Search Cars for Sale

Does the New Ford Sales Program Offer a Better Deal Than CPO?

If you’re interested in getting an excellent deal on a new Ford between now and the end of the year, the automaker is offering two great options. One is the brand’s new “Friends and Neighbors” incentive, which is bringing employee pricing to all customers in order to spur sales and increase market share. Or you can take advantage of the brand’s certified pre-owned (CPO) program, which boasts a discount and a manufacturer-backed warranty that offers 1 year or 12,000 miles of comprehensive coverage and 7 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection. So which is better? We’re taking a look at several of the automaker’s most popular models to see whether they offer a better deal under the CPO program or the new Friends and Neighbors sales program.

Ford Explorer

According to the automaker, the Friends and Neighbors program offers a maximum discount of $1,938 on a 2016 Explorer XLT. Combined with a few other incentives on the recently updated model, that figure can increase to around $2,500 or slightly more if you choose certain packages that are also available with discounts. That brings the starting price of an Explorer XLT to around $32,800 with front-wheel drive, or $34,700 with all-wheel drive.

By comparison, the average price of a CPO 2015 Explorer XLT with front-wheel drive is around $32,300 on Autotrader, while all-wheel drive bumps that up to $33,500. Admittedly, most of these CPO models have more options than a base-level 2016 Explorer XLT, but they have more miles, too. They also won’t include the Explorer’s latest updates for 2016, which include refreshed interior and exterior styling, new features and a newly available 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine.

In this case, we’d get the 2016 Explorer. It’s a bit more money, but not much and it offers several benefits over a CPO 2015 model, such as a fresh odometer, updated styling and new equipment.

Ford F-150

Although high-end versions of the 2015 F-150 are getting even bigger discounts through the brand’s Friends and Neighbors program, we’re taking a look at the popular XLT model. It’s getting a $2,187 discount under the program — a deal that can be combined with cash-back incentives reaching as high as $3,250. The result is that the starting price of a brand-new F-150 XLT is $27,100 with shipping, which is down from around $32,500. Opt for 4-wheel drive, and that figure increases to around $30,200 with shipping.

So what does a CPO model cost? The average price of a CPO 2-wheel drive 2014 F-150 XLT on Autotrader is $28,800, while opting for 4-wheel drive bumps that number to $32,400. Admittedly, these trucks likely have more options than the example we’ve described above, but they also have some miles on the odometer. They don’t use the F-150’s latest design, with its new styling, revised interior and aluminum construction.

To us, this one is a no-brainer: Given the automaker’s excellent incentives, we’d choose the new F-150 over a CPO version of last year’s model. Not only do you get to own the truck from new, but you get a new design and you won’t pay much more for the privilege.

Ford Focus

The popular 2016 Focus SE sedan offers a discount of $748 under the Friends and Neighbors program, while the SE hatchback offers a discount of $771. Combined with other incentives, that means the SE hatchback starts around $18,600 with shipping, while the SE sedan starts around $18,100.

Meanwhile, the average price for a CPO 2015 Focus SE sedan is $16,700 on Autotrader, while the average CPO 2015 Focus SE hatchback is $16,800. That’s a discount of around $2,000 compared to a brand-new model — not a small figure. Plus, most CPO Focus models offer far more equipment than the base-level 2016 Focus we’ve described above.

In this case, we’d choose the CPO Focus over the new model, even with the Friends and Neighbors discount. Yes, the Friends and Neighbors program offers a good deal, but we’d rather save the $2,000 by going for a used model and getting a low-mileage used Focus with more options and features in the process.

Ford Fusion

The midsize 2016 Fusion sedan’s middle-of-the-road SE trim level offers a $1,260 discount under the new Friends and Neighbors program. Combine that with a $1,750 cash-back incentive, and the base price of a new Fusion SE is just $21,500 with shipping. Meanwhile, the popular Fusion Hybrid offers a $1,413 discount under the Friends and Neighbors program, bringing its base price to $25,500 with shipping.

Meanwhile, the average price of a CPO 2015 Fusion SE on Autotrader is around $20,500, while the average price of a CPO 2015 Fusion SE Hybrid is around $22,000.

This is a close one. While the CPO models offer lower prices (by $1,000 for a gas-powered model and around $3,500 for a hybrid), they also come with miles on the odometer. However, they likely include more options than the base-level 2016 Fusion we’ve described above. In this case, we’d probably opt for a new 2016 Fusion SE over a CPO model, but we’d choose a CPO Fusion SE Hybrid, due to its more substantial price difference compared to a brand-new version.

Our Take

It isn’t often that you see a brand’s new-car incentives offering such a great deal that you can get a better price on a new car than on a used one. But that’s exactly what’s going on now with the Friends and Neighbors incentive, which runs through the end of the year. As a result, we strongly suggest considering a brand-new Ford model instead of a CPO version if you plan on buying a vehicle in the next 2 months.

Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

Sign up for Autotrader newsletters

The best cars and best deals delivered to your inbox

Email Address 

By subscribing, you agree to our privacy policy

Where You Can Buy

Loading dealers...

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles

Best New Cars for 2022

Here is our list of the best new cars for 2022 (presented in alphabetical order by manufacturer).

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: First Look

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid jumps to the head of the hybrid class.

Best Car Deals: November 2022

This month's best new car deals include several attractive offers for qualified shoppers.

Search By Style

More Articles Like This