Toronto, Ontario – Subaru ranks highest among auto manufacturers’ web sites in satisfying Canadian new-vehicle shoppers, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Canadian Manufacturer Web Site Evaluation Study.

Now in its third year, the study examines sites from the viewpoint of shoppers who intend to purchase a new vehicle within the next twelve months. The study looked at information and content; ease of navigation throughout the site; appearance of the site; and speed of pages loading throughout.

Subaru ranked highest among 25 sites, receiving a score of 840 of a possible 1,000 points, an increase of 73 points from the last study. It performed particularly well in information/content, speed, and ease of navigation. Kia and Volvo tied at 835 for second place.

The study also found that overall satisfaction with manufacturer web sites among Canadian consumers has decreased for a second consecutive year, down 12 points since the study’s inception in 2006. Despite the overall decline, manufacturers that focused on redesigning their sites in 2008 tended to improve in overall satisfaction when compared with 2007.

Another finding was that respondents older than 50 were more likely to be dissatisfied with web sites, particularly in the areas of navigation and appearance; individuals in this age group comprise nearly one-half of new-car buyers. “Most features on manufacturer web sites are aimed at shoppers younger than 30 years old, who are most comfortable shopping online but represent only 12 per cent of new-vehicle purchases,” said Adrian Chung, manager of automotive syndicated research at J.D. Power. “Manufacturers stand to benefit by adjusting their web sites to also meet the expectations of new-vehicle shoppers older than 50, who tend to be more critical of web sites, but are far more likely to purchase a vehicle.”

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