The traditional vehicle configurator is back on the Volkswagen US consumer website, and it works very well. The company now lets visitors create a virtual model to their own specs and then search for a match among dealer inventories, as is the norm from most automakers.

Last summer, Volkswagen tried to break the mold with its thoroughly redesigned consumer website in the US. It sported a slick design but made the highly controversial change of removing the configurator. Instead, visitors were narrowing their selection from a searchable database of models already at dealers. While the streamlined approach immediately told users if their desired car was available, the system also largely hid the prices for options and packages.

The newly tweaked design retains the previous tablet-oriented layout, but after clicking a model, the site immediately offers "Build Yours." From there, visitors select a trim, and then the vehicle pops up with options to choose things like colors and packages. The whole layout is clean, features large buttons and works quickly. At the summary page, there's still the opportunity to search for the user's choice in dealer inventories. This is definitely a major improvement.

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