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7 Great CPO Hybrid Cars for Under $20,000

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author photo by Doug DeMuro November 2015

If you're interested in saving money at the pump and on repairs, you might want to consider a certified pre-owned (CPO) hybrid car. You've probably already realized that hybrid cars can save you money on fuel -- but you may not realize that certified pre-owned models combine the peace of mind that comes with a manufacturer-backed warranty and the financial savings of a used car. To show you what we mean, we've rounded up seven of our favorite hybrid cars you can buy today with a certified pre-owned warranty for $20,000 or less.

2011-2014 Chevrolet Volt

Instead of a regular hybrid, why not a plug-in? Believe it or not, the once-pricy Chevrolet Volt is now easy to find with a certified pre-owned warranty for a budget-friendly $20,000 or less -- so easy, in fact, that there are more than 300 different examples listed on Autotrader at that price point. In addition to offering excellent fuel economy, the Volt also touts around 40 miles of fully electric range -- an amazing figure that no conventional hybrid can match. Choose a certified pre-owned Volt, and you'll also get 1 year or 12,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper warranty protection, along with up to 5 years or 100,000 total miles of powertrain coverage -- all backed by General Motors.

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2013-2014 Ford C-MAX

Although Ford's C-MAX hatchback never quite matched the Toyota Prius in terms of popularity or fuel economy, the 5-door hybrid is especially enticing as a certified pre-owned vehicle. That's because it offers Ford's 7-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, along with a sharp discount from new -- so sharp that there are currently nearly 280 different certified pre-owned C-MAX models listed on Autotrader. And while the C-MAX won't quite get Prius-like fuel economy, it offers a lot more power than the popular Toyota -- along with impressive interior space and a still-respectable 42 miles per gallon in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.

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2011-2014 Honda CR-Z

If you want your hybrid to offer a sporty flair, you may want to consider the Honda CR-Z. Featuring bold styling and a head-turning 3-door body style, the CR-Z is the spiritual (and hybrid-powered) successor to Honda's well-loved 1980s CRX. It also touts a surprisingly long list of standard equipment, including a backup camera, automatic climate control, an iPod/USB interface, Bluetooth, full power accessories, keyless entry and a thrifty hybrid 4-cylinder that offers up to 36 mpg city/39 mpg hwy with the optional continuously variable automatic transmission. The best part: Opt for a certified pre-owned CR-Z, and you can choose between nearly 70 different examples listed on Autotrader, each of which tout Honda's 1-year or 12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage.

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2012-2014 Kia Optima Hybrid

A certified pre-owned version of the Kia Optima Hybrid is a handsome midsize sedan that offers several major benefits for drivers looking to save money. One is, of course, fuel economy: The Optima Hybrid boasts an impressive 36 mpg city/40 mpg hwy thanks to an efficient 2.4-liter hybrid 4-cylinder engine. We also love Kia's excellent certified pre-owned warranty, which offers powertrain coverage for up to 10 years or 100,000 miles and a 1-year or 12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. Most importantly, we like the Optima Hybrid's pricing: There are currently more than 70 certified pre-owned examples on Autotrader for around $20,000 or less, all of which come standard with desirable features such as Bluetooth, keyless ignition and entry, a backup camera and automatic climate control.

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2011-2014 Lexus CT 200h

The handsome Lexus CT 200h has routinely been among our favorite compact cars. Fuel economy is a major reason, as the CT touts up to 43 mpg city/40 mpg hwy. But we also like its long list of standard features and reasonable pricing -- pricing that's even more attractive if you pick a certified pre-owned model. We say that because there are currently more than 50 different certified pre-owned CT 200h models on Autotrader for around $20,000 or less -- a great deal when you consider its luxurious list of available equipment, its upscale brand name and Lexus' excellent CPO warranty, which offers coverage for up to 3 years or 100,000 total vehicle miles from the day you buy the car.

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2011-2014 Toyota Prius

If you're looking to save money at the pump and avoid costly repairs, perhaps no car deserves a higher spot on your shopping list than a certified pre-owned Toyota Prius. When it comes to fuel economy, the Prius is virtually unequaled: It touts an impressive 51 mpg city/48 mpg hwy. As for repairs, Toyota's certified pre-owned program offers 1 year or 12,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage, along with 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection -- and that means you won't have to worry about much as you drive your highly efficient hatchback. Another benefit: There are currently well over 1,000 different certified pre-owned Prius models on Autotrader for around $20,000 or less, which means you'll have no shortage of different trim levels and body styles to choose from.

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2013-2015 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid

Although the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid has never enjoyed the success of the diesel-powered Jetta TDI, we can't quite understand why. One reason we like the Jetta Hybrid is its fuel economy figures, which -- at 42 mpg city/48 mpg hwy -- dramatically outpace the TDI's numbers. The Jetta Hybrid also offers more equipment than the Jetta TDI, including standard dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and Bluetooth. Perhaps the only drawback to the Jetta Hybrid is its pricing, but that's why we suggest a certified pre-owned model, which comes with a standard 2-year or 24,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and can be easily found on Autotrader for around $20,000 or less.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
7 Great CPO Hybrid Cars for Under $20,000 - Autotrader