I see “refined” as a very subjective word. It can mean just about anything and be interpreted differently by every individual reader. Therefore not a good word.
Yet, it is commonly used in reviews. So, what I interpret the writer is wishes to convey is something like a knob that turns nice and smooth with just a hint of resistance. Cars of old had many slide controls on the the heater for instance. These slides actually connected to cables that went through the dash somewhere and hooked onto a valve or something at the other end. Some of these controls were sticky, too easy to slide in one direction and hard in the other, etc. These controls were NOT refined. I therefore see refined as a temp knob that works easily and smoothly both ways and is linear meaning a small move makes a small change, a big move a big change.
Today I’d guess refined controls are buttons big enough to push, well marked, and not too many of them. If you can figure out how to work the heat, lights, wipers, and audio system without needing the owner’s manual every 5 min., perhaps that is refined today.
Buttons that feel slimy, need a petite ungloved finger to operate, are sticky, or too many placed too close together, or are hard to reach for the driver are not refined. I sense that many new models with fancy screens and loaded with technical features can seem great in the showroom, but confusing in practice on the road. That would not be refined in my book - even if the shiny chrome knob looked nice on the dash. Refinement is stuff works; easily, smoothly, linearly, and dependably; all the while looking good and feeling good to the touch. Is that too much to ask?