Tire kicking and asking questions at the car lot have gone the way of the flip phone. Digitally comparing new and used cars online is the way to go for the best in pricing, features, and ratings—if you know which site to use.  

The use of analytics tools to make the best choices on everything from mattresses to mobile phones is skyrocketing. Although some tools are easier to use than others, vehicle comparison tools are growing in number as well, allowing anyone with the internet and some interest to shop for their next ride easily and quickly online.

Let’s take a look at five of the most well-known sites for vehicle reviews, specs, and data—not only to discover the tools they are using but to see whose tool works best. Whether you’ve settled on the right ride or not, it’s always a good idea to make sure you are getting the right rates on car insurance. What does that mean? That means visiting Insurify to compare car insurance from multiple providers at once to be sure you are getting the most for your money, including all the discounts that you have coming to you! 

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5 Best Sites to Compare Cars Side by Side Online

You don’t have to know much to begin using any of these side-by-side comparison tools. All you need to get started is the brand of car you want to compare, and it’s go time! Some sites will ask you to visually pick a brand or even type of car (based on a picture and name), while others will ask you to fill in the blank or select from a drop-down menu. Here are the most commonly used makes these websites can compare:

Acura Alfa Romeo Aston Martin Audi Bentley
BMW Buick Cadillac Chevrolet Chrysler
Dodge Ferrari Fiat Ford Genesis
GMC Honda Hyundai INFINITI Jaguar
Jeep  Kia Lamborghini Land Rover Lexus
Lincoln Lotus Maserati Mazda McLaren
Mercedes-Benz MINI Mitsubishi Nissan Porsche
RAM Rolls-Royce Scion Smart Subaru
Tesla Toyota Volkswagen Volvo

Now to the good stuff. Whose side-by-side car-comparison tool works best? Four of the five are pretty much on par with each other in terms of usability. The most significant factor separating most is the number of data points they compare. But you’ll see that each site’s tool has a feature that makes it unique from the others. Let’s begin!

1. Kelley Blue Book

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) is one of the oldest and most trusted vehicle price comparison resources. Today, it’s still one of the top car guides for researching new, certified, and used cars. Kelley Blue Book’s comparison tool is easy-to-use and intuitive, enabling you to compare up to four vehicles at a time and quickly allowing you to switch cars in and out. Though you can comb through up to 130 data points ranging from fuel economy and safety to technology, comfort, and convenience, KBB ensures that the most sought-out information lands at the top. This includes starting price, KBB Expert Rating, consumer rating, fuel economy, safety rating, seat capacity, basic warranty, horsepower, engine, and drivetrain. Although even the cleanest of side-by-side comparisons can look busy with so much data, one feature that separates the KBB tool from others is that the highest-value data point (whether that be the number of seats or the safety rating) is highlighted in green or has a green checkmark next to it. This allows you to quickly glance across the page to see the more favorable data points and how they are spread between each vehicle selection. You can click to get more information about pricing or read the KBB Expert Rating and consumer ratings from this same page. Be careful if you leave the comparison page in search of more information—it’s easy to get lost down a rabbit hole, and the only way to find your way back to the tool is by clicking the back button. This is true of all the sites described here, except for Cars.com. 

  • How to start using the comparison tool: Go to kbb.com/compare-cars, and begin by selecting the make, model, and year from the drop-down lists at the top of the page. 
  • # of cars you can compare at a time: 4
  • # of data points that you can view side by side: 130+
  • Interface usability: Good
  • Best feature(s)/Good to know: Green highlights and checkmarks let you quickly see the most favorable data points across the comparison(s).

2. Edmunds

Edmunds is another well-known name in the automotive information services industry. Its site includes in-depth reviews of every new vehicle, shopping tips from an in-house team of experts, and a wealth of consumer and automotive market insights. One thing that its car-comparison tool has going for it that others don’t is that its design lets the user quickly and easily reach the data points they want to see without having to scroll painstakingly through the entire page. With over 50 data points, that would be a lot of scrolling. Edmunds’ answer to this is to allow the user to click headings across the top for each type of data point, including pricing, Edmunds Rating, consumer rating, warranty, features, specifications, fuel economy, dimensions, ownership costs, and colors. 

Overall, Edmunds’ tool provides a very fluid experience and incorporates much of the car-buying information available on the site, including consumer and expert reviews, into the tool. It’s too bad that it doesn’t have more data points to compare.

  • How to start using the tool: Go to edmunds.com/car-comparisons, click “add a vehicle,” and begin by selecting the make, model, and year from the drop-down lists in the pop-up window.
  • # of cars you can compare at a time: 4
  • # of data points that you can view side by side: 50+
  • Interface usability: Excellent 
  • Best feature(s)/Good to know: With Edmunds, you can view five-year ownership costs for each vehicle, also known as Edmunds True Cost to Own®. This proprietary calculation takes into consideration and lists out the following additional costs of vehicle ownership: average cost per mile, depreciation, financing, fuel, insurance, maintenance, repairs, and tax credit.

3. Cars.com

Cars.com is a leading digital marketplace and solutions provider for the automotive industry that connects car shoppers with sellers. Their comparison tool is by far the most sophisticated of the five tools we reviewed here. Why? Not only does the tool give you access to the most data points about the vehicle you are researching (230+), but it also allows you to cruise back and forth between the data and their website in an extremely user-friendly way. And it’s the only tool of the five reviewed here that allows you to create an account to save the comparisons you’ve been working on. Who wouldn’t want to do that? 

  • How to start using the tool: Go to cars.com, scroll down the page, and begin by selecting an image of the model type or make.
  • # of cars you can compare at a time: 4
  • # of data points you can view side by side: 230+
  • Interface usability: Excellent 
  • Best feature(s)/Good to know: You can “customize your comparison” to get the data points you want to look at right away instead of scrolling down the entire page of over 230 data points. The site includes IIHS crash test ratings and NHTSA crash test ratings, which the others do not. Also, you can create an account to save your hard work.

4. U.S. News 

U.S. News & World Report is a media company dedicated to helping citizens, consumers, business leaders, and policy officials make crucial decisions. You can use their car buying/research site to review their independently researched rankings of best cars, read the latest car reviews, find the best deals, and of course, shop for a vehicle. Usability-wise, U.S. News has a reliable car-comparison tool, allowing you to compare up to three cars at a time. Although you can compare up to 160 data points side-by-side, there’s no way to quickly sort through those points, which could be improved. One of the main differences this tool provides is its U.S. News Scores as data points. These scores include a 0/5 or 0/10 rating for overall, critics rating, performance, interior, safety, reliability, and cost to own. They also include new car rankings based on two types of information: published reviews from respected automotive critics and data from third-party sources, including industry awards, safety reviews, and reliability reports from J.D. Power. And this information is continually updated within the algorithm as new cars come on the market and further information is received.

  • How to start using the tool: Go to cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/compare, click “add a car,” and begin by selecting the make, model, and year from the drop-down lists in the pop-up window. 
  • # of cars you can compare at a time: 3
  • # of data points that you can view side by side: 160+
  • Interface usability: Excellent 
  • Best feature(s)/Good to know: Although there’s a lot of information to comb through, the proprietary ratings and rankings systems make use of some very credible industry sources.

5. Consumer Reports 

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit member organization that works side by side with consumers for truth, transparency, and fairness in the marketplace. One thing you’ll notice about the site is that it doesn’t take any ad dollars, so brand relationships can’t influence the reviews. Although it does have a car-comparison tool on its website, you can’t seem to add more than a single car or begin comparison shopping until you’ve “unlocked” their ratings. Unfortunately, the only way to unlock is to pay to join Consumer Reports for $39.99 a year. It seems that they could at least give you a sneak peek at some of the details before asking for money, but this isn’t the way the Consumer Reports tool works. You can review some of their research on single cars only. This includes some very basic—mostly editorial—information, including price, ratings and safety, road test, reliability, owner satisfaction, and photos and video. So unless you’re willing to put some money down, this site isn’t handy as a comparison tool. 

One thing Consumer Reports does show right up front for each vehicle, however, is whether there are any recalls on it. This is information they receive from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and could be a lifesaver for some.

  • How to start using the tool: Although their comparison tool is located at consumerreports.org/cars/compare and you can select a make, model, and year from a drop-down list, the tool doesn’t seem to be up and running properly, or it’s locked.  
  • # of cars you can compare at a time: 5 (according to the website)
  • # of data points you can view side by side: Not able to determine
  • Interface usability: Poor 
  • Best features/Good to know: The comparison tool seems to be either broken or locked. To unlock ratings and test results on the same page, you have to join Consumer Reports for $39.99. One useful feature is that any recalls on the vehicle you select are prominently featured at the top of the page.

Compare Cars FAQ

How do I compare cars online?

Comparing cars online is easy. Armed with the make/model for the vehicles you want to compare, you can use any of the following tools to begin comparing features, specs, and prices side by side online: Kelley Blue Book tool, Edmunds tool, Cars.com tool, U.S. News tool. At a cost, you may be able to unlock the Consumer Reports tool.

Where can I compare new car prices side by side?

How much information you can compare on cars might make you dizzy, but luckily, price comes up first. If you want to compare new car prices side by side, any of the following sites’ comparison tools will do: Kelley Blue Book tool, Edmunds tool, Cars.com tool, U.S. News tool. At a cost, you may be able to unlock the Consumer Reports tool.

Can I compare car insurance quotes online, too?

Absolutely. Simply go to Insurify.com, and—beginning with just your ZIP—you can get top quotes from hundreds of national and regional insurance companies. And you can remain anonymous throughout the whole process if you want to! View your cheapest quotes all in one place—without having to pick up the phone and deal with an insurance agent.

Conclusion: How to compare car insurance quotes online

Whether you are looking for a new ride or dreaming of the ride you want to have someday, comparing cars side by side is easy online. But wait! What about insurance? Just like anything else you buy, you should never take the first price you see. So much goes into a car insurance quote, and so many companies out there might be equipped to give you a better deal than the one you have right now.

The only way you’ll know is to go to Insurify, add your ZIP and begin! Insurify’s AI-driven algorithm takes all the information that you enter about your car, your driving habits…everything you can think of…and in a matter of minutes, can return the cheapest car insurance quotes for your driving profile—including discounts. It’s the fastest, easiest way to get car insurance without having to call individually for rates. 

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Updated July 9, 2021

Jeannette Wisniewski is a technology writer whose passion is encouraging people to engage with technology by making it more understandable and more interesting. Though she enjoys writing business copy for a wide range of subjects, she is most inspired by emerging tech and its applications. She is a graduate of San Jose State University, a Georgia Peach at heart, and happy to call Boise, ID home.