Mazda Certified Pre-Owned Review

December 4, 2020

You’ll feel confident with your purchase when buying a Mazda certified pre-owned vehicle. Their 160-point inspection carefully scrutinizes and tests every major and minor component in each car before it earns the ‘certified pre-owned’ designation.

We’re about to go over the warranty that comes along with buying a Mazda CPO, along with talking about what that warranty covers, and then looking at the inspection process itself. We’ll also take a look at what else comes with a Mazda certified pre-owned vehicle. If this is your first time buying a car, we also suggest learning a few car buying tips to help you out.

TLDR; Mazda’s certified pre-owned program is pretty standard, which is a good thing. There are no surprises. Each car receives a thorough inspection and is then covered by a good warranty. The only part we don’t like is that the powertrain warranty begins when the vehicle is first sold, not when you buy it. Other than that, we like the Mazda certified pre-owned program.

Mazda’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Information

After a vehicle has completed the inspection process and passed with flying colors, it is then sold with a Mazda certified pre-owned warranty. That warranty will cover any manufacturer defects that arise, with no deductible on repairs (provided you go to a Mazda dealership).

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

Mazda has a somewhat average, yet still useful, certified pre-owned warranty. Their CPO warranty comes in two parts and covers:

CPO Vehicle Limited Warranty

  • Valid for 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first
  • Average warranty length for a certified pre-owned car
  • Covers the interior and exterior, as long as the issue is related to a manufacturer defect

Limited Powertrain Warranty

  • Valid for seven years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first
  • Covers engine, drivetrain, and transmission issues
  • Timeframe starts from the original sale date

Please be aware that these warranties don’t mean that every issue you encounter will be covered. For one, they won’t cover accidents. For two, there are numerous caveats in the fine print:

  • To be covered for repairs, the part or repair in question must be specifically covered in the warranty documentation.
  • No services are covered under this warranty, such as oil changes.
  • If aftermarket parts damage the powertrain, such as a turbocharger or supercharger, the repairs will not be covered.
  • Damage that results from negligence, like if you never change the oil, is not covered.
  • Any issues caused by unreasonable use will not be covered, such as driving through a flooded road.
  • If the odometer has been replaced or is damaged, no repairs will be covered.

That might seem like a ton of fine print. Essentially, do all your maintenance and services at Mazda dealerships, be a responsible owner when it comes to usage and modifications, and your warranty will remain intact. While we’re on the topic of fine print, it pays to learn some auto industry jargon before you visit the dealership.

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

The limited vehicle warranty, which you could also call a bumper-to-bumper warranty, lasts for 12 months or 12,000 miles. The powertrain warranty lasts for seven years or 100,000 miles; however, those numbers start when the car was initially sold.

One nice aspect of the Mazda warranty is that if the CPO vehicle is still covered by the New Vehicle Limited Warranty (3-years, 36,000 miles), that warranty remains in effect. Once that warranty expires, then the CPO Limited Vehicle Warranty kicks in. Keep this in mind when shopping for a Mazda certified pre-owned vehicle; the newer, the better.

Both of the warranties they offer on CPO cars are transferable to the new party if you decide to sell your car, too. The warranties increase your resale value should you decide to sell within the warranty’s timeframe.

Mazda’s Certified Pre-Owned Inspection

Mazda certified pre-owned vehicles undergo a 160-point inspection before being certified and receiving the warranties discussed above. You can view more about their assessment in the official CPO brochure, but we’ll go over some of the main points:

  • Frame and exterior, including all lights, confirming that there’s no frame damage and that turn signals work properly
  • Brakes, including all linings and fittings, brake springs, and other braking components
  • Steering, including seals and gaskets, upper and lower ball joints and control arms, gear housing, and linkages
  • Suspension, including the rear axle, spindle and spindle supports, and linkages
  • Electrical, including starter, windshield wiper, alternator, and heated backglass
  • Transmission, including transfer case, seals and gaskets, and torque converter
  • Engine, including timing belt, thermostat, water pump, oil pan, and oil pump

They’ll also perform any required maintenance, such as giving it an oil change before leaving the inspection facility.

Please note that this is different from a pre-purchase inspection, which you should definitely also have done.

Other Mazda Certified Pre-Owned Perks

Mazda has included quite a few perks to tempt people into buying a Mazda certified pre-owned car.

One great perk that Mazda provides is 24/7 emergency roadside assistance for the duration of the seven-year / 100,000 powertrain warranty. Their roadside assistance covers:

  • Gas delivery
  • Towing to an authorized Mazda dealership
  • Flat-tire changes
  • Jump starts
  • Lockout assistance

Every Mazda certified pre-owned car also comes with a complete AutoCheck vehicle history report and three-year buyback protection provided by Experian.

Mazda provides all CPO customers with a 3-month subscription to SiriusXM, too. Not necessary, but something you might appreciate.

It’s worth noting that Mazda does not provide any allowance for a rental car if your vehicle is in for warrantied repairs, unlike some other manufacturers. This is where a third party vehicle service contract could provide additional value to you.

We believe that Mazda certified pre-owned vehicles are thoroughly inspected, fairly warrantied, and the right car can be a great buy (depending on the financial numbers). Buying a certified pre-owned has many advantages over buying a standard used car and should always be a priority.


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