Interior Design: BMW vs. Audi, Mercedes and Porsche

BMW Z4 | March 16th, 2009 by 29
2009 bmw z4 interior design 001

Comparison articles between the top luxury auto brands are very popular, controversial and passionate. A few months back, we had “the guts” to go ahead …

Comparison articles between the top luxury auto brands are very popular, controversial and passionate. A few months back, we had “the guts” to go ahead and do a photo comparison between the most popular roadsters out there: BMW Z4, Mercedes SLK, Audi TT and Porsche Boxter S.

It was a simple exterior design comparison, but it turned into a controversy and of course, some passionate comment were left on that topic. Today, I decided to go ahead with a similar comparison, this time focusing on the interior design, an area that according to some people, BMW has been running behind compared to its competitors. So, we have here the “usual suspects”: BMW Z4, Porsche Boxter S, Mercedes-Benz SLK350 and Audi TT.

zinterieurhg11 498x311

The general consensus lately was that Audi’s interior style is ahead of the other brands, with high quality materials and unique design. But the game has changed a bit with the release of the new 2009 BMW Z4 which brings out a new, fresh interior design, thanks to the magnificent work of Nadya Arnaout, also interior designer for the BMW CS Concept. The return of the driver-oriented cockpit and sporty approach, takes the new Z4 interior back at the the top of the list.

In my personal opinion, if I were to rank the interior designs seen in these photos, I would go with BMW and Porsche for the top place, followed by Audi and last Mercedes. Why Porsche? I love the design simplicity.

29 responses to “Interior Design: BMW vs. Audi, Mercedes and Porsche”

  1. Andy Pan says:


  2. tony says:

    dont get wrong i like the looks of AUDI TT but the interior just doesn’t floa my boat.Porsche has good quality.Mercedes no coments.BMW’s interior i think it looks gooooood.For the 1st time just by looking at it. so place wise.

    Mercedes Benz
    TT(the dash looks Dated. To me.

  3. bmwe34 says:

    Bmw is in front of audi based on these photos, but if i compared the audi a6 and the 5 series Bmw audi would be on top, the interior of the a6 and a8 is brilliant. so:

  4. Marc says:

    I recently drove an Audi TT rental on my trip to Germany. The interior really is not up to par IMHO. The quality of materials is definitely not as good as it MAY look. The best looking part were the S-line seats. The ‘comfort’ of those seats, however, really left something to be desired.

  5. auditt says:

    when driving at night.. BMW orange illuminated gauges/interior will look BORING as always.. although, it’s the only BMW with a good interior..

  6. BMW fan says:

    I personally feel it should be
    I chose the Mercedes’ interior 2nd because it has aged gracefully.

  7. Gil says:


  8. Doug says:

    It’s sad that BMW is getting rid of the middle hump for the navigation screen, it was such a beautiful design. Very organic and well integrated. Now you get a big chunky box that rises.

  9. Lee says:


    I just think the BMW speedo and that lack colour and are a bit boring and simply.

  10. Lee says:

    Also Doug I agree with you 100% I hate the ugly box that rises too.

  11. Gord says:

    My thoughts.

    BMW – Good, I like the 4 knobs feature. I don’t like how they havn’t intergated the screen with the rest of the dash.
    Mercedes – Not bad, but too many buttons.
    Porsche – Looks typically Porsche. In beige leather it actually looks pretty nice.
    Audi – Nice gauges but I feel it is a bit boring and doesn’t come with anything visually interesting. I feel that in this case, its minimalism takes away from the design.

  12. s@sh says:

    Z4 is still convertible. So I think that this ugly box is needed to protect iDrive screen from rain. Hope that other models will not lose this hump

  13. Gragop says:


    Most are losing the hump – I’m guessing Horatiu would back that up. The F01 7 Series lost it and I bet the F10 5 Series will too. Many, many people were critical of the hump on the E65/E60 consoles when those models launched and I think BMW felt it needed to work to better intergrate the iDrive screen into the flow and lines of the dash.

  14. bc says:

    Z4, Boxster, TT and SLK
    for safety reason, all screen should be up high like the Z4.

  15. ferrarifan says:

    its different from the pictures when you actually go inside, tried all and owned some of them.. mb looks good on pictures but feels cheap up close.. audi and porsche doesn’t look that good in pictures but feels high quality inside.. havent tried the new z4 though it looks good, awkward driving position with the old one mainly because of the long hood..

  16. Marc says:

    @ferrarifan: Are you sure you are talking about the Audi TT’s interior? It in no way shape or form feels high-quality on the inside. I was actually very surprised at how cheap feeling the dash and middle consoles felt. The seats looked great but my legs and lower back said otherwise…and I am still a pretty young guy!(early 30’s)

  17. Marc says:

    For clarification I was speaking about the TT and not the TTS as I have not sat in or driven one. I seriously doubt the majority of the interior has changed though.

  18. ferrarifan says:

    @marc: they’re not leather but looks much better than the slk’s cheap shiny plastics (up close).. dont get me wrong though, i’ve had an slk too, hated the interior though as compared to my audi..

    interiors aside, i’d have the new porsche cayman s (or even the new boxster) w/lsd if it wasnt too expensive. performance first before interiors..

  19. Marc says:

    @ferrarifan: Both of those cars are pretty nice. Their interiors are not to bad either. The SLK’s interior does leave something to be desired. Interior design is something that is becoming more difficult for designers to pin down due the higher expectations of consumers today and even more so for the higher-end brands.

  20. ferrarifan says:

    @Marc: I agree. But at least, competition pushes automakers to make better interiors (and better performance likewise). Was never a fan of BMW interiors, but I’m starting to like the new ones with the new Z4 and 7 Series..

    Honestly though, interiors only come in second (sort of a bonus) to what i prefer in cars. Got the TT back then because it was the only one (then) with dual clutch and direct injection. This year however, Porsche and BMW offers them as well. Leaves us with more choices.

  21. Wimbledon says:

    LOL the blind support of BMW in the comments here is not surprising. Anyone with any sense of objectivity must recognize the Audi clearly leads in the interior race.

    • Horatiu B. says:

      @Wimbledon, maybe it looks that we’re biased, but I went on a record several times on here saying how much I like the Audi interiors and wished BMW will do better. And yes, they did, especially with the new Z4

  22. Carlos Perez says:

    Never been a fan of audi, i just cant see what people call their awsome interior, the BMW looks pretty well but i haven get to see one 4 real so cant comment on that and i prefer the Porsche and the MB interiors by far

  23. Andys120 says:

    The Porsche looks just right to me, I especially like the big tach, and the way the others are grouped around it. The big flaw is the oversized, somewhat clunky-looking shifter.

    The Z4 suffers from a shifter that is too small and looks like a keg tap. My E39 has a great-looking shifter, so does the One-series.

    Audi wins overall with good shapes and a decent-looking shifter.

    Almost all German cars could use more comprehensive instrumentation including oil and water temp, voltage and oil pressure displays. Oddly the Corvette has them all.

  24. VMan says:

    umm why in the world would u compare these specific models…can u not afford the s8 s63 750 or any other porsche in that matter wow like u disgust me



  25. marisel says:

    ami entre lo 4 me quedo con el z4

  26. Tony Nixon4 says:

    Audi is grt man i don’t know what makes you place it last.c’mon its awesome especially q7

  27. Naeem Ahmed says:

    absolutely bmw looks good, but i think cars models are not at par, z4, r8, mb mclaren could be a better comparison.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *