Best car interiors

The best car interiors are cosseting, stylish, and equipped with everything you need to sit out a traffic jam

Murray Scullion
Mar 29, 2019

Safety regulations, conservative design and cost-cutting mean that the similarity of modern cars is a common complaint.

It can certainly be true when it comes to the exterior, but you'll find plenty of variation inside. The best car interiors bring lavish design, imaginative features and excellent usability.

Even affordable models can take a few distinctive features and use them to turn a cheap interior into something comfortable, distinctive and special.

Mid-range cars are increasingly luxurious with large multi-function displays, soft surfaces and mood lighting inspired by Las Vegas, while luxurious cars provide enough comfort that you'll never want to leave.

In short, a car's interior can make driving around pleasurable, rather than something you dread. Read on for the best ten on sale at the moment.

                                   

Best car interiors 2019

 

Mini Hatchback

Best car interior for personalisation

Latest Mini Hatchback deals from £6,995
Finance from £84 per month

Sorry Fiat 500, but if you want a new car that throws back to the Fifties/Sixties the Mini is by far and away the better choice. It’s great fun to own, with sharp steering that makes it feel very agile.

Inside, it’s endlessly customisable with personalisation options. These include colour dashboard inserts, which can be had in bright colours. You can have your name etched onto them, as well as graphics. Even the switchgear looks chromed and wonderfully retro. But in the heart of the interior lies a massive circular screen that dominates the inside, which can include sat nav and virtually anything else you’d like. There’s also an optional head-up display that will show your speed and directions directly in front of you.
Mini Hatchback buying guide

 

Citroen C4 Cactus

Best car interior for comfortable seats

Latest Citroen C4 Cactus deals from £6,348
Finance from £121 per month

Citroen is on a mission to prove that cheap cars don't need to be low-rent by simplifying its interiors, to create a calmer driving environment, while adding unique and useful features.  

So if you don't spend your time tearing down roads as fast as possible, then you probably won't need tightly-gripping sports seats. That's why the C4 Cactus has wide 'Advanced comfort seats'. They have lots of adjustment, are spongy and comfortable, and are great for covering long distances.

A stylish glovebox with luggage-style release, and leather door pulls are cheap to produce but give the interior a more individual look.
Citroen C4 Cactus buying guide

 

Mercedes A-Class

Best car interior for grown-up tech in a small car

Latest 2019 Mercedes A-Class deals from £16,983
Finance from £219 per month

The A-Class might be the cheapest Mercedes available, but it borrows features from the most expensive models in the range, making it unashamedly high-tech.

It's most striking when fitted with the optional twin 10.25-inch touchscreens that sit next to each other. By moving most functions onto these screens, the rest of the dashboard is design led, making the rotor-style vents prominent, and adding different textures and mood lighting.

The on-screen software is advances, with the option of augmented reality sat-nav, which overlays directions to an image of the road ahead, as well as effective voice recognition. Surfaces are pleasing to touch, and every switch feels weighty.
Mercedes A-Class buying guide

 

DS 3 Crossback

Best car interior for straight-edged style

Set aside the DS 3 Crossback's larger sister car, the DS 7 Crossback, few cars offer such an attractive array of straight edges in their cabins.

The quality is good too, from Citroen's premium brand. There are plenty of soft-touch materials, along with a large touchscreen display in the middle of the dash and a collection of touch-sensitive controls underneath. Higher-end cars have seats designed in the style of a watch strap, adding to one of the most distinctive vehicles available in its price bracket.

Speaking of which, this is not a cheap car. The DS 3 Crossback range may start nearer £20,000, but add a few of the more luxurious interior touches and you’ll be well on your way to £30,000 in no time at all. 
DS 3 Crossback buying guide

 

BMW 5 Series

Best car interior for company car travel

Latest 2017 BMW 5 Series deals from £20,450
Finance from £286 per month

The BMW 5 Series interior stands out less in terms of design than in the way that it works: it just does. Superbly comfortable and supportive seats, a steering wheel that can be set 'just right' and controls that are simple to find and use while keeping your eyes on the road, help to make journeys safer and more relaxing.

Quality is superb and the highlight is the firm's excellent rotary controller, which allows you to flick through complex screen menus to find the function that you want in seconds.
BMW 5 Series buying guide

 

Range Rover Velar

Best car interior for non-leather seats

Latest Range Rover Velar deals from £36,900
Finance from £511 per month

Range Rovers have come along way from their more rudimentary roots, and parent company Land Rover knows that most of these cars will spend virtually none of their lives off-road.

Which is good because you’d hate to get this sumptuous interior muddy. After all, top spec HSE models get lots of leather and massage seats. Although, It should also be noted that the Velar can be optioned in a part-wool, part polyester blend for those who think that leather is a bit nouveau.

It’s full of tech too - in the middle there are two 10-inch screens with ‘floating dials’ in the middle that are used for a range of functions, from off-road modes to the temperature.
Range Rover Velar buying guide

 

Volkswagen Touareg

Best car interior for technology

Latest 2019 VW Touareg deals from £39,215
Finance from £506 per month

The new Volkswagen Touareg, which went on sale at the end of last year, is available with VW’s Innovision Cockpit as an option. This means you are met with what feels like an IMAX screen when you get in. It is, in fact, a combination of two screens running across the dashboard (one is 12in and the other 15). Both work together to competently cover most of the driving and infotainment functions needed.

Thanks to the large screens, the rest of the cabin is simplified giving it a whiff of futurism about it. The interior is so good in fact, you could happily swap from an Audi Q7 (which, underneath is basically the same car, yet has a higher list price) and not be disappointed at all.
Volkswagen Touareg buying guide

 

Polestar 2

Best car interior for minimalism

Polestar is the electric-focused spin-off of Volvo. Currently, it has revealed two cars, the Polestar 1 and you guessed it, the Polestar 2. Both are sleek in all the right places.

Get inside though, and that is where the magic happens. There is a large central screen, a dearth of buttons, chunky steering wheel and a gear knob which would be at home on the starship Enterprise. For such an appealing electric car, with a target range of around 310-miles, a starting price of the mid £30,000s seems reasonable - assuming that remains the case when the car goes on sale at the end of the year.

 

Tesla Model S

Best car interior for the environment

Tesla is in the news a lot. One minute it is making more money than the whole of Madagascar, the next it is on the brink of shutting down – quite the rollercoaster. Either way, its Model S ripped up the car interior rule book, recycled it and used it to produce a vegan-friendly alternative to the traditional motorcar.

Not only are you treated to a whopping great iPad-style screen, all Teslas can now come with synthetic leather seats. While other manufacturers offer similar vegan-friendly interiors which may feel more upmarket (Mercedes, BMW and Land Rover are to name but three) the fact the Model S is also an electric car adds to its eco-credentials.

 

Mercedes S-Class

Best car interior for unwavering comfort

Latest Mercedes S-Class deals from £27,900
Finance from £404 per month

The Mercedes S Class has ruled the luxury car roost for some time now, and a large part of that is the fact the interior is such a nice place to be. Driving or passengering, you will be delighted.

If you are cold, hit the heated seat button. If you are hot, hit the cooled seat button. If you are stressed, hit the massaging seat button. If you are still stressed, get in the back, there is enough room for fully grown adults and thanks to the cabin being so quiet you will likely fall asleep.

 

Rolls-Royce Phantom

Best car interior for rear passengers

Latest Rolls-Royce deals from £119,950
Finance from £1,990 per month

Rolls-Royces have never been for the faint-hearted, and although some previous offerings were slightly more, um, elegant, they’re all still as ostentatious as the Queen eating Beluga caviar.

Rolls-Royces are handmade in Goodwood and can be pretty much specified however the owner would like. But it won’t be the owner in the front seat. Most Phantom owners prefer to sit in the back and let a chauffeur do the unglamorous driving job. Which is why the rear of a Rolls is nearly endlessly customisable. You can choose a 'starlight' roof (pictured) with twinkling lights, a fridge for refreshments and a privacy screen between you and the driver. Most importantly, you can choose the type of seat you’d like. We’d opt for a ‘sleeping seat’ that allows occupants to nestle down for a relaxing kip while on the move.

 

Pagani Huayra

Best car interior for speed-freaks

It might seem odd to talk about a car’s interior when the car in question has 720bhp and a top speed of around 210mph.

But if you think the outside is quite the crowd-pleaser, wait until you see the inside. It has the usual top-quality leather and expensive metals that adorn posh cars, but they’re put together in a way that exposes the metalwork. It looks like a steampunk convention looted an aluminum foundry. And that’s no bad thing.

 

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