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| HOME | CANADA | AUTOMOTIVE MAGAZINES |

Where Can I Buy A Car Online?Canada Automotive Magazines

What are journalists saying about that car?



Overall Rating: 8/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Your Best Bet!CanadianDriver: Canadian Car Prices, Car Reviews, Car Buying Advice and Automotive Links
http://www.canadiandriver.com/

This is a very good site with some minor deficiencies. I have included it in both the buying guide and magazine categories as it has aspects of both with articles that are editorial in nature mixed in with shopping information like reviews, pricing info and so on.

My major complaint about the site is not about its content but about its advertising - I don't know why but the banner ads featured on the day I was reviewing the site slowed page loading to a crawl. Very frustrating. I don't mind Google ads or even simple graphic ads but when the ads start to impact on my browsing experience it's annoying.

But on to content. You can now easily access information on a specific 2006 vehicle and there is still 2005 information online as well. There are excellent articles and a lively forum. The search tool is not ideal but at least they have one!

Pros:
You can quickly find information on a specific model. The 'Features' section has great articles on a variety of topics as well as product reviews (on things like GPS systems or tires), calculators and even games. The Auto Tech section also has some very interesting articles on technical subjects like stability controls or discs versus drums (brakes).

The site has a very lively forum with lots of participation and a search tool. There are also some nice extras on the site like a newsletter and an RSS feed.

Cons:
I wish that the CanadianDriver people would do more internal linking on their site - for example, they have a pricing section where you can quickly see pricing information on specific new vehicles. Wouldn't it be helpful to make the vehicle name a clickable link that would take me to specifications and reviews on that vehicle? Similarly when I click on a manufacturer link from the main page of the Buyer's Guide it would be nice to see MSRP indicated on each model so I could choose which model fit in my price range. Another instance of where this would be helpful is in terms of the information on specific models. For example the 2007 Jeep Compass North has a review available in the Test Drives section - but there is no link to this from the Buying Guide page on the Jeep Compass North. I just don't understand why Canadian Driver hasn't taken the extra step.

A more advanced Search tool would be very helpful - one that allowed you to do a Boolean search (i.e. search on Toyota AND truck rather than returning all pages with either Toyota or truck in them). It would also be nice if the site had a glossary.

How to:

  • Find information on a specific model
    Select the year you are interested in on the main page. Next click on the manufacturer you are interested in and then choose the particular model on the next page. Note that this will NOT show you reviews on this model - to find reviews you have no choice but to click on the Test Drives link on the main page and then search (you could use your browsers Find function) for the model you are interested in - there is no guarantee that the vehicle will have a review on the site.

  • Access buyer's guide
    Click on the manufacturer you are interested in and then choose the particular model on the next page. You'll see and overview of the vehicle and basic specs.

  • Access glossary
    There is no glossary on the CanadianDriver site.

  • Search the site
    Input your search word or phrase and click on Search (note that this is a simple search only, it is not Boolean).


Overall Rating: 8/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
One of our Favorites!Wheels.ca - new cars, used cars, car reviews, expert car advice and news from Canada's most trusted auto resource
http://www.wheels.ca/

A very good site that could be simply excellent with some thought and efffort. The site is well-designed and easy to navigate with lots of interesting, relevant and up to date content. There are a lot of reviews (which could unfortunately be much better organized), great columns, pictures, news and a very good car comparison tool.

Pros:
There are plenty of reviews (over 2,000) dating back to the mid nineties. The car comparison tool is excellent. There is an up to date news section and plenty of fascinating articles on a variety of topics.

Cons:
Unfortunately there is as much missing and poorly done as there is good stuff on this site. The reviews are not very well-arranged and your only option to find a specific one is to type the model (i.e. A4) in the Keyword section and select the manufacturer (i.e. Audi) and relevant year. This search may produce spurious results though as when I did it I got models like the S4 (perhaps they refer to the A4 in the text of the article?).

There is no site map, no glossary, no forum, no RSS feed option and a the only search available is a simplistic one that has no advanced features. Also missing is a comprehensive Buying Guide that takes you through the whole purchase process for a new car (i.e. research, comparison, evaluation, financing, insurance etc).

How to:

  • Find information on a specific model
    On the main page click on the NEW tab in the box located in the top right hand area of the page. Select your make, model and year and click on Find. You'll be presented with graphics representing the various trim levels within that model. Click on the graphic to see specs and general information.

  • Access road tests
    On the main page click on the REVIEWS tab in the box located in the top right hand area of the page. Type in a keyword (I suggest the model name) and select the Make and Year. Unfortunately this search brings up a lot of flotsam along with good stuff (for example a search with keyword 'Prius' and make and year of 'Toyota' and '2007' brought up 16 articles some of which seemed to have very little to do with the Toyota Prius. Also I didn't ask for ARTICLES, I asked for REVIEWS (grrrr!).

  • Access glossary
    There is no glossary on Wheels.ca

  • Search the site
    Type in your search terms and select which part of the site to search (Vehicles, Dealers, Articles). This is a simple search and as such is limited in its useful (there is no Boolean search so, for example, a search for Toyota truck in Articles produces 278 results many of which have a mention of truck or Toyota - but not both together).


Overall Rating: 4/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Dave Haughey's Automotive Webspace
http://www.davehaughey.ca/

This is a hard-to-categorize site that I have put in magazines. It is a site sort of similar to ours although in a much stripped down fashion. Come here to find links to sites that you might helpful, such as calculators, associations or educational links.

Pros:
There are a lot of good links on this site and Dave has discovered some very elusive informational websites.

Cons:
Some of the links are dated and a little more textual information would be great with some of the links so you had a better idea of what kind of site you would be redirected to (the names of the sites are not always that self-explanatory).


Overall Rating: 4/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Phil Bailey's Automobile World
http://www.baileycar.com/

A potentially good site that is hampered by the lack of any search mechanism. There's a good variety of articles and some reviews but again - no search mechanism to speak of.

Pros:
There is a lot of interesting, opinionated and amusing information on this site.

Cons:
Phil is up front about his lack of any kind of indexing and on several pages advises you to use your browser's Find feature to locate information on his site. Not really good enough in my opinion.

How to:

  • Find information on a specific model
    No choice here but to search the main page using your browser's Find feature - then move to the Road Test section (I've put the link below) and search there using the Find feature again.

  • Access road tests
    Use your browser's Find feature to determine if the review you are looking for is on this page. Another annoying deficiency is that the articles - which seem to have been taken from other sources - are not dated, so you won't be sure that the model being reviewed is the one you're interested in.

  • Access glossary
    There is no glossary on Phil's site.

  • Search the site
    The site does not have an overall search feature.


 
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