I have been a base model type for decades now.
The car that set the template was the one I bought forty years ago. As I was just starting out I wanted the simplest vehicle possible, so that in case anything went wrong it would be cheap and easy to fix.
Turned out to be a 63 Valiant Signet.... with nothing on it. Top of the line, right below the Signet convertible and it came with just radio, heater and probably whitewalls: un-boosted steering and brakes, 170 [from the factory], 3 speed on the column. Might have been a loss leader for "Town & Country Chrysler Plymouth" in Phoenix to advertise in the Sunday paper: "Sporty Valiant Hardtop just $2xxx! $100 down!"*
*One at this exact price.
That I drove for 10 years before buying a newer car and still drive.
Every car I have bought since has been of similar size, base model, minimal options.
On the 05 ION, I splurged on floor mats. Automatic as well as AC. If the manual had been as easy to use as the one in my 95 Saturn SL 1 [1 up from the bottom SL], it would have had the manual and saved some money. But it was jumpy, nervous and noisy. Not something I wanted to fight in LA traffic every day.
The Valiant has been the largest of them at 186" long. The shortest was 174-5". Everything else has been within those ranges. For forty years.
And I've never had power windows, locks or cruise. Well one had cruise, but it didn't work