Question Of The Day: What Is A 'Loaded' Car… Today?

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang
question of the day what is a loaded car today

I remember those advertisements of the 1990’s when a loaded car meant….


All this and MUCH MUCH MORE! was yours for the low, low lease price of $199 a month or $14,995 before a healthy smattering of taxes and bogus fees.

These days a loaded car means something else entirely.

Engine: Yes it’s got one. More than likely the ‘loaded’ model that is aggressively marketed isn’t a V6 though.

Transmission: Automatic or Automatic with paddle shifters. Your choice!

Stereo: The stereo upgrade is still there. However today’s loaded car will more than likely be some infotainment display that can easily get you into all sorts of trouble on the open road.

What else?

Is there some special seating, features aplenty or gizmo infested electrical doo-dad that needs mentioning? Will the loaded car with cigarette lighters on all four doors of 25 years ago be forever replaced with today’s electronic hook-ups and wireless subscription-based upsells?

What says you? What is offered with the loaded model of 2012?

Join the conversation
4 of 65 comments
  • Mor2bz Mor2bz on Aug 09, 2012

    a sunroof is not a feature; one should pay less for a car that has one

  • Jjklongisland Jjklongisland on Aug 09, 2012

    Too many people use the term "loaded" inappropriately in my opinion especially when advertising their car for sale. Loaded should mean that the vehicle comes with every option available.

  • Mark MacInnis Mark MacInnis on Aug 09, 2012

    My wife just leased a 2012 Accord. Base model came with an adequate sound system with CD, power locks and windows, A/C, automatic, fairly high quality cloth seats. Other than a sunroof and the V-6 and leather, what more could you ask for? The TRUTH is that manufacturers can make MORE on the options by not making 'em optional. Install them in all cars, and the cost per unit goes down due to economies of scale. Bump the selling price of all cars more than the cost, and viola! Now all cars are loaded. When I priced out an Audi on their site, their option groups or packages are so outrageously priced for what you get...ridiculous. You used to be able to check individual boxes for individual features. Now they slam everything together in a package, so if you want X, you MUST buy the package which also includes A, B, C, and Z, whether you want them or not. Again, I see the manufacturer's point....give people fewer options, makes our manufacturing process simpler. Maybe 200 possible vehicle configurations rather than thousands....

  • Old fart Old fart on Aug 09, 2012

    would love to see a base model have either have A/C or power windows standard (your choice ). If your riding alone and don't have A/C manually rolling windows up and down is a pain , maybe out in the country you leave them down but city life they're up and down all day running chores. Yes I know you can order them that way but most cars I get someone else did the ordering