New cars are expensive. Even so-called “affordable” models can be $35,000 or more than $40,000 if you add just a few comfort features like leather seats or the latest tech features. One of the main benefits of buying new, though, is a manufacturer-backed warranty, which safeguards you against having to pay for any unexpected problems. Fortunately, there’s a way to get many of the benefits of a new car at a less than new car price: manufacturer-backed certified pre-owned (CPO) programs. The availability of manufacturer-backed certified pre-owned warranties serves to make used cars even more appealing. Plus, each program has a rigorous inspection process and often includes little perks like roadside assistance during the warranty period and a free trial period for satellite radio. Many programs can transfer to a subsequent owner making your used car worth a little more should you decide to sell it before the warranty expires.
Below, we’ve made a list of 10 must-shop CPO cars — that is, vehicles that can be had with a certified pre-owned warranty. Of the vehicles listed, each one is offered with a manufacturer-backed certified pre-owned warranty lasting for up to 100,000 miles. Like any used car, you still get any remaining new car warranty. Therefore, you can own any of the vehicles below without having to worry about unforeseen costs typically associated with a used car.
Each vehicle listed here is also affordable. All 10 vehicles on our list are about $40,000 or less, and in some cases, a lot less. You can also rest assured that each vehicle on this list is safe, as we’ve made sure each one has an overall NHTSA safety rating of at least four out of five stars*.
The main reason each of the vehicles on this list have been included, though, is because they still offer the latest designs, despite being a few years old. This means they look new enough that your neighbor will never know you bought a used car. Altogether, you can’t go wrong shopping any of the 10 certified pre-owned vehicles on this list.
Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price was used to come up with the average CPO values listed below. Vehicles are listed in alphabetical order.
1. Chevrolet Tahoe (2015–2018)
The Chevrolet Tahoe and the GMC Yukon offer endless utility thanks to their ample interior space and generous towing capacity, making them some of the most popular vehicles on sale today. Both received a full redesign for the 2015 model year, which brought about updated styling, modern technology, and more interior refinement. With this redesign came higher prices too, and despite the vehicles’ seemingly palpable base prices of around $50,000, most are specified with a variety of options, serving to increase that $50,000 figure by up to $20,000.
In comes General Motor’s certified pre-owned option. The Tahoe and the Yukon come with the same exact CPO warranty which offers 6 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection from the original date of sale, plus an additional year added to the comprehensive warranty. In addition, you get two scheduled maintenance visits within 2 years or 24,000 miles. These vehicles also tend see quick depreciation, meaning that buying certified pre-owned is particularly appealing. The average value of a certified 2015-2018 Tahoe is $42,300.
2. Honda Civic (2016–2018)
The Honda Civic is one of the most trusted compact sedans ever to be sold. Offering a quality interior to go with sprightly driving dynamics, over 300,000 new Civics have been sold every year in the U.S. on average dating back to the late 1990s. Needless to say, the Civic is a staple on U.S. roads. Right now, a brand new 2019 Honda Civic ranges in price from around $20,000 to $28,000, excluding the performance-oriented Si and Type R models. Buyers looking for more value, though, can go the used route and take advantage of Honda’s certified pre-owned program, which offers an additional year of bumper-to-bumper coverage along with 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection, starting from the original sale date. Honda will even add an extra one year or 12,000-mile limited warranty if the basic “bumper to bumper” warranty has expired. The average CPO 2016-2018 Civic is valued at around $19,800, which means you’ll likely be getting a near-new Civic with more desirable features for less than most people are paying for a brand new, base model Civic.
3. Hyundai Sonata (2016–2018)
The Hyundai Sonata offers stately interior and exterior styling, two efficient powertrains and an excellent overall value. Still, to get into an upper trim level, or to have access to the potent 245-horsepower 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, buyers are forced for fork over in excess of $32,000, which may be too steep for some. This is where the certified pre-owned option comes in. On all new vehicles, Hyundai offers an industry-leading 5-year or 60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10 year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. If you opt for a certified pre-owned Hyundai, the balance of this warranty transfers over to you — but only if you take the certified pre-owned route. This allows for some great deals overall, making the Hyundai Sonata one of the most appealing CPO cars on the market. The average CPO 2016-2018 Sonata is valued at around $18,400.
4. Jeep Wrangler (2013–2017)
While the Jeep Wrangler was all new for the 2018 model year, the design of the new vehicle is far more evolutionary than revolutionary, as has been the case with every Wrangler generation over the last few decades, meaning that to the untrained eye, the new model looks very similar to the outgoing generation. Another unique trait of the Wrangler is that they tend to depreciate very slowly. That said, with the introduction of the all new version for 2018, now is a great time to look for a certified pre-owned 2013 to 2017 model. Every certified pre-owned Jeep comes with a 7 year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty that starts from when the vehicle was sold new. On top of this, Jeep also offers a 3-month or 3,000-mile overall warranty that covers many areas of the vehicle outside the powertrain coverage. The average KBB transaction price of a new Jeep Wrangler is $43,300, while the average value of a 2013-2017 CPO model is valued at around $30,100.
5. Mazda6 (2016–2018)
The Mazda6 is one of the most desirable midsize sedans on sale today thanks to its upscale design, high-quality interior and excellent driving dynamics. Last redesigned for 2016, a Mazda6 in the company’s Touring or Grand Touring trims offers an overall experience that rivals that offered by vehicles costing thousands more, and can also be had with a variety of great, modern safety features. Those higher trim levels can get pricey though — the price of a new Mazda6 Grand Touring Reserve will exceed $33,000, which makes the CPO route appealing. Mazda’s certified pre-owned warranty offers one year or 12,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper limited coverage and 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection. The average value of a 2016-2018 CPO Mazda6 is $20,700.
6. Nissan Rogue (2014–2018)
The Nissan Rogue is one of the best-selling compact crossovers on the market. It offers a variety of technology as well as an optional third-row seat (in some versions), which is a rarity in its segment. The Rogue last received a full redesign for the 2014 model year, and therefore examples up to five years old look just like brand new models. Therefore, buying a pre-owned Rogue is a great alternative to buying new. Nissan’s certified pre-owned warranty is pretty good too, offering coverage for 7 years or 100,000 miles from the vehicle’s original sale date. Given that the Rogue tends to depreciate pretty quickly, buyers can easily save thousands by buying used. A new Nissan Rogue has an average KBB transaction price of around $27,800 while the average CPO 2014-2018 Nissan Rogue is valued at around $19,000.
7. Ram 1500 (2015–2018)
While the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 is arriving on dealer lots as we speak, the design doesn’t deviate too much from that of the outgoing model. This means buyers can find a great deal on a gently-used 2015 to 2018 model that looks very similar to a brand new model and offers the peace of mind of a certified pre-owned warranty. Ram’s CPO program offers powertrain coverage for 7 years or 100,000 miles from the date the vehicle was sold new, along with a 3 month or 3,000 mile warranty that covers much of the vehicle outside the powertrain coverage. The average new Ram 1500 transacts at about $47,600, according to KBB, while the average CPO 2015-2018 model is valued at around $28,700.
8. Subaru Outback (2015–2018)
The Subaru Outback is loved across America for its car-like driving dynamics, SUV like practicality and confidence-inspiring all-wheel drive system. With ample ground clearance and an available 3.6-liter 6-cylinder engine, owners rely on their Outbacks for both work and play. As the Outback last received a full redesign for the 2015 model year, buyers can opt for a used example that is a few years old and still drive away with a vehicle that is very similar to new models being sold at dealerships today. Subaru offers a great certified pre-owned warranty as well, with 7 years and 100,000 miles of coverage from the date of original sale. This allows for good peace of mind. The average KBB transaction price of a new Subaru Outback is about $32,200, while the average 2015-2018 CPO Outback is valued at around $26,500.
9. Toyota Tacoma (2016–2018)
The Toyota Tacoma has been the best-selling midsize pickup on the market for a number of years, and recently received a redesign for the 2016 model year. In the years since, it’s hardly changed, and you’d be hard pressed to tell a brand new 2019 model from a 2016, 2017 or 2018 example. A variety of trim levels are offered, from the humble SR and SR5, all the way up to the dirt-road ready TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro models. As new examples are fairly expensive, exceeding $45,000 when nicely optioned, buyers may want to look to the used market to save some coin on this legendary truck known for its excellent reliability. Toyota’s certified pre-owned program offers up to 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage from the original purchase date plus a 1-year/12,000-mile limited warranty that starts the day you buy a Toyota certified vehicle. The average value of a 2016-2018 CPO model is $29,700.
10. Toyota Tundra (2014–2018)
The full-size Toyota Tundra offers a number of strong personality traits. It comes with a standard V8 engine, a variety of trim levels ranging from off-road to luxury and a variety of body styles. Although the Tundra carries a reasonable base price of around $32,000, Platinum, 1794 and TRD Pro models ring in at over $51,000. This likely has people turning to the used market, where Toyota offers a competitive certified pre-owned program, offering 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage from the original purchase date plus a 1-year/12,000-mile limited warranty that starts the day you buy a Toyota certified vehicle. The other great thing about a CPO Tundra is that its design has hardly changed over the years. Since going on sale in its current generation for the 2007 model year, the Tundra has received little more than an update for 2014, meaning that buyers have a variety of options to choose from when looking for a used Tundra, all of which will look very similar to 2019 models currently sitting on dealer lots. A CPO 2014-2018 model is valued at around $31,000.
*Editor’s Note: For model year 2013 and newer, there is insufficient NHTSA crash test data for front and side impact crash testing. Although it’s not a direct comparison, other non-government agencies rate the four-door Jeep Wrangler a combination of “Good” and “Marginal” for front and side impact crash testing while the headlight effectiveness has been rated as “Poor.” The Wrangler appears on this list primarily due to its popularity with Autotrader shoppers.