CarZen is an app that just released for the iPad and is the first of its kind for iPad-specific car shopping. It’s focused on two fronts: user experiences, which center around specific models; and dealer connectivity, which allows dealerships to control advertising for their brands in several ways.
For the user, the app ties together vehicle search in a very visual way, with each car having full screen photo galleries, 3D renderings, etc. All of that links to comprehensive reviews, whether they be from Motor Trend or Yelp. This means centralized views of what people think of the car. Once you’ve chosen a vehicle, you can put it in your personal parking lot for later review, allowing you to continue shopping to see competitive models.
The dealer comes in when you decide to get a quote on your chosen vehicle(s). Local dealerships (based on your geo-location) for the car are displayed. You can contact them via the app (if they’re connected to it) or through conventional means such as email and phone.
For the dealer, packages of advertising can be purchased so that, on a first-come, first-served basis, a dealership could “own” its brand on the app in its area. For instance, a Ford dealership in Austin, Texas could purchase an advertising package to effectively own all of the ads for Ford that come up in the Austin area on the CarZen app.
The app is innovative and new and is the first of its kind on the iPad. A little room for improvement exists, as with all things new, but the developers seem to have thought of everything important. Downloads of the app are free from the iTunes Store.