Who has the Best Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles?

The Best Certified Pre-owned Car Programs

Sometimes, buying a pre-owned vehicle can be a smart, cost effective alternative to buying a new one. Most automotive companies offer a warranty program that covers certified pre-owned, or CPO, vehicles, usually meaning vehicles within several years of the current model and under a certain mileage without a history of serious damage.


Every year IntelliChoice, a part of the Motor Trend Automotive Group, compares and scores pre-owned car programs, and then awards the best certified pre-owned programs. IntelliChoice divides manufacturers into two categories: premium, which includes the likes of Volvo, Cadillac, Lincoln, and popular, which includes Hyundai, Honda, MINI, and others. Both groups are rated on the same nine criteria: extended manufacturer warranties, title verification, certification inspection process, roadside assistance, special financing, return/exchange policies, program and dealer compliance, used cost of ownership, and market penetration.


For the fifth year in a row, Volvo has garnered the Best Premium Program Award, though Cadillac and Porsche are not far behind. In the popular category, Hyundai climbed to the top, overcoming MINI and Volkswagen.


Above the Rest


So what does it take to be the best program? In the premium category, Volvo has 100% of its 315 dealerships participating in their program, compared with 96% of Cadillac’s 911 dealerships, and 98% of Porsche’s. Dealership participation dips in some places in the popular class, with 84% of Hyundai’s dealerships participating. Though Volkswagen has a 100% dealership participation, its 24 month / 24,000 mile Bumper to Bumper warranty is eclipsed by Hyundai’s 120 month / 100,000 mile powertrain Warranty.


A Closer Look at the Perks

Many people think that a warranty covers just maintenance and repair, but many manufacturers offer some surprising benefits in their certified pre-owned warranties. Here’s a look at what Volvo and Hyundai offer.


Besides it standard 6 year / 100,000 mile warranty (which can be extended to either 7 or 8 year), Volvo also requires no deductible for CPO warranty visits. The warranty also includes roadside assistance, which offers roadside towing anytime of day, any time of the year, as well as up to $5,000 theft insurance. A full list of Volvo’s benefits can be viewed here. In the popular class, Hyundai offers a $50 deductible on CPO warranty repairs, and a 10 year, unlimited mile roadside assistance plan.


With all of the manufacturer coverage and assistance offered, a certified pre-owned vehicle may just as good as a choice as purchasing a new one. Your local car dealer can help you in exploring and better understanding this option. 

June 11, 2012 by Jamie Rettig