Edmunds examines five fully loaded cars that are worth the price hike

The average transaction price of new vehicles has steadily increased in recent years. In April, it stood at $ 40,545, a 3% increase from the previous year, according to data from Edmunds. Part of that jump can be attributed to people who buy more expensive trucks and SUVs, but another part of the story is their desire to get all the “bells and whistles” often found in higher trim levels. .

For some vehicles, the juice barely seems worth it on your wallet. But for others, the fully equipped version remains attractive even with the price increase.

Edmunds experts have compiled a list of the most attractive premium vehicles for their price. Some may offer an exclusive engine with more horsepower, while others include luxury features to make you feel right at home in the cabin. All prices include destination charges, and our list goes from lowest to highest Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price.


The 2021 Kia Soul is a good choice in the extra-small SUV category thanks to its roomy interior and long list of standard features, but upgrading to the high-end Soul Turbo has even more benefits.

As the name suggests, the Soul Turbo is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 201 horsepower, which is over 50 horsepower compared to other Soul models. You’ll also find LED headlights and fog lights, a head-up display and an upgraded Harman Kardon stereo system to make the interior premium. Finally, adaptive cruise control is added to the Soul’s safety technology package.

2021 Kia Soul Turbo, MSRP: $ 28,825

MAZDA 3 2021

In all trims, the Mazda 3 is definitely a good buy for a small sedan. But it especially appeals to the high end. Compared to the base models, the Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus benefits from a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 227 horsepower, a marked improvement over the base engine. All-wheel drive and 18-inch wheels are also included.

The included safety gear is what makes this trim really stand out. There is a panoramic camera and front and rear parking sensors, as well as rear automatic braking if an object collision is detected. On top of that, Traffic Jam Assist combines adaptive cruise control and steering assistance to help reduce fatigue while driving.

2021 Mazda 3 2.5T Premium Plus, MSRP: $ 33,395


It seems fitting that the mid-size truck Swiss Army knife is packed with features. Every Ridgeline, for example, has a storage box in the bed and a tailgate that can be opened in two ways. Upgrading to the high-end Ridgeline RTL-E gives you even more useful and intelligent features.

The Ridgeline RTL-E begins by including standard navigation, ambient interior lighting and a heated steering wheel. Add to that a wireless smartphone charging station, USB ports for rear passengers and a power outlet in the bed. There’s an eight-speaker stereo system, and there’s even a stereo system in the walls of the bed that pumps sound from the hidden speakers so they don’t get wet.

2021 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E, MSRP: $ 43,595


One of the champions of modern value is the Hyundai Palisade, a three-row SUV with a surprising amount of luxury for the price. This trend only intensifies in the Calligraphy finish. It includes a number of premium items from the lower Limited trim – including stylish interior ambient lighting and two rows of ventilated seats – and takes the splendor up a notch.

Throughout the interior you’ll find suede headliner and quilted leather door panels, materials normally found in much more expensive vehicles. Additionally, there are puddle lamps that light up the floor at night, as well as wheels and exterior design exclusive to the Calligraphy trim.

2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy, MSRP: $ 47,385


The Lexus ES is the brand’s entry-level luxury sedan and shares a mechanical relationship with the more plebeian Toyota Camry. But if you add the latest ES sedan to its top trim, the Ultra Luxury, it starts to look like a higher level vehicle. Of course, there’s standard navigation, an upgraded stereo, and a surround camera. But there is also a special suspension setup to reduce vibrations on the road.

The ES Ultra Luxury adds interior accessories that you will notice right away. The steering wheel is heated to make cold mornings more bearable, and the leather upholstery is a step up from the leather of other ES models. Finally, rear passengers can raise their sun shades for the sake of privacy.

2021 Lexus ES 350 Ultra Luxury, MSRP: $ 50,025


We normally advise buyers to consider a mid-level finish with cheaper prices. On rare occasions, however, the top trim presents a very different experience than the cheaper versions. In that case, if it fits your needs and budget, you might be glad you opened your wallet.

Authors biography :

This story was provided to The Associated Press by the Automotive website Edmunds. Ryan ZumMallen is a writer at Edmunds. Twitter: @ zoomy575m; Instagram: zoomy575m.

Related links:

Kia Soul 2021; Mazda 3 2021; Hyundai Palisade 2021; 2021 Lexus ES 350; Honda Ridgeline 2021.

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