This paper describes the capabilities of the finite element method for vehicle interior acoustic analysis. Structural and acoustic finite element models of a van-type vehicle are employed to illustrate the implementation of the method in the design stage. Included as representative examples are studies of the acoustic resonances and forced acoustic response of the compartment cavity, which provide preliminary guidelines for initial compartment acoustic design. At a later stage, when the vehicle structural model has been developed, the finite element models of the structure and the passenger compartment cavity can be coupled for a total vehicle system evaluation. The paper illustrates the accuracy of the coupled model by comparison with the measured response in the van. Finally, the systematic application of this finite element methodology in a computer-aided procedure for the acoustic design of the passenger compartment is discussed.