The six other winners have noteworthy features on their Web sites:
New-vehicle inventory locator: Boch Automotive Enterprises, of Norwood, Mass., at www.boch.com, lets visitors browse new-vehicle inventory.
Ask the dealer: Boch also invites visitors to e-mail Ernie Boch Jr. with complaints and suggestions. The feature, 'Ask Ernie,' includes his photo.
Newsletter: Scott Volkswagen of East Providence, R.I., at www.scottvw.com, publishes an online newsletter that is e-mailed to subscribers.
Internet specials: Most of the finalists offer online service coupons, and some offer specials on new and used vehicles. Village Ford of Dearborn, Mich., at www.villageford.com, offers weekly online specials on new and used vehicles.
Create your own special: Crevier BMW of Santa Ana, Calif., at www.crevierbmw.com, invites customers to negotiate a bargain by clicking on: 'Create your own special.' The customer uses an online form to make an offer.
Free classifieds: Scott Volkswagen allows visitors to advertise used cars and parts online.
Discussion groups: Scott Volkswagen offers a discussion group on the 1999 Jetta, a spot on its site where visitors can post comments on the Jetta.
Guest registration: Village Ford invites visitors to register their e-mail addresses to receive service reminders. Boch invites guests to register to be notified of specials.
Test drives: Village Ford allows visitors to schedule the date and time for a test drive. The dealership will bring the car to the customer's home or office for a test drive.
Tech tips: Crevier BMW offers advice from the service department on such topics as new state smog test requirements and activation of daytime running lights. Al Serra Auto Plaza of Grand Blanc, Mich., at www.alserra.com, offers similar tips under the heading: 'Frequently asked questions.'
Online credit application: Al Serra offers an online credit application for used vehicles.
Financial planner: Johnson Ford of Kingston, N.Y., at www.johnsonford.com, asks the customer to insert key monthly expenses such as mortgage payments and utility costs on a form. The planner tells the customer how much he or she has left to spend on a car payment.
Payment calculator: On the Johnson Ford site, customers can calculate what their monthly payment would be by inputting the interest.
Online service appointments: Boch has an extensive online work order and an appointment form so customers can make an appointment for service.
Jobs online: Boch and Village Ford post job openings online alongside the company's mission statement.
Sites of interest: Crevier BMW offers links to the Car and Driver and Motor Trend sites, as well as BMW corporate sites.