FIAT certified pre-owned warranty

Not a bad deal … if you can find a CPO FIAT to begin with

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FIAT is an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino. Now owned by Stellantis, the plucky Italian brand is barely hanging on in the U.S., having sold just 605 vehicles nationwide in 2023.

But the brand still has its fans, and if you’re looking at a used FIAT, you might be considering a certified pre-owned (CPO). CPO vehicles come with added benefits and warranty protection, which could be especially helpful on a FIAT given the brand’s poor reputation for reliability.

So how does FIAT’s CPO program stack up to others? Are FIATs really that unreliable? And how much extra will you have to pay for CPO versus pre-owned?

Read on to find out.

Key insights

CPO FIATs must be under five years old/75,000 miles and pass a 125-point quality inspection at the dealership.

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They also include a three-month/3,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, 24/7 roadside assistance and other benefits.

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Considering FIAT’s poor reputation for reliability, purchasing a CPO example might be worth it – if you can find one. At the time of this writing, just two out of 1,500 plus used FIATs were listed as CPO.

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Whether you buy new, used or CPO, purchasing an extended warranty for your FIAT might be a good idea since they’re reasonably priced relative to the brand’s reputation for unreliability.

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FIAT’s certified pre-owned program explained

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of certified pre-owned (CPO) cars in general, here’s the gist.

CPO offers you a third choice other than “new” and “used.” Some folks call them “like new.” In order to qualify as CPO, a used vehicle must be under a certain age and miles, pass inspection and include a longer warranty.

Every major automaker has its own CPO program with its own set of standards and requirements, and FIAT is no different. In order to qualify as CPO, a pre-owned FIAT must be under five years old, have fewer than 75,000 miles on the odometer and pass a 125-point dealership quality inspection.

CPO FIATs also come with an extended CPO warranty: three months/3,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper protection plus seven years/100,000 miles of powertrain protection.

Lastly, you’ll get 24/7 roadside assistance, towing and other helpful benefits – but only for the duration of the three-month warranty.

On that note, the warranty is typically the most valuable part of any CPO package, so let’s look at that next.

» LEARN: What does a car warranty cover?

How good is FIAT’s CPO warranty?

For context, all new FIATs come with the following factory warranty:

Like most factory warranties, your FIAT factory warranty follows the vehicle, not the owner, so if you buy a one-year-old FIAT with 10,000 miles on it, you’ll still have three years/40,000 miles of factory warranty coverage left.

If you buy a CPO FIAT, you get even more coverage.

According to our local FIAT dealer, “You’ll get three more months of bumper-to-bumper, plus a seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty that covers the engine, transmission and drive axle. You also get three months of roadside, XM radio and rental car reimbursement.”

He went on to further clarify a common point of confusion:

“The three months of bumper-to-bumper adds to the end of your remaining factory warranty. The seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage starts from the car’s service date.”

So in total, CPO FIATs come with:

  • Four years and three months/53,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage
  • Seven years/100,000 miles of powertrain coverage

Both measured from when the vehicle was first sold brand new to its original owner. That may sound like a lot, but how does FIAT’s CPO warranty stack up to its competitors?

How does FIAT’s CPO warranty compare?

When you put the factory and CPO warranties together, the total coverage you get with a CPO FIAT is similar to what you’d get with a CPO Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Chrysler or Chevrolet.

On its own, FIAT’s CPO warranty may only add three months of bumper-to-bumper protection, but FIATs come with four years of factory warranty coverage to begin with, which is one more than many of its competitors.

So overall, it’s a decent warranty. You’d get more total coverage with a CPO Hyundai, Kia or Lexus (as well as a more reliable vehicle).

*Measured from when you bought the vehicle or the end of your factory bumper-to-bumper warranty; **Measured from when your vehicle was new; ***Measured from when you bought the vehicle

» MORE: Best CPO warranties

CPO FIAT benefits

As hinted above, CPO FIATs come with a small selection of additional benefits:

  • 24/7 Roadside Assistance, including flat tire service (with your good spare), gas delivery (up to two gallons), battery-jump assistance, lockout service and towing to the nearest dealer (up to $100 total per occurrence).
  • Car Rental Allowance of up to $35 per day ($175 or five days total) to help cover the cost of a rental car while your FIAT is in the shop for warranty work.
  • First Day Rental Allowance that reimburses you up to $35 in transportation costs on the first day your FIAT is at the dealer for repairs, regardless of whether the repair is covered under warranty (though it excludes bodywork).

On paper, these are solid benefits for a CPO program, but they only last for three months, so you’re highly unlikely to get any use out of them.

Is a CPO FIAT worth it?

In a broad sense, it’s more likely to be worth paying extra for CPO if:

  • The vehicle you’re considering has a below-average reputation for reliability
  • The cost of buying CPO versus regular pre-owned isn’t that different
  • The CPO warranty and benefits justify the added cost

So to find out whether it’s worth paying extra for a CPO FIAT, let’s look at how reliable recent FIATs have been and how much FIAT dealers are charging for CPO these days.

How reliable are FIATs?

To preface, accurate reliability data on late-model FIATs can be hard to pin down. The brand sold just 605 vehicles nationwide in 2023, which is just one for every 3,716 Toyotas sold.

That being said, what little we do know doesn’t paint a pretty picture. Consumer Reports gave the FIAT 500X a predicted reliability rating of 30% and a predicted owner satisfaction score of 1 out of 5. The 500e has yet to be rated, but historically, no FIAT since 2012 has scored a predicted reliability rating above a 2.

“I can attest to the general unsatisfied consumers on this,” wrote a ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Arizona. “I bought one of these new #FIAT 500x models and it's been in for everything from bad batteries to the vehicle driver door opening while driving and vehicle suddenly stops (and literally everything in between).”

We haven’t seen much praise for FIAT’s reliability in its recent models. That’s something you may want to keep in mind as you shop, and further underscores the need to have maximum warranty protection.

» MORE: FIAT maintenance: cost, plans and service schedule

How much does a certified pre-owned FIAT cost?

In our other CPO breakdowns, this is the section where we’d typically compare the average cost of a CPO model versus its preowned equivalent based on thousands of used car listings nationwide.

But the challenge we encountered with FIATs is that we found 1,544 total used FIAT listings nationwide, and only two were listed as CPO. In our experience, there’s usually at least one CPO vehicle for every 10 pre-owned vehicles on the market, so for us to find just two was very odd indeed.

To investigate further, ConsumerAffairs called one of the FIAT dealers who actually had a CPO vehicle in stock to ask a simple question: Where are all the CPO FIATs?

“Only FIAT dealers can certify FIATs,” he told us. “So my guess is that most used FIATs end up somewhere else after people trade them in.”

To his point, there are only around 350 FIAT dealers left in the U.S. – compared with nearly ten times as many Ford dealers – so it’s highly likely that most FIATs simply end up at a non-FIAT dealer who cannot certify them. Plus, FIAT produced just one model from 2021 to 2023 (the 500X), so with no additional models to choose from, it’s even less likely that current FIAT owners would ever return to the dealer for a trade-in.

For what it’s worth, the two CPO listings for sale were a 2021 FIAT 500X Trekking Plus AWD priced at $21,995 and a 2023 FIAT 500X Pop AWD priced at $27,900. Comparable used vehicles were priced around $1,800 lower for both examples.

Even though CPO FIATs only come with three extra months of bumper-to-bumper protection, three years of powertrain and 90 days of benefits, we still think it might be a good investment. Historically, these vehicles have significant reliability issues, and any amount of warranty protection will be good to have.

Plus, given poor sales in general, it’s highly likely that a FIAT dealer will be willing to negotiate with you (see step eight of our used car buying guide).

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Do you need an extended warranty for your FIAT?

Whether you end up purchasing a new, used or CPO FIAT, is an extended warranty also a good idea?

In short, yes. FIATs have notorious build quality issues, so as your four-year/50,000-mile factory warranty nears expiration, you might want to consider investing in some long-term warranty protection if you plan to keep the car.

Luckily, despite the brand’s reputation for frequent repairs, we were able to find reasonable quotes for coverage. Endurance quoted us $1,163 per year for a bumper-to-bumper plan with a $100 deductible, which isn’t much higher than the $1,000 average across brands.

Just keep in mind that you may want to drive your FIAT for a few years first to determine whether or not you want to keep it long-term before you invest thousands in an extended warranty.

» FIND WARRANTY COMPANIES: Best Extended Car Warranty Companies

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Article sources ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
  1. Jalopnik, “Fiat Sold Just 605 Cars In The U.S. In 2023.” Accessed May 10, 2024.
  2. Consumer Reports, “FIAT 500X.” Accessed May 10, 2024.
  3. Edmunds, “Used FIAT for Sale Near Me.” Accessed May 10, 2024.
  4. CarGurus, “Used FIAT Cars for Sale Nationwide.” Accessed May 10, 2024.
  5. ScrapeHero, “Number of Fiat dealerships in the United States in 2024.” Accessed May 10, 2024.
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