Best car interiors

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

Simon Ostler
May 19, 2021

If you're planning to spend a great deal of time inside your car, you're probably going to want an interior that makes all those miles as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Even the most exciting and raucous driving experience will lose its sparkle eventually if you can never get comfy in your seat.

So you need a car with a quality interior. Good seats, stylish surroundings and smart tech may all be on your priority list, and there are plenty of cars on sale that offer a solid blend of all three.

While the exterior styling of cars generally has converged on a similar path dictated by safety standards and cost control, interior design remains an area where manufacturers express their creativity and individuality. As you'll see from our list of the best car interiors there is plenty of variety on offer, so finding a style that suits your taste will be easier than you might think.

We've taken into account the overall quality of the interior, from the types of materials used to the performance of the media system. Then there's the style and feel of the dashboard and the controls, and the list of equipment on offer - who doesn't enjoy a massage from their seat while on the move?

If you're on the lookout for a new car and the quality of the interior is important for you, then read on for out list of cars with the best interiors.

Cars with the best interiors

1. Mini Hatchback

Best car interior for personalisation

Used deals from £5,499
Monthly finance from £129*

There are a handful of cars on the market that offer retro appeal. The Fiat 500 throws back to its 1950s roots, but the interior is too cramped and a touch too basic to earn a place on this list. The Mini Hatchback on the other hand has evolved far beyond its origins.

While it is still unrecognisably a Mini from the outside, it's difficult to miss the high-quality BMW influence on the inside. It's dripping with style and personality, while the rounded design of the instrument cluster and dashboard media system give off a distinctly retro feel.

Then there's the customisation aspect. There's a variety of options when it comes to colours schemes and dashboard graphics - these are customisable if you order a brand new model, but you will often find used models that have been personalised by the original owner. If you're after a car that feels different, but still maintains excellent quality throughout, the Mini is about as close to unique as it's possible to be.

MINI HATCHBACK BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Citroen C4 Cactus

Best car interior for comfortable seats

Used deals from £6,000
Monthly finance from £124*

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 BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Mercedes A-Class

Best car interior for a small car

Used deals from £18,000
Monthly finance from £231*

The Mercedes 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 10.3-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 advanced, 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 BUYERS' GUIDE

4. DS 3 Crossback

Best car interior for straight-edged style

Used deals from £16,990
Monthly finance from £226*

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.

DS is the upmarket division of Citroen, so quality is a noticeable step up compared with even the likes of the C4 Cactus. There are plenty of soft-touch materials, along with a large touchscreen media 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.

DS 3 CROSSBACK BUYERS' GUIDE

5. BMW 5 Series

Best car interior for company car travel

Used deals from £17,650
Monthly finance from £255*

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 BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Range Rover Velar

Best car interior for non-leather seats

Used deals from £16,995
Monthly finance from £312*

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’ that are used for a range of functions, from off-road modes to the temperature.

RANGE ROVER VELAR BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Volkswagen Touareg

Best car interior for technology

Used deals from £33,995
Monthly finance from £452*

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 BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Tesla Model S

Best car interior for the environment

Used deals from £32,995
Monthly finance from £658*

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.

9. Mercedes S-Class

Best car interior for unwavering comfort

Used deals from £22,480
Monthly finance from £331*

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.

MERCEDES S-CLASS BUYERS' GUIDE

10. Rolls-Royce Phantom

Best car interior for rear passengers

Used deals Limited stock

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 job of driving. 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.

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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