Interior Trims, Ranked

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Don’t underestimate the importance of your car’s interior design. It’s what you’re stuck looking at every time you drive, after all. There may be no one right way to craft the perfect interior, but there are plenty of ways to do it wrong.

1. Matte wood


The finest of finery. Simple wood is classy and robust looking, and makes the inside of a car feel like a home.

2. Cold, hard aluminum

If things must be silver, let them be real metal and not too shiny.

3. Glossy wood

This is dangerously easy to overdo, but wood still beats plastic or soft stuff.

4. Alcantera/suede-type materials


Suedes are perfect for look-don’t-touch spots. It looks fancy but the velveteen tactile sensation of it on my fingers makes me shiver. And it doesn’t wear well on steering wheels.

5. Matte black plastic

Simple, inoffensive.

6. Piano black plastic


Very pretty the first time you open your door, gross after the first time you put a finger on it.

7. Plastic made to look like some alien material

Usually looks polarizing, but at least it’s creative. Often feels like the stuff they make egg cartons out of. I’d worry about getting tired of it.


8. Shiny chrome

Looks overdone even when it’s done well.

9. Marble, real or fake


Somehow looks more alive than wood, and I don’t like it.

10. Plastic made to look like carbon fiber

Tacky at best. One of my own cars is covered in this, and its only saving grace is that you can barely tell it’s supposed to be a weave.


11. Going to a 72-hour Imagine Dragons concert

12. Real carbon fiber


Exposed carbon fiber, like on a race car body? Cool. Tacked-on carbon fiber? Probably never cool, no matter what car it’s on.

And now you get to tell me why I’m wrong. Even though, in so doing, you will of course be wrong yourself.