USA: Lexus and Oldsmobile win 2001 Interior of the Year Awards
"Our judges had a very difficult time selecting winners in both the car and light truck categories,'' said Richard Lebovitz, Auto Interiors Magazine editorial director. "The quality of the interiors in all of the finalists was nothing short of exemplary. Their examples bode well for the future of automotive interior design.''
Lexus LS 430
The finalists in the passenger car category included the Audi allroad quattro and Chrysler PT Cruiser. Finalists in the light truck category included the GMC Yukon XL Denali and Toyota RAV4.
Forty-eight production passenger cars and light trucks, including imports, introduced in North America for the 2001 model year were considered. Eligible vehicles were either all-new or represented significant redesigns over past models. The judges based the voting on interior appearance, functionality and innovation. Appearance included interior styling, color, materials and fit- and-finish. Functionality included comfort, convenience and safety features. Innovation included both surprise and delight features and also notable improvements over previous vehicles.
Vehicles were also test-driven to see how they performed on the road, whether the ride was quiet or noisy, smooth or bumpy. It was during these road tests that vehicles containing telematics or any other unconventional devices were evaluated for both design integration and driver distraction.
Of the Lexus LS 430, winner of the 2001 Car Interior of the Year, editors remarked that the vehicle was "classy and stylish'' as well as luxurious to both the eye and the touch.
"It offers superb comfort and convenience features, from dual-zone front and rear position climate controls to heated seats throughout,'' said Dan Schechner, managing editor at Auto Interiors Magazine. "The easy-to-use multimedia/ navigation system adds a nice element of technology to the LS 430's remarkably clean lines and elegant leather and wood trim. A silky smooth, quiet ride reinforces the notion that Lexus' LS 430 thoroughly embodies the art of refined styling and engineering.''
In the case of the Oldsmobile Silhouette Premiere, named the Truck Interior of the Year for 2001, editors noted its practicality and functionality, making the prospect of long road trips with kids seem almost welcome.
"From its innovative power sliding doors to a built-in video and entertainment system, the Silhouette Premiere is the do-everything minivan that provides a surprisingly smooth ride,'' said Carmen Pang, editor at Auto Interiors Magazine. "Among other improvements over the 2000 model, rear parking aid and fold-flat second and third-row captain's chairs with integrated back-mounted cup-holders make this minivan one we're proud to call the best of 2001.''
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