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10 Best Non-Luxury CPO Programs for 2016

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If you're interested in buying a car without spending a fortune, you may not have the budget for many of the new models on your wish list. And while you may want to turn your attention to used cars, you might be worried about reliability. Fortunately, there's a happy medium: certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles, which are recent used models that offer manufacturer-backed warranties and steep discounts from the original price. CPO programs also usually come with extra perks such as a complete mechanical inspection and complimentary roadside assistance.

But some programs are better than others, so after thorough research, we've created a list of the best ones out there. In addition to picking a top program, we've also listed several others that are worthy of your consideration based on a number of criteria, including powertrain warranty length (with a minimum of 6 years or 100,000 miles of coverage), bumper-to-bumper warranty length, deductible amount and transferability to future owners.

This time around, we approached our best CPO list a little differently. Rather than have one big list of 20 brands, we decided to break it up by luxury and non-luxury automakers -- this list focuses on the latter. We also considered the length of the powertrain warranty as the most important factor, as that represents the greatest value to the average shopper. And while we picked one overall winner to highlight, the others are not ranked. Because of the complexity of coverage, the exact car you get will determine whether Honda's program, for example, might be better for you than Chevrolet's, or vice versa.

Top Program: Hyundai

We think Hyundai offers the best CPO program among non-luxury automakers. The main reason is its excellent warranty, which is really just a continuation of the brand's outstanding new-car warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper limited coverage and 10 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage from the car's original sale date. We also like the fact that Hyundai's CPO warranty is fully transferable to subsequent owners in a private sale and offers a relatively low deductible of $50 -- lower than some rivals and about the same as most others.

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Here are the rest of our CPO picks, listed alphabetically.

Chevrolet/GMC

We're not saying Chevy and GMC vehicles are identical, but their CPO programs are. In fact, if you visit gmcertified.com you can see that the same basic coverage is there for Buick, Chevrolet and GMC. The GM Certified program was recently improved by adding an extra year of powertrain warranty coverage, a move that easily earns the program a spot on our list. The brand's CPO powertrain warranty now offers 6 years or 100,000 miles of coverage from the original sale date, while its bumper-to-bumper coverage extends the original warranty by 1 year or 12,000 miles. Other benefits offered by Chevy and GMC's program serve as icing on the cake. The automaker's CPO warranty is fully transferable to future owners, requires no deductible for repairs and even offers two free routine maintenance visits within the first 2 years of ownership -- a small perk, but one that's worth noting.

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Ford

We're impressed with the length of Ford's CPO powertrain warranty. It touts an excellent 7 years or 100,000 miles of coverage, as much as or more than many other luxury and non-luxury brands. We also like the bumper-to-bumper limited warranty, which offers 1 year or 12,000 miles of coverage beyond the original factory warranty. And we appreciate the fact that Ford's offering is fully transferable to subsequent owners, something that may actually put extra money in your pocket if you decide to sell that car. But we'd hold this program in higher esteem if it didn't have such a high deductible -- $100 per visit for warrantied repairs is the highest of any automaker on our list.

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Honda

Honda's CPO program is an obvious choice, as it boasts just about everything we're looking for. For one thing, there's a generous powertrain warranty, which offers 7 years or 100,000 miles of coverage from the original sale date. There's also a strong bumper-to-bumper limited warranty, offering 1 year or 12,000 miles of additional coverage beyond the original bumper-to-bumper warranty. Honda's program is also fully transferable to subsequent owners and touts no deductible, two important signs of an excellent CPO offering.

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Kia

Kia is an easy pick for our list. The brand's CPO program offers a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, a feat only equaled by sister brand Hyundai. Unfortunately, Kia's warranty doesn't appear at the top of our list because its bumper-to-bumper limited coverage doesn't go as far as Hyundai's, boasting only an additional 1 year or 12,000 miles of comprehensive coverage compared to Hyundai's 5 years or 60,000 miles. Still, we like the long powertrain warranty, as well as the program's low deductible ($50 per visit) and its full transferability to subsequent owners.

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Mazda

Mazda's CPO program has a lot to offer shoppers interested in buying a used vehicle with the peace of mind that comes from a manufacturer-backed warranty. For instance, we like the long powertrain coverage, which lasts an impressive 7 years or 100,000 miles from the original sale date. We also like the bumper-to-bumper limited warranty, which offers 1 year or 12,000 miles of additional coverage. And then there are the perks: no deductible and full transferability to subsequent owners.

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Mini

Mini offers something no other non-luxury brand's CPO offering does: a 6-year or 100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty, just like parent brand BMW. But it doesn't lead our list, as the automaker doesn't provide an extended powertrain warranty to rival Hyundai's excellent 10-year or 100,000-mile coverage. We're also a little discouraged by the fact that low-mileage Mini models get only 5 years or 75,000 miles of coverage, down from the maximum of 6 years or 100,000 miles. Also, MINI's CPO program is only transferable within the brand's dealer network. Still, there's a lot to like about Mini's offering, between the long available warranty and the low $50 deductible.

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Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi's CPO program is impressive on paper, as it offers everything Hyundai's does and more. There are 5 years or 60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper limited coverage from the original sale date, a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty and full transferability to a new owner. As the icing on the cake, Mitsubishi's warranty has no deductible, while Hyundai's has a $50 charge per visit. So why isn't Mitsubishi No. 1 on our list? Mainly due to volume: While there are thousands of certified pre-owned Hyundai models currently listed on Autotrader, you'll find only a handful of certified Mitsubishi CPO vehicles, if that. For a shopper actually interested in buying a car in the near future, that means Hyundai's program is far more practical to consider.

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Subaru

Subaru offers a CPO program with an excellent powertrain warranty, touting 7 years or 100,000 miles of coverage from the original sale date. That figure puts the program ahead of GM, MINI and several others. Subaru also offers no deductible and full transferability to subsequent owners. But it just barely makes our list. The reason? Subaru's CPO program offers no extension of the brand's original bumper-to-bumper limited warranty, which lasts for only 3 years or 36,000 miles. Once that's expired, don't expect to get your power window switches fixed under warranty -- or your air conditioning, for that matter. As Subaru continues to revamp its entire lineup and add cutting-edge safety tech, we think the company should consider enhancing the limited bumper-to-bumper CPO warranty.

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Toyota

Toyota's excellent CPO program comes with an impressive warranty and a few additional perks. The automaker tacks on 1 year or 12,000 miles of additional coverage to its original bumper-to-bumper limited warranty while also extending the brand's powertrain warranty to a generous 7 years or 100,000 miles. Toyota's CPO program is also fully transferable to future owners. Like Hyundai, Kia and MINI, Toyota has a $50 deductible. Still, that's a small issue and shouldn't dissuade you from considering a used Toyota with the brand's excellent CPO warranty. Given Toyota's reputation for reliability, you may end up never paying that deductible.

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10 Best Non-Luxury CPO Programs for 2016 - Autotrader