If you are looking for a certified pre-owned car, these are the brands you should buy from.
If you have read any of our features on used car bargains, you've probably heard us use the term 'certified pre-owned'. Basically, a CPO car is one that was taken on trade or off-lease at a dealership, then inspected and issued an extended warranty. We love CPO cars because they can be a huge bargain compared to a new car, and they come with a warranty, just like a new car. Even though CPO cars are a great idea, not all CPO programs are the same. Some of these programs are better than others and have just been awarded for it.
Every year, a company called IntelliChoice takes a look at all of the CPO programs on the market and issues awards to the best ones. The programs are rated on nine criteria that consumers have pointed out as valuable to their purchasing decision: Extended Manufacturer Warranties, Title Verification, Certification Inspection Process, Roadside Assistance, Special Financing, Return/Exchange Policies, Program and Dealer Compliance, Market Penetration, and Used Cost of Ownership. IntelliChoice is owned by The Enthusiast Network, the same company that owns MotorTrend. This year was the 19th annual IntelliChoice Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Car Awards.
Twenty-five different programs were evaluated and broken up into two categories, premium and popular. This year, Volvo won awards for best premium program and best premium warranty. Cadillac also won an award in the premium category for best premium brand used ownership costs. In the popular category, Kia won for best popular program and best popular warranty, while General Motors won the award for best popular brand used ownership costs. Volvo edged out the competition by offering a CPO warranty with a seven-year/100,000-mile comprehensive plan and Kia offers a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty plus 1-year/12,000-mile platinum comprehensive coverage.
People always ask us what used car they should buy. There's obviously more to the equation than just how good the warranty is, but Volvo and Kia have both made great cases for why you should buy from their CPO programs. General Motors has also shown that it is great at making cars that are inexpensive to own, which is a high priority for a lot of people. If you are looking for a used car, Volvo, Kia and GM appear to be good bets.