What’s a line-up?
As you shop for a new vehicle, you’re going to come across a vehicle line-up or two. You don’t have to be ‘the man in black’ to figure this out, either. The line-up is the different models of a particular vehicle, often expressed as a trim level. Ack – “trim level”, “line-up”. If your brain already hurts, try and stay with me for just a little longer.
Break it down
For instance, let’s take the 2020 Toyota RAV4 currently on sale in Canada and break down the components of this vehicle’s name.
Toyota is the Manufacturer. The Model is RAV4, their mid-size, extremely popular sport utility. The RAV4 is sold in eight variations. Each variation is commonly referred to as a Trim level. All eight variations, or trim levels, make up the RAV4’s vehicle Line-up. The line-up looks like this:
- LE FWD
- LE AWD
- XLE FWD
- XLE AWD
- XLE Premium AWD
- Trail AWD
- Trail AWD TRD Off Road
- Limited AWD
A vehicle line-up can be confusing, making it difficult to figure out what features you’re getting on a particular vehicle. At Automobl, we look for features that we believe deliver value to you as a new vehicle purchaser. If something is of tangible benefit, we try and track it to help you figure out if any particular vehicle is right for you.
I'm still confused
Let’s see how Automobl can help you understand the differences between trim levels. We’ll use the very same RAV4 for our example and our very own Automobl Comparison Tool to compare the trims.
First, you can choose the same vehicle on both sides of the comparison equation. This will give you a comprehensive list of features found on that exact vehicle. We number the vehicles starting with 01), which is usually the least expensive vehicle in the line-up. For example, we’ll start by comparing the LE FWD trim level up against itself. That’s why we’re comparing 01) LE FWD – A/T 8 vs 01) LE FWD – A/T 8.
Change the Feature Difference selection to Common Equipment, and hit the Compare button. Here’s what you get; a comprehensive list of the features on the LE trim level.
We actually had to cut off the bottom of this list. Our screen isn’t tall enough! The RAV4 is very well equipped at even the base LE trim level. Now what? Well, let’s see how we can ‘walk the line-up’ to see what you get at each trim level.
LE Front Wheel Drive versus LE All Wheel Drive
We change the right side, from the 01) LE FWD to the 02) LE AWD model, check the Feature Difference button, and hit Compare.
We see the differences between the LE FWD and LE AWD. Now you have a better understanding of what you get for your $2,100, which is the difference in the retail price of the front wheel drive model ($28,090) and the all wheel drive model ($30,190).
We give all wheel drive an Automobl value of $2,000. RAV4 lets you change the traction control to suit the driving and surface condition, so it gets another $150 in Automobl value. We conclude that the all wheel drive LE has an Automobl Value Advantage of $50.
“So what?” you might say. Again, stay with me. Let’s walk the rest of the line-up and see what happens. To keep this simple, we’ll work with the all wheel drive models from here on. Let’s go back and change the trim levels on each side. Below, we now have the 02) LE AWD on the left, and the 04) XLE AWD on the right.
LE All Wheel Drive versus XLE AWD
This will tell us what’s on the XLE, a more expensive trim, versus the LE model.
Well, well. Look at the list of features you get on the XLE trim level versus the LE trim level. Is a moonroof important to you? A power hatch? What about an 8-way power driver’s seat? This list will help you find the features that are important to you.
Moreover, this is a result we love to see. The Automobl Value Advantage is only $102. Which means that our Automobl values are matching well with what is actually in the marketplace. Let’s build out the rest of the line-up.
XLE AWD versus XLE AWD Premium
We change the trim on the left to the 04) XLE, and the trim on the right to the 05) XLE with the Premium Package. Getting the hang of it?
Above on the right, you can see the equipment unique to the Premium Package. Leather seats with driver’s seat memory, satellite radio and other features are great to have. At a glance, you can see if these are important to you.
So far, we’ve been tracking the trim levels from least expensive to most expensive. Let’s keep going. It’s going to get interesting, I promise.
XLE AWD Premium versus Trail
The Trail trim level has a number of features such as unique alloy wheels, patterned seats, a more sophisticated off-road oriented drivetrain, cellular connected services and Apple Carplay/Android Auto, to name a few. Let’s see how it stacks up against the XLE with the Premium Package.
Before we get started, let’s take a look at the RAV4 Trail.
Is the increased cost of 05) Trail over 06) XLE Premium worth it? You decide:
Ouch. XLE Premium has an Automobl Value Advantage of $2,600. Now you have to ask yourself, are the ventilated seats, adjustable traction control and leatherette seating worth that much to you? Similarly, what about the unique alloy wheels? Both vehicles have a power moonroof, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, cellular connected services and a raft of other amenities. Trail looks great; rugged, substantial. Importantly, are those looks worth the difference in price?
XLE AWD Premium versus Limited
A better match up would be the 05) XLE Premium versus the 07) Limited model.
And the result:
Now you can judge from the extensive list of features if the Limited model is right for you.
Walk This Way
To sum up, the easiest way for you to see how this works is to try it for yourself. Go to our Automobl Comparison Tool, and select the vehicle you’re interested in on both sides of the tool. Change the trim levels so you can see which vehicle offers you the features at the price you want. You can even open the comparison tool in a new browser window, and use this page as a guide to see how it works. Give it a try, and have fun getting to know your future ride. And hopefully along the way, armed with your new found knowledge, you’ll be able to save some ‘cash’.