How you really need to look for your new car

How will you shop for your next new car?

If you’re like a lot of people, you probably will shop from the outside in – size, shape, color, sticker.  Maybe you’ll lift the hood, kick the tires, look at the fuel mileage.

There’s a good chance you’ll do almost everything, that is, before getting to what might be the most important part of shopping for your new car: looking over, sitting in and thinking about the interior.

033115 SC How you really need to look for your new car
2015 Volkswagen Golf/GTI

And no wonder … it seems new car interiors have become nearly as complicated as a fighter jet cockpit.

“While it’s all well and good when a car looks great on the outside or accelerates quickly when you punch it,” said Autotrader in a recent article online, “if the interior doesn’t make you feel like a million bucks when you plop down inside, there may be a better match for you.”

“The interior of a car means much more than the exterior … Ninety percent of the time you interact with your car, it’s while inside of it,” wrote Nico DeMattia on the BMWBlog.

Well, never fear. We’re here to provide some help to make shopping car interiors a bit easier.

We consulted reports by Autotrader, BMWBlog (which, despite the name, picked only one BMW), the Chicago Tribune (which focused on cars at the Chicago Auto Show) and carswatcher website. But then we took it a bit further by mashing up their results for a combined tally.

2015 Chrysler 200

Among the four lists, 31 models made the grade, but only three scored on more than one compilation – the Chrysler 200, Hyundai Genesis and the Volkswagen Golf/GTI, which appeared on two lists each.

2015 Hyundai Genesis

Brands with the most vehicles making the combined lists were: Mercedes-Benz (4), BMW (3), Mazda (3), Volkswagen (3), Audi (2) and Infiniti (2). Thirteen brands were named once on the combined lists – Ford, Kia, Buick, Lexus, Jeep, Nissan, MINI, Volvo, Acura, FIAT, Jaguar, Maserati and Porsche.

“The car manufacturers are slaving attention on their cars’ interiors like never before,” said carswatcher, which offers videos of its top five, including the Chrysler 200 and Hyundai Genesis noted above.

Sounds like a good reason to start shopping inside out.