Bought new car lately, or made some four-wheeled shop windows online? Then you’ve noticed that the retail websites of some automakers are absolutely shitty.

We can’t be the only ones who find some of them hard to navigate and too concerned about looking sleek and giving you the superficial vignettes of fantastic life you might have with their car, instead of giving you easy access to the information you have to decide whether you really want to buy a car or not.

Too many of them have fancy panels that slide in and out, built-in videos that convey almost no useful information, and are interspersed with glossy airbrushed images, accompanied by superficial marketing waffles that say nothing. I treat the “Explore” buttons with fear because you know that once you click, you’ll be sent to an empty advertising rabbit hole, which is the equivalent of one of those serpentine pathways through tax-free cigarettes, perfumes and alcohol sections in airport.

The configurators of some sites offer almost no meaningful description of the option, which may seem completely unfamiliar, despite the fact that you have a pop-up window that should help you. But my biggest grievance is how hard it is to find a simple old-fashioned table that shows the specifications and standard (and optional) equipment installed on the car, and even better, a table that compares different classes of finishes. This is what you are used to get in the print brochureand can still sometimes get when you find a digital brochure to download.

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The VW homepage looks like it was designed by a 10-year-old girl, but comparing the features on the pages of models like this one is welcome

Now I appreciate that your average mom looking for a new car won’t be annoyed that she can’t find the right engine speed for peak torque in hybrid minivan. But some of us care about this because we want to be able to compare the performance of rival cars.

Volkswagen, on the other hand, takes everything to the extreme, even giving you individual gear ratios for your cars, which is pretty niche in 2022: “You know, Marg, I was looking at this Jetbut I just came out of the VW website, and it turned out that it was running in fourth gear 1.47: 1, so Ama thought we would go for the Camry instead. ”Even Porsche doesn’t give you that information.

Overall, in our opinion, the Porsche website is good. This is logical: the main page displays one image of each model, followed by one button to go to the configurator and another to learn more about the car. Click to learn more about the model, for example, the 718 Boxsterand then you can slide sideways through different finish classes, each of which will get a matching profile photo with price, power rating and performance statistics, but if we’re picky, the number per gallon will be more useful than the top speed indicator.

And if you want to dive into the relevant specifications that cars typically want to make, you press a simple, easy-to-find button labeled “specifications” and you’ll get a complete breakdown of power and torque, economic performance and size. The only real snag on the Porsche website is that cars are so expensive that most car buyers will not benefit.

So why are some other automakers making such a mess with the same task? Which brands ’websites do you find useful and easy to navigate, and which ones might also display in raw HTML rather than just encode in it? Leave a comment and let us know.

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