Well Equipped – Get the Best Possible Deal on New Car or Truck Options

Choose options individually, in a package, or as part of a higher trim-level of your chosen vehicle.
Some options may be only available in a package.
If certain options aren’t available now, research next year’s models.

Using a new-vehicle pricing service like BuyingAdvice.com can make quick work of comparing the bottom-line costs of various models under your consideration.

Even so, you’ll have to pay close attention to exactly how a particular car or truck is equipped and ensure that you’re configuring it in a way that will save you money. You may come up with three different sets of prices for a given vehicle depending on whether you specify options individually, pick one or more packages that bundle select features together, or choose a costlier version that includes all the desired hardware in the first place. If you want to get a well-equipped new car or truck, you will have to make a comparison.

Most models come in two or more so-called “trim levels,” with higher-priced versions offering added accessories, cosmetic upgrades, and often a larger engine. Generally it’s best to choose the trim level that comes with most or all of the features you desire instead of equipping the base model with options on an ala carte basis. However, if you’ll wind up paying for added items or performance upgrades you may not otherwise need or want, taking the higher trim level can be a poor decision. What’s more, not all features may be available with all trim levels in a given line; you may not be able to add, say, a DVD player or a larger engine to the base versions of certain models.

New cars for 2012 come well-equipped. Not too long ago, you will have to pay extra just to experience the pleasures of air conditioning, bigger alloy wheels or all power accessories. But now, it seems that even the cheapest compact cars are well-equipped for the price, offering the car buyer a chance to drive a better car.

One of the car makers that offer low prices coupled with a high abundance of standard kit is Hyundai. The 2012 Hyundai Sonata gives the 2012 Toyota Camry a run for the money. The Sonata is cheaper by a few thousand dollars even in base model trim, and offers a barrage of standard equipment such as keyless entry, a satellite radio with steering-wheel mounted audio controls, and heated mirrors—features that are not available on the base model Camry.

Most vehicles offer packages in which popular features are sold together, usually – but not always – at a discount compared to what you’d pay by ordering them separately. Sometimes certain features may be obtained only as part of a package, and some packages may be available only on select trim levels. It is suffice to say that 2012 will let you experience a well-equipped new car or truck for less cash, as car makers compete with each other in terms of standard equipment and price.

Be aware that a particular feature or option group might be priced differently according to which trim level you’re choosing. Also, ordering a particular option or package might be dependent on selecting other features or groups (a rear backup monitor might only be offered with the navigation system, for example.)

Where multiple options, packages and/or trim levels are offered, run the numbers every which way to see which combination will give the lowest sticker price for each of the models under your consideration. This way you can make an “apples to apples” comparison among various cars and trucks–you’re essentially cross-comparing to find which vehicle is the better deal.

It is always best to keep your “options” open when shopping for a new vehicle. By comparing vehicles equipped with the options that are most important to you, you will be able to make the most informed decision and get the car or truck equipped how you really want it.

Published on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - Copyright 2014 BuyingAdvice.com, INC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed.


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