As “content guru” at CarGurus, Steve Halloran oversees the car reviews and research, auto blogs and forums, and all other car content that lives on this consumer automotive shopping website. CarGurus has more than 11 million monthly users searching for new and used cars and accessing dealer ratings with the help of the site’s proprietary algorithms. Halloran spoke with Globe correspondent Cindy Atoji Keene about what it’s like to maintain the information flow for this online car shopping platform.
“I have to admit that one of the perks of my job is test driving new cars, like the new Ford Mustang, which has 310 horsepower and also a EcoBoost engine, which appeals to a completely different driver. But it’s all with the aim of gathering info for our users, who have never been more informed. We believe transparency is good for car shoppers and car dealerships. Given the complexity of the new safety technology and infotainment systems that come in cars these days, buyers may need a lot more introduction to vehicles than they did in the past. They can use our shopping search engine to analyze millions of car listings to find the best local deals. Using sophisticated math work, our website can tell you with great accuracy what a 2009 Honda Accord LX with manual transmission and 40,000 miles should cost, for example. And if it’s automotive related, we try to cover it; our active community also provides guidance on car troubleshooting and maintenance. People have posted tens of thousands of technical questions and there are devotees who love to get under the hood and help people solve their problems. I find that there are lots of different kinds of “good” car writing, from long articles on car-related adventures to shorter technical pieces about how a particular safety system functions. I myself drive a 2013 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring hatchback, with a manual. I wish I could have waited for the 2014, which looks and performs even better. My new car is no hot rod, but it handles well, gets good mileage, has navigation and lets me listen to songs from my iPhone as well as the Internet. And while I don’t always love it when I’m on 128, I’m very pleased overall to have a manual transmission again.”