There’s money to be saved by choosing a used car over a new one, but buying someone else’s car could mean inheriting someone else’s problems. Certified pre-owned programs add a layer of confidence to second-hand car-buying with thorough inspections and extended warranties. But which automaker programs are the best?
What Are the Best Certified Pre-Owned Programs for 2020?
Every year, IntelliChoice (a MotorTrend subsidiary) combs through countless CPO programs and selects a special few as the best of the year. Programs are analyzed on nine parameters: warranty, vehicle inspection list, title verification report, availability of special financing, roadside assistance, return/exchange provisions, dealership compliance systems, used cost of ownership, and market penetration. Based on consumer feedback, warranties and vehicle inspection lists carry the most weight.
Awards are given to luxury and non-luxury automakers for best CPO program, best CPO warranty, and best ownership costs. Kia’s program dominates the non-luxury categories for 2020. IntelliChoice notes that Kia CPO offers several special financing options for well-qualified buyers and impresses with its low used-car cost of ownership. Top performers include the best-selling Kia Soul and Kia Forte.
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As for luxury automakers’ CPO programs, the 2020 awards were split between Acura and Cadillac, with Cadillac taking home best warranty and best ownership costs. That’s due in part to strong market penetration, special financing programs, and low cost of ownership, especially in the cases of the Escalade and XT5.
Acura took home the award for best CPO warranty for 2020; the two-year/100,000-mile comprehensive warranty and seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty make Acura’s CPO program one of the best in the business.
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