Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury division, offers a certified pre-owned (CPO) program that seems strong, once you get past its confusing three-level warranty arrangement. We’ve researched the Infiniti CPO program and its warranties, pointing out its strengths and weaknesses.
Some drivers may choose to purchase an extended auto warranty for their Infiniti CPO vehicle, and we’ll explain why in this article. You can choose a warranty sold by Infiniti dealers or a plan from a third-party warranty company. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
We’ve researched the market for warranties available for Infiniti CPO vehicles and will recommend what we think are the best extended car warranty companies. An easy way to find the best value in a warranty for your CPO Infiniti is by contacting one or more of these companies to get information on their plans and price quotes.
Infiniti CPO Details
CPO programs offered by carmakers are designed to resell the “youngest” of the brand’s used cars. Many of these are lease returns, which are vehicles turned in when the customers’ lease terms expire.
Since nearly 70 percent of Infiniti vehicles are leased, such returns account for most of the brand’s CPO vehicles. That’s why you’ll see a good supply of three- to four-year-old CPO Infiniti vehicles, many with under 40,000 miles. You will also see certified pre-owned Infiniti vehicles that are one to two years old and with far fewer miles. Some of those are likely former dealer service loaner vehicles.
Infiniti-trained dealer technicians “certify” these vehicles by performing a comprehensive inspection, servicing them, and performing any needed repairs or part replacements to ensure the car meets the brand’s standards for certification. The CPO vehicles are then offered for sale with a warranty.
Infiniti will certify vehicles less than 6 years from the original in-service date and with under 70,000 miles. Other brands differ in CPO vehicle eligibility. For example, BMW limits its CPO vehicles to 5 years old or 60,000 miles.
Infiniti Certified Pre-Owned Inspection
Infiniti CPO vehicles start out with a comprehensive 167-point certification inspection. It’s important to not compare the number of “points” from brand to brand. All do CPO inspections slightly differently. We examined the Infiniti CPO inspection checklist and can say it is quite comprehensive.
The 167 items on the Infiniti CPO checklist cover all of the car’s mechanical systems, exterior, interior, audio and navigation systems, wheels and tires, and more. While there is even an item that includes the cassette player, rest assured Infiniti is not stuck in the 1980s – that’s merely a carryover from when some of the CPO vehicles had a “tape deck.”
Like all brands’ CPO program inspections, Infiniti’s starts with verifying vehicle history using its own warranty and service databases, plus a CARFAX report. The customer can view the CARFAX reports for individual CPO vehicles on the Infiniti website.
You can also view the vehicle’s original window sticker to see all standard equipment, options, and original manufacturer’s suggested retail price. (Remember that most new Infiniti vehicles are leased, so it can be difficult to compare the deal you’re getting on a CPO vehicle to the original MSRP.)
Infiniti CPO Warranty
Many brands give you any remaining portion of the new vehicle warranty, plus an additional CPO warranty and sometimes a longer powertrain warranty. Infiniti, though, does things a little differently.
An Infiniti CPO vehicle will come with one of three different levels of warranty coverage, depending on its age and mileage. The differences among the three tiers may help guide your purchase and also your need for an extended car warranty.
|Vehicle Age||Still under the original warranty and less than 48 months from original in-service date||Outside the original warranty and less than 72 months from original in-service date|
|Vehicle Miles||Up to 15,000 miles (CPO Preferred)||15,000 to 59,999 miles||15,001 to 70,000 miles|
|CPO Warranty Terms||6 years/75,000 miles from original in-service date||6 years/unlimited miles from original in-service date||2 years/unlimited miles from CPO sale date|
|Available Extended Coverage||Up to 8 years/unlimited miles|
All Infiniti CPO vehicles, regardless of the warranty level, come with one year of scheduled basic maintenance. Infiniti’s CPO program also includes a three-month subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, and you get a complimentary Infiniti loaner car while your vehicle is in the dealership for service or a covered repair.
All three of these Infiniti CPO warranties are transferable should you later sell your Infiniti to a private party.
An Infiniti CPO warranty is essentially an extension of the fairly generous Infiniti new vehicle warranty, including powertrain coverage, by 2 years/15,000 miles. That means, for some nearly new, low-mile Infiniti CPO vehicles, you could end up with longer total coverage than with a new Infiniti. Using the search tool on Infiniti’s CPO webpage, we found quite a few 1-year-old models with under 5,000 miles. In such a case, you would actually have a longer warranty than a new Infiniti (by 1 year and 10,000 miles in this example.)
What Infiniti CPO Warranties Do Not Cover
The Infiniti warranty booklet states that the warranty “extends the basic coverage of the Infiniti New Vehicle Limited Warranty” except for some specific items. Other brands exclude some of the same things, such as maintenance and wear items, including brake rotors and pads, engine belts and hoses, and shock absorbers.
Yet, there are other items on the list that would be expensive to replace should they fail. Be aware that the Infiniti CPO warranty does not cover:
- “Any and all” in-vehicle communication systems
- Audio, navigation, and entertainment system components
- Exhaust system from the catalytic converter back
- Immobilizer key
- Remote keyless entry switch assembly
- Squeaks and rattles
- Vehicle paint
- Water leaks
Infiniti CPO Roadside Assistance
The emergency roadside assistance that comes with an Infiniti CPO vehicle runs for the duration of the warranty but can seem a bit mediocre compared to the rest of the warranty. It includes battery jump-starts, flat tire changes (using your good spare), lockout assistance, and emergency fuel delivery ($5 maximum).
We think the $5 limit for fuel might be a bit skimpy, considering some Infiniti vehicles require premium-grade gas. We’d rather see something like “three-gallon limit.” Also, the other benefits cover out-of-pocket expenses only up to $100. There are a few other good benefits, though:
- If your Infiniti needs to be towed due to a mechanical breakdown, the CPO roadside assistance will arrange for towing to the nearest Infiniti dealership (up to 250 miles). Since Infiniti has only 200 dealers in the United States, you could end up farther than 250 miles from one. In that case, Infiniti will arrange towing to an “authorized repair facility.” (We would guess that might include Nissan dealerships.)
- If a breakdown occurs when you are 100 miles or more away from home, Infiniti will cover trip interruption expenses (alternate transportation, meals, and lodging) up to a $500 limit.
- If you need to rent a car while your Infiniti is undergoing a covered repair, Infiniti will reimburse you for car rental expenses up to $35 per day for up to five days ($175 max).
How reliable are Infinitis? The brand did not fare all that well in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Vehicle Dependability StudySM, which assesses owners’ problems with vehicles after three years of ownership (or leasing), as measured by the number of problems per one hundred cars.
Infiniti placed in the bottom 10 of 32 brands surveyed, measuring 137 problems per 100 cars. For comparison, Lexus came in first place with 81, Porsche came in second place with 86, and Cadillac ranked tied for fifth with 100 problems per 100 cars. The industry average was 121 in this edition of the study.
J.D. Power indicated that audio, communication, entertainment, and navigation technology “still accounts for more problems than any other category in the study.” As we showed in the previous section, none of those features is covered under the Infiniti CPO warranty. To get those expensive electronic components covered, you would need to purchase a plan from Infiniti’s Elite Protection Program®, which includes:
- Optional coverage of up to 8 years/unlimited miles
- $0 deductible for parts and labor for any covered repair
- Expanded component coverage, including audio, navigation, and mobile entertainment
- Expanded Roadside Assistance and Reunite Service, which covers the cost of reuniting you with your vehicle if you had to leave it for repair
This extended warranty is transferable to a new owner should you sell the Infiniti CPO vehicle.
Get An Extended Warranty That Works For You
Overall, we like Infiniti’s CPO program. It is one of the stronger ones on the market. If you think you’d want to keep a CPO Infiniti for longer than its warranty term, though, we suggest considering an extended warranty.
There are several reasons to consider a plan from a reputable extended car warranty company:
- Up to 10 years of coverage available, versus 8 years with an Infiniti extended warranty
- Wider choice of plan coverage options and prices
- Freedom to have your Infiniti repaired at more than 30,000 facilities across the U.S. (versus only 200 Infiniti dealers)
- Roadside assistance and trip interruption benefits comparable or more generous than Infiniti’s plan
All of our recommended warranty companies offer free quotes and will let you download sample contracts. Contact one or more before you shop for an Infiniti CPO vehicle.