Kia Certified Pre-Owned Review

December 8, 2020

Buying a Kia certified pre-owned car means your new vehicle has been thoroughly inspected and comes with a comprehensive warranty. Nine times out of ten suggest going for a certified pre-owned vehicle over a Craigslist used car, as long as the financials make sense.

We’re about to review everything you need to know about the Kia certified pre-owned program, including warranty information, the inspection, and the bonuses.

TLDR; Kia has a standard CPO program, which is a good thing. The platinum warranty is transferable for a $40 fee, which increases your resale value. We need to highlight that the powertrain warranty begins on the date that the car was initially sold, or as Kia put it, when the odometer was at 0.

Kia’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Information

There are no surprises in the Kia certified pre-owned warranty. We expected that the powertrain warranty would begin on the initial sale date, but that’s something we always like to highlight to avoid confusion.

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

Not every Kia is eligible to become a certified pre-owned car. To qualify for the Kia certified pre-owned warranty, a vehicle must meet the following criteria:

  • Five years old or newer
  • Less than 60,000 miles

Comprehensive Platinum Coverage

  • 12 months or 12,000 miles
  • Covers most components, including interior and exterior
  • Begins on the day you buy the car

Limited Powertrain Warranty:

  • 10 years or 100,000 miles
  • Covers the engine, transmission, drivetrain, and other powertrain components.
  • Begins on the day the car was initially sold

The official Kia website says that exact coverages, exclusions, and limitations apply, but you’ll have to review your contract or see a dealer for details. This lack of transparency is a mark against them since they don’t make these conditions publicly available on their website.

It’s worth noting that Kia’s program has a $50 deductible per visit for warrantied repairs. This fee is unusual for the industry and something we definitely don’t like. However, some other automakers charge deductibles on their CPO extended warranty, so this isn’t unique to Kia.

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

The warranty is mostly what makes buying a pre-owned vehicle worthwhile. Kia provides two warranties with different lengths with all of its CPO vehicles:

  1. Comprehensive Platinum Coverage warranty – 12 months or 12,000 miles
  2. Limited Powertrain Warranty – 10 years or 100,000 miles (begins when the vehicle was first purchased)

Any Kia certified pre-owned vehicle that still has the initial manufacturer powertrain warranty, which is 10 years or 100,000 miles, will be transferred to the new owner. Since the minimum requirements to qualify for the program are 5 years or newer and less than 60,000 miles, every Kia CPO car will come with the powertrain warranty. The difference will be how much longer you have left on it, based on the car’s age and mileage.

Both warranties are fully transferable to a new owner. Thanks to this transferability, your resale value on your Kia certified pre-owned vehicle is boosted, although there is a $40 fee.

Kia’s Certified Pre-Owned Inspection

The Kia certified pre-owned program includes a 164-point inspection. You can view the entire inspection check sheet at the manufacturer’s website. Any inspected vehicle must score 100% to be certified. We’ll go over the main points with you:

  • Road test, including engine idle performance and steering operation
  • Emissions, including a standard emissions test and any state-level inspections
  • Engine compartment, including throttle operation and cold engine idle operation
  • Transmission, including linkage operations and conditions of seals
  • Steering and suspension, steering pump operation, and condition of seals
  • Cooling, including the engine coolant and water pump operation
  • Exhaust, including exhaust manifolds and muffler damage
  • Fuel, including fuel pump operation and condition of fuel filter
  • Brakes, including brake caliper condition and brake lines condition
  • Electrical, including alarm operation and dash light operation
  • Heater and AC, including overall AC operation and heater operation
  • Appearance, including the trim and exterior lights
  • Hybrid components (if applicable), hybrid battery condition, and inverter coolant levels

Kia makes special mention that they use manufacturer-authorized parts for any repairs made during the inspection process. This policy is ideal because many aftermarket parts are known for failing much faster than manufacturer-approved parts.

We should note that Kia inspects more about each car than many other automakers. This extra level of care gives us confidence that their program is only offering the best cars available.

Other Kia Certified Pre-Owned Perks

Every car manufacturer likes to add in some bonuses to tempt you into buying a CPO car. Here’s what Kia offers:

  • You’ll receive a complete Carfax report of your new vehicle (is Carfax reliable?)
  • You’ll be given a 3-month trial to SiriusXM
  • You’ll have access to 24/7 emergency roadside service, which covers all the usual reasons for calls, such as gas delivery, flat tires, and lockouts
  • You’ll have a $35 per day rental car allowance, up to 10 days if your car is in the shop for warrantied repairs

Ultimately, these perks alone don’t do much to make a CPO car worth it. We think the inspection and warranty are what make a CPO vehicle worthwhile. These perks are just a nice add on.

The Kia certified pre-owned program is well-rounded and undoubtedly in line with the industry standard. There are no surprises. The warranties they offer will give you some peace of mind for the beginning of your car’s life. Buying a certified pre-owned vehicle is exponentially better than going for a random used car that hasn’t been inspected by anyone.


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1 Comment

  1. J. Mack

    With CPO vehicles such as KIA, you get 12mo/12k platinum coverage as well as 10yr/100k power train. What about the remainder of the factory 5yr/60k “bumper to bumper “?
    Do you get that as well?


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