VW’s new website channels Tinder

Buying a car is almost as frustrating as finding love. It takes a lot of time and infinite patience. Volkswagen seems to appreciate this challenge, and the similarity between finding love and a car, and so the new VW.com turned the car-buying rigamarole into a dating site.

Finding a match starts with picking features like automatic or manual transmission, fuel type, colors and budget. The site shows you what’s available and through some geo-location magic can find a car in your area. The site displays new, certified pre-owned and used vehicles in the results, a move that seems to say, “Hey, we just want you to find the right (Volkswagen) car.”

“Typical brand car sites are brochures,” said Winston Binch, chief digital officer of Deutsch LA, the agency behind the redesigned site. “They do a decent job of romancing product, but they’re not useful and are out of step with leading-edge digital-shopping experiences.”

According to Binch, 76 percent of Volkswagen’s total users come to come to the site to use the shopping tools, and 81 percent of automotive shoppers use sites like Edmunds and cars.com during the car-buying process. The goal here is to create a more useful experience, which guided Volkswagen to the dating theme. “There a lot of parallels between online dating and car shopping,” said Binch. “Picking your perfect mate and car are both stressful, rational and ultimately, emotional decisions. … We knew we needed to get people to fall in love with our cars quickly and painlessly.”

“The great thing is that shoppers don’t need to know our product lineup to find a car that’s right for them,” said Binch. “For example, they can search for all red cars or all cars under $20,000. It’s hard to believe, but until now you couldn’t do that on a car site.”

Think of it like Tinder, only to help you find the car you were really meant to be with.

“We get people to real cars that meet their needs quickly and allow them to shop us even if they don’t know exactly what they want,” said Binch.

As in dating, it seems, where knowing you like athletic gents with a hint of bro (a tiny hint), who like to garden can be all you need to hone in on a few good men. Deutsch is casting a wide net with the new VW.com, and hopes to attract everyone from millennials up to 50-somethings — or anyone who’s looking for cars in all the wrong places. After all, dating sites are available to people of all age groups these days. StachePassions.com for the mustache lovers, Cupidtino.com for Apple fanatics, and so many more. With so many people accustomed to finding love this way, why not find your car the same way too?