Best New Car Warranty

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  • Compare new car warranties from various manufacturers.
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Best New Car WarrantiesBasic New Vehicle WarrantyPowertrain Warranty
Genesis5-years, 60,000-miles10-years, 100,000-miles*
Hyundai5-years, 60,000-miles10-years, 100,000-miles*
Kia5-years, 60,000-miles10-years, 100,000-miles*
Jaguar5-years, 60,000-milesSame as Basic

*Applies to the first owner only.

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Test Drive Your Warranty

Buying a new car is always an exciting day. The culmination of which is usually a brief ten to fifteen-minute drive around the area of the dealership. Car buyers place a lot of importance on that short trip, perhaps too much. Among the things forgotten during that drive is the long-term cost of ownership.

One of the most important ways to manage those long-term costs of ownership is your new car warranty. But who offers the best one? We test drove new car warranties to see which manufacturer offers the best one in the business. As it turns out, the answer was a surprise to us.

Covered By A Bumper-to-Bumper WarrantyNot Covered By A Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty
Engine ProblemsTire Failure or Damage
Transmission ProblemsWindshield Damage Caused By Road Debris
Infotainment ProblemsPaint Damage Caused By Mishaps
Electrical ProblemsWiper Blade Inserts
Problems With TPMS Systems12-Volt Battery

Two Types Of New Car Warranties To Consider

There are two types of warranties that a new car comes with that are the most important to consider. The first is called the “Basic,” or “Comprehensive,” or “New Car Limited” warranty. This is the one that we all think of as the “Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty”: The really good one that you can use for almost any problem and not expect to lighten your wallet on the way out of the dealership.

Next is the Powertrain Warranty. This one only covers an exclusionary list of items related to the things that power the car down the road: r. The engine, the transmission, transfer case, driveshaft, differentials, and axles. Automakers go to great lengths to tell you exactly where this one ends. For example, the transmission is included, but not the transmission controller. se. The starter, alternator, and electronic throttle body are all required to make an engine run, but they are not part of the engine as far as your powertrain warranty is concerned.

There are also some warranties on emissions control items and rust, but we won’t delve too deeply into these. The emissions warranty is federally mandated and most cars don’t suffer from rust-through anymore. At least not in a way that one might apply a warranty.

Finally, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles also have their own separate warranties on the items that make them special. If you are shopping for an EV, you may want to look closely at how long the traction battery is warranted, and just what the warranty says about how its health is measured for consideration for replacement. The good news is the electric vehicle parts are generally warranted for longer than the powertrain, so a long, long time.

As crazy as this might sound, most premium and luxury car companies have the shortest overall warranty durations, though one notable exception is going to get the lion’s share of our praise in this story. Many luxury brands just have one warranty and it is the “bumper-to-bumper” style. For example, Audi, a division of Volkswagen, has a 4-year, 50,000-mile warranty. Oddly, VW’s mainstream Volkswagen-branded cars like the Passat, have had a longer warranty than cars like the Audi A4. Don’t assume that a premium or luxury car has a better warranty. In most cases, mainstream cars offer the best warranties.

Best New Car Warranty Companies

There are four companies that offer the best warranty in America. They are Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis. Among these four, the warranties are very similar, but one company, Genesis, has a distinct advantage the others do not offer. Let’s start by explaining what these four all have in common, and what puts them ahead of the pack.

All of these four companies offer a 5-year, 60,000-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty. The warranty expires upon the first of the two qualifiers being met. This warranty is the “bumper-to-bumper” warranty that has the greatest value to you as a consumer. These companies outpace the commonplace 3-year, 36,000-mile new car warranty offered by such companies as Toyota and Honda.

Each of these four companies would earn a spot atop our list of the very best warranties in America for their long basic warranties, but each also goes further. These four come with a 10-year, 100,00-mile powertrain warranty as well. You won’t find a warranty this long from Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, or BMW. Quite the contrary. They all have warranties lasting less than half as long.

There is a qualifier for the long powertrain warranty each of these companies offers. The duration is only for the first original owner. For subsequent owners, it is not in effect, and the warranty reverts to the 5-year, 60K-mile warranty. So used car shoppers should take careful note of this. So too should owners who may be planning to gift a vehicle to a family member.

Genesis Summary of Warranty Coverage

Best New Car Warranty Companies

There are four companies that offer the best warranty in America. They are Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis. Among these four, the warranties are very similar, but one company, Genesis, has a distinct advantage the others do not offer. Let’s start by explaining what these four all have in common, and what puts them ahead of the pack.

All of these four companies offer a 5-year, 60,000-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty. The warranty expires upon the first of the two qualifiers being met. This warranty is the “bumper-to-bumper” warranty that has the greatest value to you as a consumer. These companies outpace the commonplace 3-year, 36,000-mile new car warranty offered by such companies as Toyota and Honda.

Each of these four companies would earn a spot atop our list of the very best warranties in America for their long basic warranties, but each also goes further. These four come with a 10-year, 100,00-mile powertrain warranty as well. You won’t find a warranty this long from Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, or BMW. Quite the contrary. They all have warranties lasting less than half as long.

There is a qualifier for the long powertrain warranty each of these companies offers. The duration is only for the first original owner. For subsequent owners, it is not in effect, and the warranty reverts to the 5-year, 60K-mile warranty. So used car shoppers should take careful note of this. So too should owners who may be planning to gift a vehicle to a family member.

Volkswagen Could Have Been A Contender

Before we did the research to create this story, we were on the fence about naming Volkswagen the brand with the very best overall new car warranty. Through 2019, VW had been offering a 6-year, 72,000-mile new car limited “bumper to bumper” warranty. We had mentally built a case to argue that was in fact better than the warranty package offered by Genesis, Hyundai, Kia, and Mitsubishi.

Before we placed the crown atop VW’s warranty plan, we did a bit of digging. It turns out that Volkswagen has ended this plan and reduced it. VW has changed its warranty plans frequently over the past decade, so we will suggest to Volkswagen shoppers to carefully review the warranty for whatever model year vehicle they are considering purchasing.

Best New Car Warranty - Honorable Mention - Jaguar

There is an honorable mention that we should point out. Jaguar offers a 5-year, 60,000-mile warranty. That is one year and 10,000 miles more than BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. And Jaguar also throws in complimentary maintenance during that entire period. So, aside from tires, a Jaguar owner is being offered a fixed cost of ownership for a full five years. That is a unique package some luxury buyers may consider very tempting. Particularly given Jaguar’s old reputation for being a pricey car to repair and maintain.

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FAQ

What manufacturer has the best car warranty?

Genesis offers the best warranty in America. It includes 5-years or 60,000-miles for the comprehensive new car warranty, plus another 10-years or 100,000-miles for the powertrain warranty (first owner only). On top of that, Genesis includes three years of concierge pick-up and delivery services.

How to find out what is covered under my car warranty?

Your new car warranty is detailed in the owner’s manual for your vehicle. In some cases, it is a supplemental booklet or online file. Your local dealer will also be happy to help you answer any questions about what is, and what is not, covered under your vehicle warranty plan.

Is my car warranty still active?

This depends upon how old your car is and how many miles it has. Not that of the two durations listed, for example, 3-years, 36,000-miles, the warranty ends whichever comes first. Car Talk always suggested asking for warranty help anyway if the warranty is recently expired. Many car companies extended warranties during the COVID-19 crisis, and there are often campaigns to extend warranties on certain troublesome parts.

Who offers the best extended warranty?

The best extended warranty program is typically offered by the company that makes your vehicle. However, you usually need to buy it before the new car warranty period expires. Once that has happened, we suggest checking out Endurance and CARCHEX. Both made our list of top-rated warranty companies.

Editor's note and disclaimer: Car Talk is supported by our fans, readers and listeners. When you click on some of the links on our website, we may receive referral compensation. However, you should know that the recommendations we make are based on our independent editorial review and analyses.

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