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If a car purchase is looming, check the Edmunds iPhone app

Mel Martin

Many people will buy a new or used car at some point, and that process has been enhanced immensely by the latest version of the free iPhone app from Edmunds.

The app, simply called "Edmunds," offers new and used car pricing and appraisals, plus the thorough reviews that Edmunds is famous for.

The app draws from the vast Edmunds archive of about 24,000 cars and trucks, and contains about a quarter of a million photos. The app also contains owner reviews, which can be just as enlightening as the pro reviews.

Edmunds for iPhone was recently updated to include NHTSA and IIHS crash test results and safety ratings, as well as predicted price trends for new vehicles. You can get the same information from the regular Edmunds website, but the iPhone app is easier to use.

The app also includes links to your nearest dealers, and of course, complete features, specs and estimated pricing of add-ons. You will see ads, but they're largely unobtrusive.

There isn't much to dislike about this app, but I have a few small complaints. First, you must scroll down a long list of names to find a make of car. A search field would speed up that process.

Also, the 'share' button scrolls off the screen. It'd be more useful if it stayed put. For example, if you're in the middle of a long review and want to send it to yourself of someone else, you must scroll back to the top to find the share button.

Wrapping up my complaints, I'll note that the app description says it includes videos, but I couldn't find a single one. The developer says that this is likely due to a tagging issue which will be fixed with an update. Finally, Edmunds for iPhone app is not universal, so it will run on an iPad but not at the proper resolution.

Those issues aside, I think this app represents the very best way to research a new or used car purchase. Edmunds has an enviable reputation for objectivity and opinions untainted by car manufacturers. This latest update adds welcome new information, in particular the crash tests results. If you are looking for a new or used car, this app should be your first stop, and it probably will be the only stop many people need. It gets a very high recommendation. Check the gallery for some screen shots.

Gallery: Edmunds car buying guide | 5 Photos

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