We often see new car ads that mention the starting price of the vehicle, but common sense tells us that relatively few consumers actually buy the vehicle at that price. We thought it would be interesting to look at how clients’ configured MSRP compares to the vehicles’ starting MSRP.

It’s worth noting that these prices are all pre-negotiation—we’re simply comparing the MSRP of the configuration chosen by the client to the model’s base price.

We’ll look first at the models whose average MSRP (as equipped by our clients) is the lowest percentage of their starting MSRP.

5. Acura MDX (Average Configured MSRP 22% above Starting MSRP)

Starting MSRP for the Acura MDX is $43,015 and our clients add an average of $9,500 in upgrades to the base model. Popular add-ons include all-wheel drive and the Technology Package which adds navigation, blind spot monitoring, collision warning and other safety features.

4. Audi Q3 (Average Configured MSRP 18% above Starting MSRP)

Average configured MSRP for the Q3 is a little over $6,000 over its base price of $33,700. Our clients often opt for the Premium Plus trim over the more expensive Prestige trim, but also choose all-wheel drive and the Technology Package (adding navigation, blind spot monitoring, and in-car internet access).

3. Audi Q7 (Average Configured MSRP 17% above Starting MSRP)

The new Audi Q7 starts at $54,800, our clients typically add about $9,500 in extras to it. Many choose the Premium Plus package which adds voice-controlled navigation, blind spot monitoring and smartphone integration for Apple CarPlay and Google Auto.

2. Chevrolet Volt (Average Configured MSRP 16% above Starting MSRP)

Base price for a Chevy Volt is $33,200; our clients choose $5,000 in extras on average. Many select the Premier trim which offers leather-appointed seats and a Bose audio system.


1. Volkswagen e-Golf (Average Configured MSRP 13% above Starting MSRP)

The e-Golf starts at $28,995 and clients typically add less than $4,000 in upgrades to the base model. The DC Fast Charge is a popular choice as is the SEL Premium trim (adding LED headlights and touchscreen navigation).

Well also look at which models clients tend to add the most extras (as a percentage of starting MSRP) with some surprising results.

5. Toyota Highlander (Average Configured MSRP 40% above Starting MSRP)

The Toyota Highlander has a base price of $29,900 and our clients elect for an average of $12,000 in extras. The Limited trim which includes second-row captain’s chairs, heated and ventilated front-row seat and blind spot monitoring is a favorite among growing families

4. Subaru Forester (Average Configured MSRP 42% above Starting MSRP)

The Forester starts at 22,395; our clients choose an average of $9,500 in upgrades to this. Popular choices include a panoramic moonroof, voice-activated navigation, and the EyeSight suite of driver assistance technologies.

3. BMW 3 Series (Average Configured MSRP 47% above Starting MSRP)

The 3 Series starts at $33,150, but our client’s typically add over $15,000 to this. BMW offers a seemingly endless array of upgrades including all-wheel drive, leather seats, moonroof, rearview camera, and active driving technologies. Clients also prefer a larger engine or cosmetic options such as custom trims or wheels.

2. Porsche Macan (Average Configured MSRP 48% above Starting MSRP)

Base price for a new Macan is $47,500, but Cartelligent clients choose an average of $23,000 in additional features. The S and Turbo engine upgrades are attractive choices, as are a panoramic moonroof, Bose surround sound, and ventilated seats.

1. Ford Explorer (Average Configured MSRP 49% above Starting MSRP)

Our clients typically add $15,000 to the base Explorer price of $31,050 making it the highest percentage of upgrades to MSRP on this list. Many choose the Limited or Sport trims which include push button start, a third row of seats, hands-free liftgate and intelligent all-wheel drive (Sport trim only).

No matter what your own requirements are, Cartelligent can help you get a great deal on exactly what you want. Call our team of car-buying experts at 888-427-4270 or get started today.