Hooniverse Asks Bonus: How many trim levels is too many?

too many models On and off I have been shopping for a new used (or a great lease deal on brand new) family car. I have been spending way too much time on this activity (shocking, right?) only to come up with nothing time after time. There are just no decent, well priced, used cars out there. On the top of my list is the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, which does not seem to depreciate at all. Crack smoking owners and dealers everywhere are asking prices that are nearly the same as new ones. Therefore I went shopping for a new one. 4Runner sellers are equally addicted to the pipe. Porsche has been known as the brand that offers each of its models in a variety of trim levels, leaving no niche unopened. The 911 has a trim for everyone from a newly divorced trophy wife (cabrio, auto, nav), to the nouveau riche (Turbo S), and the hardcore track junkie (GT3 RS/GT2, etc). One would expect that from a Porsche, but to my surprise, the Wrangler Unlimited is available in a staggering eleven models which include a right-hand-drive and a six special edition models (what’s up with that Dragon edition?) with prices ranging from $26,000 to nearly $50,000(!) for a full loaded Rubicon X! Digging deeper around the internet revealed nine Dodge Challenger models, ten Mustang models (outgoing), and an infinite number of full-size pickup models from each manufacturer. My question is – is the availability of all of these models a good thing for buyers? Obviously automakers and dealers make the most money on fully loaded cars, so are these models packaged and priced in a way such that the buyer would opt for the most expensive one? Regarding the Wrangler Unlimited – I really like the Willy’s Wheeler W (W = power windows and such) special edition. The closest one to me is about 200 miles away; all the right colors and options. The MSRP is $36,170. They were willing to lease it to me for $2499 down and $499 per month, for 42 months, 10,000 miles. Funny, because that’s the exact amount my local Lexus dealer wants for a GX460. I love the Wrangler, but this is a no-brainer. If anyone out there knows someone selling a well-optioned (auto, hardtop) Wrangler Unlimited, 2011 and up please (much nicer interior), for a reasonable price (very low 20k range), please send them my way. Same goes for 2010/11 4Runner Trail. I know they’re out there. Thanks.  

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