Strong model availability. Incentives offered. Long powertrain warranty. Good bumper-to-bumper coverage and additional ownership perks.
After evaluating all of the available certified offerings on the market based on those factors, Autotrader editors have picked the best non-luxury and luxury certified pre-owned programs for 2020.
Autotrader selected Hyundai as the top pick for the non-luxury CPO program and named the Lexus CPO program as the best among luxury carmakers.
“The bottom line is that both Lexus and Hyundai offer the kind of program and the kind of cars you can count on for many years to come,” Autotrader executive editor Brian Moody said in a news release.
Autotrader noted that compared to a typical used car, CPO vehicles come with manufacturer-backed warranties and extras such as roadside assistance and free trial subscriptions to satellite radio.
All CPO cars go through manufacturer-required, multi-point inspections and repairs, as needed, to restore all functions back to factory settings.
“This gives the buyer peace of mind that they are buying the best the brand has to offer when it comes to a pre-owned vehicle,” Autotrader wrote. “The CPOs will have extended warranties that provide protection for additional years, and in many cases unlimited mileage, during the time the second buyer has the car.”
For the non-luxury CPO program, Autotrader said Hyundai continues to stand out as the top pick. Hyundai’s CPO program has an advantage because of its 10-year/100,000-mile new-vehicle powertrain warranty, Autotrader said.
Hyundai’s CPO program reinstates the full term of the original powertrain warranty. Hybrid and electric CPO cars also qualify for a 10-year or 100,000-mile battery warranty.
In addition, whatever remains of the original 5-year or 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited new-car warranty also transfers to the CPO vehicle.
For Hyundai, full transferability if you sell your CPO car to a private buyer, a $35-per-day rental car allowance during covered repairs, complimentary 24/7 roadside assistance and trip-interruption benefits when covered repairs are required more than 150 miles from home are additional CPO benefits.
Autotrader said it sees only one significant shortcoming of Hyundai’s program: the $50 deductible that Hyundai requires for every covered repair. But Autotrader said that is “fairly standard among nonluxury CPO programs.” Only a few nonluxury CPO plans, such as Chevrolet and Honda, don’t require a deductible. Others, including Ford and FCA (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and so forth), have a $100 deductible.
Among luxury brands, the Lexus CPO program, L/Certified, “checks nearly all the boxes of what a CPO program should offer,” Autotrader said.
To the remaining balance of the original four-year or 50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper new-car warranty (which includes powertrain coverage), the CPO warranty adds two years and unlimited mileage.
That works out to a total of six years with unlimited mileage.
“Its unlimited mileage puts L/Certified over the top in our voting,” Autotrader wrote.
Autotrader said that although other programs feature unlimited mileage, the time cap is usually about two years.
“In this case, Lexus knows they have a quality product and stand behind it with unlimited mileage and a long warranty period,” Autotrader wrote.
Unlimited mileage is a strong advantage, Autotrader said. That is especially the case for those doing a lot of driving. Lexus does not require a deductible for covered repairs. For repairs estimated to take more than eight hours, it also offers a complimentary loaner car.
Autotrader identified the 2020 Best Non-Luxury and Best Luxury CPO Programs based on factors such as powertrain warranty length (with a minimum of six years or 100,000 miles of coverage from the original sale date), available inventory, bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage and transferability to future vehicle owners, special financing terms, highest volume and broadest possible spectrum of CPO vehicle types and price ranges currently listed for sale, and ease of understanding warranty overall.
“Today, car shoppers are really focused on value and affordability,” Moody said.
Moody continued, “For those who have decided a new car is too expensive but are unsure of the long-term prospect of buying a used car, certified pre-owned vehicles are an excellent alternative.”