I've always had a thing for base model trim vehicles (or mid-trims with lots of options) and have owned several. In particular, VW has always, to me, produced outstanding base models packing lots of value w/r to safety and features AND not making them look so basic i.e. black trim etc. like many American brands. I feel these give the max possible value while out of a particular vehicle's lineup. I've owned:
2000 Jetta GL 5-spd. $17K new OTD (no deal on that one b/c the new MK4 gen had just hit the lot), notable base features...crank windows and no cruise control. Looked the same as all the other trims (GLS/GLX) with the exception of the wheels...came with hub caps. Simple...we just bought some VW accessory allow wheels and shazam! No more base model! Car went 220K/14 years before selling with v. little fuss/cost. Had side airbags which to me at the time was impressive for a base model car. This competed with getting the higher trim GLS which would have netted some better amenities (power windows, sunroof, cruise) but in the end, all of that would have broken anyway hahahah.
Current 2018 Golf Sportwagen S w/4Motion and DSG. Unreal deal. $20K new OTD with a $26K sticker. Complete sleeper and effectively a Golf R wagon light. V. few folks knew/know what it is or that VW made these. Obviously I turned mine into someone quite a bit more now but still, even as a stock base-model car, v. feature-laden and unique. Dealer didn't even know they had it, I had to help them find it on the lot hidden behind all the SU/CUVs. This competed with me getting a GTI and I'm glad I got the awd wagon.
2013 Ford Focus SE 5-spd with all possible packages. $21K new OTD with a reasonable deal negotiated including lots of accessories aded-on that I wanted. So basically the more pedestrian SE trim but with leather, sunroof, appearance package (17s, r. discs) and winter package. Had to have them find it in another state b/c not many of the 5-speeds with that many options. My son drives this today at 10 years/125K. This is by far the lowest cost to operate vehicle I've ever owned and has held up surprising well (interior) for being an American economy car. This competed with me getting the ST and today, sure, I (and my son!) would have been happier with an ST but at that time, this is what I bought/could afford.
2003 Ford Explorer XLT 4x4. $22K OTD slightly used with ~10K miles on it. Had many option packages to get a bit more creature comforts. Great SUV and our family hauler for a few years before we did the right thing and sold off for the superior family hauler...a Honda Odyssey. Competed with the higher trim Eddie Bauer but in the end, I just didn't have the extra money for it but would have preferred it for the looks....Ford base/mid-trims have lots of black trim that is somewhat ugly to me.