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The Best And Worst Car Websites - Subaru Just Dropped Six Spots

How easy is shopping online for a new 2023 Subaru Crosstrek, Outback, Forester, or another new model? According to an updated study, Subaru dropped six spots among all mainstream brands. Check out the complete list from best to worst here.

How easy is it to get information on a new 2023 Subaru Crosstrek, Outback, Forester, or another new model? Not all automotive websites are easy to navigate for new-car shoppers. According to J.D. Power automotive, the new 2023 U.S. Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study says, Subaru of America's website is now only the eighth best.

With the low inventory of its top-selling SUVs, Subaru of America makes it easy for online car shoppers, but they are less satisfied. Last winter, Subaru was ranked number one. Last summer, Subaru scored second-best among mainstream automakers.

2023 Subaru models

The latest ranking from J.D. Power has Subaru at number eight overall, and dropped six spots from last year. Subaru Crosstrek, Outback, Forester, and Ascent SUV customers shop online before visiting a Subaru showroom. Customers will go elsewhere if an automaker's website is not easy to use.

Why did Subaru slip six spots?

"In today's shopping environment, manufacturer websites must have a robust set of tools for shoppers to use," said Jon Sundberg, director of digital solutions at J.D. Power. "Not only is it important to have the tools, but they also need to be easily discoverable, well-designed, and intuitive to use to drive brand consideration significantly."

2023 Subaru models
photo credit: J.D. Power - the best and worst mainstream automotive websites

Subaru of America is one of the smallest automakers, and they rank number eight best website behind number one Jeep (727), Dodge (725), Nissan (725), GMC (719), Mazda (719), Honda (718), Kia (718), Subaru (718), Mitsubishi (715), and Ram (712). These automakers score above the industry average of 708.

What does it mean for new-car shoppers?

The J.D. Power U.S. Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study is a semiannual study that measures customer satisfaction with automotive manufacturer websites while shopping for a new vehicle by examining four key measures (in order of importance): information/content; visual appeal; navigation; and speed.

The study finds that overall satisfaction averages 708 points (on a 1,000-point scale) for the mainstream segment and 722 for the luxury automotive car brand segment.

The Winter 2023 J.D. Power U.S. Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study is based on responses from 10,487 new-vehicle shoppers who indicate they will be in the market for a new vehicle within the next 24 months. The study was fielded from October through November 2022.

What the study means for Subaru shoppers

How does Subaru's customer loyalty rank with the top ten car brands in 2022? One indicator is customer loyalty. The U.S. industry average is 59.2 percent brand loyalty. Four automakers rank ahead of Subaru in 2022, with Hyundai-Kia moving up.

According to a recent report from Automotive News (by subscription), Subaru's loyalty rate in 2020 was 70.4 percent, in 2021 through August 31, 2021, Subaru of America's loyalty rating slipped to 69.2 percent. Last year, Subaru dropped again to 63.8 percent.

Here are the top ten car brands in customer loyalty through August 2022.

1. Tesla 81.2
2. Ford 68.8
3. Ferrari 67.7
4. Hyundai-Kia 66.5
5. Subaru 63.8
6. Toyota 62.7
7. GM 61.6
8. BMW 57.0
9. Mercedes-Benz 54.5
10. Honda 52.8

Even though Subaru dropped six spots from the summer, they scored higher than larger automakers like Toyota, Ford, Hyundai, Volkswagen, and Buick, who scored below average.

The J.D. Power Website Evaluation Study reveals customers shopping for a 2023 Subaru Crosstrek, Outback, Forester, or another new model will have a better-than-average experience than many other automakers' websites. According to J.D. Power, car brand consideration is connected to a customer’s online experience.

If you have recently shopped for a new Subaru vehicle online, let us know your experience in the comments below.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru