Which 2021 Vehicles Have the Best Warranty Coverage?

A new-car warranty is like life insurance — you hope you never have to use it, but it gives you peace of mind. Warranties vary, however, in what they cover and for how long, and the best warranty for your situation also could depend on individual factors such as how long you plan to keep the new car and your usual annual mileage. 

Related: Which 2021 Vehicles Offer Free Maintenance?

New-car warranties typically have your back for a fixed number of years or miles, whichever limit you hit first. We’ve ranked them here based on the three main coverage components of most warranties: bumper-to-bumper, powertrain and roadside assistance. Bumper-to-bumper (often called the “basic” warranty) covers pretty much the whole vehicle for the whole term, even such oddities as the weird smell in Cars.com’s new 2020 Hyundai Palisade long-term test car. Some automakers offer separate powertrain coverage that may last years longer but covers only the engine, transmission and driveline components. Roadside assistance is a promise you won’t get left there. Vehicles also have separate coverage for body rusting, emissions, certain accessories and for the main battery in electrified vehicles. 

Warranties generally don’t cover scheduled maintenance, such as oil changes and tire rotation, but some automakers offer a separate complimentary maintenance program. We’ve detailed some of those programs here

Here’s how major automaker warranties shape up for 2021 (exotic and hyper-luxury brands excluded): 

Best

Why they’re here: These four makers offer impressive bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage and also years more powertrain coverage than other brands (though powertrain coverage is not fully transferable to a second owner).

Hyundai, Genesis: Five years or 60,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper, 10 years or 100,000 miles for powertrain (including hybrids and electric vehicles), and five years unlimited mileage for roadside assistance.

Mitsubishi: Five years or 60,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper, 10 years or 100,000 miles for powertrain (including its plug-in hybrid), and five years unlimited mileage for roadside assistance.

Kia: This Hyundai brand offers five years or 60,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper and roadside assistance, and 10 years or 100,000 miles for powertrain (including hybrids and electric vehicles).

Caveats: The conventional powertrain coverage for all four drops to five years or 60,000 miles (starting from the original owner’s sale date) for any subsequent owner.

Very Good

Why they’re here: They are just a little better than the next tier. Jaguar matches the top bumper-to-bumper coverage of the top group, while Infiniti is a bit better than others in bumper-to-bumper coverage and roadside assistance.

Jaguar: Five years or 60,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper, powertrain and roadside assistance.  Electric vehicle batteries for eight years and 100,000 miles.

Infiniti: Four years or 60,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper, six years or 70,000 miles for powertrain, and four years with no mileage cap for roadside assistance.

Better Than Average

Why they’re here: A strong mix of strong bumper-to-bumper and powertrain coverage puts these brands a cut above average.

Acura: Four years or 50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper and roadside assistance, and six years or 70,000 miles for the powertrain. Hybrid vehicle batteries are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles (only the NSX for 2021, there is no 2021 MDX).

Cadillac: Four years or 50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper and six years or 70,000 miles of powertrain and roadside assistance.

Lexus: Four years or 50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper, six years or 70,000 miles of powertrain coverage. Four years with no mileage cap of roadside assistance for most Lexus vehicles.

Lincoln: Four years or 50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper, six years or 70,000 miles of powertrain, and unlimited roadside assistance for the first owner. Specific hybrid and electric power system components are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles.

Tesla: Four years or 50,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper and roadside assistance. The powertrain — specifically the electric drive unit and battery — is covered for eight years or 100,000, 120,000 or 150,000.

Caveats: Tesla’s powertrain coverage is similar to what other makers provide for specific electrified vehicles. Tesla did not respond to requests for comment, coverage listed is as currently posted on its site.

The Rest

Why they’re here: This biggest group offers two essential blocks of coverage with the mainstream brands generally providing three years of bumper-to-bumper and five years of powertrain coverage, while the upscale brands in this group typically offer four years of both. And most offer some period of roadside assistance.

Alfa Romeo, Fiat: These Fiat Chrysler Automobiles brands offer four years or 50,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper and powertrain, and four years with no mileage cap for roadside assistance. Plug-in hybrid batteries are covered for 10 years and either 100,000 or 150,000 miles depending on purchase state.

Audi, Porsche: These Volkswagen Group brands offer four years or 50,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper and powertrain coverage and four years with no limit for roadside assistance. Coverage is eight years or 100,000 miles for hybrid and electric vehicle batteries.

BMW and Mini: Four years or 50,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper and powertrain, and four years with no mileage cap for roadside assistance. Main battery for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles gets eight years or 100,000 miles.

Buick, Chevrolet, GMC: These GM brands offer three years or 36,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper and five years or 60,000 miles for powertrain and roadside assistance.

Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram: These FCA brands offer three years or 36,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper and five years or 60,000 miles for powertrain and roadside assistance. Plug-in hybrid batteries are covered for 10 years and either 100,000 or 150,000 miles depending on purchase state.

Ford: Three years or 36,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper and five years or 60,000 miles for powertrain and roadside assistance. Hybrid and electric system components and batteries are covered for eight years and 100,000 miles.

Honda: Three years or 36,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper and roadside assistance, and five years or 60,000 miles for powertrain. Hybrid batteries are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles.

Land Rover: Four years or 50,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper, powertrain and roadside assistance.

Mazda: Three years or 36,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper and roadside assistance, and five years or 60,000 miles for the powertrain.

Mercedes-Benz: Four years or 50,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper, powertrain and roadside assistance. Six years and 62,000 miles for plug-in hybrid vehicle batteries.

Nissan: Three years or 36,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper and five years or 60,000 miles for the powertrain and roadside assistance. Eight years and 100,000 miles for electric vehicle batteries.

Subaru: Three years or 36,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper and roadside assistance, and five years or 60,000 miles for powertrain. The Crosstrek Hybrid adds eight years or 100,000 miles for the hybrid system components.

Toyota: Three years or 36,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper, five years or 60,000 miles for powertrain, and two years and unlimited mileage for roadside assistance. Hybrid vehicles get eight years and 100,000 miles coverage for hybrid-related components, and 10 years and 150,000 miles on the hybrid battery.

VW: Four years or 50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper and powertrain coverage, three years or 36,000 miles roadside assistance. The new ID.4 electric vehicle adds eight years of battery coverage, and its roadside assistance includes towing your out-of-charge vehicle to a charging station. 

Volvo: Four years or 50,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper and powertrain. Four years or 50,000 miles for roadside assistance plus complimentary tow service to a Volvo dealer beyond four years. Plug-in hybrid batteries are covered for eight years and 100,000 miles.

Caveats: Diesel vehicles (mostly pickup trucks) from these brands include some additions: diesel powertrains from Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Jeep and Ram are covered for five years and 100,000 miles. And Nissan’s Titan pickup continues to carry impressive powertrain and bumper-to-bumper coverage of five years or 100,000 miles.

Some Additional Warranty Notes for Buyers

  • You need to read carefully the warranty information for the specific vehicle you want. We’ve ranked them here by overall brand policy, but a few individual models might vary.
  • Normal replacement and wear-and-tear items such as brake pads, wiper blades or the 12-volt battery often are exceptions to the longer bumper-to-bumper coverage. And tires typically carry a separate tiremaker warranty.
  • The warranty meter on years and mileage starts running when you drive off the dealer lot and if you sell the car, the new owner generally gets what’s left from your start date, though you should check — not all warranties are fully transferable to a new owner.
  • The above coverage is for retail customers and might differ for fleet or commercial buyers.
  • To ensure your warranty coverage you should keep good records of completed scheduled maintenance.
  • Some aftermarket modifications, such as suspension changes or altered engine control chips, could be a problem if they can be linked to needed repairs. 
  • Some dealership groups offer their own limited warranties separate from an automaker and most also sell “extended warranties” — service contracts from the automaker or third parties — for an additional price. We have detailed some of the third-party companies here.

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