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Canada Buying Guides
Want advice on how to buy a car? Check out these resources.
Some buying guides include data - such as reviews and safety test results - on older cars (not just this year's models). Bolded text saying "This buying guide includes information on both new and older cars" in a review indicates that the buying guide on the site contains information on both new and older cars.
If you find that the Canadian car research tools listed on this page are not adequate for your needs you can use the tools on the American page (simply click on the "See this page for: the US" link in the lower left hand corner of the page). Keep in mind that there are some subtle differences between cars for sale in Canada and in the US.
The major differences between US and Canadian regulations mean that cars for sale in Canada must have bilingual labels, kilometers instead of miles, child seat anchors, daytime running lights and more stringent bumpers. Obviously prices shown on US sites are in US dollars and you should keep that in mind when looking at any pricing data.
Sympatico / MSN Autos
This is a very good buying guide that really gets the message of integration and giving the user a lot of tools and features. There is good information on specific models, tools for a variety of tasks and articles on topics like insurance and financing.This buying guide includes information on both this year's models and the previous years' models.
The best way to get started is to choose your make and model using the Find a Car boxes in the top left area of the page. You'll then see a page from where you can find out most of the information you could want to know about the vehicle - specs, pricing info, what's new for this model year, competitors and - if available - a review provided by an MSN/Sympatico reviewer. If you head over to the left hand column you'll find a comparison tool, payment calculator and links that will let you see other cars of the same type of other models in this line up. Very well done and excellently integrated information - there's no need for you to go hunting all over the site for specific information on a vehicle, it's been pulled together for you.
There isn't really a help me choose tool on this site although you can kind of accomplish this by using the Find by Category option and then reading over the page on each category to see price ranges and features available for these type of vehicles.
CanadianDriver's New Car Buyer's Guide 2006 & 2005
A good buying guide although it is not as integrated as I would like (more on that below). Also there aren't any tools provided on this site to help the new car buyer nor is there much non-car-related information (like financing or insurance). This buying guide includes information on both this year's models and the previous years' models.
The guide provides a quick overview of all the new models and anecdotal information about what has changed from the previous year's model. There are good reviews on many vehicles and helpful articles on a variety of subjects that may help you decide if a specific manufacturer/model combination is right for you. There is a lively forum where you can ask other car shoppers for advice on models you might be considering.
When I say the guide is not as integrated as I would like what I mean is that information is not 'pulled together' for you. For example a vehicle may have a review in the test drives section but there is no link to this review from the Buyer's Guide section - so you have to search it out yourself. There are also no tools - like a car comparison tool or a help me choose tool - that might help a shopper with no idea where to start make some introductory decisions about price range and brands to look at.
CanadianAutoReview (Articles available in Chinese as well as English)
This guide has some significant deficiencies but is included here because of its availability of reviews in Chinese. This makes is unique in North America (according to its producers). This buying guide includes information on both this year's models and the previous years' models.
Reviews on a variety of vehicles in Chinese.
There is no rhyme nor reason to the way reviews are organized and although reviews say they are in English when you click on them they are not. Model years are not included with the review titles so it is difficult to know which model year is being reviewed.