11.28.2008

Submitted for Your ReviewMe: The Car Connection

Disclaimer: This is a paid review of The Car Connection. The opinions expressed below are my true opinions but I am being financially compensated for providing these opinions.

I don't do much web surfing of car sites because we're not in a position to be buying a new car or truck right now. Plus, our two cars and my motorcycle are running well and are fully paid off.

However, some thoughts struck me immediately upon clicking the link to check out The Car Connection's truck page. The first, and should be the most useful even though the price of gas has dropped rather shockingly (in a good way) over the last six months, is the ability to search for trucks by the gas mileage they get. The selection of trucks that get between 20 and 30 miles per gallon is more than I would have expected and that's a good thing.

You can further narrow down your selection process by choosing price ranges which is handy so that you don't have to see the top end trucks if you can't afford them. I always hated seeing what the money-is-no-object folks can buy. I would like to see an alternate price range filter that included overlapping ranges so that I could see trucks across a larger range. Maybe that didn't make a ton of sense. What I mean is that the price ranges now go in a straight linear fashion, under $15k, $15k to $25k, $25k to $35 and so on. What I'd like to see is something like under $15k, $10k to $25k, $20k to $35k, $30k to $45k. I think it would be helpful be able to look at the vehicles this way with less back clicking.

A good number of the trucks have review summaries on the page and all of them include full reviews (if available), photo galleries, trim and specs and price quote request links.

With a gutter column on the right full of ads, I think they could do well with removing the in-line ads among the search results that just extend the page without adding any real value. Or put them at the bottom of the page to make the information as easily accessible as possible. Besides, I tend to think its a bit odd to have sponsored Google Adsense ads on a commercial site.

The site does load up and refresh quickly, which is good because slow sites lose eyeballs very quickly. At the very bottom of the page are links to MySpace (I thought MySpace had been taken out behind a barn and put out of its hideous misery), Facebook, iPhone, Twitter, Friendfeed and RSS. That's alot of social networking for a car site. While I understand the desire to make information available in every way possible, I can't think of a single reason why I would want to follow a car site on Twitter. Maybe an RSS feed to keep an eye on awesome deals but it would be of limited interest.

Overall, The Car Connection's Pickup Truck site does what it needs to do and provides useful information along the way. It isn't perfect and there's no way to compare trucks side by side that I could find but it provides information in a clear and easy to understand manner.
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