Step 6: Choose options wisely.
(American Honda Motor Company, Inc.)
A bargain-priced car or truck can quickly become unaffordable depending on how it’s equipped, with some cars actually doubling in price between the base model and a fully equipped top-end version. Most models come in two or more so-called “trim levels,” with higher-priced versions offering progressively more accessories, more powerful engines and other upgrades. Generally it’s best to choose the trim level that comes with most or all of the features you desire, instead of adding options to a more basic version. However, if you’ll wind up paying for added items you may not otherwise need or want, taking the higher trim level can be a poorer value. Unfortunately, automakers have been limiting the number of options available on many of their models in recent years for the sake of simplicity – some offer no ala carte options whatsoever – and you may have no choice other than to choose a higher trim level to obtain certain features. Work the math and determine which models will include the features you desire at the lowest bottom-line cost.