Understanding car trim levels & all the trims of Toyota cars

Posted by: Testimony Olajire

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You are always wondering what LE, CE, SE, XLE mean? Which are the differences? Which one is the best? Find out in this article!


What does CE badge on the trunk of Toyota Corolla mean?

So, you have been seeing them everywhere, LE, CE, SE, XLE and the likes. You have always been wondering what they stand for but you have never really sat down to find out about them.

Well, today is your day of salvation!
This article would demystify the concept of car trim levels with relevant examples, how they differ from each other and other relevant car terminologies.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

1. Car trim levels in the simplest explanation

Car trim is a word that many people use when referring to car models. However, not many understand its meaning and how it affects what you expect from a car as a buyer.

In the simplest terms, a trim level is a category of features, performance, and packages that any car in that level would possess. It determines how much you should expect from a car.


Different brands have different terms to give to their trim levels. Today we look into Toyota's

There are different types of trim. Usually, the lowest trim level, also called the entry-level or base model would contain the least features of the model.

How about car make and car model?

Very closely related to the car trim is the car make. The make of a car actually refers to the company that MAKES the car! So if they ask you, ‘what is the make of a car?’, do not reply, ‘TOKUNBO!’ You say, ‘A Toyota, or Honda or Ford’, ok?

Then the model is the particular series of a vehicle that the company produces. It could be a Toyota Camry 2008, Toyota Corolla 2006 and so on. Most Nigerians do not know the model year of their cars. I think it is a good thing to know the year your car was manufactured.


In Nigeria, CE is the most popular trim

>>> You might also like to read: 

Do not just say Toyota Corolla. Is it 2010? 2018?

Well, if it were 2018, I am so sure a Nigerian would know it!

2. Why are there different trim levels?

Back to our trim talk. So, for instance, the Tesla S Model had 3 trims.

The first was the base model priced at $80,000, the second trim was the long-range model priced at $85,000. The highest trim was the performance model, priced at $100,000. Notice the increase in price as we move along trim levels.

Again, the base model also has a 0-60 mph of 3.7 seconds, the long-range 3 seconds and the performance model can go up to 2.4 seconds.

Notice that as the trim levels go up, the specs go up too. There are so many features that would be seen in higher trims that are not seen in base or entry-level trims.


Note that not all models have all the trims listed down below

3. Trim levels of Toyota models


With this understanding, let us define some vehicle trims and the terminologies used.

Please note that there might be variations among car manufacturers, but we would stick with Toyota since that is the most popular car brand in Nigeria. Definitely, it is the one you would see around more:

  • CE: CE means classic edition and in Toyota, it is the base or entry-level car for any model. So for a Corolla 2007 CE, which is quite popular in Nigeria, there would be standard air conditioning, power-adjustable side mirrors, and a CD stereo. Higher trim models would have more features as we would see. Note that some entry-level trims are also denoted by ‘L’.
  • SE: Sports Edition. Cars in this trim are designed to be faster and easier to maneuver. They usually have better handling and the Corolla 2007 S model is no exception. It has front and rear underbody spoilers and rocker panels along with power door locks and interior chrome trim among others. Some models would simply call theirs ‘S’.
  • LE: Luxury Edition. It has all the standard features of the classic edition and more. For some models, it is the highest trim level, for some others, it is the lowest. For the Corolla 2007, it is the highest and its additional features include keyless entry, power windows, and electroluminescent power gauges. It has more comfortable seats and also offers more color options; 8, as compared to others which are either 6 or 7.
  • XLE: Xtra Luxury Edition. From the name, you know this type of trim offers way more. It would give you standard features, plus all the features of the luxury edition and then all the optional features for the model would be standard on the XLE. So, in the Corolla, for instance, some of the optional features are a moonroof, cruise control, and electroluminescent gauges. (please note that the corolla 2007 does not have an XLE edition. This is just an example!) So, if there was going to be an XLE, all these features would be fitted in. In other lower trims, you have to pay extra to get them because they are all optional.


A trim demonstrates how high-end or basic a car model is

>>> Getting smarter with our FAQ with Auto Experts section:

At this point, it is expedient to say that the model determines the progression of the trim. For instance, the base model of the 2020 Toyota Avalon starts at the XLE level!

Hope you dey follow?

  • Limited Edition: As the name depicts, you would expect that this car is not common. Car manufacturers tend to make this trim available for just a short period of time and make fewer numbers than the regular trim. It is usually more expensive and more difficult to get than lower models. This edition might also possess more advanced features to convince people to buy.
  • XSE: Extreme Sports Edition. This usually takes the concept of a sporty car further. A very good example is the 2020 Toyota Avalon XSE

Other trim levels include:

  • SLE: Sport Luxury Edition
  • SRE: Sport Rally Edition
  • VE: Value Edition
  • XL: Executive Luxury
  • SR: Sport Rally
  • SR5: Sport Rally-5 edition
  • XR: Extreme Rally
  • XLS: Executive Luxury Sport
  • XRS: Extreme Rally Sport

As we said earlier, different companies can name their trim models whatever they want, but there is usually a logical progression in the names and the features of the trim.

Therefore, we are sure that a classic edition, would be very unlikely to be ahead of an XLE.

Video: 2020 Highlander Trim Levels Explained in Detail

Now that you understand everything about car trim levels. I am honoured as your car guy! You can find more car knowledge in our mind-blowing car facts as well. Check out now!

>>> Visit Naijauto.com for the latest updates on car news, Tips & Advice, Car Prices, Reviews, and Cars for sale in Nigeria!

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Testimony Olajire

Testimony Olajire


Testimony Olajire is a witty and innovative content writer with Naijauto.com. He creates top quality educative content on automobiles that readers can both relate with and enjoy. He has a keen interest in understanding what lies under the hood of any car, practical driving and safety tips, automobile history and managing automobile-related businesses; all in the Nigerian context.   

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