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Equipment annoyances: forced coupling of equipment

Equipment annoyances
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A It is gradually becoming clear why every vehicle manufacturer now has the desired The vehicle can be conveniently put together using the Internet configurator: In view of the countless footnotes, professors correcting doctoral theses will probably lose track of everything. Almost every extra seems to be linked to another or at least to a higher equipment line.

Assistance systems only with leather steering wheel

That especially Asian manufacturers are masters in confusing equipment packages, Word has already got around - right up to some self-proclaimed premium providers such as Mercedes. If you want to connect mobile devices to the vehicle via a media interface, you have to order the audio system with a six-disc DVD changer for the A-, C- and E-Class.

For the A-Class with basic equipment, the Swabians put together seven packages, including one that combines Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist - both of which are quite sensible technologies, which, laudably, are becoming increasingly widespread in the compact class. Not so nice: In the case of the small Benz, at least the simple navigation system, a leather-covered multifunction steering wheel and the more expensive Audio 20 CD radio have to be ordered. The speakerphone is also only available with the expensive radio, which doubles the surcharge.

A positive example of relaxation: Opel delivers the excellent AGR seat (Campaign for Healthy Backs) only to the driver, depending on the customer's wishes. That makes 390 euros including specific cover material. For a further 295 euros, the passenger can also spare his back. The seat heating costs extra, namely 330 euros, which is customary in the industry. Toyota charges a considerable 950 euros for the Yaris.

Optional extras increase the margin

The Japanese are of the opinion that customers who get the luxury of a warm Allow your back to order darkened windows and eight loudspeakers anyway, and summarize everything in the lounge package. Incidentally, this is one of the manufacturers' preferred reasons for such combinations: 'Market research shows that buyers of these features also add what we have put together a cheap package from them' - nonsense. The real reason, unofficially of course, is: This simplifies the processOn the one hand, the production logistics and thus reducing costs; on the other hand, the manufacturer's margin increases through the sale of the special equipment. The Korean brands Hyundai and Kia have also mastered this practice perfectly.

Apart from that, new models will be equipped in terms of equipment in order to be able to put a base price on them that is as attractive as possible. Almost all manufacturers drive this game to perfection, including Audi, of course. After all, the currently cheapest A3 costs 22,500 euros. This includes: manual air conditioning and a radio, but with light alloy wheels the generosity already stops.

The list of surcharges is long, and anyone who works their way through the various security and infotainment options will be amazed: the expensive MMI radio must be ordered every time - an additional 425 euros. This applies even if the A3 buyer treats himself to the so-called comfort access, which allows the key to remain in the pocket when unlocking. Just - what has the radio got to do with it? BMW also fills its pockets with this technology: Here the extra comfort is senselessly combined with the ambient lighting for the interior.

Finally, a positive example: Peugeot largely resisted this kind of nonsense when calculating the 208, although numerous extras are hidden in the respective equipment lines. And the fact that the air conditioning system costs 1,250 euros extra in the basic Access model should only bother those who want the small car to have no radio at all - because that's not standard, but included in this package price. Despite some praiseworthy tendencies, it is still important to carefully roll through price lists. Or use the online configurator, which warns of forced coupling when clicked.


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