Anyone who has shopped for a new car has looked at its window sticker — if for no other reason than to check the price. But the window sticker also offers other information that can be useful to buyers. This article will help you navigate the sea of text and numbers on a new car's window sticker. The sample sticker above comes from a 2013 Ford Focus ST and highlights 10 key areas of interest. Keep in mind that the layout of a window sticker can change depending on the automaker, but the information on what the industry calls the Monroney label is required by law to be the same across all manufacturers.
1. Model Information
This is where you will find the basic model information for the vehicle. The section is usually located in the top left or right corner. It tells you the engine and transmission combination, exterior and interior color, the year and trim level of the vehicle. Checking this part of the sticker is the best way to quickly ensure that the car in front of you has the engine and color configuration you're looking for.
2. Standard Equipment
This section of the window sticker lists all items and features that are included in the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP). Items listed here should be consistent with any other vehicle in this trim level. These items are grouped into such categories as: Exterior, Interior, Safety/Security, Comfort/Convenience and Mechanical/Performance.