What you see is what you get when it comes to Finishing Models | talk about car

KING FEATURES SYNDICATE, INC.

I have a 2015 Toyota Avalon that I will be selling. Checking its value online, I see that there is an Avalon XLE Touring and an Avalon XLE Touring SE.

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

Do you know a way to know for sure which trim model I have? —Roger

Well, based on the fact that all your papers say “Touring”, I’m guessing that’s what you have, Roger. If you have the “Touring SE”, your documents would probably say, what? “TouringSE.”

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. More importantly, it came with badging that read “Touring SE.” If you don’t see any badges boasting that it’s a Touring SE, that’s another nail in the SE coffin, Roger.

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Finally, if you want to be absolutely sure, enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). You will find it in your original papers, on your vehicle registration, on the driver’s door jamb or, if you cannot find it in any of these places, it is always stamped on a metal tag where the bumper -breeze meets the dashboard right in front of the driver.

VIN is not only a unique identifier for your car, but it also contains a code that includes the make, model, and year. And if your dealer looks up your VIN in their database, they can retrieve all the details of your car’s configuration – body style, engine, wheel size, trim level and how much you overpaid in 2015 (I jokes about the latter, Roger).

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