By on August 16, 2017

1966 Chevrolet Impala in Colorado wrecking yard, air conditioning decal - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Yesterday, Tim Cain reported on the new Chevrolet Tahoe Custom trim, which lowers the point of entry on the Tahoe by $3,750 for 2018. If you’re a nerd and enjoy trim-level discussions like I do, this is an important moment. For the first time since the Tahoe grew to four doors in 1995, you’ll be able to buy a trim lower than the LS.

This new (relatively) low-cost trim is seen by many Internet Car Enthusiasts here at TTAC as the way forward: dispensing with unnecessary options like infotainment, large wheels, and a third row seat that rarely sees use. Seems like a decent enough idea, so let’s take it across the board today.

Which vehicles deserve a cost-cutting trim level?

(Read More…)

By on June 26, 2017

2017 Chrysler 300C - Image: FCA

Sure, there’s no vinyl bench seats and standard Slant Six engine, but this isn’t 1981 and Chrysler Corporation isn’t trying to boost sales by stripping down a LeBaron and calling it Special. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is, however, trying to make three models more appealing to the buying masses, meaning trim changes are afoot for 2018.

What models, you ask? Two very old sedans and a crossover. According to ordering documents sent to dealers, FCA plans to ratchet down the entry-level price of the 2018 Chrysler 300 and Jeep Cherokee, while also shaking up the bottom end of the Dodge Charger.  (Read More…)

By on August 10, 2016

2017 Super Duty STX

Sick of your GM-loving friends showing off in their Denali HD pickups? Wish your Super Duty had more flash, but can’t afford an XLT or King Ranch? Ford heard your cries.

Ford Motor Company announced the return of the STX appearance package to its F-150 line today, and as an added bonus, it’s letting Super Duty buyers join the club too. (Read More…)

By on June 27, 2016

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

The Cadillac ATS has a fever, and the only cure — according to Cadillac — is more value.

Hoping to reverse a sales slide that’s plagued the automaker’s smallest sedan since its debut, Cadillac plans to simplify the model’s configurations and pack each trim level with more goodies, according to a report in Automotive News. (Read More…)

By on July 8, 2014

2013-Mercedes-Benz-GL450-4MATIC-main_rdax_646x396

Not content with only the S-Class receiving the Maybach treatment for a potential shout-out in Lorde’s next jam, Mercedes-Benz wants to take the Maybach trim line to the next level: The GL-Class.

(Read More…)

By on January 12, 2010

Where's the beef?

Once upon a time, luxury brands built unique cars and added special editions for extra profit. Now luxury brands tend to build more cars based on volume brand platforms, the special edition seems to be giving way to a new phenomenon: unique luxury trim levels. GM has been a proponent of this system for some time, adding Denali trim levels to its GMC upgrades of Chevrolet trucks. Now, The General’s Cadillac brand has announced it will be adding Platinum trim level options to every vehicle that isn’t available in “V” form. The impetus for this is clearly the dream of coaxing BMW “M” or Cadillac “V”-style markups from consumers who don’t care about dynamics or power, but it also fundamentally undercuts Cadillac’s status as a true luxury brand… as well as Buick’s raison d’etre as an entry-lux brand. Or does it?

By on January 11, 2010

Dodge Nitro Detonator... don't ask why. Or what. Or how.

We’d heard that Dodge (“The Full-of-Life Brand”) would be re-working its trim levels in order to “take ‘base model’ out of the Dodge vocabulary,” as a company press release puts it.  So, they’ve changed the names of trim levels on some Dodge models. First off, note that only certain models get the trim level name change: Caravan will still be sold in SE and SXT trim, and Challenger will still come in the standard SE, R/T and SRT8 trims. Otherwise, each model has its own trim levels: Journey now comes in Express, Hero, Heat, Crew and Uptown trims, Nitro is available in Heat, Detonator and Shock, while Caliber comes in Express, Mainstreet, Heat, Uptown and Rush, while Avenger comes in Express and Heat trim. What the Foxtrot does it all mean? There’s no way we want to break it all down, so surf on over to Kicking Tires for the full breakdown. Needless to say, it’s yet a another marketing mess from the soon-to-be defunct bailout baby named Chrysler Group.

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