DEARBORN, MI — The Ford Mustang and Land Rover LR3 were honored with Interior of the Year awards at the 12th annual Auto Interiors Show. There are two separate awards voted on by different juries. Ward's AutoWorld selects 23 nominees from all vehicles introduced in 2005. Two panels, automotive journalists and members of the auto industry at large, then judge all 23 nominees. This year, 81 journalists took part along with more than 900 industry-at-large voters. Employees of OEMs representing nominated vehicles were not allowed to vote. Nominees were judged on the basis of overall styling, functionality, quality, fit, finish, convenience and special features. As far as the automotive press were concerned, Land Rover's LR3 contains the best interior of any premium-priced truck. Geoff Upex, design director for Land Rover, said the LR3 was designed "from the inside out. Our priorities were cabin space, comfort, a command driving position and elevated ‘stadium seating’ in the rear." Stadium seating means the second row bench seats three and is set higher. The optional front-facing third row of seats is set higher so all passengers can see. The entire cabin has a light and airy feeling, thanks to two fixed-glass roof sections with privacy glass and a sunblind for second- and third-row passengers as well as the traditional front sunroof. When the industry experts voted, they picked the Mustang as having the best interior of any popular-priced car. The voters picked the Mustang over cars like the Audi A4, Toyota Avalon, and Chrysler 300. The Mustang includes an industry-first, color-configurable instrument panel. Mustang owners can mix and match lighting at the touch of a button to create more than 125 different color backgrounds to suit their personality, mood, clothing or whim. The colors, set against a backdrop of aluminum panels spanning the dashboard and dual chrome-ringed gauges, add a look of technical precision. These modern touches mix with Mustang history and heritage. Chrome-ringed air vents are aligned vertically across the dash, precisely in-line with the gauges. The steering wheel has three spokes with a center hub marked by the horse and tricolor bars logo, echoing the design of the 1967 Mustang. The Auto Interiors Show is the industry's leading trade show and conference for vehicle interiors. It spotlights the latest innovations in vehicle technology and design to help suppliers respond to increasing OEM demands and changing consumer preferences. And it features exhibits of nearly 100 suppliers who showcase trendsetting products and materials with a view to the future of vehicle interiors.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials