Buying a car requires a lot of decisions. It begins with your budget and goes on to the various different factors involved. After deciding the cost, brand and model, you would think the deciding part would get over with it. One more decision will be left with the choice of the variant or trim of the model you have selected. All manufacturers offer multiple trims for a particular car model to keep the price within the target range set by its rivals. Any salesperson worth his salt would initially try to sell you the high-end variant. Does the high-end trim suit your needs? And more importantly, is it worth buying one at its price for yourself? Let’s find out.
Here is a list of things you should consider before deciding on choosing any particular trim.
Cost is always the first point you think of when you are deciding on a car. The usual reason why everyone goes for the base variant is also because of the cost. In any model, there is a significant price difference between the base variant and the next-in-line variant. If you take the Maruti Suzuki Swift, for example, its LXI variant costs Rs 5.85 Lakh (ex-showroom price) while the VXI variant costs Rs 6.64 Lakh (ex-showroom price). This is a difference of Rs 79,000 between the 2 models at the bottom of the list. The common price difference between any 2 variants of a model starts from Rs 50,000. It might sound like it is too expensive for your taste and budget, but let’s not be hasty.
Even when we choose a model, we look at the performance of the vehicle. No model comes without variants these days. Engine and transmission options are varied depending on the model and brand. Some models only offer GT versions with their top-line variants. If you are looking for powerful turbo-petrol engines, then can you be satisfied with just a naturally aspirated petrol engine? Or do you prefer a diesel engine? However, for a normal user, the requirement in performance will not tend to be as high. Then there is the choice of transmission. The base variant might only offer a manual transmission.
According to BNVSAP rules, it is mandatory for cars in India to be equipped with a driver-side airbag, ABS, speed warning alert, front seatbelt reminder and rear parking sensors. So you automatically get all these options.
Cars like Tata Nexon offer dual-front airbags, reverse parking sensors, ESP, ABS with EBD, Electronic traction control, roll-over mitigation, hill-hold control, brake disc wiping and ISOFIX child seat anchor points even for the base variant. But others offer these only with top-spec variants.
Even for normal users, it is also wise to always go with a variant that offers the following safety features:
- Dual-front Airbags
- Seatbelt reminders for the front occupants
- Speed alert
- ABS with EBD
- Electronic stability control
- ISOFIX child seat anchors
- Front disc brakes
- Rear parking sensors
The basic comfort and convenience features usually include the 3.5-inch infotainment system, basic seats, normal ORVMs and such features. With the higher variants, models usually offer premium features like the touchscreen infotainment system, rear AC vents, ventilated seats, all-power windows, and many more.
You will not be offered features like cruise control, push-button start and keyless entry, infotainment system, remote trunk release, etc. So be certain of which features you absolutely need and of which you can do without while choosing the variant.
Now with these factors in mind, you can narrow down your list of choices to figure out the most appropriate trim of the model you have in mind. Let us know if you opt for a base trim or for a high-end trim and why.
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