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| HOME | UK | MANUFACTURERS |

Where Can I Buy A Car Online?UK Manufacturers

So what do the manufacturers say about their offerings?



Overall Rating: 5/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Alfa Romeo
http://www.alfaromeo.co.uk/

Not a great site from a research point of view - there are no external reviews and the car comparison tool is very limited. Still there is good model specific information and a good gallery.

Pros:
There is good model specific information and the gallery is well done with stills, video, wallpaper and other offerings on various models.

Cons:
The car comparison tool is very restricted and does not allow you to compare other vehicles to your selected Alfa Romeo.

How to:

  • Look at specific model information
    Simply click on the graphic of the model you are interested in.

  • Compare with other cars
    Compare your selected Alfa Romeo model with another model or with a configuration you have saved (Alfa Romeo to Alfa Romeo comparison only and just two cars at a time can be compared).


Overall Rating: 3/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Aston Martin
http://www.astonmartin.com/

Paltry amounts of information coupled with annoying and gimmicky coding (Flash, sound etc) make this a poor research site.

Pros:
There's a fairly good gallery although it is much more geared to showing off the Aston Martin vehicles than providing the vehicle shopper with useful tools to learn more about the cars.

Cons:
Specifications are sketchy, there is no 360 degree views in the gallery and there is no car comparison tool on the site. This is not a very helpful place for anyone trying to learn more about the Aston Martin cars unless you are willing to wade through a ton of hype.

How to:


Overall Rating: 5/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Audi UK
http://www.audi.co.uk/newcars/

A fair research site with an average amount of information - just make sure you don't get caught in one of the overdone (sound and video) popup windows that have been constructed to promote new models.

Pros:
The basics are covered here - there are specs, static images and anecdotal information.

Cons:
Generally sluggish site with some really annoying popup windows. No car comparison tool. No 360 degree views or anything extra to excite or engage the car shopper.

How to:

  • Look at specific model information
    Click on the name of the vehicle you wish to look at. Model names (i.e A4) are listed across the very top of the screen. Once inside a model you can pick the exact derivative you wish to see from a list displayed to the right of the main picture on the page (it's the one that's making you dizzy with all its activity).


Overall Rating: 5/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
BMW UK
http://www.bmw.co.uk/

The BMW site is only fair from a research point of view and its overall sluggishness is maddening! A lot of the standard offerings seem to be missing - there are few external reviews and no car comparison tool. There is now a good gallery with wallpaper and screensavers. I had to use Internet Explorer to view this site as certain aspects seemed not to work with Firefox.

Pros:
One positive aspect of this site is the model select (accessed by clicking on the BMW model range link in the top middle area of the page). This allows you to select a vehicle by price range, bodystyle, CO2 tax band or fuel type. This is useful for shoppers who aren't sure which BMW might suit them. The gallery is quite good.

Cons:
Although specifications are very complete they are very unimaginatively displayed. The car comparison tool that allowed you to compare one BMW model to another has disappeared and external reviews have also vanished. There is no information on long term ownership or safety.

How to:

  • Look at specific model information
    From the main page simply use the Quick model selector to choose your model. Information on this model, including prices and specifications, road tests, accessories etc is all available from the buttons across the bottom of the picture displayed on the main model page. Specs are seen by going to the 'View the facts and figures' link while visuals are found by clicking on the 'Experience the ...' (where ... is the model you are looking at) link.


Overall Rating: 3/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Chrysler
http://www.chrysler.co.uk/

This site rates at less than average in terms of research capability. A lot of standard offerings are missing and the whole site is so loaded with gimmicks and geegaws that slow it down it is ridiculous.

Pros:
The basics are covered - static images in the gallery, specifications and anecdotal information.

Cons:
Specs are okay but are presented in such a way that you have to keep clicking to move between specification categories and you don't really see the complete picture. There is a gallery but 360 degree views are missing. There is no car comparison tool and no external reviews. There is no additional helpful information like safety data, long term ownership costs or information on environmental issues.

How to:

  • Look at specific model information
    From the main page simply choose the model you are interested in by hovering over the Models heading and then selecting one of the models from the list displayed.


Overall Rating: 4/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Fiat
http://www.fiat.co.uk/

A frustrating site that seems more intent on impressing you with its cosmopolitan, Italian-inspired design than offering you useful information. The basics are barely covered, navigation is convoluted, there is too much flash on the site and it's all rather annoying and exhausting.

Pros:
Little to be positive about from a research perspective. There are now some very sketchy technical details on each model and a vehicle comparison tool that only allows you to compare one Fiat model to another.

Cons:
Specifications are very brief, there is no car comparison tool worthy of the name, no 360 degree views and no external reviews. In short there is absolutely nothing here that will help a serious car shopper learn more about Fiat automobiles and why Fiat should be chosen over another manufacturer.

How to:


Overall Rating: 3/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Ford
http://www.ford.co.uk/

This whole site - like so many in the UK - is sluggish and superficial and seems to my (perhaps) jaded Canadian eyes to be hoping to gloss over real deficiencies in information by emphasizing style, graphics and gimmicks. The basics are covered but there is nothing exciting or extra here for the vehicle shopper.

Pros:
The usual suspects are present - boringly presented specifications, anecdotal information complete with lots of flowery language and hyperbole. There is a gallery with plenty of dull static images.

Cons:
There are no 360 degree views in the gallery nor is there a car comparison tool. The specs are presented in a very cumbersome way that doesn't allow you to view them in any comprehensive way (you just see small portions of the specs at a time). There are no external reviews or any of the extras that distinguish good research sites.

How to:


Overall Rating: 1/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Steer Clear!Honda [UK]
http://www.honda.co.uk/cars/

I'll be honest with you - I don't understand this website at all. It doesn't seem to have ANY information for the vehicle shopper. The site's divisions in to Company Car, Used Cars and Finance sections seem to have left out several areas of importance, most importantly where does the new car shopper, buying a vehicle for themselves, go to find information about Honda vehicles. To say I'm perplexed is putting it mildly.

Pros:
There is nothing positive to say about this site.

Cons:
I can't figure out how to look at specifications, there doesn't seem to be a gallery and although there is a car comparison tool in the Company Car section it only allows you to compare your Honda to 3 pre-selected vehicles. Where are the specifications? Where are pictures of Honda vehicles? Where is information of any description?

How to:

  • Look at specific model information
    As incredible as it seems I cannot find any way to see specific model information on the Honda site. Please let me know if I am missing something obvious.

  • Compare with other cars
    Look at one of three comparisons - between a Civic and the VW Golf, an Accord and the VW Passat or a CR-V and the Toyota Rav 4.


Overall Rating: 3/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Jaguar UK
http://www.jaguar.com/uk/en/home.htm

The Jaguar site is not too bad from a research perspective. The basics are covered, there are a couple of neat extras but overall the site is just average.

Pros:
Specs are complete if rather boringly displayed. The gallery is okay and the interior shots with different selections of leather and trim are quite interesting and pleasant to look at (and dream about being able to afford). The sections on performance, safety and quality are well done.

Cons:
There is no car comparison tool and the gallery lacks 360 degree views. It would be nice to see some information about long term costs of ownership and environmental issues. The awards and reviews information has disappeared.

How to:


Overall Rating: 3/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Jeep
http://www.jeep.co.uk/

This site rates at less than average in terms of research capability. A lot of standard offerings are missing and the whole site is so loaded with gimmicks and geegaws that slow it down it is ridiculous.

Pros:
The basics are covered - static images in the gallery, specifications and anecdotal information.

Cons:
Specs are okay but are presented in such a way that you have to keep clicking to move between specification categories and you don't really see the complete picture. There is a gallery but 360 degree views are missing. There is no car comparison tool and no external reviews. There is no additional helpful information like safety data, long term ownership costs or information on environmental issues.

How to:


Overall Rating: 4/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Land Rover UK
http://www.landrover.com/gb/en/Vehicles/overview.htm

The Land Rover site has deteriorated from a research perspective from earlier reviews. The basics are still covered but some earlier accomplishments have disappeared.

Pros:
Specs are present although somewhat dull in the way they are presented. I like the way the site has broken down interesting topics in to easily digestible chunks of information (i.e. look at the Safety and security section).

Cons:
The News and Awards section has disappeared and there are no longer any 360 degree views available. A car comparison tool is missing and there are no external reviews.

How to:


Overall Rating: 5/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Lexus [GB] Ltd
http://www.lexus.co.uk/

A dull site with a wishy-washy appearance (so much grey it's depressing) and nothing to really sink your teeth in to. The basics are here but certainly nothing beyond that. Ho hum.

Pros:
Basic specifications are available as are static images, videos, ecards and anecdotal information.

Cons:
There is no car comparison tool or external reviews available.

How to:


Overall Rating: 2/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Lotus Cars
http://www.grouplotus.com/car/

A boring site for such a beautiful vehicle. The site is utilitarian and sparse - as if it was somebody's school project in HTML design (and a first year class at that). The basics are here but nothing extra.

Pros:
Specs are skimpy and boringly arranged, static images are available and there are some general news items on Lotus in general and on specific vehicles on the main page.

Cons:
There is no car comparison tool, the gallery has no pizzaz or interesting content and there are definitely no tantalizing or noteworthy features anywhere on the site.

How to:


Overall Rating: 2/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Mazda
http://www.mazda.co.uk/

Boring, boring, boring. Dully presented specs. Dry explanations that are as exciting as reading the side of a cereal box. The only bright spot is the gallery.

Pros:
The basics are covered although not with any flair or creativity. The gallery has wallpaper and screensavers as well as Mazda commercials.

Cons:
There is no car comparison tool and although the gallery was a welcome relief and had some good content 360 degree views are missing and most of the movies could not be played immediately but had to be downloaded as zipped files (huh?). Nothing extra or exciting on this site.

How to:

  • Look at specific model information
    On the main page just select the model you are interested in using the links to the right of Home or the graphics in the middle of the screen.


Overall Rating: 5/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Mercedes-Benz UK Passenger Cars
http://www.mercedes-benz.co.uk/pc/

A fairly good research site with some extras that put it a level above other manufacturers' sites. The basics are covered nicely and there is some good additional information though not always placed where you'd expect it.

Pros:
There are 360 degree views of both the interior and exterior of most models but they are not in the gallery - instead find them under the Models/Exterior or Models/Interior heading for individual vehicles. Specs are okay as is anecdotal information. The model overview is a good feature that allows you to see the available Mercedes-Benz vehicles arranged by either class or bodystyle.

Cons:
There is no car comparison tool and there are no external reviews or indepth information on areas like safety or long term costs of ownership.

How to:


Overall Rating: 2/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
The official website of Peugeot Motor Company
http://www.peugeot.co.uk/

Unfortunately Peugeot's improved performance in terms of what is available to the car shopper does not carry through to their site from a research point of view. The whole site - although visually quite impressive - is sluggish and overloaded with bandwidth hogging graphics instead of useful information.

Pros:
There is really nothing positive to say about this site.

Cons:
The specs are not available to look at directly but must be downloaded/viewed (they are in PDF format). There is no car comparison tool and no gallery although images of the vehicles are littered all over the site - but not in a very useful way that allows you to get a good look at interiors (for example).

How to:


Overall Rating: 4/10E-Commerce Rating: 1/10
Porsche AG
http://www.porsche.com/uk/

A fairly skimpy site from a research perspective. The basics are covered but there is nothing extra or anything that will get the adrenaline going on this site.

Pros:
The basic specs are here although the presentation is lacklustre. The gallery has a number of static images as well as 360 degree views, video and screensavers. Anecdotal information is here but it's not very extensive.

Cons:
There is no car comparison tool (the compare models button only allows you to compare Porsche to Porsche) and there are no external reviews available. Everything is rather dull and the text in a wishy washy, fuzzy edged gray is hard to read and unexciting.

How to:


Overall Rating: 2/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Proton Cars
http://www.proton.co.uk/

A poor site from a research point of view. Information is skimpy and navigation is a bit confusing. The gallery is minimal and basic and there isn't a lot of data available.

Pros:
The basics are covered (barely).

Cons:
There are no 360 degree views in the gallery (static shots only) and the specifications are not on the site but must be downloaded. There is no car comparison tool and navigation is somewhat perplexing.

How to:


Overall Rating: 3/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Renault UK
http://www.renault.co.uk/CurrentRange.aspx

This is a good site from a research point of view with lots of good information and some extra features that are very helpful for the car shopper.

Pros:
A good place to start is by clicking on the Car Range link at the top of the links to the right of the main page graphic and then sorting the vehicles by your chosen criteria (price, tax band, fuel consumption, seats) using the drop down menus on the far right.

The basics - like specifications and anecdotal information are well covered and the gallery has both 360 degree views and static images. There is some interesting information about the company as well as news articles about Renault vehicles under the About Renault link.

Cons:
There is no car comparison tool on the site and it would be better if external reviews or news articles about specific vehicles were included in that vehicle's specific information page.

How to:

  • Look at specific model information
    From the main page select a model using the graphics in the lower left hand area of the page (use the arrows to see all the models and click on the image of the car to select that model).


Overall Rating: 5/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Saab Great Britain
http://www.saab.co.uk/

A pretty good site from a research point of view. The specs are only average in completeness and presentation but there is lots of anecdotal information and the gallery is good. You can find some external reviews of individual vehicles and other interesting company information under the News heading (top right hand area of the page).

Pros:
The gallery has both static and 360 degree views of both the interior and exterior of vehicles. The specs are average and the rest of the basics - anecdotal information etc - are well covered.

Cons:
There is no car comparison tool and it would be nice if relevant reviews could be presented on the appropriate model specific information pages.

How to:

  • Look at specific model information
    From the main page hover over the Cars heading (far left of the page) and then select your model from those shown in a row below this heading.


Overall Rating: 2/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Subaru UK
http://www.subaru.co.uk/

This site does better from a research perspective than it does from a car shopping viewpoint. The basics are covered nicely, there is an adequate gallery and some effort has been made to provide additional, helpful information for the car shopper.

Pros:
The gallery has 360 degree views and there is a good amount of information on specific models. The Road Tests link will show you available reviews on various models.

Cons:
There aren't any static views to speak of and the site is heavy on text and could use more images to both break up the text and capture your attention. There is no car comparison tool available.

How to:

  • Look at specific model information
    On the main page hover over the Choose a new Subaru heading and then select a model from those shown in two rows beneath this heading.


Overall Rating: 1/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Toyota GB
http://www.toyota.co.uk/

This site does little more than a fair job of presenting information about Toyota and its vehicles. Specifications are adequate, the gallery is basic and there are certainly no extras here.

Pros:
Nothing really positive here except for the presence of a WhatCar? review for most models. Specifications are in PDF format and are unimaginatively presented.

Cons:
The gallery is basic with no 360 degree views. There is no car comparison tool.

How to:


Overall Rating: 4/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Vauxhall
http://www.vauxhall.co.uk/

After the good work that Vauxhall has done from a shopping point of view it is disappointing that their site is somewhat below average from a research point of view. The basics are covered but there is nothing extra here.

Pros:
About the only positive feature of this site is a fairly good help me choose tool that can be accessed from the main page (first link under the CARS heading). Otherwise the site is little more than average with a gallery of static images, boring specs and anecdotal information.

Cons:
Although the site's configurator is admirable I think it is a mistake to make it mandatory to go to the configurator to view so much of the information about the vehicle (images, technical data). There is no car comparison tool on the Vauxhall site.

How to:

  • Look at specific model information
    From the main page select a model by hovering over the View the range link beneath the CARS heading and then choosing a model from the list to the right.


Overall Rating: 5/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Volkswagen UK
http://www.vw.co.uk/

The Volkswagen site does pretty well from a research point of view. There is a good gallery, links to press items and the basics are covered nicely.

Pros:
The specs and anecdotal information are here as well as a good gallery with both static and 360 degree views. There are links to WhatCar? road tests as well as PDF copies of reviews from other publications.

Cons:
There is no car comparison tool available on the site.

How to:

  • Look at specific model information
    From the main page simply choose a model by hovering over the Models heading and selecting a model from those shown below this heading.


Overall Rating: 4/10E-Commerce Rating: 0/10
Volvo Cars
http://www.volvocars.co.uk/

An average research site with far too much Flash and other gimmicky features that make it sluggish and frustrating to use. The basics are covered but there is nothing extra.

Pros:
Specifications are covered adequately, there is plenty of hyperbolic anecdotal information and the gallery has a fair number of static photos as well as downloadable wallpaper.

Cons:
There is no car comparison tool and there are no 360 degree views in the gallery. There are way too many bandwidth hogging features on the site that make it incredibly slow to load and cumbersome to use. There are no external reviews available.

How to:

  • Look at specific model information
    On the main page select your model from either the list below the Volvo Models heading or the list of model names across the grey bar below the main page graphic.


 
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