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Do Interiors Really Matter That Much?

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Seriously, people say they make or break the car.. but look at the Dodge/Chrysler vehicles that are selling so well! 300, Charger, Magnum, Caliber, etc. They all have similar truck-like interiors and not-so-great materials and they're selling like hotcakes..

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Myself interiors may make or break the sale. I need as much extras as possible. I will only buy a loaded car I figure why get some barebone car to save a couple dollars because in the future I will regret it. But I myself look at all aspects of the interior I like something that looks good and is also functionable for a daily driver. Theres nothing more then I hate is a car that is uncomfortable to drive. I need the smooth ride and reclinable seat for that long drive. By the end of the day I have the chair reclined so far I can just see the road.

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Seriously, people say they make or break the car.. but look at the Dodge/Chrysler vehicles that are selling so well! 300, Charger, Magnum, Caliber, etc. They all have similar truck-like interiors and not-so-great materials and they're selling like hotcakes..

They matter to people who know better. It never mattered to me, and then I sat in a Ford Fusion, and then an 06 Maxima and I thought to myself, "Yeah, I can see the appeal of having smooshy dash material and woven headliners."

And you have to remind yourself that, as well as those cars are selling, they're still not even close to Camry, Accord, Civic or even Impala sales.

They're all great looking cars, granted, but that only takes you so far. The best thing about the 300, Charger, Magnum and Calibur is that they're managing to sell them without heavy discounts/incentives, and so Dodge is making lots of money.

The Tahoe is an example of a vehicle that is aggressively styled AND has a fantastic interior. Which is why it will continue to outsell every vehicle in its class, and with ZERO incentives.

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Interiors totally matter to me. I spend all of my time inside the car, and I appreciate an upscale, quiet, detailed interior. I've been consciously feeling plastics when I have been in different cars, and there are a difference--and honestly, when your arm rubs against one while you're driving (if you lean your arm against a door or armrest), it feels more substantial.

An interior I like would be conservative, upscale, and quiet. For me that's Buick.

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As long as the dash doesn't look like total garbage, I can live with a lower quality interior (as long as it isn't a rattle-trap).

For instance, I could not live with looking at this interior everyday:

Posted Image

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They definitley do, especially in America. One of the big reasons John Deer and other domestic construction companies sell much more than the foreign ones is because they make the seats big and comfortable with easy to pull knobs/levers, I mean seriously, when you think of American construction workers what do you think of? A fat lazy guy with the ass crack hanging out, of course. You need to direct your interior towards what type of people you expect to buy the car, one of the reasons I love GM is because their seats are made for American people and are really comfortable. I would never buy a Toyota because their seats are sooo thin and uncomfortable, plus they try to make the interior look futuristic, but that actually just takes away from the comfort level because it's all cheap molded plastic and other hard uninviting materials.

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Do interiors matter? Ofcourse, they do... However, an interior will not make or break a car for me. I love 5th gen GAGTs, however, their interiors... well...

Posted Image

Not the greatest thing... but do I care? Yes, I do, but the entire appeal of the car out-weighs the lack of it in the interior. However, vice versa, it isn't the same. An interior could not make me buy an unappealing vehicle no matter how nice it was.

That's basically where I stand on them.

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See, I really don't care as long as it's not falling apart. All I want/long for is a hot exterior and nice drivetrain. A nice interior is only a plus..

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I drive a 1990 Sierra, so I'm not surrounded by luxury. It's got hard plastic everywhere, but it's a truck so that's ok...

I'm all for interiors that are functional, but also look nice. If the interior looks great, but the plastic is hard, it's still no problem.

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That's because some of us ride in our cars and some of us drive our cars. When you are trying to beat that Subaru to the next stop light or trying to keep the back end from coming out from under you in a corner that plastic dash and back-lit radio display just don't mean that matter that much anymore.

Yeah, exactly!

I drive a 1990 Sierra, so I'm not surrounded by luxury. It's got hard plastic everywhere, but it's a truck so that's ok...

I'm all for interiors that are functional, but also look nice. If the interior looks great, but the plastic is hard, it's still no problem.

Functionality is necessary, yes. I hate my mom's Durango (well, aside from not liking driving in trucks/SUVs to start) partly because I have to literally reach to press the far buttons on the radio..

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why are you even ASKING such a question?

INTERIORS ARE EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!

how do you suppose VW revived itself? Why do fresh out of college females dump 28 thou on a tiny Jetta. Because its prim and proper and JUST SO on the inside. How do you suppose Audi became who it is? INTERIORS!!!

how do you suppose Lexus got so popular?

If you look at the car brands and models that create large buzzes and make large profits, its usually cars and such that have nice materials and appeal to women. Now guys like good interiors too.

Sadly, GM has never gotten that. Really if GM nailed interiors, exterior styling, powertrains, and features, they would go somewhere.

let's use the 07 tahoe/yukon as an example. if you see one with tan/black interior and leather it looks great. grey cloth/grey...not so great. look at the magazine test of that vehicle. it gets RAVE reviews. First GM product in a long time with universal praise of the interior.

Now, you don't think there is a lsight coincidence between that and how they rate the car overall? If the Tahoe had a marginal interior like the usual GM, they would berate the hell out of the car, and that would kill sales.

Watch people at the autoshow. Most of them are clueless. But they ALL judge how much they like a car, after they get in it and scope out the interior. The cars you hear folks comment on and praise have the nice interiors and they seemingly make their whole judgment about the car on that, and price.

interiors are more important then powertrains to many buyers (i.e women).

Edited by regfootball

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I don't like creaky plastic. If I touch something and it creaks, I am turned off. I don't like excessively wobbly center consoles, or console doors either. For me, the interior has to fit the purpose of the vehicle. That's a reason why my Colorado interior doesn't hurt my feelings for being as plain as it is. It's a truck. I also like the Frontier interior, except for the fishnet upholstery, because it is functional-looking. I don't care if the dash is soft or hard because when I drive, I am holding the leather-wrapped steering wheel, not the dashboard. I know my hard dash will retain its shape for years. A lot of soft materials lose their shape by warping with temperature extremes.

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why are you even ASKING such a question?

INTERIORS ARE EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!

how do you suppose VW revived itself?  Why do fresh out of college females dump 28 thou on a tiny Jetta.  Because its prim and proper and JUST SO on the inside.  How do you suppose Audi became who it is?  INTERIORS!!!

And here is where we have the problem. VW is routinely praised for their "high quality" interiors while GM, the CTS specifically, is panned for their "low quality" interiors.

I happen to have both a Passat and a CTS.

Items wrong with the Passat:

Broken cup holder

Broken center armrest

Broken wood trim

power mirror control knob fell off <fixed under warrenty>

driver side door "whistles"

Passenger side power seat controls get stuck in the position they've been activated

passenger side airbag cover's corners are curling

Items wrong with the CTS:

Flakey sun-roof switch <fixed under warrenty>

The ergonomics on the CTS are substantially better. The materials on the VW are softer than the CTS and since VW's designs are in voque with the press. VW's interior quality rawks! :ohyeah:

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And here is where we have the problem. VW is routinely praised for their "high quality" interiors while GM, the CTS specifically, is panned for their "low quality" interiors.

I happen to have both a Passat and a CTS.

Items wrong with the Passat:

Broken cup holder

Broken center armrest

Broken wood trim

power mirror control knob fell off <fixed under warrenty>

driver side door "whistles"

Passenger side power seat controls get stuck in the position they've been activated

passenger side airbag cover's corners are curling

Items wrong with the CTS:

Flakey sun-roof switch <fixed under warrenty>

The ergonomics on the CTS are substantially better. The materials on the VW are softer than the CTS and since VW's designs are in voque with the press. VW's interior quality rawks! :ohyeah:

See this is another problem. The CTS may hold up better in the long run, but initionally the VW is the nicer interior...also the fact that you say that the VW's interior is softer than the Caddy's, which is supposed to be luxury, is just not right. Remember that first impressions are everything, so people will be one over by interiors that seem nicer at first.

I think interiors are importnat, and ideally I want a really nice interior with plenty of soft materials, an elegant/cool design, and good ergonomics. However if the rest of the car is good enough, I'm willing to compemise. Like teh Charger/Magunm...I don't care for the interiors (the 300's looks better), but I love the looks and performance so much I'm willing to compremise.

Edited by Dodgefan

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Interiors are definitely a big selling point with me..after all, I spend the most time inside the car, so I have to be able to live with the interior..comfortable seats, good ergonomics, lots of features, quality sound system, quality, soft-touch materials, color choices (no bigger turn off for me than depressing gray hard plastic--I'm just sick of gray interiors completely)..

I love a good looking, good handling, fast car, but if I had to live with a cheap, nasty interior, I wouldn't be interested..

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Interiors are dead-last on my priority list, nice to have a really good one - but not a pivotal factor. Performance and exterior styling far outrank concerns about the interior. As long as the squeaks and rattles don't show-up and all of the controls are somewhat intuitive and the seats are comfortable, I'm happy.

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It matters somewhat...I could give a damn about materials since I uh...never touch them. As long as the design is nice and build quality is good with no rattles then thats fine with me.

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Depends on the vehicle. A truck can have a truck-like interior. A luxury car obviously needs a very detailed, well-built interior. What really bothers me are when the controls are junky feeling on any vehicle. I can live with the vast expanses of hard plastic.

The bar has been raised by many of the import automakers such that now many people expect that luxury car interior in the family sedan.

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Well, I tend to think of it this way: If you can't find everything you need in the interior of a car from the first few minutes you spend inside on the test drive, then that minor irritation is going to become a huge PITA in the future if you buy the car.

Some cars have very stupid interior designs, like these Subaru cupholders, which made using the HVAC/Radio extremely difficult:

Posted Image

Some cars (my parents '96 Caravan, for one) have very shiny plastics on the dashboard that reflect sunlight right into your eyes. This is especially fun in the winter.

My Mercury isn't without its interior foibles, either. Most of the time, I love the digital dash. But it can be easily washed out when driving into the sunset. Also, for such a large car, there is a distinct lack of storage nooks and crannies. I've been storing my CDs underneath the armrests and hoping that nobody will notice them.

Now, I'm not big on having the finest plastics available in my car's interior. All I ask for is an interior that is pragmatic, that serves its purpose. It doesn't glare, it doesn't squeak or rattle, and you can find anything you want in a matter of seconds. The trouble is, most cars are so close these days in so many respects that the interiors are about the only things that set them apart. If you can't nitpick on the engine, suspension, handling or styling, what is left? Hence, why interiors are so important. And, if nothing else, this shows how far the automotive world (and GM) has come in the last decade or so. On paper, the Aura pretty much equals the Accord V6, Camry XLE and Altima SE in just about every respect. But the Aura's interior is still living a few too many years in the past. That is where the Aura will lose, because it is the only place where it is noticably deficient. That is how much better GM is today. If they can just get those interiors nailed down, things will finally start to look up.

Seriously, people say they make or break the car.. but look at the Dodge/Chrysler vehicles that are selling so well! 300, Charger, Magnum, Caliber, etc. They all have similar truck-like interiors and not-so-great materials and they're selling like hotcakes..

The Chrylser LX cars had the incredible good fortune of having people not really care about their interiors. The big selling points for those models are/were the RWD, the styling, and the HEMI engine. Chrysler knew that, and they used it. And, in a rare piece of PR success, they were able to divert pretty much all the attention of both the reviewers and the buyers to the cars strongest points, while ignoring the weakest ones. Suddenly, the whole of Chrysler was "hot" as an effect of the positive reception toward the LXs. The Caliber is still riding on that wave of popularity. Like I said, its not often you get people to totally ignore the interior of car. But it has somehow worked big time for Chrysler these last few years.

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yeah, over time you can say that...but its how they look in the showroom that affects sales the most.

And here is where we have the problem. VW is routinely praised for their "high quality" interiors while GM, the CTS specifically, is panned for their "low quality" interiors.

I happen to have both a Passat and a CTS.

Items wrong with the Passat:

Broken cup holder

Broken center armrest

Broken wood trim

power mirror control knob fell off <fixed under warrenty>

driver side door "whistles"

Passenger side power seat controls get stuck in the position they've been activated

passenger side airbag cover's corners are curling

Items wrong with the CTS:

Flakey sun-roof switch <fixed under warrenty>

The ergonomics on the CTS are substantially better. The materials on the VW are softer than the CTS and since VW's designs are in voque with the press. VW's interior quality rawks! :ohyeah:

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Being as I switch my main vehicle all the time, I can say from the point of view of considerable experience that the look of the plastics and the feel of the dash matter a lot less than the placement of storage cubbies, cupholders and whether the car has delayed locks, automatic headlights, etc.

For example, GM's DAT cars don't have automatic headlights or delayed locks (including the fact that you absolutely must be out of the vehicle with the driver's door closed to even lock the doors, which drives me ABSOLUTELY BONKERS!) and this matters a helluva lot more than the fact that they have a nifty sunglass holder above the driver's door and the black vinyl dash cap/brushed metal looking dash is way better than the Malibu. The Malibu has so many clever features on it that it is a better vehicle (not to mention gas mileage) than the Optra or Aveo.

And as you slip in and out of cars with electric or hydraulic steering, they also leave different impressions, which are deeply personal. I love the electric steering, but based on my observations on this board, electric steering is the worst thing to come along since the vinyl roof.

I think we would agree that nothing is more subjective than the look/first impressions of the interior of a car. Fit is very important. Finish is subjective.

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See this is another problem. The CTS may hold up better in the long run, but initionally the VW is the nicer interior...also the fact that you say that the VW's interior is softer than the Caddy's, which is supposed to be luxury, is just not right. Remember that first impressions are everything, so people will be one over by interiors that seem nicer at first.

I think interiors are importnat, and ideally I want a really nice interior with plenty of soft materials, an elegant/cool design, and good ergonomics. However if the rest of the car is good enough, I'm willing to compemise. Like teh Charger/Magunm...I don't care for the interiors (the 300's looks better), but I love the looks and performance so much I'm willing to compremise.

My first impression is based on ergonomics. Caddy's interior in general might need to be soft, but the CTS is supposed to be a little "harder edge" then the rest of the Caddy line. I don't find the material of the CTS to be out of class with the intention of the car. I think most people find the grain pattern on the panels to be the offending part. If you touch them rather then just look at pictures of them on the web, you'll find that they are indeed padded and soft.

The 300's interior has *horrible* ergonomics and the material wheels on the models without a leather wrapped wheel is nasty.

I like the looks of all the LX cars. They lose me on the interiors.

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For instance, I could not live with looking at this interior everyday:

Posted Image

Neither could I... this car needs a V8. And I'm not talking about the engine, I'm talking about the drink.

That must be why I like Oldsmobile and other mid-lux brands so much. Well said. :thumbsup:

Rock on--I would have totally been an Oldsmobile man if the brand was around. I miss that division so badly already--it would have been me 100%. However, Saturn is positioning itself to take the spot, so maybe I'll have to fall in love again :)

driver side door "whistles"

Ah, that's cause the car thinks you're cute! ^_^

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Rock on--I would have totally been an Oldsmobile man if the brand was around.  I miss that division so badly already--it would have been me 100%.  However, Saturn is positioning itself to take the spot

Why is that? Where there Oldsmobiles in your family? You guys sound more like Buick-philes.

My Dad always gravitated toward Buick until I got him to buy Olds - the first Cutlass Supreme we ever had. It was so much better looking than the twin Regal of that same year. We got a lot of compliments on it. He bought Olds 2x more after that.

I, too, have a weakness for Olds just based on history. Which is sad because Buick has given me a better car in my current Regal. As for a new car purchase, the lack of the Intrigue leaves a gap in my line-up. That was the car that fit me perfectly.

I don't think that Saturn will EVER be Oldsmobile. Fuggedaboutit. Saturn will always feel to Japanese...they do to me.

As far as interiors, I look at the comfort of the seats and position relative to the dash/cowl. I'm 5'-10." I don't like to sit low. The dashes in most Cadillacs, for example, are too "tall", as is the center stack, and I don't like that feeling. Also, I hate bucket seats that cup you too much. I don't like heavily contoured bolstering. That's one of the few things wrong with the current GP.

We need more color and nicer interior fabrics. Stuff that is nicer to the touch. The seat fabric in the GP is NOT nice to the touch. But then, neither is mousefur. The upholstery in my Regal has a corduroy type texture and except for some frayed piping on my seat, the fabric has held up remarkably well.

P, you'll like this. This chick from Palermo (friend of my cousin Alberto) said she went to America and rented a car. "Mi hanno dato questa macchina e mi son messa dentro, e tutto era BORDEAUX. Le poltrone, il cruscotto, tutto. Aaaiiiiii."

Edited by trinacriabob

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Why is that?  Where there Oldsmobiles in your family?  You guys sound more like Buick-philes.

My Dad always gravitated toward Buick until I got him to buy Olds - the first Cutlass Supreme we ever had.  It was so much better looking than the twin Regal of that same year.  We got a lot of compliments on it.  He bought Olds 2x more after that.

I, too, have a weakness for Olds just based on history.  Which is sad because Buick has given me a better car in my current Regal.  As for a new car purchase, the lack of the Intrigue leaves a gap in my line-up.  That was the car that fit me perfectly.

I don't think that Saturn will EVER be Oldsmobile.  Fuggedaboutit.  Saturn will always feel to Japanese...they do to me.

As far as interiors, I look at the comfort of the seats and position relative to the dash/cowl.  I'm 5'-10."  I don't like to sit low.  The dashes in most Cadillacs, for example, are too "tall", as is the center stack, and I don't like that feeling.  Also, I hate bucket seats that cup you too much.  I don't like heavily contoured bolstering. That's one of the few things wrong with the current GP. 

We need more color and nicer interior fabrics.  Stuff that is nicer to the touch.  The seat fabric in the GP is NOT nice to the touch.  But then, neither is mousefur.  The upholstery in my Regal has a corduroy type texture and except for some frayed piping on my seat, the fabric has held up remarkably well.

P, you'll like this.  This chick from Palermo (friend of my cousing Alberto) said she went to America and rented a car.  "Mi hanno dato questa macchina e mi son messa dentro, e tutto era BORDEAUX.  Le poltrone, il cruscotto, tutto.  Aaaiiiiii."

My friends had Oldsmobiles, and I've always admired other Oldsmobiles on the road. Buicks were later, when I was already a teenager.

And sounds like the siciliana needs to set foot in our cars and then maybe she might not scoff so much on her red interior. Although, depends on how the interior was done--I could see burgandy becoming overwhelming--if there aren't other elements of the car to break it up.

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