Buying a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle is a great way to save money on a late-model used vehicle while still getting the peace of mind of a manufacturer warranty. But how much do you really save when you buy CPO?
Here Are the Strongest Certified Pre-Owned Deals Right Now
Discounts on new vehicles are fairly common, which means that sometimes the price savings between a new and a CPO vehicle might be less than you'd think. This is why it's important to consider all your options when shopping for a vehicle. The experts at Edmunds have lined up some of the most popular CPO vehicles and compared dealer discounts on new models to the savings offered if you buy CPO so you can see where the deals really are.
The "savings from new" figures below represent the average savings of buying the vehicle as a CPO versus buying a discounted new 2020 model at the dealership.
Numbers in this article represent average values across current inventory. Newer and lower-mileage CPO vehicles will command higher prices.
Savings from new: $18,702
You'll save about 44% on Ford Explorer CPO models when compared to the base price of a new Explorer. If you purchased a new Explorer, your discount would only be about 8% on average. This makes the Explorer a strong CPO value.
Ford's three-row midsize SUV offers tough looks and seating for up to seven, though the third-row accommodations are less accommodating than those of some rivals. Ford redesigned the Explorer for 2020, so most certified pre-owned examples will be the prior model. The old Explorer wasn't as nice to drive and had a slightly smaller interior, but it still offered intuitive infotainment and strong engine choices.
Savings from new: $11,801
Certified pre-owned Ford Escape models offer an average savings of 37% off the 2020 sticker price, making the Escape a strong CPO value. In comparison, dealers are offering discounts of 9% on 2020 models.
The Escape is Ford's compact SUV that drives and handles more like a car than many of its competitors. The Escape was completely redesigned in 2020, so the majority of the certified pre-owned examples will be from the prior generation. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is common, as is keyless entry, but interior quality leaves a lot to be desired. Engines deliver either good power or good fuel economy, but never both.
Savings from new: $15,900
You'll save about 35% on Jeep Grand Cherokee CPO models when compared to the base price of a new Cherokee. Meanwhile, dealerships are offering new 2020 models for an average of 9% off MSRP, making the Grand Cherokee a good CPO value.
The Grand Cherokee is Jeep's iconic midsize SUV. It's been a while since the Grand Cherokee was redesigned so most of the certified pre-owned examples will look very similar to the newest models. We like the quiet interior, even if it is a big snug, the user-friendly infotainment technology and the Jeep's genuine off-road capability. Interior materials may disappoint as will the acceleration from the V6 engine.
Savings from new: $11,666
The Honda Pilot is a good CPO value, offering CPO savings of 28% off new MSRP. In comparison, the average discount on new 2020 Pilots is only 3%.
The Honda Pilot is a seven-passenger midsize SUV. We appreciate the Pilot's good fuel economy, excellent ride and clever interior storage. But Honda's nine-speed automatic transmission was problematic until its revision in 2019, so it might be best to look for the six-speed automatic transmission when browsing older certified pre-owned inventory. Some driver aids, such as forward collision warning, can be overly sensitive.
Savings from new: $10,469
New 2020 Rogue models are discounted an impressive 12% on average, yet CPO Rogue models offer an average savings of 35% from new, making the Rogue a good CPO value.
Nissan's Rogue gets a full redesign for the 2021 model year, but in its current form it's a comfortable and spacious five-passenger SUV. This current-generation Rogue hasn't changed much over the past five years, so the certified pre-owned inventory will be largely similar to the new 2020 models. Unfortunately, the Rogue is underpowered, bordering on slow, and suffers from a dated interior full of subpar materials.
See CPO Nissan Rogue models for sale near you
Savings from new: $8,897
Dealers are offering an average discount of 3% on new 2020 RAV4 models. So with an average CPO savings of 28% off MSRP when new, the RAV4 is a good certified pre-owned value.
The Toyota RAV4 has a smooth ride, comes standard with high-tech driver aids, and offers a very large cargo area. It underwent a full redesign in 2019, so some of those newer models have begun filtering into the certified pre-owned inventory. Whether you opt for the previous generation or the newest one, the RAV4 makes for a pleasant commuter even if it is a little underpowered.
Savings from new: $11,422
Dealers are discounting new 2020 Equinox models a full 16%, but CPO Equinox models offer a savings of 36% off new MSRP, making the Equinox a moderate CPO value.
The Chevrolet Equinox offers fairly good handling for a compact SUV, as well as a variety of engines to choose from, including an economical diesel. The Equinox got a mild styling refresh in 2018, and certified pre-owned inventory will likely include an equal mix of post- and pre-face-lifted versions. Interior quality is fairly disappointing, as is the base 1.5-liter engine, but the touchscreen infotainment system is easy to use.
Savings from new: $7,565
Mazda dealers are presently only offering an average discount of 3% on new 2020 CX-5 models, while CPO models present an average savings of 25% off new MSRP, making the CX-5 a moderate CPO value.
The Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover that feels and drives like a much more expensive vehicle. The interior has a premium look and feel that might distract you from the smaller-than-average back seat. Recently, Mazda introduced a more powerful turbocharged engine as well as a diesel option, but most of the certified pre-owned inventory will have the slightly underpowered 2.5-liter engine.
Savings from new: $7,159.96
Dealer discounts on new 2020 CR-V models average just 2% right now, while CPO models offer an average savings of 24% off new MSRP. The CR-V is a good CPO value given the modest discounts on the new models today. .
Honda's CR-V has long been a favorite in the compact SUV segment. The CR-V combines good ride comfort with athletic handling and impresses with thoughtful interior storage options. With its redesign in 2017, we'd recommend searching certified pre-owned inventory for models from that year or newer. We'd also strongly suggest ignoring the base 2.4-liter engine since it was underpowered and not particularly efficient.
Savings from new: $8,767.63
Deals on new Accords are rare, with discounts of just 3% for 2020 models on average. But with an average CPO savings of 31% off new MSRP, the Accord is a strong CPO value.
The Honda Accord has long been the benchmark of the affordable midsize sedan and is our top pick for the segment. The current generation appeared in 2018 so you'll still find a mix of the previous-generation Accord in certified pre-owned inventory. But the previous Accord was still one of our class favorites, offering an excellent V6 engine option as well as a two-door version.
Savings from new: $10,003
New 2020 Altima models currently have average dealer discounts of 11%, which is very good among sedans. But with an average CPO savings of 35% off new MSRP, the Altima is still a strong CPO value.
Nissan's Altima is a roomy, fuel-efficient sedan that, while not much fun to drive, offers excellent all-day driving comfort. The Altima was redesigned in 2019, so the certified pre-owned inventory offers a mix of both current and previous generations. Our preference leans strongly toward the newer model thanks to available all-wheel drive and optional semi-automated driving technology. Interior materials aren't a strong point in either generation.
Savings from new: $8,773
Certified pre-owned Camry models present a 31% savings compared to new MSRP, and with average dealer discounts of just 5% on new models, the Camry is a strong CPO value.
Historically, it's been difficult to go wrong with the Camry. The current generation, introduced in 2018, is no different — it's exceptionally easy to drive and offers a roomy interior. The only sore spot has been Toyota's frustrating infotainment technology. Previous-generation Camrys are still widely available in certified pre-owned inventory and are well liked for many of the same reasons as the current Camry.
Savings from new: $5,681
The Civic holds its value well and doesn't carry many new-model discounts at the moment. With dealers taking off an average of just 2% and CPO models saving an average of 24% off new MSRP, opting for a CPO model makes the Civic a good CPO value.
When the Honda Civic was fully redesigned in 2016, it again set the bar for the compact car segment. It offers a roomy, well-built interior, good fuel economy and excellent ride quality. Certified pre-owned inventory is made up mostly of sedans, although the Civic can also be had as a coupe and a hatchback for added practicality.
Savings from new: $20,495
Certified pre-owned Ram 1500 models offer a whopping average savings of 38% off new MSRP, but dealer discounts on new 2020 models are strong as well, at 11%. Still, the Ram 1500 is a strong CPO value.
The Ram 1500 impresses with an upscale interior, solid towing capabilities, and a ride quality that rivals that of some sedans. The Ram 1500 started a new generation in 2019, so there are a lot of previous-generation trucks in the certified pre-owned market, but it's difficult to go wrong with either one. The 5.7-liter V8 is the standout engine, but older trucks can be found with an economical diesel engine.
Savings from new: $17,193
New 2020 F-150 models have strong dealer discounts, with an average discount of 10% off MSRP. Even with an average CPO savings of 32% off new MSRP, the F-150 is a moderate CPO value given the relatively hearty new-model discounts.
Ford's F-150 didn't get to be the best-selling vehicle in North America by accident. And since the F-150's redesign in 2015, Ford has introduced a number of trim levels and model variants to keep up with demand. The turbocharged engine options fall far short of Ford's fuel economy claims, but the certified pre-owned inventory is well mixed with those engines and our favorite, the 5.0-liter V8. The F-150's aluminum body panels can be expensive and difficult to repair, so watch out for trucks with accident history.