Buying a new SUV can be exciting but stressful, so the last thing you’ll want to deal with is a breakdown and expensive repairs, should they show up. That’s why all new SUVscome with a warranty, but you can still be covered even after the original plan runs out with an extended warranty.
Either way, it’s important to know which manufacturers offer the best coverage and what’s actually included in the various plans. We’ve gathered data on a few of the most popular auto manufacturers to help you get a solid understanding of the basics of new SUVwarranties.
|Manufacturer||Bumper to Bumper||Powertrain||Corrosion||Roadside Assistance|
When judging which automaker has the best SUV warranty, it’s important to remember that, in most cases, there are a few different warranties that each SUVgets when it leaves the factory. There’s the bumper-to-bumper warranty, which covers things like electronics. The powertrain warranty covers the engine, transmission, and related components. Corrosion warranties cover bodywork and perforation that can occur from rust, and some SUVs come from the factory with roadside assistance or other maintenance covered for a period of time.
Knowing that, it can be tempting to think that brands advertising long warranties are the absolute best, but that’s not the whole story. AUtomakers like Kia and Hyundai offer 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranties, but their comprehensive coverage is about average for the market, at five years or 60,000 miles. Still, having a powertrain warranty that stretches for up to a decade can’t be beat.
There’s no general “SUV warranty.” Instead, what we see are a few different warranties that expire at various mileages and time limits. It’s important to note that warranties are intended to protect you from manufacturer’s defects and failures related to normal use. Racing your car or trying to use a warranty to repair problems caused by abuse isn’t how they’re intended to be used.
Auto manufacturers issue a warranty on new SUVs that covers components such as the electrical system, safety equipment, and more. The industry has moved away from using the “bumper-to-bumper” terminology, because there are things that aren’t covered, but the warranties still cover most SUV systems and parts.
This is the warranty that you’ll frequently hear being advertised as the ten-year/100,000-mile coverage. Powertrain warranties cover the engine, transmission, and related components.
The best way to make sure you’re getting the best coverage is to read the fine print. It’s boring, we know, but you’ll need to make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered, and what you’ll be on the hook to pay for in the event of a repair. Some manufacturers offer roadside assistance and complementary maintenance through a portion of the warranty period, so you’ll want to be aware of benefits that are available to you.
If you’re buying a new SUV, you’ll get a warranty from the manufacturer at no additional cost. There may be components that are not covered, or that are partially covered by the warranty, so be sure you know what you’ll owe.
Extended warranties purchased outside of the dealership setting carry a wide range of prices and benefits. In general, extended warranty companies offer coverage for a set period of time or mileage, and many offer monthly payment plans or flexible financing options.
Your factory warranty is absolutely worth it, and you should do everything you can to avoid voiding it. Repairs can be expensive, especially if the SUV is out of warranty. Extended warranties, on the other hand, are only really worth it if you plan on owning the SUV for a longer period of time. Spending the extra cash for a warranty on a SUV that you plan on trading in after a short period of time can lead to wasted money and an annoying time trying to get a refund or transfer coverage.
Car Talk has spent the last year doing a deep dive into the warranties industry for the benefit of our readership and long-time listeners. Our process for deciding on the best warranty companies for the year was exceptionally thorough, involving in-depth research and our unique secret shopper initiative. We compiled over 50 data points across all reviewed companies to refine and inform our selection process. Car Talk reviewed the following important criteria for each company:
Consumer Satisfaction: Cross referencing multiple trusted resources to pull our fair and balanced customer reviews.
Cost: Utilizing our secret shopper initiative, we got comparable quotes across all companies so we can validly compare pricing.
Coverage and Offerings: Our research team delved into the coverage and offerings for each company, comparing what is available, including extras and discounts.
Official Ratings: We consulted a wide range of verified review sites to extrapolate a ratings score for each.
A few SUV brands offer powertrain warranties that dwarf the rest of the industry. Kia, Genesis, Hyundai, and Mitsubishi all offer powertrain coverage for up to 10 years or 100,000 miles.
If we’re judging warranties solely on their length, it’s Kia, Genesis, Hyundai, and Mitsubishi all the way. It’s important to note, though, that Lincoln and others offer roadside assistance and other benefits that may outweigh the overall length of warranty for some buyers.
In our research, CARCHEX, Endurance, Toco and autopom! offer some of the best warranty products and have the most knowledgeable service representatives. We’ll also note that the reps for those companies don’t pressure and are able to answer most questions quickly.
On pure length, it’s the Korean crew again. Kia, Hyundai, and Genesis all have five-year/60,000-mile comprehensive warranty coverage. Mitsubishi offers the same.
The best way to get a good price is to compare offers. These are some popular options...