Fiat Certified Pre-Owned Program Review

December 20, 2020

Anyone looking to get into a Fiat may be deciding between a new or used vehicle. Yet, there’s a third option: certified pre-owned (CPO). A certified pre-owned car has been owned before, but it’s been thoroughly inspected and comes with a warranty. It’s the perfect middle ground between a new and used car.

We’re about to look at the Fiat CPO program and discuss the warranty, inspection process, and any bonuses that they include.

TLDR; We do not recommend the Fiat certified pre-owned program. Fiat makes little information about its CPO program known on their website. They’ve left us with many unanswered questions, so you’ll need to make sure to take notes and ask plenty of questions at the dealership. Their warranty coverage is lacking, as it’s possible to buy a car with only one year and 5,000 miles left on the warranty. Their inspection is thorough enough. This program is only a good fit for people who specifically want to own a Fiat.

Fiat’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Information

For a vehicle to be sold as a Fiat certified pre-owned vehicle, it must meet the following criteria:

  • Five years old or newer
  • 75,000 miles or fewer
  • Pass a 125-point inspection

Once a car meets all these criteria, it is warrantied and listed as a CPO vehicle.

What does Fiat’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Every Fiat certified pre-owned car comes with a Comprehensive Limited warranty. Fiat’s CPO website does not have a comprehensive list of what is or is not covered by their warranty, which is strange. Most CPO programs have significantly more warranty information available. For example, Audi’s CPO program has a full list of what is not covered under their warranty.

We aren’t able to say what is covered with the Comprehensive Warranty that comes with a CPO Fiat. You’ll need to make sure that the Fiat dealership is crystal clear about what the warranty will cover and will not cover before making your purchase.

We do know that the warranty is transferable. This transferability significantly increases your resale value and can help you get the most money for your vehicle. Fiat does not disclose if there is or is not a fee for transferring the warranty.

Third-party sources report that there may be a warranty for covered repairs, although the exact amount or stipulations are not disclosed. Clarify with the dealership if there is a warranty before you make your purchase.

How long does Fiat’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Last?

Fiat’s CPO program includes a Comprehensive Limited warranty that lasts for six years or 80,000 miles, whichever comes first. It’s important to note that the warranty started when the vehicle was initially sold, not the day that you bought it.

If you compare the warrantied timeframe with the requirements to be in the CPO program, it’s possible to buy a car that is only warrantied for one year and 5,000 miles. You need to be careful when searching for a Fiat certified pre-owned car to ensure that you have the maximum warranty length possible. The newer, the better.

Fiat’s Certified Pre-Owned Inspection

Fiat conducts a 125-point inspection on all vehicles before they are sold as a certified pre-owned car. You can view the complete checklist online, but we’ll cover the main highlights:

  • Qualification standards, including no frame damage and a clean title
  • Ownership materials, including Carfax report and owner’s manual
  • Pre-road test, including underhood checks and operational checks
  • Road test, including steering performance and braking performance
  • Post-road test, including fluid levels and inspecting for any leaks
  • Maintenance standards, including inspecting air filter and oil level
  • Exterior condition, including body panels condition and bumper condition
  • Interior condition, including the instrument panel and seating condition
  • Details standard, including exterior wash and wax

The Fiat inspection is thorough and examines all the points we would expect. While the inspection point count is slightly lower than others, it’s not low enough to be a concern.

Other Fiat Certified Pre-Owned Perks

Like other automakers, Fiat has chosen to include a handful of perks to tempt you to buy a Fiat certified pre-owned vehicle. Those perks are:

  • A comprehensive Carfax report (are those trustworthy?)
  • Three-month trial to SiriusXM
  • 24/7 Roadside Assistance, covering emergency tows to a Fiat dealership, lockouts, jumpstarts, and flat tire service.
  • Rental car allowance, although the exact stipulations are not disclosed

These perks are a standard offering for a CPO program. Nothing stands out as unique, but it’s good to have some bonuses if you’re going to buy a CPO Fiat anyway. We wish Fiat made more information available about their rental car allowance. That’s another item to clarify with the dealer before making your purchase.

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We are not impressed by the Fiat certified pre-owned program. What jumps out the most about their program is not the program itself, but how little information is available about it on their website. There are so many unanswered questions that you’ll have to ask when you visit the dealership.

While their inspection is thorough, we are displeased by their warranty offering. It’s possible to buy a CPO car that is only warrantied for 5,000 miles; that’s less than two oil changes. You’ll need to make sure you buy the right Fiat to avoid ending up with a short warranty.

Even though the inspection is thorough, we always recommend that you have a third-party mechanic perform a pre-purchase inspection before you go through with the sale. Once the mechanic gives you their report, you’ll be ready to proceed or back out of the sale.

Ultimately, Fiat’s CPO program is only attractive to those specifically looking for a Fiat but who don’t want to pay new car prices. For everyone else, there are better CPO programs out there.

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