Press Release

Phablet Fuels Satisfaction with Auto Website Experience among Vehicle Shoppers

Acura Ranks Highest in Automotive Mobile Site Satisfaction among Manufacturer Brand Websites;
TrueCar Ranks Highest among Third-Party Automotive Sites

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 12 October 2015 — Satisfaction with automotive manufacturer (OEM) and third-party automotive websites is higher across all aspects of the online experience among shoppers who use smartphones with larger screens, called phablets, according to the J.D. Power 2015 Automotive Mobile Site Study.SM 

The study captures details on content and tool usage while measuring what is most effective on OEM and third-party automotive websites on a smartphone during the vehicle-shopping process. The study examines website usefulness across four key measures (in order of importance): information/content, navigation, appearance and speed. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale. 

For more information about the 2015 Automotive Mobile Site Study, visit 

Increasing in popularity, phablets are large smartphones with screens 5.5 inches and greater—nearing a tablet in size—hence their name. According to the study, vehicle shoppers who use phablets are significantly more satisfied with their website experience than those who use smaller smartphones (797 vs. 771, respectively). There are significant gaps in satisfaction across all study measures between shoppers who use phablets and those who use smaller phones: information/content (796 vs. 769, respectively); navigation (783 vs. 758); appearance (816 vs. 791); and speed (794 vs. 767). 

Notably, more shoppers access a wider range of website content overall when using a phablet vs. a smaller smartphone, especially such interactive content as video (51% vs. 44%, respectively). This is important, as overall satisfaction improves when shoppers access more content. For example, satisfaction is 805 among shoppers who use 13 or more tools vs. 745 among those who use 12 or fewer tools. 

“Automotive manufacturer and third-party website designers should be mindful of growing phablet usage and take advantage of the larger screen by displaying more content and adding detail to maximize shopper satisfaction and drive more traffic to dealer showrooms,” said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media & marketing at J.D. Power. “The time spent on mobile devices for automotive shopping is increasing[1], and this trend of buying and using phablets is expected to continue.” 


  • There is a substantial difference in advocacy and loyalty rates between vehicle shoppers who are highly satisfied (overall satisfaction scores of 901 and above) with their shopping experience on a third-party website and those with low satisfaction (scores of 500 and below). While 81 percent of highly satisfied shoppers say they “definitely will” recommend the website to friends or family, just 3 percent of those with low satisfaction say the same. Additionally, 82 percent of highly satisfied shoppers say they “definitely will” return to the website vs. just 5 percent of those with low satisfaction.
  • Among vehicle shoppers who indicate they are delighted with their experience on a manufacturer brand website (overall satisfaction scores of 901 and above), 66 percent indicate they are more likely to test drive a vehicle after visiting the site, compared with only 16 percent of those who are disappointed (scores of 500 and below).
  • Overall, OEM responsive design websites do not perform as well as traditionally designed mobile sites (788 vs. 776, respectively). However, there is little difference in satisfaction between a traditionally designed mobile website and a responsive design website (809 vs. 804) on a phablet.

Automotive Mobile Site Rankings 

Manufacturer Brand Website Rankings

  • Acura ranks highest with a score of 812
  • Infiniti (809) ranks second
  • Fiat (808) ranks third

Third-Party Website Rankings

  • TrueCar ranks highest with a score of 776
  • CarGurus and Yahoo! Autos rank second in a tie (744 each)

The 2015 Automotive Mobile Site Study examines the features and content of automotive manufacturer and third-party mobile websites and their usefulness in the vehicle-shopping process. The study includes 12,416 evaluations of automotive mobile websites from vehicle shoppers who intend to purchase or lease a vehicle within the next two years. The study was fielded in July and August 2015. 

Media Relations Contacts

John Tews; Troy, Mich. 248-680-6218; [email protected] 

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional

About McGraw Hill Financial 

[1]According to the J.D. Power 2015 New AutoShopper Study,SM 30 percent of automotive shopping time is conducted on mobile devices, compared with 16 percent in 2013.