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Wards Auto Interior Awards

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I find this interesting, and there may be a bias in the people in the industry that voted, but almost every time the industry voted a Domestic vehicle, the media made sure they counteracted that with something else...

And FWIW, I've been in a FJ, and the interior is nothing special- and a trunk in the bed feature, that makes getting to the spare tire impossible if you have a load in the bed, is not the most innovative feature, but these are opinions:

Overall Vehicle Interiors

Popular-Priced Car

Industry At-Large Vote: Pontiac Solstice

News Media Vote: Audi A3

Premium-Priced Car

Industry At-Large Vote & News Media Vote: Lincoln Zephyr

Popular-Priced CUV

Industry At-Large Vote: Chevy HHR

News Media Vote: Mazda CX-7

Premium-Priced CUV

Industry At-Large Vote: Subaru B9 Tribeca

News Media Vote: Audi Q7

Popular-Priced Truck

Industry At-Large Vote: Chevy Tahoe

News Media Vote: Toyota FJ Cruiser

Premium-Priced Truck

Industry At-Large Vote: Cadillac Escalade

News Media Vote: Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Interior Features

Best Instrument Cluster

Industry At-Large Vote & News Media Vote: Ford Mustang (Delphi)

Best Navigation System

Industry At-Large Vote & News Media Vote: Acura (Alpine)

Best Cup Holder

Industry At-Large Vote & News Media Vote Mercedes M-Class (Fischer Automotive)

Best Sound System

Industry At-Large Vote: Dodge Magnum (Boston Acoustics)

News Media Vote: Audi S8 (Bang & Olufsen)

Best Seat System (Driver)

Industry At-Large Vote: Dodge Charger (Johnson Controls)

News Media Vote: Mercedes S-Class - Mercedes

Best Interior Innovation

Industry At-Large Vote: Dodge Grand Caravan - Stow N' Go Seat System (Chrysler Group & Magna/Intier)

News Media Vote: Honda Ridgeline - trunk in pickup bed (Meridian Automotive Systems, Inc.)

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I believe is has already been proven that there is a strong bias in the media. The recent BusinessWeek piece is proof of that (spinning that Toyota's steering problems are actually okay.)

There is a strong disconnect between what the public desires and what the media tells them they desire. We see it on this board, too where expensive, useless featuers (like DVD nagivation) get rave reviews for their availability on cheap cars (like the Civic) while more significant advances (like electric steering) get pooh-poohed. We see it in the way minivans are dismissed, but it is minivans that most families NEED.

How else can you explain the rise of the luxury marques like BMW? Nobody can actually drive those vehicles they way they were designed (unless you count the a-holes that veer in and out of traffic on the expressway Friday nights!), nobody knows how to use half the gadgets on them, most people driving them can't afford the lease payment or the $2,000 tires, nobody can actually enjoy their harsh ride on our frost-heave riddled roadways, but BMW has been made the new Pontiac by the media - because the MEDIA want to drive BMWs.

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It seems fairly accurate, IMO. The only mistake is the Tahoe vs. FJ Cruiser, in which the Tahoe obviously has the better interior.

- The A3 has a much better interior than the Solstice

- Going on design and common sense, because I have not been in a CX-7 yet and the HHR costs less than the Mazda, the CX-7 has the better interior.

- I would pick the B9 Tribeca over the Q7 for design but the Q7 over the B9 for materials because Audi is known for having well constructed interiors with great materials. Plus, it costs more.

- The materials between the Escalade and RR Sport are probably a toss up (I cannot remember either but have been in both) but the RR Sport design is better than the corporate stack centric design in the Caddy.

- The Mustang's IP is awesome.

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Best Sound System

Industry At-Large Vote: Dodge Magnum (Boston Acoustics)

News Media Vote: Audi S8 (Bang & Olufsen)

media HAS to have this right. not that i have experience, but the audi has them make the system special, and they have the resources to do the best, the magnum, prolly has stock location limitations that BA has to work w/.

they should show the runner up. for all them to show what else they considered.

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