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Land Rover, Mitsubishi have the best websites according to a new J.D. Power study

Land Rover and Mitsubishi have the best websites according to a new semiannual study by J.D. Power.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Before buyers set foot in a dealership, nearly all of them explore their options online. A new study from J.D. Power has determined that Land Rover and Mitsubishi have the best website experiences of all mass-market automakers.

The U.S. Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study is a semiannual examination of the usefulness of manufacturer websites during the process of shopping for a new vehicle. J.D. Power studied four key usability features of the sites as part of the evaluation: information/content, appearance, navigation, and speed.

Mitsubishi Motors homepagePhoto courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

"This year's study was redesigned to underscore several recent trends seen in automotive vehicle manufacturer websites," said Jon Sundberg, senior manager of digital solutions, J.D. Power. "We've taken note of the digital advancements OEM websites are implementing to evolve the automotive shopping experience. Items like personalization, customization and digital retailing are being implemented or are on the digital road map for many OEM sites, and we wanted to ensure the customer has a voice in these areas. We've even added self-guided videos and transcripts of shoppers using OEM websites to give further context to the shopping experience."

To conduct the study, 10,031 new vehicle shoppers were surveyed. To be considered a new vehicle shopper, respondents had to indicate that they will be in the market for a new vehicle within the next 24 months. The survey was fielded in November 2019.

Out of 1,000 possible points, luxury automaker websites received an average of 834 points. The mass market brands averaged 826. Land Rover was the highest ranked with 864 points. Mitsubishi was the highest-ranked mass market brand achieving a score of 848.

J.D. Power first started surveying automaker websites in 1999.

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The Sakura is Nissan's newest EV.

Nissan

It's no secret that the Japanese get all manner of quirky, cool cars that we don't see here in the States. Sure, there's the Nissan Skyline and Mitsubishi Delica van, but tiny vehicles like kei cars and "minivehicles" are popular imports for Americans looking to diversify their drives. Pint-sized kei cars are ripe for electrification, and Nissan did just that with its new Sakura EV, which comes almost a year after the automaker announced it was working with Mitsubishi to develop tiny electric models. It's one of dozens of new EVs slated to come from the Mitsubishi-Nissan-Renaul Alliance this decade.

Though tiny, the Sakura offers a decent top speed of 80 mph, and its range of around 112 miles could make it an ideal urban runabout for many. That said, there's little chance the car will come to the United States. Japan's minivehicles and kei cars are far smaller than anything currently on sale here. For example, the Sakura's 133.6-inch length makes it almost 18 inches shorter than a Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback, a car that Americans would consider minuscule.

Nissan SakuraThe Sakura borrows features from the Nissan Leaf, including its battery.Nissan

Nissan borrowed the Sakura's 20-kWh battery from the Leaf and says it can be used to provide power for external devices or even power a home for up to a day. The car comes with three driving modes to change the behavior of things like regenerative braking and throttle response, and Nissan says it took further guidance from the Leaf to give the Sakura the quietest cabin in its class.

The Sakura's upright shape likely helps with headroom, but it certainly doesn't increase cargo space, as Nissan claims just 107 liters (4 cubic feet) of room. That said, the car features small-item storage spaces for gear like a smartphone or wallet. Buyers can opt for black, beige, or blue-grey interior colors, and an upgrade package is available that brings a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

There are a surprising number of features packed into the minute Nissan's cabin. A 7-inch digital gauge cluster comes standard, and a 9-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard. Nissan says the car's displays are oriented to reduce distraction and keep the driver's eyes on the road, and ProPilot safety systems are standard, including a new parking assist feature. ProPilot is a stepping stone toward Nissan's goal of debuting autonomous driving tech by 2030.

Nissan SakuraThe Sakura isn't destined for the U.S. - yet, anyway. Nissan

The Sakura goes on sale in Japan this summer. It's priced at 1.78 million yen, or around $14,000. The car will be available for purchase online, and Nissan says it will offer video chats and other resources to help buyers with the process. Buyers will be able to opt for a full in-person buying experience, a completely virtual experience, or anything in between.

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The 2023 Eclipse Cross gets standard all-wheel drive.

Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi may not be the most popular automaker, but the brand is working hard to improve its models in the U.S. The Eclipse Cross debuted in 2018 and just got an overhaul in 2022. The 2023 model year brings further improvements to the line, including standard all-wheel drive.

Mitsubishi offers the 2023 Eclipse Cross in four trims: ES, LE, SE, and SEL. Pricing for the line starts at $27,090, which includes a $1,295 destination charge. The range-topping Eclipse Cross SEL with Touring Package starts at $32,690.

2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross with myQ Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

The Eclipse Cross picks up standard all-wheel drive for 2023, which is Mitsubishi's Super All-Wheel control. The system uses Adaptive Stability Control, Anti-Lock Brakes, and Active Yaw Control to assist with torque vectoring, which shifts power between the rear wheels that need it most.

Mitsubishi updated the Eclipse Cross for the 2022 model year, which brought an updated grille and more LED lighting than anyone would ever need. The stacked light design combines headlights and foglight in a low-mounted position for better visibility and to avoid blinding oncoming traffic. The 2023 model year brings new available 18-inch wheels and standard body-color lower trim for the SE trim and above.

2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross with myQ Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

Mitsubishi equips the Eclipse Cross with a few standard driver aids, including lane departure warnings, forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, and hill start assist. Higher trims add tech such as blind spot monitors, rain-sensing wipers, blind spot monitors with rear cross traffic alerts, lane change assist, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision mitigation with high-speed braking capability and pedestrian detection.

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