If you’re in the market for a new or used car, truck, van or SUV, Amazon wants you to conduct your research on their website. And while Amazon aren’t actually selling vehicles, what they’ve launched is actually quite useful, albeit nothing really unique when compared to other automotive websites and communities we’ve trusted for years.
Amazon Vehicles is being positioned by the company as a car research destination and automotive “community” (more on that word in a sec) and appears to deliver the typical information people search for online when shopping for new or used vehicles. Most modern vehicles listed on the site include detailed specifications, images, videos, and customer reviews.
When you first visit Amazon Vehicles, you’re presented with a plethora of search options on the left-hand side of the page—everything from the expected make, model, and year to more narrow options like crash rating, towing capacity, and vehicle features. You can also select popular body styles or just use the search box just as you would when searching the rest of Amazon.
Most of the more modern vehicle listings we browsed through had excellent photography. Even changing vehicle colors was spot-on in terms of accuracy, from what we could tell.
Each listing—and we’re talking vehicles from about 1996+ here—includes key specs up top for the average person, but also—further down in the listings—much more detailed specifications for the discerning shopper.
In the detailed specs grid, you can compare specs against other trim packages available for the same vehicle. Unfortunately, for us, many of the detailed specs for even the most popular of vehicles presented a “No Info” error of sorts for vehicle information that we know to be readily available elsewhere on the web. We’ll assume Amazon is working to gather more data.
Beyond the thousands of newer vehicles listings, there are also hundreds (maybe thousands?) of classic cars and trucks listed. For example, when we narrowed our search to 1970-1975 Chevrolet, Amazon showed us lots of old classics like Camaros, El Caminos, Vegas, Monzas, Monte Carlos, Corvettes, pickups, and more.
Many of those older vehicle listings, however, had lots of missing information—some with just a picture; some with nothing but the name of the vehicle and an icon representing the vehicle type. But really, this isn’t the place for classic car research. There are far stronger websites and online communities for that.
We’re not sure (and we didn’t ask) where Amazon is getting its vehicle information, but while users can upload photos and images, we didn’t see where they could provide vehicle specification information. That could be cool—almost wiki-style—particularly for the older models listed, where so much key information is missing.
We will say that the information seems to be quite detailed, particularly on newer, more popular models. Not only does the site deliver detailed specs, but most listings also include an in-depth overview of the vehicle itself. The listing for the 2016 Ford F-150, for example, includes almost 1,000 words just summarizing the truck.
The “community” spin here is really nothing more than how the rest of Amazon works—owner reviews, ratings, images, videos, and questions/answers. It’s not really the same true community you’ll get with actual discussion forums and whatnot. Still, it was fun to read some of the reviews and many were quite detailed. Unlike the rest of Amazon, there’s no “Verified Purchase” badge for vehicle reviews that we saw. Again, Amazon isn’t selling vehicles… yet. But we all know it’s coming, and your next new car may just be delivered by a drone.?
Overall, it looks like Amazon has created a useful online tool for those researching new or used vehicles. As we stated earlier, however, there’s a lot of competition for eyeballs in the vehicle research category, as sites like Edmunds, Kelly Bluebook, Cars.com, Hemmings Motor News, Autoblog, and many others already offer a lot of the same insights and sometimes much more.