The helm, office, cockpit, whatever you call it – when it comes to driving fast you wanna make sure your workstation is up to scratch.
You might not only spend over 200 hours in it commuting each year, but as the crucial interface for driving a car, it needs to be good. So the Bentley Bentayga's sumptuous abode takes the gong and we all can go home, right? Err, not exactly. When the pace quickens, you'll find pedal placement becomes a lot more important than carpet thickness.
One car interior that excels in the area of full-berry-giving is Audi's new TT. The moment you drop onto its quilted pews you feel like the centre of attention. Everything curls around you – the vents, the dead pedal and centre console. And the centrepiece, a nicely-sized steering wheel hangs like an ornamental present, whispering ‘drive me’.
Its technology’s also hipper than an Apple advertisement. The temperature readouts are hidden in the middle of the HVAC vents, and the virtual cockpit – the fully digital dash – is crystal clear. However, the TT’s chances as our favourite interior of the year is smothered by its driving position. Your foot space feels compromised by the drivetrain. And this is where our winner swoops in.
With the Porsche 718 Cayman's engine stowed behind the driver your feet stretch out into its nose as if your toes could tickle the underside of the bonnet. Its central analogue tacho also sits higher, thrust further into driving view than the Audi’s virtual cockpit, while its A-pillars are thinner, even if marginally.
Rally drivers will appreciate the round steering wheel, in optional GT guise or not, and comes with a manettino-style drive mode switch, which trumps the Audi’s mere button because it allows you to see what mode you’re in from just a glance. Sure, the Audi will wow the technologically astute, but the Porsche’s fit, finish, and materials can satisfy to the same level.
Both interiors teach you a lesson in ergonomics, yet the Cayman’s touchpoints deliver the silver bullet. Those shell-style doorhandles allow your right hand to open the driver's door, whereas the Audi’s spoke-like items force your left hand to reach across. Ditching PDK shift buttons, Cayman’s new bow-like paddles are also superior for both purpose and feel. And for the steering requirements outside those boring 200 hours, it’s these extra details that raise the 718 Cayman’s interior as this year's most satisfying place to sit.