Audi has been known to usually find a spot on Wards’ 10 Best Interiors list, but in the publication’s most recent interior rankings, the Four Rings was no where to be found. The automaker’s interiors are nothing to complain about, however Wards believes the rest of the luxury auto industry has taken a huge leap forward when it comes to cabin design, while Audi has essentially stood still.
Cars like the BMW i3, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and even the Tesla Model S are good examples of why Audi interior design isn’t held in very high regard anymore. The i3 has a ground breaking cabin, using recycled materials and quirky, progressive styling to deliver one of the most futuristic interiors on the market. Tesla also made their mark with the Model S’ massive touch screen, and Mercedes-Benz has been able to inject the S-Class with some gorgeous retro and modern design cues which have trickled down through much of the their lineup.
Wards says Audi once forced competing automakers to deliver better interior designs with flowing lines and high quality materials, but this peaked around 2012. Many of its designs have stood still since that time, making them appear a touch dated when lined up next to the competition.
That’s not to say Audi has stood completely still. The new Q7’s cabin is a strong indication of what we can expect from future Audi interiors, with straight-cut horizontal lines and even better use of natural looking materials. Also, with a clean, no-nonsense design and good technologies like Virtual Cockpit, the interior of the new TT is held in high regard by consumers’ and journalists alike. If other new models from the brand can deliver forward-thinking designs, like the impending B9 A4, they just may be on Wards’ 10 Best list in 2016.