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Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned Review

Written by Ray Shefska

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December 17, 2020

Mercedes-Benz is the ultimate name in luxury cars. If you want a smooth ride with an impeccably designed interior, you want a Mercedes-Benz. However, the new car price is often a deterrent. Luckily, a certified pre-owned (CPO) program is available that allows you to buy a Mercedes-Benz that has been inspected and comes with a warranty.

We’re about to go over the Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned program, including the warranty, inspection process, and any included perks.

TLDR; We like what we see about the Mercedes-Benz CPO program, but there simply isn’t enough verifiable information available about the program to make a firm call. Their website does not discuss warranty coverage, nor do they disclose the official inspection checklist. We might be able to let the lack of a checklist slide, but not letting us know what is and is not covered by the warranty is disappointing.

Mercedes-Benz’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Information

To be considered for the Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned program, a vehicle must meet the following criteria:

  • Clean Carfax vehicle history report
  • Six model years old or newer
  • 75,000 miles or fewer
  • Serviced according to the maintenance schedule

Something that jumps out about their eligibility requirements is the maintenance schedule adherence. Other programs make sure that vehicles have had oil changes, but Mercedes-Benz ensures that the owner’s manual maintenance schedule has been followed.

What does Mercedes-Benz’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Every Mercedes-Benz will be covered by either the New Vehicle Limited Warranty or the CPO Limited Warranty when purchased. Mercedes-Benz does not make any warranty literature available on their website, and we don’t want to rely on third-party reports about what’s covered.

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The fine print on their CPO page says that you’ll need to talk to the dealer about exclusions and details about the warranties. You should make this the first thing you talk about when you arrive at the dealership: what is covered in the warranty.

Since there is no separate powertrain warranty discussed, you’ll also need to ensure that the provided warranty covers the powertrain.

It’s not clear if the warranty is transferable to a new party. You’ll need to clarify with the dealer if this warranty is transferable, as this will significantly impact resale value should you decide to sell your car.

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

The Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned warranty lasts for one year with no mileage cap. The year begins when you purchase the vehicle or the date that the New Vehicle Limited Warranty has expired.

The New Vehicle Limited Warranty covers the vehicle for four years and 50,000 miles, which means that not every CPO vehicle sold will have this coverage. However, every CPO car will at least have the CPO Limited Warranty for at least one year.

We think one year is a bit too short for a CPO warranty. We’d like to see it doubled or even tripled since one year might not be enough time for manufacturer defects to show themselves.

The CPO warranty may be extended by up to two additional years. The cost for doing this is not disclosed, so this is something you’ll have to discuss with the dealership.

Mercedes-Benz’s Certified Pre-Owned Inspection

Every vehicle that’s sold as a Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned vehicle has passed a 165-point inspection. Unlike other automakers, Mercedes-Benz does not make the full checklist available online. However, they do go over what is inspected in the online CPO manual, but we’ll cover the main highlights below:

  • Appearance, including any scuffs or scratches
  • Chassis, including steering and suspension
  • Electrical, including headlamps and fuses
  • Engine, including transmission and brake clutch
  • Materials, including the owner’s manual and spare keys

We do not like that they have not made their exact checklist available online. Almost every automaker with a CPO program has posted their inspection checklist in plain sight. However, we’re supposed to take Mercedes-Benz’s word that there are 165 points being inspected, even though we don’t know what those points are.

Other Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned Perks

Every Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned vehicle comes with a selection of bonuses, just like other automakers. The perks provided by Mercedes-Benz are:

  • Special financing options for specific CPO models
  • 24/7 Personal Assistance that helps route trips and includes roadside assistance that covers jump-starts, refueling, and tire changes
  • Vehicle Exchange Privilege, which allows you seven days and 500 miles to exchange your vehicle for another CPO vehicle if you are not satisfied
  • Carfax Vehicle History Report (but are those reliable?)
  • A three-month trial to SiriusXM

Most of these perks are standard. However, one jumps out as unique to Mercedes-Benz: Vehicle Exchange Privilege. Having the ability to exchange your car for a different CPO car is incredible. It’s unlikely that you’ll suddenly discover any major issues within the timeframe, but you may drive it enough to realize that it’s just not the right fit. Instead of driving it for years, you can trade it in and find a better fit.

Overall, we simply don’t have enough information to make a firm call on the Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned program. The Vehicle Exchange Privilege is fantastic, but the lack of public information about warranty coverage and their inspection process leaves us worried. We do like how the CPO Limited Warranty is added on to the end of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty if one is still active.

Please make sure that you have an independent mechanic perform a pre-purchase inspection before making your purchase. The mechanic will let you know if there are any current or potential issues with the car before signing the contract.

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