A fun car (with a warranty) for all price brackets.
When shopping for a used vehicle, there is a big distinction between 'used' and 'certified pre-owned' (CPO). A used car might be sold with the remainder of its factory warranty but a CPO car is put through a manufacturer-approved checklist before being issued a new warranty. Basically, it's a depreciated used car with the same benefits as a new one.
There are some amazing CPO deals available on vehicles ranging from six-figure exotics to practical sedans but we wanted to focus on sports cars that you should consider. We've picked out 10 vehicles fitting a variety of budgets, so there should be something for everyone here.
The Mercedes-AMG GT was released in 2016 as AMG's answer to the Porsche 911. Despite being a fairly new model, CPO examples have already come down significantly in price. The least expensive example we found was a base GT model for $75,000, though there were several examples of the powerful GT S for under $80,000. This is a great value considering a brand-new 2020 AMG GT starts at $113,500.
All AMG GT models are powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 465 horsepower in the base guise or 503 hp in the S model. A Mercedes CPO car includes the balance of the four-year/50,000 mile factory warranty plus a one-year/unlimited-mile warranty that can be extended for two additional years.
The Scion FR-S became the Toyota 86 for the 2017 model year and there is now a decent selection of CPO examples. Prices start at under $18,000 and go up from there, which is not bad considering a 2020 Toyota 86 starts at $27,060. Each Toyota CPO vehicle includes a one-year/12,000-mile of bumper-to-bumper warranty plus a seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty from the date of sale. Spending nearly $30,000 for a 200-hp car might seem a bit high, but a sub-$20,000 used car is a lot more palatable.
With the new mid-engined model on the way, now is a great time to purchase a CPO Chevrolet Corvette. We found CPO examples of the C7 Vette starting at under $37,000, which is much less than the original $55,900 starting price. 455 hp will be plenty for most people but CPO examples of the 650-hp Z06 model now start at around $55,000. Chevy's CPO program includes the balance of the factory warranty plus a one-year/12,000-mile warranty.
It may not be as powerful as the RS model, but the Audi TTS is no slouch with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 291 hp. The original price was $53,800 but CPO examples can now be found for less than $34,000. Audi's CPO warranty includes the balance of the four-year/50,000-mile warranty plus a one-year/unlimited-mile warranty.
The Lexus RC F should be one of the most reliable models on this list, even when the warranty runs out. But Lexus has one of the best CPO programs available with a six-year/unlimited-mile limited warranty starting from the original purchase date plus two-years/20,000-miles of scheduled maintenance. The RC F's 472-hp 5.0-liter V8 should be pretty bulletproof but the warranty will protect you in case of any unforeseen issues. CPO prices start at around $38,000, which is much less than the $64,900 MSRP of a 2020 model.
There aren't too many "deals" to be had when shopping for a Porsche but a CPO Cayman is still a generally good idea. The turbocharged 718 Cayman models haven't had much time to depreciate but CPO examples of the last of the naturally aspirated models from 2016 can now be found starting at around $40,000. This is not a terrible price considering a new 718 Cayman starts at $57,500 and a Porsche CPO car includes a two-year/unlimited-mile warranty after the expiration of the factory warranty.
The Nissan 370Z has been on sale for 12 years now, and the car has had very few changes in that time. This means the new 370Z's greatest competitor is a used 370Z. We found CPO examples from 2015 starting at under $18,000, which is around $12,000 less than a 2020 model ($30,090). You still get the same 3.7-liter V6 producing 332 hp and Nissan's CPO program includes a seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty from the original sale date.
An all-new BMW M4 should arrive later this year, but why wait when a CPO example is much cheaper? A brand-new M4 will set you back $69,150 but a CPO example can be had for less than $43,000. You'll still get BMW's twin-turbocharged S55 inline-six engine producing 425 hp, plus a year of coverage as part of the CPO warranty. More years can be also added for an additional cost.
The last-generation Aston Martin Vantage is one of the prettiest cars of the century and it is now a CPO bargain. CPO examples start at around $60,000 and include a 12-month/unlimited-mileage warranty. The 420-hp V8 Vantage is plenty but for around $90,000, you can get the V12 Vantage with 565 hp. With the 2020 Vantage starting at $152,995, these CPO examples are an absolute steal.
The Jaguar F-Type just received a major update for 2021 but the pre-facelifted model is still one of the most attractive cars of this century. A new F-Type starts at $61,600 but CPO examples can be found starting at under $34,000. That amount will get you the supercharged V6 producing 340 hp plus Jaguar's CPO warranty boasting seven years and 100,000 miles past the original sale date.