Domestic automakers made an impressive showing at the seventh annual automotive “Interior of the Year” awards, reports. The awards were presented last week at the Ward’s Auto Interiors Show in Detroit. Ford Motor Co., DaimerChrysler AG and General Motors Corp. took home the lion’s share of the awards, given in 12 categories broadly defined by cars, trucks and cross/utility vehicles (CUVs). Winners in each category were based separately on votes from those in the industry and the news media. Winners in each category, as determined by voters working within the auto industry include: Popular-Priced:
Car - Pontiac Solstice
CUV - Chevrolet HHR
Truck - Chevrolet Tahoe
Car - Lincoln Zephyr ('07 Lincoln MKZ)
CUV - Subaru B9 Tribeca
Truck - Cadillac Escalade
Automotive journalists, meanwhile, demonstrate somewhat different opinions regarding vehicles with the best interior in the same categories: Popular-Priced:
Car Audi A3
CUV Mazda CX-7
Truck Toyota FJ Cruiser
Car - Lincoln Zephyr
CUV - Audi Q7
Truck - Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Voters working in the auto industry and journalists have more convergence regarding the winners of categories for individual interior features, however. Industry and journalist voters agree the Ford Mustang has the best instrument cluster. Both groups vote Honda Motor Co. Ltd.’s Acura division as the winner for best navigation system. For best interior innovation, industry voters cite the Stow ’N Go seat system in the Dodge Grand Caravan. Journalists name the in-bed trunk from the Honda Ridgeline pickup truck as their favorite interior innovation. Vehicles eligible for the seventh automotive Interior of the Year competition had to be new or redesigned for the ’06 model year or an ’07 model on sale in calendar year 2006. Winners were selected from a field of 53 finalists selected by Ward’s editors. In addition, 991 industry members voted for each category, while 69 automotive journalists logged votes.