A important element of the motor vehicle obtaining procedure is familiarizing your self with some of the key phrases you are going to come upon on…

A key aspect of the vehicle obtaining approach is familiarizing oneself with some of the key phrases you’ll face on automaker internet websites or on the dealership good deal. You want to ensure that you’re getting the proper characteristics in your new vehicle. But if you’re new to shopping for automobiles or are not common with vehicle industry lingo, a dialogue with the salesperson can go correct about your head.

With this in thoughts, below are the fundamental principles about trim ranges, designs, alternatives, packages and add-ons. We have arranged them in the buy you’re possible to occur across them when hunting for a motor vehicle or configuring 1 online.


Let’s start out with the essentials of a car’s identification. “Makes” are the companies that make the cars: Kia, Ford or Subaru, for example. “Models” are the autos the automaker sells: Telluride, Explorer or Crosstrek. Some carmakers, together with Genesis, BMW and Lexus, use alphanumeric names, these kinds of as GV70, X3 or IS 350.

TRIM Concentrations AND Overall body Kinds

Trim ranges further detect a automobile by a particular set of particular functions. Bigger trim levels both insert to the features of the entry-degree product (frequently termed the “base” product) or substitute them with some thing else. Trim levels are where by you’ll come throughout phrases these kinds of as SE, Restricted, Sport and Grand Touring, among many others. You might also come upon the term “style.”

Some persons use style and trim stage interchangeably, but in typical, a “style” ordinarily indicates whether or not the automobile is a sedan, pickup truck or SUV, and also what type of motor and generate method will come standard. It is probable to have two autos that have the identical product and trim degree but a diverse style. For instance, the Toyota Corolla in SE trim can be experienced in one of two human body variations: sedan or hatchback.

However it may well look overpowering to maintain monitor of trim information and facts, the excellent news is automakers typically apply a consistent hierarchy of trim amounts to their cars. In each individual motor vehicle Honda can make, for instance, an EX will generally be a increased trim than an LX. With Ford vehicles, the SEL trim degree will constantly be greater than the S.


Alternatives are capabilities that don’t come as typical devices with the automobile. These objects can array from a sunroof to a much better audio process to a larger engine. In some cases even color can be an option, in that it charges extra to utilize that precise shade of paint. Most options are set up at the factory. Some others are “port-set up possibilities,” which means they are additional to the car or truck just before it is delivered to the dealership.

Some automakers this sort of as Honda and Acura consolidate possibilities into the trim amounts. In most instances, when the purchaser has selected a product, the only points that person has to come to a decision are the trim stage, color and drivetrain. Other carmakers, these types of as Mini and Porsche, inspire their consumers to personalize their autos with everything from seats upholstered in various shades of leather to vibrant graphic decals for the bodywork.

While an automaker may possibly supply a wide and maybe baffling array of options, this doesn’t imply each individual vehicle on a dealer’s lot will have those alternatives. Dealerships generally order a choice of motor vehicles from the maker dependent on what will assistance the cars offer extra speedily, not necessarily what will give shoppers a huge alternative of optional machines. If you’re set on a particular mix of possibilities, you can personalized get the car — supplied you are willing to wait 8 to 12 weeks for shipping.


Packages are teams of possibilities that have been bundled with each other with a frequent topic. For case in point, a engineering bundle may well incorporate such possibilities as a much larger touchscreen, navigation, upgraded headlights and adaptive cruise management. A cold temperature bundle could have heated seats, headlight washers and all-temperature flooring mats. Some automakers might give their packages a imprecise identify, these kinds of as “Convenience” or “Popular Devices Team.” In this sort of conditions, you’ll want to verify the automaker’s internet site for additional data.

Vendor-Installed Components

Components are areas that dealerships market and set up. These goods can be anything at all ranging from a cargo net to more substantial wheels to functionality elements. Some are made by the company other individuals are solutions sold by the dealership. Items offered by the dealership are generally points such as tinted home windows, fabric safety or an antitheft machine.

These vendor-set up add-ons can probably add countless numbers to the charge of the motor vehicle and are itemized on something named a supplemental window sticker. Make confident to request about these when inquiring about a auto in inventory.

EDMUNDS Suggests: Once you speak the language of make and product, trim and alternatives, you’ll be far better capable to find the car or truck which is correct for you and fewer likely to wind up with a entirely loaded product that blows your spending budget.


This tale was supplied to The Affiliated Press by the automotive website Edmunds. Ronald Montoya is a senior client advice editor at Edmunds. Observe Ron on Twitter

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