Wondering what the rest of the world thinks about http://www.jeepunpaved.com? This month's online issue of Consumer Reports attempts to answer that question with reviews of 20 of the most popular online car manufacturer Web sites, including the official Jeep site.
Here's what the Consumer Reports press release had to say about the reviews:
While automakers' web sites are often little more than glorified advertisements, most offer some useful
information to car shoppers, according to the April issue of Consumer Reports and the e-Ratings: Online Shopping Guide at http://www.ConsumerReports.org.
In CR's 2001 Auto Buying Survey, almost half the respondents from a nationally representative sample of recent buyers and leasers visited a manufacturer online, most probably using it as a research tool. To determine
the value of such sites to consumers, e-Ratings at ConsumerReports.org evaluated 20 popular automakers' web sites. On the basis of content alone, nearly all received good or very good marks for offering useful information
toward the car-selection and buying process, including "build-your-own" interactive configurators, and information on vehicle specs, features, and options.
But, on the whole, these sites lack general buying advice, manufacturer warranty comparison charts, car reviews, links to information and services for car financing, insurance, or extended warranties. Nor do they list manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) and invoice prices.
What did they have to say about the Jeep site? Here's a snippet:
Design is clear-cut.
Browsing the site is easy using constant navigational menus. A vehicle overview page lists information on all Jeep models, making it easy to know if you want to look at a specific model in greater detail. The basic features for each model are thoroughly described in several categories, including Interior, Exterior, 4 Wheel Drive, Performance, Specifications, Available Incentives, Accessories, and Build Your Own. Standard and optional features are clearly listed. There is no tool to compare Jeep vehicles with competitors.
In order to search for a local dealer, you must select a model, package, engine, and color of the vehicle you are interested in, as well as enter your e-mail address and ZIP code.
For the full review, including what they didn't like about the site as well as for the overall rating, see the full story.