Best car configurators
Whether you’re designing your dream car or ordering a new one, the best car configurators give you all the information you need
Car configurators have become an important part of buying a new car. In many cases, you can spec your ideal car from the comfort of your own home and go on to complete a finance agreement and order it, all without visiting a dealership.
Some configurators only allow you to change the paint colour and take a 360-degree view of the car, but many allow you to go through the full specification in much more detail. Plenty have the processing power to show the individual options you’ve added, from different wheel options and trim pieces, to a panoramic sunroof or towbar. We’ve only included configurators that give you prices, even if the customisation options on some luxury car websites that don’t are very impressive.
If you want to get immersed in designing your dream car, here are the best car configurators:
We like the BMW configurator because it’s intuitive and gives plenty of detail. The engine section, for example, gives you the fuel type, power, performance, economy, company-car tax ranking and information about the drivetrain. It’s quick to react if you change the colour or add any options, and all packages are explained so you know exactly what’s in each one. The hi-res images show you 360-degree views of the exterior and interior, so you can see exactly how the car’s lines look in the light.
The Porsche configurator opens in a whole new window with no adverts or distractions, so speccing your ideal 911, Cayenne or Taycan is an enjoyable experience. The configurator must have plenty of processing power as there’s no delay at all when adding options and flicking between paint colours. You can come up with some very garish creations (we’d like to see your dealer’s face if you spec a Porsche 911 in ‘Miami Blue’ with a bright red interior), and prices are provided for everything, so you can enjoy choosing some very costly options.
Land Rover configurator
It’s all about choice on the Land Rover configurator. Once you’ve chosen your perfect car and spec, you can either buy it straight away or continue adding more options. The Land Rover Defender personalisation process is particularly exhaustive, and you can easily add the cost of a supermini in options. These include the Explorer and Adventurer packs, which add features like the waterproof side pannier shown in this photo, and then there’s the choice of hundreds of other options from Union Jack dust caps to a dog ramp.
You don’t have to be looking at expensive cars to find a good configurator. Practicality champion Skoda has an easy-to-use configurator that shows you the differences between each trim level, and makes it easy to figure out which version is best for you. Every option has a handy information box telling you what it is and prices are reasonable - as you might expect. You can add servicing plans on the Skoda configurator too, and see how much it’ll be on finance when you get to the summary page.
Volvo’s configurator is as smart as its cars and we were very impressed with the summary page. Once you’ve configured your car, it’ll show your car (with all the options you’ve selected) in a range of real-world settings, including a couple of screens showing it driving - allowing you to see how the paint colour you’ve chosen will look in different lights. As you’d expect from such a safety-conscious brand, there’s scope to add yet more safety features.
Using the Peugeot configurator is easy and everything seems to have been considered. You can filter by engine and gearbox choices, see the colour on the car before you pick it and then quickly add any options you want. Peugeot’s configurator might be the only out there that shows you the monthly payments as you go and how much each option adds per month. It’s only useful if you buy the car online through Peugeot’s website; a franchised dealer or a car discounts website might be able to give you better offers.
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