If you’re considering a new car, you’ve probably noticed that many new models can be very expensive, especially as you add options and extras for convenience, comfort and safety. Maybe you’d consider a used vehicle to save money, but you’re anxious about maintenance and repair costs that come from driving a car that was previously owned by someone else. Fortunately, our latest list is the perfect compromise.
We’ve rounded up 10 must-shop certified pre-owned (CPO) models that we consider to be as "good as new" (if you’re looking for a luxury car, check out our Good as New: 10 Must-Shop CPO Luxury Cars for 2017). Yes, each car on our list is used — but each one of our recommendations includes a manufacturer-backed CPO warranty that lasts for up to 100,000 miles, giving you far more peace of mind than a traditional used car. Additionally, each car on our list is easy to find for around $40,000 or less (and in some cases, a lot less), which ensures every model we’ve features is a lot more budget-friendly than a brand-new car. And, only vehicles with an overall federal government safety rating of four stars or more were included (five stars is the maximum).
But most importantly, we say that each model on our list is "good as new" because each one boasts the latest design or body style for that particular vehicle. That means that if you choose a vehicle from our list, you’ll get a long manufacturer-backed warranty for a great discount compared to the original price — and you’ll have a modern design that’s so up-to-date, you’d have to check the odometer to know it isn’t a brand-new model. How could you go wrong?
2015-2016 Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon
The Chevrolet Tahoe and the GMC Yukon are excellent full-size SUVs for drivers who want to tow or haul heavy loads and carry a whole family — and their gear — at the same time. Featuring V8 power and a lot of available equipment, the Tahoe and the Yukon have only one drawback: pricing. Both models start just under $50,000, with high-end versions even approaching $70,000.
The solution, of course, is to get a CPO model. Choose a pre-owned 2015 or 2016 Tahoe, and you’ll get the automaker’s latest design, along with an excellent CPO warranty that boasts an extra year of bumper-to-bumper coverage and powertrain protection for up to 6 years or 100,000 miles. The best part: The average CPO 2015-2016 Tahoe is available on Autotrader for around $46,000, with dozens of examples listed for under $40,000, a huge discount from new. Of course, the mechanically identical GMC Yukon is available with similar pricing.
2015-2016 Ford F-150
The Ford F-Series is America’s most popular vehicle, and the light-duty F-150 is the most popular variant. If you’re into pickups, it’s easy to see why, as the F-150 really has it all: dozens of body-style, cab, trim-level and engine configurations, along with rear- or all-wheel drive — and even aluminum construction to save weight and increase fuel economy. Perhaps the only drawback is price: A new F-150 might start around $27,500, but just adding a few options quickly moves things closer to $40,000, and some versions even top $60,000 when fully equipped.
Consider a CPO version of the 2015-2016 F-150, which represents the model’s most recent design. Not only will you get excellent warranty coverage — Ford’s CPO program offers 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection and an extra year of bumper-to-bumper coverage — you’ll also get a good deal compared to a new model, as the average price of a pre-owned 2015-2016 F-150 listed on Autotrader is just $35,200. Our only gripe with Ford’s CPO program is its steep deductible: While most rivals charge $50, if anything at all, Ford’s deductible is a pricey $100. You might want to factor that in before signing the papers on a certified pre-owned F-150.
2013-2016 Honda Accord
The Honda Accord is one of our favorite midsize vehicles, as it offers impressive durability, great gas mileage and a wide selection of trim levels and models that ensures there’s something for everyone, including a hybrid version and a coupe body style.
While the Accord’s price range — $23,300 for a base model to around $35,500 for an upscale Accord Touring — isn’t highly expensive, shoppers looking for a good deal can instead consider a certified pre-owned 2013-2016 model, which represents the Accord’s latest body style. Not only will they get an excellent warranty (one additional year of bumper-to-bumper coverage, plus 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection), but they’ll also get a good deal: the average certified pre-owned 2013-2016 Accord is listed for just $19,700 on Autotrader.
2015-2016 Hyundai Sonata
The Hyundai Sonata is an excellent midsize family sedan with a roomy interior, coupelike styling and several engine choices, including a fuel-efficient hybrid and an ultra-efficient plug-in hybrid. And while drivers interested in a Sonata might find its $22,900 base price alluring, well-equipped models can top $35,000 with shipping.
That’s where a CPO warranty comes in. Opt for a 2015-2016 Sonata, and you’ll get the sedan’s latest body style, along with excellent warranty coverage that offers bumper-to-bumper protection for up to 5 years or 60,000 miles and a powertrain warranty that lasts for 10 years or 100,000 miles. You’ll also get a great deal, as the average asking price for a CPO 2015-2016 Sonata on Autotrader is just $17,600.
2014-2016 Kia Soul
The Kia Soul is a popular small, front-wheel-drive hatchback that touts unusual styling, excellent practicality and great gas mileage above all else. The Soul also offers reasonable pricing, with figures ranging from $16,900 for a base model to nearly $30,000 for a fully equipped Soul! (That exclamation point is, strangely enough, the trim level.)
Want an even better deal on a Soul? Consider a CPO model. Not only will you get an extra year of bumper-to-bumper warranty and powertrain coverage for up to 10 years or 100,000 miles, but a CPO 2014-2016 Soul features the exact same design as a new model, along with a discounted price — the average CPO 2014-2016 Soul is listed on Autotrader for just $14,800.
The Mazda3 is one of our favorite compact cars, as it somehow manages to combine handsome styling with excellent handling, reasonable pricing and impressive practicality. But while pricing is indeed reasonable, drivers looking for an even better deal can opt for a CPO version.
While a new Mazda3 starts around $18,800 and can approach $30,000 when fully equipped, a CPO 2014-2016 model features the car’s latest design, as well as 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain warranty coverage and an additional year of bumper-to-bumper protection. Most importantly, the average price of a pre-owned 2014-2016 Mazda3 on Autotrader is just over $18,000 — a big discount from the car’s brand-new price range.
2015-2016 Nissan Murano
The Nissan Murano is a boldly styled crossover that breaks ranks with many rivals by offering two rows of seats and prioritizing style (and luxury) over practicality. We like the Murano — and we like its list of equipment, its standard V6 power and, yes, even its design. But we know some shoppers won’t like its price, which ranges from $30,700 for a base model to well over $40,000 for an upscale Platinum version.
Luckily, Nissan’s CPO program offers powertrain coverage for up to 7 years or 100,000 miles from the original sale date. Of course, it also gives drivers the chance to get a great deal on the latest Murano, which has been available since 2015: The average price of a CPO 2015-2016 Murano on Autotrader is just $29,700.
2015-2016 Subaru Outback
The Subaru Outback is a midsize car that manages to straddle the border between station wagon and crossover. In the "station wagon" column is its carlike ride and seating position, as well as with its easy handling, but this Subaru manages to offer the cargo capacity (and standard all-wheel drive) of an SUV.
A new Outback starts at $26,600 with shipping and goes up to around $40,000 with options — too much for some shoppers. Instead, we recommend Subaru’s CPO program, which offers up to 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage, providing excellent peace of mind. Of course, it also represents a good deal: Drivers who want an Outback with the model’s most recent body style, offered from 2015 to 2016, will be pleased to hear that the average CPO example is listed on Autotrader for just $27,800.
2015-2016 Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry is the best-selling car in America, and it’s easy to see why: The sedan offers a lot of trim levels, renowned durability, a roomy interior and a long list of available features and options. The Camry also offers fairly reasonable pricing, as it runs from $24,000 for a base model to just under $35,000 for a well-equipped XLE or Hybrid version.
Shoppers looking for an even better deal can check out Toyota’s CPO program, which offer 1 additional year of bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage and 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection. That’s a good warranty, but it’s not even the best part: Drivers can get a big discount on a CPO version of the latest Camry body style, which was sold from 2015 to 2016, as the average list price for one on Autotrader is just $18,600.