How to Craft A Compelling Vehicle Comparison

Are vehicle comparisons part of your content plan?

In the automotive industry, consumers have a wide range of options to choose from, each vying for their attention and business. The nature of car shopping is comparative, and providing the resources that potential customers are seeking streamlines their comparison process, helps establish you as an authority figure, and can lead them into the next step of your purchasing funnel by shaping their opinion of your product. 

This means comparisons should be an important part of your content strategy.    

However, creating a compelling vehicle comparison is a more complicated process than a review for a single model. You’re appraising the features and components of two separate vehicles, identifying the similarities and differences, and emphasizing the reasons your vehicle stands out.

There are a variety of ways to approach writing a vehicle comparison, and in this article we’ll present several principles that can help guide your next vehicle comparison page. 

Analyze the Situation

The first step in creating a vehicle comparison is to analyze the reasons why you’re writing — what’s your purpose? 

In nearly every case, the overarching purpose for a comparison is to help your reader see the differences and make a decision between two products. Identifying and highlighting the core value propositions — considering the tangible and intangible benefits or assets for your model — from the consumer’s perspective will be an important component in the process as well. 

However, there are two main categories that your work will fall into: a comparison between two different manufacturers and a comparison between vehicles from the same manufacturer. Each situation will help provide a unique focus for your work. 


This is the classic head-to-head vehicle comparison: the Honda sedan versus Toyota sedan, the Ram versus Chevy truck, the Ford versus Jeep SUV. Your purpose is to promote one model over the other as you explain the differences and illuminate valid reasons for consumers to pursue your product over the competition’s offering, and to begin their shopping journey in your purchasing funnel. Your vehicle is worthy of their attention, and this type of comparison serves to build their interest in further steps.  

One of key considerations with an OEM versus OEM comparison is ensuring that you’re being fair about the comparison you’re making. Not only will this add credibility to the purpose of the research support you’re providing, but also to your brand’s credibility. You can accomplish this without compromising the superior messaging about your brand by highlighting unique features for both models and explaining why the differences between the two models make your model the more favorable choice. 

Intra-Brand Comparison

When you’re comparing two vehicles from the same manufacturer, you’re still explaining the differences, but there’s no “right” answer. Both products may have unique benefits or use cases. This is where understanding the consumer profile for each model or trim line can reap major benefits. For example, one model may have a great story to tell about its interior features. Another, more premium, model may offer a high level of customization. Highlight these characteristics, rather than making one model shine above the other.  

Your targeted reader here may be a loyal customer to your brand, or perhaps they’re simply considering their options with a specific OEM. Regardless, your purpose with this comparison is to illuminate which model may suit them best since you’re not directly competing with another manufacturer for the reader’s consideration. You can present the highlight differences and key similarities for both models and let them shine. If one vehicle is available with more upscale features or advanced systems, that’s okay — each model’s qualities will appeal to the type of driver it was designed for.

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Use Similar Models

To create a more detailed and factually powerful comparison in an OEM versus OEM comparison, it’s helpful to select a particular vehicle trim to compare between each model. Use similar trims when you make this pick — for an “apples to apples” comparison, these will be trims with similar feature intent and comparable price. 

You can pick the base trim for each model or the top trim in each models’ respective lineup. Or, you can select the popular trim from your inventory — the one your customers are likely to see when it’s time to schedule a test drive at your dealership — and compare it to the most analogous model for the competition. Choosing a specific trim to base the comparison on doesn’t have to stop you from mentioning a desirable feature or two available higher in the lineup, so long as you’re clear about the trim the reader will have to choose to secure these features.

Emphasize the Differences 

Once you’ve narrowed the purpose for your comparison and picked the exact models you’ll be comparing, the next step is writing. Once you’ve crafted an attention-grabbing, actionable introduction, keep it conversational and discuss the major differences between the two vehicles for your reader. While pointing out similarities can be a useful component of some intra-brand comparisons, exploring the key differences while avoiding negative language is what can help your reader come closer to a buying decision for one model over the other.

Organizational Strategies

There are a variety of ways you can emphasize differences and key features for your reader. Ultimately, it comes down to your unique situation and the information you have to work with. Tables and charts are useful organizational tools that place the critical information side-by-side for the consumer to grasp at a glance — these critical attributes are more easily digestible for digital consumers than a large block of text. 

You can create a standard bulleted list of differences, if there are enough different features to warrant it. The strength of this approach is that you can pack a significant amount of information into a manageable presentation that breaks up the standard paragraph format.  

Alternatively, you can create an expanded bulleted list where you highlight the critical differences, then explain it with relevant details or specs that give the reader insight into why this difference should matter to them. This approach is strongest for aspects of a vehicle that have a few key differences. The visual aspect lets your reader grasp these differences more easily and delve deeper into the additional information if they want it. 

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Present Key Features First and Last 

According to the American Psychological Association, serial position effect is “the effect of an item’s position in a list of items to be learned on how well it is remembered.” This includes what is known as the primacy effect and recency effect — people tend to remember information that’s presented first and have good recollection of information that’s presented last; information that you present in the middle is more often forgotten. Having a good grasp of what matters most to your potential buyer — such as performance specs on a sports car or child safety features in a family vehicle — will also help you choose these key items. 

Using this classic principle of psychology can help you with the organizational details of your comparison. In your paragraphs, point out the unique features of your model first, then the competition’s, then yours again. If you opt for a list or graphical presentation, make a thoughtful effort to present your strongest information first and last and place the competition’s information in the middle.  

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Provide Resources

Your comparison page doesn’t have to be the end-all-be-all resource about the vehicle you’re promoting. It might be best if it isn’t. 

Keep your focus on the purpose for your page and explain the differences, then point to resources for further research that you’ve created. By doing this you’re delivering an enhanced user experience, serving your reader the information they are looking for, establishing trust as a source of knowledge (another reason why it’s a good idea to build a library of content), and gently encouraging them to move one step closer at your dealership.

Once you’ve done your best to answer “what’s the difference” between two vehicles, lead the reader to transfer their interest from the keyboard to the dashboard of the model they’ve been reading about with relevant calls to action.

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Here at Aronson Advertising, vehicle comparisons are a key component of our content strategy. 

Are they a part of yours? 

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