The interior colourways of American-market cars show greater breadth and variation than is available on European market vehicles, with Americans still clearly comfortable with the vinyl-wrap fake wood that Europeans long ago eschewed.
American-market vehicles from the Japanese brands provide some of the best examples. Subaru’s new Ascent, for instance, is notable for door cards, which feature six (count ’em!) materials including white leather and some dubious ‘wood’.
America’s best-selling (or depending on the month, second best-selling) car, the new Honda Accord, steps the game up with open pore-look ‘wood’. Touch it, though, and the game is given away.
But the Japanese aren’t afraid to push right now, and Infiniti’s new QX50 features a riot of interesting colour and trim options. There’s the white open grain wood, which floats around the upper IP section and onto the door, where it’s flanked by dark blue suede, brown leather and cream leather, all set off by a gold Bose sound system speaker.
And Infiniti weren’t the only ones going keen on micro-suede; the refreshed Mazda 6 — which features a more premium interior facelift – throws a newly developed, brown micro-suede at a significant proportion of the door.
While it’s tempting to analyse these colours and materials like the taste police, the truth is that while questionable in places, some Europeans would dearly love to have such choices of colour and materials in the cabins of our cars. They make a nice change from the grey, dark grey or black ‘choice’ offered by many brands back over the pond.