And the cars you should maybe just buy used.
Buying a certified pre-owned car over a used one has plenty of benefits. Unlike a used car, which is typically sold as-is, a CPO car comes with a factory-backed warranty just like a new car. CPO warranties are typically much more dependable than a third party one, which can help make the purchasing decision easier.
However, buying a CPO car isn't cheap. The cost of being inspected by the manufacturer and issuing a new warranty is factored into the purchase price, though it can vary greatly depending on the model. iSeeCars has analyzed over one million CPO cars from the 2015 model year to determine the cost difference between CPO and non-CPO cars.
“The average CPO vehicle costs 3.6 percent more than its non-CPO equivalent, and consumers are faced with deciding if the terms of the warranty and certification are worth the added cost,” said iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly. “However, certain models have significantly lower-than-average CPO premiums that can bring peace of mind to used car buyers for just a few hundred dollars more.”
According to iSeeCars' study, the 10 cars with the lowest CPO premiums are the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Nissan, Rogue, Honda CR-V, Honda Odyssey, Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Silverado 1500, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and GMC Sierra 1500.
The Wrangler Unlimited reportedly finished first because Jeep's CPO program offers the balance of the factory warranty and the car retains its value more than any other SUV, so dealers mark down CPO models to be competitive.
The cars with the highest CPO premiums include the Lexus IS 250, Mercedes C-Class, Mercedes E-Class, Cadillac ATS, Mercedes CLA, Volvo S60, BMW X1, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, and Mercedes GLK. The IS 250 ranked the highest because of Lexus' excellent six-year CPO warranty with no mileage limit.
In the truck segment, the lowest CPO premiums belong to the Chevy Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Toyota Tacoma, Ram 1500, Chevy Colorado, Toyota Tundra, and Ford F-150.
Finally, the sports cars with the lowest CPO premium are the Chevy Corvette Dodge Challenger, Chevy Camaro, Porsche 911, Dodge Charger, BMW M4, Audi S5, Audi S3, Porsche Macan, Porsche Panamera, Mercedes SL, and Audi S4.
This study clearly shows that CPO cars are not all created equally and it pays to do your research to make sure you get the best deal.