While most people are worried about what the exterior of a car looks like, it makes sense as a driver to pay at least a little attention to the interior - it is, after all, where drivers will be spending most of their time.
Ten cars were honored in the US last week in the prestigious "10 Best Interiors" list from US motoring publication Ward's Auto, ahead of the magazine's Interiors Conference next month.
Those selected for recognition were an eclectic mix, with economy vehicles such as the Kia Optima, Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Focus sitting alongside luxury models from the likes of Audi and BMW.
The lesson for automakers seems to be that while a good interior needn't be hand-stitched leather, it should be well thought out, functional and comfortable.
"The Cruze illustrates clearly how the growing market for economy cars has convinced automakers that cutting corners in the passenger compartment no longer works," Ward's said in a statement.
Ward's received 51 entries for the awards, and gave scores based on materials, ergonomics, safety, the human-machine interface, comfort, fit and finish, overall value and aesthetics.
For consumers who want to get an idea of what makes an industry-leading interior, Ward's has uploaded the video reviews to its website at
Ward's 10 Best Interiors of 2011
BMW X3 xDrive35i
Chevy Cruze 2LT RS
Dodge Charger Rallye Plus
Ford Focus Titanium
Honda Odyssey Elite
Hyundai Elantra Limited
Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit
Kia Optima EX