficient use of space....or so it seems to me.....lots of back seat room, cargo capacity, etc. Quality of materials are abysmal, as we've all said....but actual fit and finish of those abysmal materials has been really good in most of them I've been in....and the switchgear still works as good as any other brand out there.

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Probably the only car I'd disagree on is the Aura.

Nasty fit-and-finish and that "misaligned" HVAC/Radio grouping kill this car for me.

GM trucks and the SRX definitely deserve the award.

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I'm guessing the Caliber made it in there for its high gadget-to-price quotient (flashlight/dome lamp combo, glovebox cooler, cooled cup holders, etc.) rather than on a materials basis. Because it certainly wins the prize for "least forgiving textures", assuming that was awarded this year.

I don't understand OC's gripe on the Aura - everything seems to fall readily to hand when I sit in one, and the materials feel great. Could just be personal preference, or maybe I wasn't looking close enough. I dunno...

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Not that I think that GM isn't capable of making a good interior, but I question their decision to give the Aura the award for best interior in it's class. If anything, the Accord or the Camry still have the top trophy. I hate to say it but they are at least 3 years ahead of GM.

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Not that I think that GM isn't capable of making a good interior, but I question their decision to give the Aura the award for best interior in it's class. If anything, the Accord or the Camry still have the top trophy. I hate to say it but they are at least 3 years ahead of GM.

I'll give you the Accord, but I'm honestly not that impressed by the Camry. It's very, shall we say, "rough" in places.

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YAYAYAYAY! BEST CUPHOLDERS GOES TO SEBRING! My cupholders pwn yours!

Hey... I'd be proud of a cupholder the heats and cools beverages. It's a rare find.
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Probably the fact that the Caliber does seem to have a highly efficient use of space....or so it seems to me.....lots of back seat room, cargo capacity, etc. Quality of materials are abysmal, as we've all said....but actual fit and finish of those abysmal materials has been really good in most of them I've been in....and the switchgear still works as good as any other brand out there.

hmmm didn't think about it that way. But it still makes my brain shrivel a bit every time I read Caliber and best in the same sentence. Although the overall design isn't bad, I will say that since I was considering a Patriot at one time. The material quality need not be mentioned however.
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I'm not sure about the S80, CR-V, or Navigator on Ward's list. It's hilarious the Caliber is on there, but maybe it won on functionality, not design/materials.

From personal experience, the S80's interior is not great (IMO, the MKZ is better) and the Navigator's interior is made of better materials than it looks, though I'd still put the Escalade above it. The CR-V, in base form, is horrible. It only looks good in dual tone with navigation. The Outlook's interior definately bests it.

The Aura is a surprise to me. I guess the design throws me off. The SRX is no surprise...one of the best interiors in a modern car, period. It's a damn shame GM does not advertise the car (none that I have seen, at least). I suspect we'll be seeing Enclave on this list next year.

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Some of this surprised me, some of it didn't.

Surprises:

  • Not a signal Toyota product on the list (best surprise of them all)
  • The Caliber won a best interior award. But, as some have mentioned, it is extremely functional and makes great use of teh space it is given. In the compact class, that counts for more than materials quality. Plus, fit `n finish is very good in these things.
  • The Sebring won an award (I'm surprised Chrysler won awards period). The cupholders seem liek a novelty...but the idea of keeping your drink hot or cold is sweet and no one in the price range offers it besides the Avenger.
  • The Aura won...because I think Honda has a better interior still, but I'm not upset
Not Surprised
  • The Camry lost. It has some materials you'll find in a Caliber, it also has lousy fit `n finish from the one I sat in and from some others have mentioned as well
  • The SRX won...it looks amazing with the new interior, it's one of the best CUVs on the market...if only GM would tell the world...
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I'm guessing the Caliber made it in there for its high gadget-to-price quotient (flashlight/dome lamp combo, glovebox cooler, cooled cup holders, etc.) rather than on a materials basis. Because it certainly wins the prize for "least forgiving textures", assuming that was awarded this year.

I don't understand OC's gripe on the Aura - everything seems to fall readily to hand when I sit in one, and the materials feel great. Could just be personal preference, or maybe I wasn't looking close enough. I dunno...

Materials really aren't the problem....it's more the fit-and-finish which seems really slaphazard to me. For example, the sliding console door that hasn't worked on any single Aura i've been in....and seems ultra flimsy anyway. Also, the door panel armrests are "attached" to the door panel (as opposed to being molded as one piece with the door panel) and as a result, you put any flex on them (such as pushing down on the armrest with your hand or elbow), and they actually pull away from the door panel. Also, there's a rash of ragged cutlines all throughout the interior...on the lower dash, the console, etc.

These are details that really lend a cheap feel to the Aura......and they are details that GM has shown they CAN get right in other products (GMT-900s, Lambdas, even Impala.)

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