Volvo Certified Pre-Owned Program Review

December 20, 2020
Written by: Zach Shefska

Volvo seems to have a group of hardcore fans who refuse to drive anything else (heck, I used to be one of them!) Buying a Volvo certified pre-owned vehicle is an excellent way for these fans, or casual appreciators, to get into a Volvo that is in excellent condition without the new car price tag.

We’re about to examine the Volvo certified pre-owned program, including the warranty, inspection process, and provided perks.

TLDR; The Volvo CPO offering has a more extended warranty than most with unlimited mileage. The inspection process is thorough and safety focused. We recommend this program for anyone looking to get into a Volvo without paying new car prices. However, the lack of a separate powertrain warranty does bring the entire program down.

Volvo’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Information

To become a Volvo certified pre-owned vehicle, the car must meet the following criteria:

  • Five years old or newer
  • 80,000 miles or fewer
  • A complete clean Vehicle History Report
  • Pass the 170+ point inspection

Once a vehicle has fulfilled all these conditions, it will be added to the Volvo CPO inventory.

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

Volvo offers one warranty for all its certified pre-owned vehicles. This warranty covers:

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Drive axle (both front and rear)
  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Brakes
  • Electrical
  • Air conditioning

They say their warranty covers over 1,000 individual components, which may sound like a lot, but that’s a bit low for a bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Five years is quite a bit longer than most CPO programs offer on their bumper-to-bumper warranty. However, those with a shorter bumper-to-bumper warranty typically also provide a separate powertrain warranty. We’d like to see a powertrain warranty that lasts longer, even if it means shortening the current warranty.

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Volvo is doing the right thing by not charging a deductible for warrantied repairs. That will save a good chunk of change over the life of the vehicle.

The Volvo certified pre-owned warranty is fully transferable with no apparent fee. This dramatically increases your resale value should you decide to sell.

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

Every Volvo certified pre-owned vehicle comes with a 5-year and unlimited mileage warranty. This warranty can be upgraded to last for ten years; however, Volvo does not disclose the cost of this upgrade. Instead, Volvo directs you to discuss this with an authorized dealer.

Unlimited mileage makes this warranty stand out among the crowd of CPO warranties. Most other CPO programs offer a shorter duration and a cap on miles. Providing an extended warranty with no cap is a massive benefit of this program.

The only downside is the lack of a powertrain warranty with a longer duration. Most automakers provide two warranties as opposed to one. Instead, they roll powertrain coverage into the current warranty. While an acceptable plan, we’d prefer two warranties so that the powertrain is covered longer than the rest of the car.

Volvo’s Certified Pre-Owned Inspection

Every Volvo that’s in the CPO program has passed 170+ point inspection. You can view the complete checklist online, but we’ll cover the main highlights below:

  • VIN inspection, including making sure all VINs match
  • Road test, including starting cold and transmission sound
  • Body exterior, including inspection of frame and body panels
  • Interior, including audio system and heating/AC
  • Powertrain, including engine mechanical condition and engine mount condition
  • Transmission, including drive axles conditions and fluid level
  • Suspension and steering, including power steering pump condition and steering linkage condition
  • Safety inspection, covering brakes, door locks, airbags, glass condition, lights, and wheels

One thing that jumps out about the Volvo inspection process is that there is a separate section specifically for inspecting the vehicle’s safety. While it could be argued that all the inspection points for any CPO program are about safety, seeing Volvo highlight a safety inspection inspires confidence.

Overall, the Volvo inspection process covers more inspection points than most, but not by much. The average is around 150 inspection points, and Volvo goes just a bit over that.

Other Volvo Certified Pre-Owned Perks

Volvo, like other automakers, provides a handful of perks with their pre-owned inventory. When you buy a Volvo certified pre-owned vehicle, you’ll receive:

  • Carfax vehicle history report (are those trustworthy?)
  • Every vehicle made after 2015 comes with Volvo On Call free for one year, allowing you to lock, unlock, and remotely start your car from your smartphone. It also allows you to access emergency roadside assistance.
  • 24/7 roadside assistance for the length of your warrant, covering lockouts, jump starts, emergency tows, and fuel delivery
  • Rental car reimbursement, up to $35 per day for up to 10 days per breakdown resulting in warrantied repairs
  • Travel reimbursement, covering up to $100 per day up to $500 per occurrence if you break down more than 100 miles away from your home
  • Three-month subscription to SiriusXM

Volvo’s product offering is undoubtedly robust. Many other automakers have similar offerings, but then again, some offer way fewer perks, too. The main thing that makes this perk offering unique is the Volvo On Call service, which is unique to Volvo.

Overall, we’re neutral towards this warranty. We would appreciate it if Volvo separated the powertrain coverage into its warranty with an extended duration. However, the unlimited mileage on the provided warranty almost makes up for it. The inspection point count is higher than many, and we like the specific focus on safety for part of the inspection. However, you should make sure that you get a pre-purchase inspection from an independent mechanic before buying a CPO vehicle.

While the Volvo certified pre-owned program is adequate, we would only recommend it if you’re a fan of Volvo. Otherwise, there may be a better program with a more in-depth warranty offering out there for you.

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3 Comments

  1. Dee Brown

    Can I lease a pre-owned Volvo?

    Reply
    • Zach Shefska

      Possibly, but unlikely. It’s hard (if not downright impossible) to set residual values on used cars, which makes setting up lease contract difficult.

      Reply
  2. Laura Coblentz

    We purchased a CPO 2012 Volvo XC-60 in 2014 and were not aware that the car had been in an accident with fairly major collision damage. We did not discover the accident until we recently pulled a carfax on our car in 2021and it showed the accident. Volvo says on its website that CPO vehicles are not in a major collision, but when I called Volvo North America they basically said that is a subjective term and basically told me too bad. The car is displaying structural damage now, with panels popping off the exterior and interior, rust spots, and damage that should not be occuring in this vehicle. In addition, the dealer said that they did a thorough CPO inspection but would not give me a copy of the inspection report. That said, this was a bad experience and I think it’s key for folks to not trust any CPO and to ALWAYS have a mechanic inspect a used vehicle before purchase. Based on this experience, we will never purchase another VOLVO — our previous Volvo was a V70R that we purchased new.

    Reply

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