What is the trim of my car? — vehicle trim level explained
Buying a new vehicle comes with great perks – you get to drive a car with zero miles on the clock and pick the detailing packages by preference. However, if you are driving a used car, you might be wondering – what is the trim of my car?
The trim of your car is the combination of vehicle features, both interior and exterior, and the packaging line all specified with a simple mark on the body. So, you might notice the GT or an LT mark for gran tourism or luxury touring line of a vehicle. But, how do you figure out the trim if the mark isn’t clear? That’s what our team is here to help you with, as we’ll elaborate in this detailed guide.
Car trims explained
When buying a new car, there are several options to choose from. Make and model are the most common ones, as you’ll be choosing the car manufacturer and the exact model. For instance, you can buy a Chevrolet Camaro as a sports coupe muscle car, or an Impala as a regular sedan by Chevrolet.
On top of that, there are sometimes models on the verge of the two, like the Chevy SS which was a luxury sedan with a mighty V8 engine under the hood. However, the trim is a bit different. Vehicle trims, on the other hand, are a bit different.
While we are at it, let’s keep explaining through Chevrolet models. Take the Camaro for an example – it will always be a sports coupe with a muscle car body. But, even the Camaro comes in various trims like the LS, LT, SS, and ZL1. The LS means it’s an entry-level luxury sport model, while the luxury touring trim (LT) comes with additional features like additional aerodynamic body kit and upgraded interior features.
The super sports variant (SS) means there’s a 6.2-liter V8 under the hood, and the ZL1 is the same base engine only supercharged. It’s the ultimate sports beast in this model lineup. However, the trim level isn’t only about the engine performance, it’s also about the detailing packages and added vehicle features.
The higher the trim of your vehicle, the higher its starting price was back when it was new. Also, chances are that you’ll find higher-quality interior materials with a higher trim, and even possibly a sportier exterior detailing package.
Difference between vehicle trim and vehicle type
To make things a bit clearer – the trim of your car isn’t the same as the vehicle type. For instance, the mentioned Camaro comes in two types – as a sports coupe or as a convertible. The type and “style” of the vehicle are common terms, and they describe the version of the car.
However, there are numerous trims of the same car, as Camaro gives you optional trims like LS, LT, 2LT, LTZ, SS, and ZL1. Another instance is the BMW 3 Series – which comes in 330i, 330e, 330xDrive, 330e xDrive, and M340i xDrive trims.
There’s also the rear-wheel-drive M 340i trim which resembles the previous old-school M models. With a higher trim, you not only get a higher performance, but also different styling and interior features. For example, the M 340i trim comes with 18-inch double-spoke alloy wheels, an AppleCar feature, and M performance styling.
On the other hand, the car comes in several body styles- as a sedan and as a touring version. Its coupe version was renamed into BMW 4 Series and now exists as a separate model. So, don’t mix up the trim with a body style.
How to find out your car’s trim?
There are several ways you can find out the car’s trim. It comes in especially useful when selling the car since the trim could also increase the value. Think of it this way – it’s almost like the matter of muffler delete vs straight pipe. Both serve the same purpose, but drivers always wonder about which one is the best.
With different trims, you get some similar packaging details and options, drivers always have a preferred trim of the same model. While trying to find out the trim of your car, you’ll have a few options:
- By using a VIN
- In the original vehicle invoice
- In the owner’s manual
- From the signature trim markings
The vehicle identification number (VIN) is just like your ID – it’s the special code and serial number that signifies your car specifically. There’s no other one like it, and you can use it to input the number in the decoder and find out information about your car.
You should be easily able to find the trim level this way, and all you have to do is run a VIN lookup. The number is usually visible in the front of your engine block, on the driver’s door pillar, or the driver’s side of the dashboard.
You can also look for the trim of your car in the original invoice if you still have it left by the previous owner. If your car is a special trim or a sporty edition, it’s surely visible in the owner’s manual. Finally, you can look at your car’s interior and exterior. For instance, an S-line Audi means there will be S-line markings on the steering wheel, possibly on the shifter, and on the car’s exterior.
Vehicle trim is not the same as vehicle options
Finally, there’s one more misconception about car trims. Drivers often use trims and options interchangeably, but these don’t mean the same thing. Optional features can be chosen regardless of the trim, and these are the additional features that you pay extra for when buying a new car.
That’s why along with the car’s trim, you can use the VIN or invoice to find a list of extra optional features. It’s yet another way of vehicle customization, but the trim stays the same with or without optional features. Some manufacturers offer additional optional features in higher vehicle trims, so it all depends on the dealership and car brand.
So, there you have it – we’ve addressed the matter of “what is the trim of my car” that you might be wondering about. It comes useful to know the vehicle trim when selling the car or to just check if your car’s details are factory set, or if someone tampered with the details to make it look like a higher trim of the same car.
Higher trim increases the price, so it’s always good to check the original trim of the vehicle, and now you have all the means to do it!
What trim is my car by VIN?
The trim of your car by VIN is the factory trim of your vehicle which is a combination of features and the vehicle’s line package as purchased from the dealership.
What trim is my car by reg?
Your car’s trim by registration means a trim package as stated by the reg, which you can find out by looking up your registration number.