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The 25 Strangest Automotive Interiors Of The 1990s

Cameron Eittreim September 10, 2021

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8: 1991-1996 Buick Roadmaster

Somehow the Roadmaster always comes back around in a list. The styling of the car wasn’t so much what sold it, it was the LT1 Corvette engine under the hood. The interior of the Roadmaster is quite plush. The dashboard design of the Roadmaster was where the interior fell short. The cluster is hard to read and outdated compared to the rest of the car. The GM Delco radio deck from the 1990s could be described as cheap.

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There is a lot of interior volumes, seating for six if you opted for the bench. The Roadmaster is one of the last full-size sedans that could seat six comfortably. The design of the seating was lacking in quality. GM interior materials around this period were cheaply made. There’s a good chance that you’d end up having to have a ripped seat repaired or worse. The Buick Roadmaster tackled just about anything and did it well, especially if you opted for the station wagon model (via Bloomberg).

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7: 1991-1997 Subaru SVX

The Subaru SVX is the poster child for what a sports car shouldn’t be. The harsh styling of the SVX alienated potential buyers. The odd driver and passenger window design on the SVX resembled a supercar of the era. The rest of the interior is choppy, to say the least, aand there is harsh plastic galore. Leather seating on the upmarket model swaddled the driver in a cockpit-like setting. But none of the switches or dials were within easy reach, and the factory sound system is a joke.

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Cargo space in the SVX is non-existent, so a long road trip is questionable. Legroom is abundant in the SVX, which is a fair aspect of the design. A driver needs important switches and dials to be within reach of them. Subaru did not factor in the everyday driver who would go for the SVX. The SVX has managed to increase in value in the used car market as of lately. The hunger for a true Subaru-based sports car has helped to feed demand (via Hagerty).

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6: 1989-1996 Nissan 300ZX (Z32)

No matter what generation, the Nissan “Z” is a legend. The Z32 is the most controversial model in the Z cars heritage. Introduced as the first “modern” Z car, the Z32 had a lot of tech drivers saw for the first time. With a leather interior and a convertible top, the 300ZX is a downright beautiful car from top to bottom. But the interior luxuries aren’t what you buy the 300ZX for, it’s the twin-turbo-powered V6 engine under the hood.

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The dashboard is poorly designed in the Z32. A myriad of different dials and buttons control several features of the car. Choose the T-Tops or convertible variation of the car and the cargo space was even more limited. Electrical problems in the interior are another issue with the Z32 that plagues even a low-mileage example. Still, the Z32 is one of the most iconic examples of the Nissan Z altogether (via Car & Driver).

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5: 1987-1993 Cadillac Allanté

Cadillac tried a few different things when it came to the luxury roadster. The Allanté is considered one of the most expensive Cadillacs of all time. The styling was conventional for the timer. But as with GM tech of the time, the dashboard is a confusing mix of buttons and digital gauges. GM tried to lead the pack with digital dashboard designs. Repair costs are high, and the maintenance for this kind of system is even worse.

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The interior is full of cheap plastics and fake wood, which is a letdown considering the high price tag of the Allanté at the time. Nowadays, the Allanté is a collector’s item with values skyrocketing. Dealing with the awkward interior design is only one facet of Allanté ownership. The painfully designed V8 engine is the other drawback. Cadillac attempted to revive the Allanté a decade later with the Corvette-based XLR (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Nissan

4: 1995-1998 Nissan 200SX SE-R

The Nissan 200SX is a compact two-door car sold for a few years. The 200SX carried the compact banner of the Nissan brand alongside the Sentra. The awkward exterior style of the car didn’t resonate with car shoppers. A sleek elongated coupe was met with a bulldog’s nose upfront. Surprisingly enough, the 200SX had a SE-R model, which is well-positioned for cheap thrills on the track. The interior, on the other hand, is hideously designed.

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The interior shares a lot of plastic and design with the Nissan Sentra. The Sentra is a bargain-basement car, especially the 1998 model. On top of the cheap thrills that you’ll find with the interior materials, the space is also cramped. Cargo space in the trunk of the 200SX is also questionable, all of which leads up to a strange design for a sports coupe (via Motor Trend).

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3: 1998-2001 Honda Prelude

The Prelude is the last dedicated Honda sports coupe. The Prelude had a long line of options drivers wanted. The exterior design is attractive, even by today’s standards. The interior of the Prelude is different from your Accord. Honda went for a sporty look, but the end result was a bit confusing.

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The interior had a premium feeling from the leather to the dark tones. There were soft leather touches throughout the interior, and the sports car-inspired seating is a plus. The Prelude is missing that special something in the interior. Honda devoted a lot of effort to the design of the Prelude, but the last few years for the car were rough (via Car and Driver).

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2: 1996 – 1999 Ford Taurus

The third-generation Ford Taurus is a tradition of design. The overtly oval design is remembered for being panned by critics. The reliability of the Taurus is also questionable. The Taurus was offered in a sedan and wagon variation, and the interior is cramped. The dials are cheap and hard to get to, and the gauge cluster was not Ford’s best design.

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The Taurus went downhill after this generation. Consumers simply couldn’t let the new design go, and it stuck around. Toyota and Honda had dramatically changed the Camry and Accord, but the Taurus had a horrible new design (via Road and Track).

Photo Credit: GM

1: 1991 – 1993 Chevrolet Lumina APV

Finally, we have the Lumina APV, the ugly ducking of the GM minivan family, which debuted in the early 1990s. Unlike Chrysler minivans, which were massively popular, the Lumina APV was not. The Dustbuster-themed styling of the van didn’t resonate with consumers on any level. The viewing angle of the dashboard was unlike anything else you drove.

Photo Credit: GM

The interior was cheaply made, and the materials were of low-grade quality. We’re not sure what GM was expecting by designing a Dustbuster on wheels. The design was awful to look at. The dashboard is an especially weak point for this van. But worse than that was the sloping front end of the Lumina APV (via Jalopnik).

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