Ford is doing something radically different with its certified pre-owned program. The automaker is calling it Ford Blue Advantage (FBA). It’s a two-level program with Gold and Blue certification. Both levels include vehicles within strict age and mileage parameters. They also must pass an intensive inspection by a trained technician. Once certified into one level or another, Ford backs them with an FBA warranty. Here’s the clincher: To qualify for the Blue level, a vehicle doesn’t need to be a Ford. Blue-level certification is available to any make or model on a Ford dealership’s used-car lot (except Lincoln).
What We Like
Any make or model can qualify for Blue level; both levels provide 24-hour roadside assistance; Gold level is fully transferable
What We Don’t
High deductible for covered repairs; short duration of bumper-to-bumper warranties
The FBA Gold level is much like Ford’s previous certified pre-owned program. Each prospective FBA model can be no more than 6 years old with fewer than 80,000 miles on the odometer. It then must undergo a 172-point inspection by a factory-trained technician. Any issue the inspection reveals is repaired or replaced using factory parts. These vehicles must also have a clean vehicle history report.
Ford covers every Gold-level vehicle with a 12-month or 12,000-miles bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Ford also extends the limited powertrain warranty from 5 years or 60,000 miles to 7 years or 100,000 miles from the original new-car purchase date. If any of the original new-car warranty is still in effect, the Gold warranty kicks in when it expires. If the original new-car warranty is expired, the Gold warranty begins on the FBA sale date.
The new wrinkle in this latest edition of Ford’s certified pre-owned program is the Blue level. It is open to used Fords that didn’t meet the standards for the Gold level. For Blue, they can’t be more than 10-years old and have fewer than 120,000 miles on the odometer. A trained technician then puts them through a 139-point inspection, making any necessary repairs. Once Blue certified, Ford issues them a factory-backed 90-day or 4,000-mile limited warranty. Here’s the interesting part, the Blue level is open to any make or model on a Ford dealer’s used-car lot. That’s right, Ford will back other carmakers’ qualifying products with FBA Blue.
FBA provides other value-added perks, as well. No surprise that Gold is more comprehensive. Gold and Blue include 24-hour roadside assistance. They also provide entry into FordPass Rewards. Gold level receives 22,000 points and Blue level 11,000 points. These are redeemable toward noncovered warranty repairs, routine maintenance and the purchase of products. Gold also provides car-rental reimbursement of $35 per day for up to five days. If problems happen when away from home, Gold provides up to $500 of trip reimbursement, as well as $75 in transportation expenses to get you where you were going.
Ford allows you to transfer Gold coverage to another private owner and offers special FBA finance rates. Blue-level vehicles qualify for the regular Ford factory-backed financing.
However, Ford requires a $100 deductible for every covered repair. This is a lot as certified pre-owned deductibles go but not much if your CPO/Ford Blue Advantage car needs a new transmission and the plan covers it. Most CPO programs that have them only charge $50. Many other brands don’t charge anything at all.
The high deductible notwithstanding, Ford Blue Advantage is a solid CPO program.
When Ford launched its FBA program, it also announced an improved online experience at FordBlueAdvantage.com. Among its features are guaranteed sticker prices and at-home test drives. Powering this new digital car-shopping platform are Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, sister divisions of Cox Automotive.
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