How to Configure a New Car: What Matters and What Doesn't - Unhaggle

Posted by | February 17, 2015 | Shopping, Tips | No Comments

How to Configure a New Car: What Matters and What Doesn't

Configuring a new car so that it has the trim and all the features you want can be a tricky process. What some drivers may consider essential others find unnecessary, like the features listed here. Taste and preference play a large role in this as does understanding of what you actually need. So, if you don’t know how to “put together” a vehicle for yourself, this guide will help you do just that:

Trim Level

Trim levels, or sometimes known as grades, are different versions of the same vehicle model. The Mazda CX-5, for example, has six different trim levels for consumers to choose from:

Trim Level

Each trim level offers a list of features that makes the car feel more luxurious, sporty or versatile. Picking the right trim level can enhance your ride, while choosing the wrong one may cost you more or leave you feeling unsatisfied.



Before you select an engine for your new car, it’s important to understand what you are going to be using it for. If you need a vehicle that can tow heavy loads, then you should look for a vehicle with more torque. If you want speed, then watch out for horsepower. Keep in mind that weight, size and aerodynamics play a huge role in this as well. For instance, you should not expect an SUV that cranks out 250 horsepower to be as fast as an equally powerful coupe.

Expectations are everything in this regard. If your goal is to get a family vehicle, then you probably don’t need a powerful engine at all. Instead you may want to invest into other attributes, such as safety and interior space. If you need a truck, then you may want to figure out how much weight you intend to carry because that would determine how much horsepower and torque you would need.



There are two main types of transmissions to choose when you are configuring your new car: manual and automatic. While some swear by the traditional manual transmission, others are happier with the seamless shifting of gears that comes with the automatic.

The transmission choice will largely depend on the type of car you are getting and your personal driving preferences. For instance, many vintage vehicles with manual transmissions have a higher value on the market than their automatic counterparts. While manual transmissions have a steeper learning curve, many believe that their offers a more fun kind of ride, particularly when it comes to sports cars.


Wheel Sizes

Upgrading the size of your wheels is not as simple as ordering new tires. Installing larger wheels can affect the driving quality of your car and may demand larger and more expensive parts. That said, larger wheels do give your car better traction and support on rugged terrains, which is especially important in harsh weather conditions and rural areas. Not every vehicle is suited for tire enhancements, so it’s important to decide whether you want bigger wheels while shopping for your new car.


Car Colour

You can approach car colour either strategically or stylistically. If resale value is important to you, you should choose neutral or traditional colours, like white or silver, since they tend to be valued more in the used-car market. Car colours could also be impacted by your lifestyle and personality. Black cars are commonly associated with power and sophistication, but may also turn your vehicle into an oven on a sunny day.

Tech Features

Tech Features

Cars these days are equipped with countless high-tech gadgets, and it’s up to you to pick the ones that suit you best. Manufacturers commonly offer various infotainment options for you to choose from. While it may sound wonderful to have all the latest tools within your car, applications on most mobile devices can serve as cost-effective alternatives to all this extra hardware. For instance, navigation, entertainment, fuel usage and many similar services are all available through a regular smartphone.

Be aware that many of these features come in packages, so consider all the options within a package carefully before deciding to purchase one.

Safety Features

Safety Features

It’s hard to argue against safety features, but it’s also important to address that safety features do not make up for poor driving habits. So, even if you have air bags, collision avoidance systems, camera assistance and electronic stability control, you may still get yourself into a bad car accident if you are not careful.

We are not saying that safety features don’t matter at all, because they certainly do. It’s just that in some instances, not all of them are necessary, like in the case of collision avoidance systems or camera assistance. If you have extra money, then you can invest into as many safety gadgets as you can, especially if you are looking to drive your family, but think twice before you do.

As is the case with tech features, safety equipment tends to be available in packages, so keep that in mind when configuring a vehicle. If most of the options in a particular package don’t interest you, then it may be better to make a few sacrifices here and there.

Decorative Options

Decorative Options

When it comes down to it, your car should be an expression of your personality. As such, your seat upholstery, interior trim and other decorative features will all depend on how you want to present yourself to the world. That said, as is the case with clothes, it may be best that you don’t get carried away.

If you want a better idea of pricing, check out the Unhaggle free dealer cost report. Pick your make and model and then click on “Add Options” to see all the costs.

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About Elliot Chan

Elliot is a content writer at Unhaggle. Writing blog posts, reviews and anything else car related, he explores interesting and engaging automotive topics. If Elliot had a choice, he would be cruising down the street in a Cadillac CTS. But if you really want him to dream big, he would say that there is nothing better than living large in a Bentley Continental GT Convertible. He’s classy like that.

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