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10 Best Non-Luxury CPO Programs for 2018

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author photo by AutoTrader May 2018

If you're interested in buying a new car, you might be surprised that many of your top choices are more expensive than you were expecting. According to KBB.com, the average transaction price for a new car is now just over $35,000. And while you may consider buying a used car instead, reliability is always a concern with used cars. For a good compromise, we suggest a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle -- a recent used car with a manufacturer-backed warranty, often at a big discount from the new price. CPO programs also tend to come with extra perks, like a thorough mechanical inspection, a free trial period of satellite radio or complimentary roadside assistance.

But some certified pre-owned programs are better than others -- so we've thoroughly researched them all, and we've created a list of the best ones on the market. We've picked one that stands above all the others, and we've listed nine others that deserve your consideration -- though the additional nine programs are ranked alphabetically, rather than ranked like our top choice. That's mostly due to differing terms and complexity of coverage, as the age and mileage of the exact car you get will determine whether one program might be better for you than another.

Our picks consider several criteria, including powertrain warranty length (with a minimum of six years or 100,000 miles of coverage from the original sale date), bumper-to-bumper warranty length, deductible amount and transferability to future owners. This list displays our top ten picks among mainstream brands; we've listed premium "luxury" brands separately.

Top Choice: Hyundai

Hyundai's certified pre-owned program is highly impressive. It's not just the best among non-luxury brands, but it's also one of the top contenders among the best certified pre-owned programs in the entire car industry. The warranty is, of course, the primary reason: If you buy a certified pre-owned Hyundai, the CPO program extends the factory warranty back to its original five years or 60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage and 10 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage -- the same warranty you get when you purchase a brand-new Hyundai. That's different from buying a normal used Hyundai, as the warranty shortens to three years or 36,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage and five years or 60,000 miles of powertrain coverage -- unless you get the CPO warranty.

We also like that Hyundai's CPO coverage is fully transferable to subsequent owners, which will add value to your Hyundai if you sell it before the warranty expires. Given that many CPO Hyundai shoppers are likely looking for terrific value, we have to point out that there's a $50 deductible on covered repairs. It's a fair amount, but some automakers have no deductible at all.

Find a CPO Hyundai for sale

Chevrolet

Chevrolet's certified pre-owned program earns it a spot on our list, as it touts strong coverage for shoppers interested in a used car with some extra peace of mind. Chevy's coverage is identical to the warranty offered by GMC, listed below, because both brands are part of the General Motors family. The coverage is excellent, as it includes one year or 12,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper protection, which starts at the completion of the 3-year or 36,000-mile factory warranty (or from your purchase date if the factory warranty is already expired when you buy your CPO car).

Better yet, Chevy's CPO warranty touts six years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage from the original sale date, which adds additional peace of mind. Chevy's CPO warranty is also fully transferable to subsequent owners and has no deductible, which is enticing. Finally, it includes two free maintenance visits in the first two years or 24,000 miles -- a small perk, but one that's worth noting.

Find a CPO Chevrolet for sale

Ford

Ford's certified pre-owned program offers excellent warranty coverage that roughly mirrors coverage from a few other brands listed here, including Honda, Mazda and Toyota. The main benefit of Ford's program is the warranty, which offers one year or 12,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage from the conclusion of the factory warranty, or -- if the factory warranty is already expired when you buy your certified pre-owned Ford -- from your purchase date.

Ford's CPO program also includes seven years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage from the original sale date, just beating out six years of coverage offered by rival brand Chevrolet. If you buy a Ford with the CPO warranty, your warranty is also fully transferable to subsequent owners, adding value to your vehicle if you decide to sell it. The only drawback is Ford's steep $100 deductible, which is among the highest of any CPO warranty. Still, a 7-year/100,000-mile warranty is impressive.

Find a CPO Ford for sale

GMC

GMC's certified pre-owned program is identical to the program offered by Chevrolet and described above, as both brands are under the General Motors umbrella. GM offers the same coverage for Chevrolet, GMC and Buick brands, and it's rather enticing: All certified pre-owned GMC models offer one year or 12,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage that starts from the expiration of the original factory bumper-to-bumper warranty (three years or 36,000 miles), or from the day you purchase the car if the factory warranty has already expired.

GMC's CPO program also includes powertrain coverage that lasts for six years or 100,000 miles from the original sale date, which is also highly appealing. Certified pre-owned GMC models also include full transferability to subsequent owners and no deductible -- a big benefit -- and two free maintenance visits for the first two years or 24,000 miles, which is a small perk that improves an already excellent CPO program.

Find a CPO GMC for sale

Honda

Honda's CPO program is an obvious choice for our list, as it touts excellent coverage that adds peace of mind to the brand's products, which are already notoriously reliable. The best part of Honda's warranty is powertrain coverage that lasts for up to seven years or 100,000 miles from the car's original sale date, which roughly mirrors coverage offered by Ford, Mazda and Toyota.

Also similar to those plans is Honda's bumper-to-bumper coverage: One year or 12,000 miles from the conclusion of the factory bumper-to-bumper warranty, or (if that warranty is already expired when you buy your CPO Honda) from your purchase date. Honda's CPO program also offers full transferability to future owners and no deductible, two excellent perks.

Find a CPO Honda for sale

Kia

Kia's certified pre-owned program is an easy pick for our list, as it offers one of the best powertrain warranties in the business. That warranty lasts for up to 10 years or 100,000 miles from the original sale date, which is equaled only by sister brand Hyundai -- our top pick. The reason Kia isn't alongside Hyundai at the top of this list has to do with the bumper-to-bumper warranty: While Hyundai boasts five years or 60,000 miles of coverage from the original sale date, Kia offers only one year or 12,000 miles from your purchase date -- still an appealing term, especially when combined with the powertrain warranty.

Kia's CPO program also boasts a reasonable deductible of only $50 per visit and full transferability to future owners, enhancing your car's value should you decide to sell your CPO Kia while it's still under warranty.

Find a CPO Kia for sale

Mazda

Mazda's certified program is an easy choice for our list, as it touts excellent coverage that provides great peace of mind to shoppers who may be reticent about buying a used car. Our favorite part of Mazda's program is the powertrain warranty, which boasts coverage for up to seven years or 100,000 miles from the original sale date -- longer than many rival brands. Mazda's CPO program also includes bumper-to-bumper coverage for one year or 12,000 miles from the conclusion of the original factory bumper-to-bumper warranty -- or from the day you buy the car, if the factory warranty has already expired.

Mazda's CPO program is also impressive for including no deductible for repairs (compared to a $100 deductible from Ford and $50 from Toyota) and for full warranty transferability to subsequent owners, which will enhance the value of your Mazda if you sell it while it's still under warranty.

Find a CPO Mazda for sale

Nissan

Nissan's certified pre-owned program offers excellent powertrain coverage, touting seven years or 100,000 miles of powertrain warranty coverage from the original sale date -- among the best on our list. Unfortunately, like Subaru's program, Nissan's doesn't add any additional bumper-to-bumper coverage beyond the original three years and 36,000 miles of coverage Nissan models get from the factory. Still, the excellent peace of mind provided by Nissan's powertrain warranty is noteworthy, and it earns the warranty a spot on our list -- as does the relatively low deductible of $50 per visit, and the fact that the warranty is fully transferable to a subsequent owner, which could help add value to your Nissan if you want to sell it while it's still covered by the CPO warranty.

Find a CPO Nissan for sale

Subaru

Subaru's certified pre-owned warranty boasts strong powertrain warranty coverage, as it offers seven years or 100,000 miles of coverage from the original sale date -- a longer term than Chevrolet or GMC, and equal to some of the other top brands on our list. Unfortunately, Subaru's CPO program doesn't offer any additional bumper-to-bumper coverage beyond the original 3-year or 36,000-mile factory warranty, while most other brands do. Still, the extensive powertrain coverage is enough to earn Subaru's CPO program a spot on our list -- especially when you also consider that the program touts no deductible and full transferability to subsequent owners (though transferring the CPO warranty requires paying a $75 fee).

Find a CPO Subaru for sale

Toyota

The coverage details of Toyota's certified pre-owned program roughly mirror those of CPO programs offered by Ford, Honda and Mazda. That means a powertrain warranty that covers cars for up to seven years or 100,000 miles from the original sale date, which is a generous term that adds peace of mind. Toyota's CPO program also offers one year or 12,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage that starts at the conclusion of the original factory bumper-to-bumper warranty -- or from the day you buy the car, if the factory warranty has already expired by then. Two other strong perks that make Toyota an obvious choice for our list: Toyota's CPO warranty is fully transferable to future owners at no charge, and the deductible is a relatively low $50 per visit.

Find a CPO Toyota for sale

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10 Best Non-Luxury CPO Programs for 2018 - Autotrader