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Top 10 Affordable Cars with Surprisingly Higher-End Interiors

Car owners spend more time inside their car than looking at it from the outside, so a car’s interior has to be a nice place to be. 

Of course, luxury vehicles excel at making sure their drivers have a comfortable and pleasing place to spend time, but luckily for the rest of us, there are plenty of affordable cars that have surprisingly higher-end interiors.

Here are some vehicles with inviting premium-looking interiors despite their modest pricing.

SEE ALSO: The Best Car Upholstery Cleaners for Your Interior

Top 10 Affordable Cars with Surprisingly Higher-End Interiors

10. 2022 Honda Civic

SEE ALSO: 2022 Honda Civic Review: First Drive

Honda has given the Civic a seriously upscale makeover for the 11th generation of its compact car. For just $22,695 in the US ($26,165 CAD), including destination, the latest Civic’s interior looks like it belongs in a car a class up. There’s a level of restraint that screams premium, with a smart mesh strip that hides the vents. Twist the climate control dials and there’s a sweet, satisfying click. The top Touring trim uses a larger 9.0-inch infotainment screen, plus a fully digital instrument panel.

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9. 2022 Hyundai Sonata

SEE ALSO: 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review

With the market’s continued crossover love affair, mid-size sedans have become more luxurious than ever before. Take the latest Hyundai Sonata. Lots of space, a well-designed, clean dashboard, and everything within reach is soft to the touch. Did we mention the heated and ventilated front seats, plus heating for the rear? If it’s all a little too much, the sporty N Line pulls back on all the interior amenities, and gives you the ability to smoke the tires in third gear. Life; it’s all about balance. Not bad for a car that starts at just $25,155 ($29,274 CAD).

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8. 2022 Volkswagen Jetta

SEE ALSO: 2020 Volkswagen Jetta Review: All Pumpkin, No Spice

Volkswagen is a master of walking the line between mainstream and luxury. The restrained interior of the Jetta is the latest example. All the trim pieces are high quality, tasteful metal accents abound, plus the infotainment and instrument panel are both crisp and bright. There’s a real sense of solidity in the Jetta that some cars costing much more could learn from. All that in a package that starts at just $21,190.

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7. 2022 Toyota Camry

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SEE ALSO: Toyota Camry AWD vs Kia K5 AWD Comparison

Toyota used to make interiors that were about as exciting as reading your dishwasher’s instruction manual. Fast forward to now and things have taken a turn. Despite prices remaining at a very affordable $26,320 ($29,040 CAD), this Camry’s interior has the kind of quality usually found in higher priced vehicles. An intricately curvy dashboard, quality-looking metal trim pieces, and nicely textured leather seats create a confident-looking package. An even further highlight: Red leather seats!

ALSO SEE: Top 10 Cars That Look More Expensive Than They Actually Are

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6. 2021 Ford Mustang

SEE ALSO: 2021 Ford Mustang GT Convertible California Special Review: Cloudy with a Chance of (V8) Thunder

The Mustang always had this knack for making retro-looking interiors that aren’t too kitschy. Everything in this interior pays homage to design themes of the past while still embracing a modern feel. It uses finely crafted cabin materials and a liberal use of distinctive metallic trim, which is what sets it apart from others in its segment. Pricing starts a surprisingly reasonable $28,400 US ($33,180 CAD).

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5. 2021 Volvo XC60

SEE ALSO: 2020 Volvo XC60 Review

Losing none of the Volvo XC90’s premium approach to interior design, the XC60 smartly copies major elements of the XC90’s interior while still retaining its own individual feel and a much lower price. We love the minimalist Scandinavian design and use of unique materials. Pricing starts at $43,745 ($52,965 CAD).

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4. 2022 Kia Rio 

SEE ALSO: 2018 Kia Rio Review

The sub-compact hatchback class of vehicles is normally known for having simple interior designs that take a no-frills approach. The Kia Rio 5-Door refuses to live up to that stereotype. Starting at just $18,085 ($18,920 CAD), you don’t feel punished for buying an affordable car. Rather, you are greeted with quality seat materials, tastefully designed dashboard gauges, and a smartly placed infotainment touchscreen.

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3. 2022 Genesis GV70

SEE ALSO: Genesis GV70 vs Porsche Macan Comparison

Quilted leather seats, cool ambient lighting, a wraparound dashboard design—the Genesis GV70 is a design-forward new entry in the crowded luxury compact crossover party. The Korean brand hasn’t skimped on the $42,045 ($49,000 CAD) base model, either: it has the same big touchscreen and wonderfully tactile controls as the rest of the range. Genesis is serious about taking on the Germans with the GV70, and the real winners are the folks who get to sit inside it.

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2. 2021 Mazda CX-30

SEE ALSO: Mazda CX-30 vs Mercedes-Benz GLA Comparison: Lofty Aspirations

We can’t get enough of the Mazda CX-30 here at AutoGuide, and a lot of that comes down to its interior. Simply put, you won’t find a better space for under $40,000. The Mazda’s cabin is all soft-touch materials and smooth, almost organic lines. We’ve found less impressive leather in cars costing almost twice as much. If the CX-30 is any indication, Mazda’s goal of graduating from the mainstream to luxury isn’t just a pipe dream, but an inevitability. All this, starting at just $23,225 ($27,250 CAD).

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1. 2021 Nissan Rogue

SEE ALSO: Toyota RAV4 vs Nissan Rogue Comparison

It wasn’t long ago that Nissan’s interiors were … well, not good. But the company has a renewed focus on quality cabin time, and nowhere is that more apparent than in its best-selling Rogue crossover. This family hauler is plenty spacious, as before, but it now comes complete with touches more often associated with the next class up. A fully digital instrument panel and large, clear head-up display keeps the driver informed, while the rest of the crew will enjoy Nissan’s comfortable Zero Gravity seats, decked out in quilted leather. Pricing starts from $27,225 ($30,628 CAD).

Recent Updates:

November 11, 2021 – Changed multiple entries based on new releases.

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