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Wards 10 Best Interiors: Subaru Ascent Falls Short, Nissan Kicks Wins

Subaru is making progress with their interiors, but they aren’t quite there yet.


The winners are announced for Wards 10 Best Interiors list for 2019 spotlighting vehicles with creative and colorful interiors across a wide range of price points. It’s not a surprise the $276,730 Bentley Continental GT gets a nod for best of 2019 interiors. The $23,330 compact CUV Nissan Kicks gets a win for its interior. The 2019 Subaru Ascent family hauler was nominated for the award but fell short of getting a win.

Wards 10 Best Interiors winners are recognized for aesthetics, comfort, ergonomics, materials usage, fit-and-finish and user-friendliness of displays and controls. The Subaru Ascent Touring was one of the 32 nominated vehicles with all-new or significantly improved cabins available in the U.S. Wards doesn’t put a price cap and they say value does play a role.

The 10 Best winners

In alphabetical order, here are this year’s winners. Bentley Continental GT ($276,730), BMW M850i ($119,295), Genesis G70 ($44,895), Hyundai Santa Fe ($39,905), Jeep Gladiator ($51,245), Lincoln Nautilus ($67,630), Mercedes-Benz A220 ($51,935), Nissan Kicks ($23,330), Toyota RAV4 ($39,565), and Volvo V60 ($54,690).

Wards Senior Content Director Drew Winter says, “We’re proud of a list that includes a $23,330 compact CUV and an ultra-luxury coupe that is 10 times more expensive,” Winter says. “They both make the list because they represent meaningful achievement in their respective segments.”

Even though Subaru has come a long way with its interiors, they still have a ways to go before they win this competition. The Japanese automaker’s interiors were the weak point for all their cars when just a few years ago they had more hard plastic inside than anything else. Subaru interior materials were cheap and the fit and finish were poor.

cabin2019 Subaru Ascent Touring

Things are changing with the introduction of the Ascent Touring. Their new top Touring trim comes with a power driver’s seat, Panoramic dual glass moonroof, rear privacy screen, flip up rear cargo floor, second row fold-and-slide captains chairs, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, Carmel cream wood accents, driver assistance steering wheel controls, a large center stack screen, and ambient lighting.

Even though lower quality interiors have been an issue for the brand in the past, Subaru is making strides to improve this area of weakness. Subaru Ascent Touring is the best example, but they haven’t arrived yet. The 2019 Wards 10 Best Interiors will be honored in a special ceremony during the WardsAuto Interiors Conference on May 9 at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan.

You May Also Like: 3-Row SUV Wars: New Subaru Ascent Shakes Things Up

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


Ed B (not verified)    April 25, 2019 - 10:22AM

Subaru is headed in the right direction. However, as we've seen since the release and sale of the Ascent - the competition is still superior in the mid-size SUV market. One need only look at the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade and just recently the 2020 Highlander. Compared to those interiors - Subaru is already behind. Lastly, blind spot monitoring should be standard across the trims. What's the point of making Eyesight standard without a basic and key component for every day driving - blind spot monitoring. Hopefully, they will consider a slight refresh in the next 2-3 years just to keep pace with the competition.

Carlota (not verified)    July 4, 2019 - 5:49AM

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