Ward's 10 Best Interiors of 2012 Interiors Emerge as New Battle-ground

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Penton Media's WardsAuto Magazine has released its annual Ward's 10 Best Interiors list, and the selection for 2012 show great variety: four luxury vehicles, three compact cars priced below 22,000, a functional cross/utility vehicle and a fresh take on a German icon.

The WardsAuto editorial staff spent nearly two months evaluating a field of 40 vehicles with new or significantly improved interiors, finding that auto makers are devoting more attention than ever to interior styling, innovative materials and the overall driver experience.

The Ward's 10 Best Interiors of 2012 (alphabetically by manufacturer):

  • Audi A7 (Audi AG)
  • Chrysler 300 Luxury (Chrysler Group LLC)
  • Dodge Dart (Chrysler Group LLC)
  • Chevrolet Sonic (General Motors Co.)
  • Hyundai Accent (Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd.)
  • Hyundai Azera (Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd.)
  • Mazda CX-5 (Mazda Motor Corp.)
  • Infiniti JX35 (Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.)
  • Range Rover Evoque (Tata Motors Ltd.)
  • Volkswagen Beetle (Volkswagen AG)

"We saw a tremendously diverse group of interiors this year, and it's obvious to us that auto makers are pushing their design staffs harder than ever for interiors that are beautifully appointed, well equipped and extremely comfortable," said WardsAuto World Editor-in-Chief Drew Winter.

"There are too many great interiors in the market for any auto maker to think it can stand pat with its current interior offerings and remain successful," explained Winter.  "Based on some of the vehicles we have seen at recent auto shows, we can tell the competition among interiors will be fierce in the next few years."

Ward's editors scored and then ranked nominated vehicles based on ergonomics, safety, material selection, overall value and aesthetics.  Additionally, judges rated each interior's human-machine interface in determining how effectively vehicle information is communicated to the driver.  There was no price cap on entries.

The 2012 interior winners will be honored in a ceremony at this year's WardsAuto Interiors Conference, to be held May 17 at The Henry Hotel in Dearborn, MI.

An extensive package profiling the winners will appear April 30 on WardsAuto.com and in the May issue of WardsAuto World magazine.

About Ward's Automotive Group
Ward's Automotive Group is a world-leading provider of auto industry news, data and analysis, having served the industry's information needs for more than 80 years. WardsAuto World is a monthly magazine serving automotive professionals.  WardsAuto.com is an online subscription service delivering virtually all the industry news, data and analysis compiled by Ward's Automotive Group, the world's leader in automotive industry information. A Southfield, MI - based division of Penton Media, Inc., Ward's Automotive Group also publishes the weekly industry newsletter Ward's Automotive Reports, and offers a wealth of other automotive information services including reference annuals, online databases, and customized data reports.

About Penton Media, Inc.
As a leading, independent, business-to-business media company, Penton knows business and how to create and disseminate the vital content that moves markets.  Penton is where professionals turn to gain the critical insight, expert analysis, and relevant connections needed to compete and succeed.  The Company is headquartered in New York City with approximately 1,100 employees across key locations throughout the world including New York; Cleveland; Chicago; Overland Park, Kansas; Boulder, Colorado; Fort Collins, Colorado; and Hong Kong.  Penton is a privately held company owned by MidOcean Partners and U.S. Equity Partners II, an investment fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co., LP, and its co-investors. For additional information on the company and its businesses, visit www.penton.com.

CONTACT:        
Chris Lamphear, Director of Marketing
Penton Transportation Group
Phone: (248) 799-2658
Email: chris.lamphear@penton.com

SOURCE Penton Media Inc.



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