Good as New: 10 Must-Shop CPO Luxury Cars
If you're interested in buying a new luxury car, you've probably already realized that some luxury vehicles come with substantial price premiums over mainstream models -- enough to place them well outside your price range. That may drive you to consider a used model until you discover that pre-owned luxury cars can include pricy repair bills and may no longer be covered under the vehicle's new-car warranty.
The solution? Consider one of the cars on our "good as new" list of certified pre-owned (CPO) luxury cars, all of which combine the latest styling with the affordable pricing of a used model and the peace of mind that comes with a manufacturer-backed certified pre-owned warranty.
Each car on our list has cleared a strict list of criteria before it could be added. For instance, in order to be deemed affordable, every model had to be easy to find for an average price of around $50,000 or less, based on current listings on Autotrader. Additionally, each vehicle on our list is considered good as new because its look doesn't differ dramatically from the current model. We've also only included vehicles with 5-star National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash-test ratings and a certified pre-owned warranty that lasts for at least 5 years or 100,000 miles from the original sale date -- both of which provide extra peace of mind.
In other words: Every car on our list is safe, affordable and modern -- and each one is backed by a strong manufacturer warranty. How could you go wrong?
2014-2015 Acura MDX
There's a lot to like about the latest Acura MDX, which made its debut for the 2014 model year. Equipment is one big benefit, as every MDX offers automatic LED headlights, a power lift gate, a power sunroof, leather upholstery with heated front seats, a multi-angle backup camera and twin center infotainment screens. We also like the surprisingly strong fuel economy (up to 20 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway) and the long list of available safety features.
The only problem? A new MDX can be very expensive, with prices starting around $43,700 and reaching nearly $60,000 with options and extras. That's why we recommend a certified pre-owned model, which has the same equipment as a new version, the same styling and the backing of Acura's certified pre-owned warranty, which offers 1 year or 12,000 miles of additional limited-warranty coverage and 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection from the original sale date. The best part? The average asking price of a certified pre-owned 2014-2015 MDX on Autotrader is just $40,900.
2012-2015 Audi A6
The latest Audi A6 has a lot going for it. In addition to a 5-star NHTSA crash-test rating and available all-wheel drive, the A6 offers a handsome interior, a roomy back seat and a lot of equipment -- including a long list of standard features such as automatic headlights and wipers, a power sunroof, adjustable drive modes, a 10-speaker stereo and Bluetooth. Of course, it's also hard to ignore the premium badge on the front, which is a major benefit to many car shoppers.
Unfortunately, with that premium badge comes a premium price: The starting price of a new A6 is around $47,000 with shipping, while a well-equipped 3.0T model can easily crest $60,000 before options. But if you choose a certified pre-owned model, you'll find a sharp discount, as 2012-2015 A6 models are available on Autotrader for an average price of around $40,000. And each one comes with Audi's excellent certified warranty, which touts 6 years or 100,000 miles of limited-warranty coverage from the original sale date. Audi cars are sharp-looking for sure. If the worry about pricy repairs has kept you away from a used Audi, this certified pre-owned model is kind of a no-brainer.
2012-2015 BMW 3 Series
You probably already know all about the BMW 3 Series: a small, luxurious sport sedan that manages to offer a high-end interior and an impressive, exciting driving experience. Like most people, we love the 3 Series and its wide array of body-style choices, powertrain options and upscale features.
The only thing we don't love is its price: Although the 3 Series starts at an approachable $34,000 with shipping, drivers who want more power -- or more features -- can easily find themselves spending up to $50,000 on a brand-new model. The solution? Consider a certified pre-owned 2012-2015 3 Series, which offers the same look as today's model and includes up to 6 years or 100,000 miles of limited-warranty coverage from the original sale date. Prices are more reasonable too, as the average certified pre-owned 2012-2015 3 Series is available for $32,800 on Autotrader. Want more power? Even a certified pre-owned version of the sporty 335i is available for an average price of just $36,400.
2012-2015 Buick Verano
The Buick Verano is an impressive entry-level luxury car that boasts an affordable price tag, a smooth ride and a lot of equipment. We especially recommend Verano Premium models from 2013 or later because they combine a wide array of luxury features (such as dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats and a remote starter) with the Verano's surprisingly potent 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.
And while a new Verano with that powertrain starts around $30,500 with shipping, drivers who choose a certified pre-owned model can get a great discount: The average 2013-2015 Verano Premium is available on Autotrader for $19,500, while the average 2012-2015 Verano is just $17,200. Regardless of which model you choose, you'll get the sedan's latest styling and the full backing of Buick's certified pre-owned warranty, which offers 6 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage from the original sale date, a 1-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty and 2 years or 24,000 miles of free maintenance.
2014-2015 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali
A pickup truck? On a list of luxury cars? You better believe it. Not only does the GMC Sierra 1500 Denali have a luxury car's price tag (it starts around $51,000 with shipping and can easily top $60,000 with options), but the truck also boasts a truly impressive array of equipment, with standard features including heated and ventilated front seats, a Bose audio system, leather upholstery, chrome trim and adaptive suspension. The options list is even more amazing, as it adds a power sunroof, lane-departure warning, forward-collision alert and more. Simply put, the latest Sierra Denali has virtually nothing in common with bare-bones work trucks from just a few years ago.
But the Sierra Denali's luxury pricing is too much for most shoppers -- and that's where the certified pre-owned model comes in. Not only does a certified pre-owned Sierra Denali offer 5 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage from the original sale date and a 1-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty, it also touts a sharp discount from new: Choose a certified pre-owned 2014-2015 Sierra Denali, and you'll get the truck's latest body style, along with an average price of around $46,300.
2013-2015 Infiniti JX35/QX60
The Infiniti JX35, later renamed the QX60 beginning with the 2014 model year, is a very competent luxury SUV. It offers a smooth ride, a lot of equipment and roomy 3-row seating -- and it even boasts fairly reasonable pricing compared to rivals, as the QX60 starts around $43,300 with shipping.
Unfortunately, that price can creep fairly high with options, as a new QX60 can easily crest $50,000 or more with various packages and extras. That's where the certified pre-owned model comes in. Not only does a 2013-2015 JX35/QX60 offer the same styling as today's version, but it touts roughly the same equipment, a 5-star NHTSA crash-test rating and an excellent 6-year/100,000-mile limited warranty that begins on the original sale date. Better yet, the average certified pre-owned 2013-2015 JX35/QX60 is available on Autotrader for a highly reasonable asking price of just $36,900.
2014-2015 Lexus IS
The Lexus IS is a sporty sedan that offers rear- or all-wheel drive, bold styling and the choice between two versions: a base model, originally called the IS 250 but now named the IS 200t with the arrival of a new turbocharged 4-cylinder, and a sportier version dubbed the IS 350. That's the one we like, as it touts an excellent 306-horsepower V6 and a long list of standard equipment that includes xenon headlights, keyless ignition and entry, dual power front seats and a 7-inch center display screen.
Not surprisingly, all this stuff doesn't come cheap: A new IS 350 starts at around $41,900 with shipping, while even an entry-level IS model is a pricy $38,300 including destination. Our solution, of course, is to go for a certified pre-owned 2014-2015 model. Not only will you get virtually the same look as a current version, but you'll also get a 5-star NHTSA crash-test rating -- and Lexus' excellent certified pre-owned warranty, which offers comprehensive coverage for up to 3 years from your purchase date or 100,000 total miles. Of course, a certified pre-owned 2014-2015 IS also offers a discount compared to a new model: The average price on Autotrader is $34,000, or $38,400 if you'd prefer the sporty IS 350.
2013-2015 Lincoln MKZ
The 2013-2015 Lincoln MKZ is an excellent midsize luxury sedan that offers two powertrain choices: a gas-powered engine or a fuel-efficient hybrid. Go for a gas engine, and you'll have the choice between a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder or a 3.7-liter V6, while the available hybrid offers more than 40 mpg in combined city and highway driving. Regardless of your pick, every MKZ touts a lot of equipment, including LED headlights, 18-in alloy wheels, adaptive suspension, leather upholstery with heated front seats and more.
While the MKZ isn't highly expensive for a luxury car (at a starting price of $36,000 with shipping), you'll get an especially good deal if you go for a certified pre-owned model: The average price for a certified pre-owned 2013-2015 MKZ on Autotrader is just $27,500, and it includes an excellent warranty that offers 6 years or 100,000 miles of comprehensive coverage. It also includes the sedan's futuristic new design and a coveted 5-star NHTSA crash-test rating.
2012-2015 Volvo S60
The Volvo S60 is a sporty sedan that offers handsome looks, lots of equipment, a great reputation for safety and impressive fuel economy. It also touts something for everyone, with everything from a 37-mpg Drive E model (beginning in 2015) to a 325-hp high-performance T6 R-Design variant.
While S60 prices aren't especially steep -- the sedan starts at a reasonable $35,000 with shipping -- they can really add up with options. A high-end T6 R-Design or Inscription model can easily flirt with $50,000 when you've added all the extras. The solution, of course, is to go certified pre-owned -- especially considering Volvo's excellent CPO program, which includes comprehensive coverage for up to 7 years or 100,000 miles from the original sale date, making it one of the best programs available. Of course, you'll also get a good deal, as the average certified pre-owned 2012-2015 S60 is listed on Autotrader for just $24,300.
2012-2015 Volvo XC60
The Volvo XC60 is an excellent compact crossover that offers a wide range of benefits, from potent powertrains and a smooth ride to a long list of standard equipment that includes features such as 18-in alloy wheels, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, iPod and USB hookups for music, and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. But like most luxury SUVs, prices are high: The XC60 starts around $37,000 with shipping and can easily crest $50,000 with the right trim level and options.
Naturally, we suggest that you should instead consider a certified pre-owned 2012-2015 model -- especially since it's backed by Volvo's excellent 7-year or 100,000-mile comprehensive warranty, which is among the best in the business. You'll also get a 5-star NHTSA safety rating, a modern design and reasonable pricing, as the average certified pre-owned 2012-2015 XC60 is listed for just $33,400 on Autotrader -- a steep discount compared to a brand-new model.