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Buying a Used Car: 7 Longest CPO Warranties in 2019

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author photo by Russ Heaps July 2019

When buying a used car, ranking the best certified pre-owned (CPO) warranties is different from picking the longest CPO warranties. We recently published our picks for the best CPO programs among luxury and non-luxury brands. We considered a variety of CPO program elements, such as deductibles, free roadside assistance, free loaner cars and so forth, in addition to the length of warranty coverage in arriving at our picks for the best CPO programs.

Coming up with the brands with the longest CPO warranty coverage for this list, we only considered warranty lengths. Sounds simple, right? Not really. Many CPO warranties provide two distinct warranties for bumper-to-bumper protection and powertrain (engine, transmission and drivetrain) protection. Some CPO warranties lump bumper to bumper and powertrain together. A couple, like Nissan, offer a healthy CPO powertrain warranty (7 years/100,000 miles from the original purchase date), but no bumper-to-bumper coverage beyond whatever might be left of the original 3-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty.

The second major issue in determining the longest CPO warranties is, warranty length is stated in time (months or years) and miles. If you drive more than 10,000 miles each year, your 10-year/100,000-mile warranty will expire before reaching the 10-year mark -- perhaps way before. For those drivers, maybe a 7-year/100,000-mile warranty will work out about the same as the 10-year one.

Because of the separate warranties and the two ways warranty length can be calculated, we introduced a bit of subjectivity into picking and ranking this list. We gave a little more weight to comprehensive coverage than we did to powertain alone coverage. We also weighed in favor of CPO warranties with unlimited miles. We should also note that Mitsubishi has some of the longest CPO-warranty coverage in the business, but we didn't include it among our picks because there are so few CPO Mitsubishi vehicles available. Here then are our picks ranked in order.

  1. Porsche. Despite its CPO warranty only extending the original new-car bumper-to-bumper warranty for the first two years of CPO ownership, we ranked Porsche as providing the longest CPO warranty for two reasons. First, the warranty terms are 2 years without a mileage limit. Second, vehicles as old as 13 years can qualify for Porsche's CPO program. When you figure in the two additional years of coverage for CPO vehicles, that totals out to as many as 15 years with unlimited miles. This is by far the longest coverage. Find a Porsche for sale

  2. Jaguar and Land Rover. We've lumped these two carmakers together because both are owned by India's Tata Motors and provide identical CPO programs. When new these vehicles come with a 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. When the original warranty expires, the CPO warranty kicks in. It provides 3 years and another 50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage for a total of 7-years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first. Find a Jaguar for sale or Find a Land Rover for sale

  3. Lexus. We crowned Lexus as providing the best CPO program for luxury cars. Many factors contributed to our conclusion, but at the top of the list of reasons is the ultimate length of the CPO bumper-to-bumper warranty, which is 2 years with unlimited miles beginning either when the original 4-year/50,000-miles limited new-car warranty expires or, if the original warranty is already expired, from the CPO purchase date. In other words, a total of six years of bumper-to-bumper coverage with no mileage cap. Find a Lexus for sale

  4. Infiniti. Somewhat difficult to unravel, Infiniti's CPO warranty coverage is better for vehicles with more than 15,000 miles on the odometer at the time of the CPO purchase than those with less than that mileage. With less than 15,000 miles, Infiniti provides its CPO vehicle with 6 years/75,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper warranty from the original new-car purchase date. CPO vehicles with more than 15,000 miles get the same 6-year coverage, but the 75,000-miles mileage cap extends to unlimited miles. For Infiniti CPO vehicles with more than 15,000 miles, the warranty coverage ties with Lexus. Find an Infiniti for sale

  5. Lincoln. We slotted Lincoln here among our picks because, although its CPO-warranty length in years isn't as long as Hyundai's or Kia's, it is more comprehensive. In other words, it provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for 6 years or 100,000 miles from the original new-car purchase date. This is 2 years and 50,000 miles more than the original new-car warranty. Find a Lincoln for sale

  6. Hyundai. Hyundai and Kia have been marketing their vehicles with an industry-leading 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty for well over a decade. This warranty doesn't transfer to pre-owned models unless they are certified as part of the CPO program. Hyundai CPO vehicles, however, retain whatever time and miles are left on both its 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and its original 5-year/60,000-mile limited new-car warranty.  Find a Hyundai for sale

  7. Kia. Although Kia and Hyundai offer the same 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, the balance of which is transferred to their CPO vehicles, Kia does not transfer any of its original new-car bumper-to-bumper warranty through its CPO program. Instead, it provides a 1-year/12,000-mile limited CPO warranty effective from the date of the CPO purchase.  Find a Kia for sale

In buying a used car, there are many variables to consider when evaluating the benefits of a CPO program. The length of warranty coverage is simply one of them. However, peace of mind is a driving force in buying CPO. The longer and more comprehensive the warranty coverage, the greater the peace of mind.

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Buying a Used Car: 7 Longest CPO Warranties in 2019 - Autotrader