Industry, Media Agree to Disagree

Thats right, the very same companies that have borne the brunt of low public opinion based on perceived lower quality interiors managed to sweep Wards Auto Worlds interior awards this year in Detroit. Best known for their respected “10 Best Engines” competition every year, Wards AutoWorld conducted the interior survey at the Auto Interiors Show in Detroit, polling both industry and media attendees.

The results were surprisingly different. Industry votes crowned GM the undisputed interior king, winning every single overall interior category; the Solstice winning Best Popular-Priced Car interior, the Chevy HHR Best Popular-Priced CUV interior, the Chevy Tahoe Best Popular-Priced Truck interior, and the Cadillac Escalade winning best interior in a Premium-Priced Truck.

Media voters, on the other hand did not select a single GM product to win any of the categories, instead voting the Audi A3 the Best Popular-Priced Car interior, the Mazda CX-7 the best interior in the Popular-Priced CUV category, the Toyota FJ Cruiser best interior in the Popular-Priced Truck segment, and the Land Rover Range Rover Sport as having the best interior in the Premium-Priced Truck category.

Finally, the Premium CUV market was simply one more bone of contention between the groups, with the new Audi Q7 winning the medias hearts while the industry voted the Subaru B9 Tribeca their favorite. The only point of agreement between the two voting bodies was in the Best Premium Priced Car interior category, where the Lincoln Zephyr (soon to be dubbed MKZ) rightfully laid claim to first place.

The survey also went into more detail, evaluating the Best of Everything from navigation systems to yes, cupholders. In these specific categories voting between the groups was much more unanimous, with both industry and media types agreeing on three of the six categories. Acuras navigation system (produced by Alpine) was given the nod by both groups as the best available, as was the Ford Mustangs instrument cluster that is produced by Delphi. Finally, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class cupholders were named the best dang cupholders around by both groups.

Dissention between the groups loomed large over the best sound and seating systems, as well as the best interior innovation. Industry types felt that Dodges interior accoutrements were the best, awarding the Magnums Boston Acoustics sound system the top stereo award, the Chargers driver seat the best seating system, and the Caravans Stow N Go seats the best interior innovation. Journalists were more impressed with the imports, awarding the A8s Bang & Olufsen stereo the top place in that category, while the Mercedes S-Class seats won their category. Finally, the Honda Ridgelines bed-mounted trunk took their Best Innovation award.

What the Wards release didnt highlight was, however, which companies the industry voters worked for, and how a large proportion of GM employees, per se, may have effected the finally tally. No doubt, the media, who are supposed to be unbiased, are questioning the results that ran contrary to their own.
the groups loomed large over the best sound and seating systems, as well as the best interior innovation. Industry types felt that Dodges interior accoutrements were the best, awarding the Magnums Boston Acoustics sound system the top stereo award, the Chargers driver seat the best seating system, and the Caravans Stow N Go seats the best interior innovation. Journalists were more impressed with the imports, awarding the A8s Bang & Olufsen stereo the top place in that category, while the Mercedes S-Class seats won their category. Finally, the Honda Ridgelines bed-mounted trunk took their Best Innovation award.

What the Wards release didnt highlight was, however, which companies the industry voters worked for, and how a large proportion of GM employees, per se, may have effected the finally tally. No doubt, the media, who are supposed to be unbiased, are questioning the results that ran contrary to their own.