What You See is What You Have When it Comes to Trim Models

Dear Car Talk:

I have a 2015 Toyota Avalon I'm fixin' to sell. Checking online for its value, I see there is an Avalon XLE Touring and an Avalon XLE Touring SE.

There is nothing in all the paperwork or on the car itself to indicate whether it is an SE. Everything just says XLE Touring. But the online sites say the value of the SE is about $2,000 more than the plain Touring, so I want to be sure.

Do you know of a way I can find out for certain which trim model I have? -- Roger

Well, based on the fact that all of your paperwork says "Touring," I'm going to guess that's what you have, Roger. If you have the "Touring SE," your paperwork would probably say, what? "Touring SE."

But there are several ways to check. The Touring SE was a limited "Sport Edition." It came with HID headlights, a perforated leather wrapped steering wheel and some interior trim doodads. Most importantly, it came with badges that said "Touring SE." If you don't see any badges that brag that it's a Touring SE, that's another nail in the SE coffin, Roger.

Finally, if you want to be absolutely sure, grab your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). You'll find it in your original paperwork, on your vehicle registration, on the driver's door pillar, or, if you can't find it in any of those places, it's always engraved on a metal tag where the windshield meets the dashboard right in front of the driver.

The VIN is not only a unique identifier for your car, but it also contains code that includes the make, model and year. And if your dealer looks up your VIN in his database, he can pull up every detail of your car's configuration -- body style, engine, wheel size, trim level and by how much you overpaid in 2015 (just kidding about that last one, Roger).


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Todays Car-o-Scope

What the stars say about your car for 6/27/2022
Your mind will expand this week. You will learn the meaning of "EGR valve."
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