Who Has the Best Car Warranty?

It's time to look at major automakers and the factory warranties they can offer to you. 

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Virtually no one buys a new car at a dealership just for its factory warranty. Why would they? A warranty isn’t going to get you and your family from point A to point B safely. It’s just there to cover certain, specific issues that may arise within a certain period of time. For some, the warranty doesn’t even factor into the final decision.

Yet, if you want to make your decision-making process as comprehensive as possible, considering your coverage options isn’t a bad idea. Even at a basic level, it helps to know what you should expect with different coverages, even if you have your heart set on a particular make and model. 

At a deeper psychological level, it also reveals to car owners a bit about a brand’s credibility and trust in its own products since most companies offer good warranties when they are confident that any problems a warranty covers will be a fluke more than a design or quality issue. 

We’ve taken up the task of judging major automakers just on their warranty offerings alone. By the end, you won’t find your perfect car just yet, but you will have enough information to zero in on some brands or just to know what to expect from a brand you’re already considering for a new vehicle.

The Best Warranty Providers

  • Best New Car Warranty Overall: Hyundai
  • Best Car Warranty Value: Kia
  • Best Long-Term Car Warranty: Volkswagen
  • Best Luxury Car Warranty: Jaguar
  • Best EV Car Warranty: Nissan

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Going with a factory extended warranty is a good option for basic protection, but you can get more and save more with an Endurance extended warranty. Offering more comprehensive coverage on repairs and services OEM warranties list in exclusions, an Endurance warranty actually provides the type of coverage many disappointed vehicle owners assume automakers just include automatically. Best of all, an Endurance plan isn’t limited by a vehicle’s mileage or age, so you can cover your vehicle no matter what.

Basic Factory Warranties Explained

There is a lot of confusing information (and misinformation) surrounding automotive warranties. Some people assume they are just scams, while others figure they cover anything and everything that can go wrong with a vehicle. As usual, the truth is somewhere in the middle and varies just as much as the warranties from provider to provider. 

So, let’s start with some basic information to help clear the air on what vehicle warranties actually are.

It’s important to understand that there are many types of vehicle warranties. Basic factory warranties cover new cars. Extended auto warranties (also called vehicle service contracts) can cover new or used cars. CPO warranties only cover certain used vehicles a manufacturer has certified with its own inspection process. You can even find third-party warranties that provide coverage and perks automakers lack. 

Since we’re judging automaker factory bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties, we can ignore the extended, CPO, and third-party warranties. Instead, we’re just concerned about the warranties that come with a brand-new car that kick in after it has left the lot. These generally come in two flavors:

  • Bumper-to-Bumper Warranties: Warranties that provide basic, comprehensive coverage for any standard, manufacturer-approved part on a vehicle.
  • Powertrain Warranties: Warranties that offer powertrain coverage for basic drive components like the drivetrain, axles, engine, etc.

Keep in mind that all factory warranties don’t cover every possible issue that comes up with a vehicle. Factory warranties are about addressing manufacturing defects, usually issues that don’t require a recall. If, for example, your steering wheels randomly falls off, and it’s not due to general wear and tear or your own questionable actions, chances are it will be covered. 

If you want additional coverage for things like unexpected breakdowns or routine maintenance, you will need to find something beyond most factory warranties. This is where some manufacturer- and third-party-supplied extended warranties come in. 

A woman with a broken down car on the side of the road.
GETTYIMAGES

Some manufacturer warranties offer additional perks like roadside assistance.

Comparing Manufacturer’s Warranties

Assessing which company has the best factory warranty isn’t the most straightforward process, especially if you’re searching for a new vehicle and don’t have much experience with modern-day warranties. However, it’s not rocket science either. It’s helpful to know how to compare different warranty options by seeing how they differ in a few important areas:

  • Length: All factory warranties have limits. Typically, manufacturers set two limits for their warranties: age and mileage. For example, the industry standard has become a three-year or 36,000-mile warranty. Once a car is either three years old or hits the 36,000-mile mark, the warranty is expired. In general, longer warranties are better. Powertrain warranties tend to last longer than bumper-to-bumper warranties since they cover less.
  • Inclusions: To assess what you actually get with a factory warranty in terms of coverage, look at the inclusions list. This will list out all of the general parts and systems the warranty will fix or replace if defects arise. Powertrain warranties tend to use these lists more than bumper-to-bumper options.
  • Exclusions: Some warranties take the opposite approach of simply listing out the parts and systems they don’t cover. This is more common with bumper-to-bumper warranties since they tend to be more comprehensive in coverage. This way, it’s easier just to list the excluded items.
  • Extra Perks: Factory warranties may seem rather bare in their offerings (and many actually are), but some do offer a few additional perks to entice your business. From roadside assistance, trip interruption coverage, and rental cars to basic coverage on routine maintenance or repairs, like oil changes and free towing, these perks may actually come in handy.

The Best Warranty Providers

In searching for the best factory warranty providers, we’ve had to put a lot of automakers aside. The differences between some providers are just too small to matter, while others clearly stand out above the rest. To find the best, we’ve looked at the important factors like age and mileage limits, inclusions and exclusions, and anything extra the company throws into the mix. 

We’ve included the best of the best, the best value, and a few honorable mentions for specialty and luxury brands.

Best New Car Warranty Overall: Hyundai

It may not be the longest or most comprehensive car warranty available, but Hyundai takes the top spot because it strikes the right balance of long bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties with top-notch extras you won’t find with most other manufacturers. Coupled with the brand’s growing reputation of reliability that now rivals more established companies, this Korean automaker is one to look at for a good car and a good car warranty.

The five-year or 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty is one of the longest available today. The even longer 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty is nearly twice as long as what many other automakers offer to cover the engine and drivetrain. The thing that really puts Hyundai’s warranty over the top, however, is the inclusion of unlimited-mile corrosion warranty and roadside assistance. With these, the only limitation is the age: seven and five years, respectively.

Common Repair Costs

Some of the most common issues and repair costs with Hyundai vehicles:

  • Hyundai Scoupe: Engine Oil Light Diagnostic ($88-$111)
  • Hyundai XG300: Timing Belt Tensioner Replacement ($510-$612)
  • Hyundai Genesis: Power Seat Switch Replacement ($279-$294)
  • Hyundai Equus: Coolant Leak Diagnostic ($170-$180)
  • Hyundai Elantra: Catalytic Converter Replacement ($779-$806)
  • Hyundai Tiburon: Headlamp Alignment Adjustment ($35-$45)

Best Car Warranty Value: Kia

Kia isn’t just a budget car manufacturer by any means, but it has quickly become one of the best brands with a good selection of budget vehicles. As a result, it wins the value spot in our list for its combination of reliable, affordable cars and a warranty offering that rivals its sister brand, Hyundai, along with many other more expensive automakers.

The five-year or 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, along with the 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, rival most other competitors and matches Hyundai’s standard factory warranties. The area where Kia falls just short of topping its sister brand is with the corrosion warranty and roadside assistance package. 

While Hyundai offers unlimited miles on both, Kia caps the limit to 100,000 and 60,000 miles, respectively. Still, these are nearly twice as much as most other automaker warranties. 

Common Repair Costs

Some of the most common issues and repair costs with Kia vehicles:

  • Kia Optima: AC Diagnosis ($88-$111)
  • Kia Rio: Stabilizer Bushing Replacement ($118-$164)
  • Kia Sedona: Drive Axle Assembly Leak Inspection ($52-$67)
  • Kia Sportage: Antitheft System Diagnostic ($88-$111)
  • Kia Rondo: Trans Mount Replacement ($241-$258)
  • Kia Borrego: Oxygen Sensor Replacement ($199-$384)

Best Long-Term Car Warranty: Volkswagen

Volkswagen has long been connected with (and has influenced) the reputation of German automotive engineering. It only makes sense, then, that a company synonymous with quality vehicles offers one of the longest-lasting car warranties available. This offers a good balance between a reliable car and good warranty coverage.

The standard Volkswagen bumper-to-bumper warranty is a six-year or 72,000-mile coverage plan that firmly puts it on top of the bumper-to-bumper heap. This means you get to maximize the general coverage a car for nearly twice as long as most other automakers and at least a year compared to its closest rivals. 

Unfortunately, the company’s six-year or 72,000-mile powertrain warranty falls short of other competitor offerings that extend up to 10 years.

Common Repair Costs

Some of the most common issues and repair costs with Volkswagen vehicles:

  • Volkswagen Beetle: Heater Hose Replacement ($310-$336)
  • Volkswagen Rabbit: Horn Relay Replacement ($42-$50)
  • Volkswagen Jetta: Radiator Replacement ($522-$706)
  • Volkswagen Passat: Control Arm Replacement ($579-$928)
  • Volkswagen Eos: Brake Line Replacement ($210-$292)
  • Volkswagen R32: Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor Replacement ($98-$144)

Best Luxury Car Warranty: Jaguar

Luxury automakers aren’t always known for high-quality construction. While you are definitely paying a lot for a luxury vehicle, the cost may be due to design choices, exotic material inclusions, or just for the reputation of the brand itself. That is why it’s helpful to gauge the warranty any luxury brand offers to get a little insight into how much stock the company puts into itself.

Jaguar takes this top spot since it offers the longest bumper-to-bumper coverage of any luxury brand. Its five-year or 60,000-mile coverage applies to both the bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties, matching other automotive manufacturers near the top of the warranty duration spectrum while the powertrain falls a bit short of its competitors. On the plus side, its five-year or 60,000-mile roadside assistance program is also among the longest compared to its rivals.

Common Repair Costs

Some of the most common issues and repair costs with Jaguar vehicles:

  • Jaguar S-Type: Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement ($323-$384)
  • Jaguar XJ12: Wheel Speed Sensor Replacement ($891-$1,495)
  • Jaguar X-Type: Oil Pump Replacement ($2,281-$2,785)
  • Jaguar XFR: Drive Belt Tensioner Replacement ($270-$361)
  • Jaguar F-Type: Suspension Shock/Strut Replacement ($996-$1,038)

Best EV Car Warranty: Nissan

When it comes to electric vehicles (hybrid or all-electric varieties), the standard factory warranties aren’t quite enough. That is why many EV manufacturers also include additional factory warranties to cover the EV-specific parts. Batteries, in particular, are a key component that requires some coverage from defects and general wear and tear. 

Since all batteries eventually wear out over time, it can help to keep costs down on a replacement when you have a good warranty backing you up.

This spot didn’t have quite as much competition as the others, but Nissan edges out competitors like Chevy and Tesla with its battery warranty and replacement program. Applicable specifically to the Nissan Leaf, the battery coverage lasts for eight years or 100,000 miles

Most notably, the warranty has one of the highest percentage guarantees (roughly 75%), meaning the company will replace the battery once its charge capacity only reaches 3/4ths of its original capacity. The car also comes with the more standard three-year or 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and five-year or 60,000-mile powertrain warranties. 

Common Repair Costs

Some of the most common issues and repair costs with Nissan electric vehicles:

  • Nissan Leaf: Brake Pad Replacement ($208-$331)
  • Nissan Leaf: Radiator Replacement ($700-$858)

FAQs

Q. Which companies offer a 100,000-mile powertrain warranty?

A. Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi, and Genesis are the top providers of a 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Q. What does a factory warranty cover?

A. Most bumper-to-bumper factory warranties cover most, if not all, design and material defects that occur during normal use of the vehicle.

Q. Do I have to go to a manufacturer-specific or approved dealership to use my warranty?

A. Not always. While some manufacturers or dealerships may recommend a specific repair shop, going to an independent mechanic won’t void the warranty. You may not, however, get work covered for free.

Q. Can I void my factory warranty?

A. Yes. Generally, if you make a modification that the manufacturer or car dealership can prove led to necessary repair work, it will likely void your warranty.

Considering Factory Warranties

As we mentioned before, you shouldn’t base your choice on finding the best new vehicle only on the warranties companies provide. All factory warranties eventually end, and there are other options like extended warranties to consider if you want better coverage for your vehicle. Instead, this information should just be one point to consider in your overall decision-making process. 

Don’t forget to read the fine print as well on any warranty options.

If you already have a brand you know you want to buy from, perfect. This information will give you a basic understanding of what to expect in terms of coverage. When brand loyalty isn’t important or if you haven’t picked a brand yet, however, this information may help you narrow down the list of possibilities or at least give you a good starting point to check out different model options. 

This will give you the peace of mind to find the right vehicle for you.

More Information

Here are a few more resources you can use to find out about factory warranties:

Get More Protection with Endurance

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You don’t have to rely on the automaker to give you vehicle coverage that actually saves you money. In fact, most factory extended warranties fall short of customer expectations. When you think your vehicle is covered for an unexpected repair or needed service, you will likely find the factory warranty falls short. 

A plan with Endurance, on the other hand, is much more comprehensive since it actually covers things beyond factory defects and flaws. So, if you want real coverage, it’s time to check out Endurance.

Get a free quote from Endurance today or call: 1-855-632-3655.