Battery-electric propulsion and charging are getting all the attention, but it’s clear that automakers are also using their depleted battery-electric vehicle platforms as palettes for interior and UX innovations.
BEVs account for half of this year’s winners of the new jointly combined Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX awards, with two out of five from early-stage automakers whose vehicles were tested for the first time.
“This year marks an important milestone for the Wards 10 Best Interiors and UX awards,” said WardsAuto Editor Drew Winter. “Since 50% of our winners are battery electric vehicles, this tells us that the interiors of these models are now as awe-inspiring as their 0-60mph performance time. Automakers are creating beautiful cabins in these vehicles that combine great new ideas with timeless designs from the past, plus packing them with great advanced technologies like augmented reality.”
The BMW iX and Kia EV6 CUVs, Lucid Air and Mercedes-Benz EQS sedans, and Rivian R1T pickup truck make the cut this year, the first time we’ve seen such a large share of BEVs on one of our 10 best interiors or UX lists have had . It is a solid reflection of the number of new BEVs currently entering the market – and the amount of innovation required to create them.
This year’s list also marks the first appearance of BEV upstart automakers Lucid and Rivian.
The five BEV models will be joined in the winner’s circle by a midsize pickup (the Ford Maverick), a sleek luxury midsize CUV (the Genesis GV70), a stripped-down 3-row SUV (the Jeep Grand Wagoneer), a hot hatch ( the Volkswagen Golf GTI) and a full-size truck (the Toyota Tundra).
From May 23, we will post a profile of one of our winners every day. A full list of winners and nominees can be found below.
While they may be powered differently, all 2022 Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX-winning vehicles share the common thread of excellent interior design, high-quality and distinctive interior materials, great fit and comfortable seats, as well as in-vehicle engineering that excels in appearance and usability. Dazzling displays consisting of easy-to-navigate menus, stress-free phone pairing and high-performing speech recognition and advanced driver assistance systems were also compelling features. While there is no price cap on the competition, winning vehicles must offer good value, another metric that we carefully evaluate.
After 11 years of Wards 10 Best Interiors and six years of Wards 10 Best UX, we have merged the two competitions. Both interior design and in-vehicle electronics together play such a critical role in creating the overall user experience that we believe it now makes the most sense to assess and reward these vehicles in a more holistic way.
Wards editors selected our 2022 list after evaluating 22 vehicles with new or heavily redesigned interiors and user experience technology. From mid-February to the end of April, evaluations took place in which judges experienced the vehicles during their daily drive.
The 2022 Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX trophies will be presented at our June 9 awards ceremony at the AutoTech: Detroit conference, beginning June 8 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI.
2022 Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX nominees list (asterisk indicates winner)
BMW iX *
Ford Maverick *
Genesis GV70 *
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Hyundai Santa Cruz
Jeep Grand Wagoneer *
Kia EV6 *
Lexus NX 350 F Sport
Lucid Air *
Mercedes Benz EQS580 *
Mini Cooper SE hardtop
Rivian R1T *
Toyota Tundra *
Volkswagen Golf GTI *