It would take another decade before all of that really took root, however. Fuel mileage, powertrains, and overall quality made huge strides in the 1990s, but bright colors and technology seemed to take a, um, back seat. You saw a lot more leather and soft-touch materials. But there were fewer colors to choose from, and even all that leather looked and felt more like thin, cheap plastic. Passive restraints were mandated; airbags preferred. That’s why as a whole, the 1990s have some of the most hideous steering wheels ever designed. This was my old 1996 Impala SS, by the way. It was considered sporty at the time.
But look at us now. The auto industry is as competitive as ever, and customer expectations are higher than ever. People want it all: quality, technology, and safety. Things have to look nice, feel nice, and work nice. You might not think you’re into modern cars, but take some time to really look at what is going on with today’s interiors. The stitching, materials, and ergonomics are as nice as they have ever been in history. The gadgets and functions most cars have are nothing short of amazing. It hurts my brain to even think that there are people smart enough to come up with this stuff. And yet, here we are. Is the Tesla Model S in this photo more of a car or a computer?
The slideshow below has more than 750 pictures of car interiors that I personally photographed in the past few years. They range everywhere from vintage to modern, sporty to luxurious. I actually think it’s a fun group of pictures to go through. I hope you do too. Click this link for a better version.