The first issue of Motor Trend magazine was released in September 1949 by Peterson Publishing Company of Los Angeles, California. Today, with over 12 million unique visitors per month, MotorTrend.com is one of the leading sources of expert car reviews for new automobiles through its internationally distributed magazine, nationally broadcast television program, syndicated radio show, popular Web site, auto shows and ride and drives.
Motor Trend magazine's wide array of content consists of different segments or departments, each with its own function. The ones that stand out are mentioned below.
Motor Trend releases a special edition of their new car buyer's guide every September and October listing the latest new vehicles. In September the issue looks at the latest cars (sedans, coupes, etc.) for the next coming calendar year, while in October the magazine looks at off-roaders, MPVs and sport-utility vehicles (SUVs). The guide helps buyers narrow their selection down during the car buying process. All shoppers have to do is select a vehicle model to view the following:
Also offered for new cars is a New Car Quote tool. By plugging in car make, model, year and zip code, customers can get up front pricing without having to go into the dealership and be "hassled" by salespeople. Motor Trend also has a huge listing of used cars to choose from. The magazine provides its readers with monthly written "road tests" of vehicles. These road tests are created to give readers information about the featured vehicle, certain aspects of the vehicle, and what the readers can expect if the featured vehicle is purchased. There are two main types of Motor Trend vehicle comparisons:
These comparisons are listed in Motor Trend's Editor's Picks list, where they give reviews of vehicles after test driving, along with additional commentary. Not only does Motor Trend list dealerships pertinent to each zip code, it also has begun The Motor Trend Certified Vehicles program. This program partners with qualified local dealers across the United States to offer the magazine's Certified branded CPO vehicles on all makes and models. By leveraging the nationally recognized Motor Trend Certified brand, customers can be assured that their vehicles have been inspected to meet Motor Trend's national standards. Motor Trend Certified Vehicles include:
Motor Trend offers dealers in the program advanced digital technology that amplifies dealership reach and delivers a unique and relevant online consumer experience created to drive qualified leads to their showroom through Motor Trend's Certified digital platform, driven by PureCars™. Participation is made available only to an elite group of dealers across the country who have been thoroughly vetted, and whose sales and service teams have been trained by EasyCare in accordance with the requirements of the program. EasyCare provides vehicle service contracts (frequently referred to as extended warranties), paintless dent repair, key replacement coverage, maintenance and more. It is the only vehicle warranty to be named a Recommended Best Buy by Motor Trend. Before moving on, Motor Trend's auto lead generation program deserves a mention, offering a list of benefits for participating dealerships, including:
Dealerships interested in partnering with Motor Trend are able to fill out the online application form on the website. Motor Trend is probably best known for its industry awards, the darling being the Car of the Year Award. This award is said to be the most coveted in the industry, along with their Car of the Year award, Truck of the Year award, and Sport Utility of the Year award. Since the first car was awarded in December 1949, the award has become an auto industry standard. Although each part of the magazine has a different function, the overall goal is to provide authoritative automotive information and commentary to the widest demographic spectrum of buyers, enthusiasts and consumers.
Motor Trend's website is arguably the best online publication for auto information; however, one thing to improve would be site speed. The pages are slow to upload (at least on a PC). This can make looking up car listing information tedious.
Another site issue seems to be finding search items. The search bar only pulls up keywords from its blog section. This is not convenient when searching for a phrase such as "Payment Calculator".
Finding basic tools also falls under the "tedious" umbrella. Surprisingly, the magazine website also lacks primary tools for car shoppers, particularly vehicle history, payment calculator and a trade-in value calculator. If these tools are on the website, they are neither visible nor easy to find, which is equally a minus. Like many of its competitors, Motor Trend's apps are average (with a 3-star rating), rife with technical glitches.
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