Lexus IS certified pre-owned warranty

Costs slightly more than average - but the benefits easily justify it

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If you read our guide on Lexus’ certified pre-owned warranty, you’ll know that Lexus L/Certified might be the best CPO program in the business.

Purchase a CPO Lexus, and you’ll get two additional years of bumper-to-bumper protection with unlimited miles, free loaner vehicles, four scheduled maintenance visits and a handful of other benefits. When you factor in the added peace of mind, that’s a hard deal to pass up.

That being said, some models are better to buy certified than others. Sometimes, it’s way cheaper to buy an extended warranty than to buy CPO status. Other times, a specific model is so incredibly reliable that paying extra for CPO isn’t worth it in the first place.

So how does the Lexus Intelligent Sport (IS) fit in? Is the brand’s nimble, entry-level sedan reliable enough to skip CPO? How much are dealers charging for CPO IS models these days, and is it worth paying the extra cost over pre-owned?

Read on to find out.

Key insights

The CPO warranty on a Lexus IS is the same as other Lexus models: you’ll get an additional two years of bumper-to-bumper coverage added to the end of your four-year/50,000-mile factory warranty, with no mileage cap.

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On average, a CPO Lexus IS costs $3,200, or 8.8% more, than a pre-owned one with a similar age and mileage. That’s higher than the 6% average across brands, but it does include up to four maintenance visits worth a combined $2,000 to $2,500.

Jump to insight

When you consider that you’re getting a two-year warranty extension, up to $2,500 worth of free maintenance and added peace of mind, paying $3,200 for a CPO Lexus IS might be worth it.

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Buying a CPO Lexus IS might also be a better deal than buying a pre-owned one with a separate extended warranty since the former includes a $0 deductible and free maintenance.

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How long is the CPO warranty on a Lexus IS?

Lexus’ CPO warranty is the same across all models. You’ll get two additional years of bumper-to-bumper warranty protection starting from the date your four-year/50,000-mile factory warranty expires.

Remember that all factory warranties automatically transfer to new owners, so if you buy a one-year-old IS with 10,000 miles on it, you’ll still have three years/40,000 miles of coverage left.

Now, if you purchase a certified pre-owned IS with no factory warranty remaining, Lexus still gives you a two-year/unlimited-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty starting from the day you purchase the car.

In either case, you’ll have at least six years of total bumper-to-bumper coverage measured from the day your IS first went into service (i.e., sold to the first owner). That’s the best CPO warranty in the business, tied with Acura, Porsche, Lincoln and Mitsubishi. Lincoln and Mitsubishi aren’t really IS rivals, but the Acura TLX, Acura Integra and Porsche Panamera might be alternatives to consider.

But none of those brands can fully match Lexus’ impressive CPO benefits, which include:

  • Up to four complimentary maintenance visits across two years or 20,000 miles (valued between $2,000 and $2,500 total)
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Trip interruption protection of up to $200 per day ($600 total) to help cover the cost of meals and lodging if your IS breaks down over 100 miles from home
  • Free loaners from the dealership or up to $50 per day in rental car assistance ($250 total)

Overall, the warranty-plus-benefits you’d get with a CPO Lexus IS stand virtually unrivaled. But how much will a CPO Lexus IS cost you in the first place?

» MORE: Lexus certified pre-owned warranty

» MORE: Best CPO warranties

How much does a certified pre-owned IS cost?

The average price difference between used and CPO Lexus IS was 8.8%. At the time of this writing, there were 871 total pre-owned listings nationwide with an average asking price of $36,779, while there were 260 CPO listings with an average asking price of $40,006.

For context, as of May 2024, the average CPO upcharge across brands was 6%. So if a pre-owned vehicle was priced at $30,000, its CPO equivalent would cost around $31,800 on average.

To find out, ConsumerAffairs visited to compare the average cost of a CPO Lexus IS to a regular pre-owned model with identical age and miles. We also excluded any pre-owned vehicles with accidents or major issues reported.

Sometimes, the average CPO price can skew a little high due to a handful of greedy dealers charging silly prices. But our local dealer confirmed that $3,200 really is the sweet spot.

“A CPO Lexus is normally priced around $3,000 to $4,000 higher than a non-certified one,” he told ConsumerAffairs. “And that includes the four free maintenance visits.”

To build on his point, $3,200 extra for CPO doesn’t seem like such a bad deal considering every L/Certified IS includes:

  • A 161-point quality inspection
  • A two-year/unlimited-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty (added to whatever factory warranty remains)
  • Up to four complimentary maintenance visits (valued at around $2,000 to $2,500)
  • 24/7 roadside assistance, free loaners, trip interruption reimbursement and rental car assistance

But let’s dive deeper. Is it really worth paying for?

Is a CPO Lexus IS worth it?

In general, it’s more likely to be worth buying CPO if:

  • The vehicle you’re considering suffers from below-average reliability and would benefit from longer warranty coverage
  • The cost difference between CPO and pre-owned isn’t significant
  • The CPO warranty and benefits justify the difference in price

We’ve established that Lexus’ CPO warranty and benefits are superb and that the added cost to buy CPO (8.8% or around $3,200) isn’t all that high considering all that you get with it.

But how reliable is a Lexus IS?

Well, both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports ranked Lexus as the No. 1 most reliable brand overall out of 30 surveyed. And while the latter outlet didn’t rank the IS during model years 2017 through 2023, the 2024 model managed a predicted reliability score of 4 out of 5.

This is the part where we might normally say, “A Lexus IS is so reliable that buying CPO isn’t necessary.”

But let’s say you manage to negotiate $1,000 off the out-the-door price, which isn’t impossible if you follow step eight of our used car buying guide. At that point, you’re paying just $2,200 extra for a CPO vehicle that’s been inspected, includes a two-year warranty and includes $2,000 to $2,500 worth of free maintenance.

That’s an excellent deal. Even if you have to pay the full $3,000 difference, paying essentially $500 to $1,000 extra for a two-year extended warranty is a bargain.

So yes, buying a CPO Lexus IS is worth it. Just be sure to schedule all four complimentary maintenance visits so you can maximize the value of your CPO benefits.

Before we wrap up, let’s briefly compare the cost of buying CPO versus a separate extended warranty.

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

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CPO vs. extended warranties for ISs

In our full breakdown of Lexus extended warranties: cost, coverage and plans, we found that the average cost of a seven-year/100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty on a 2021 IS 300 was $4,000. That’s $1,333 per year of added coverage, which is higher than the industry average of $1,000.

When we collected quotes from the best extended car warranty companies, however, the cost came down considerably. olive was the lowest bidder, quoting us $2,883.

But we’d still lean towards paying $3,200 for a CPO IS instead for two reasons.

  1. The CPO warranty has no deductible, while the extended warranty options we surveyed all included a $100 deductible (although Lexus does waive your deductible if you return to the dealer who sold you the warranty, but remember the plan was $4,000).
  2. The CPO warranty includes up to four complimentary maintenance visits valued at up to $2,500, all on their own.

Still, it can’t hurt to collect a few quotes for extended warranties before you make a final decision. Just be sure that if you purchase a non-CPO vehicle, you consider scheduling a pre-purchase inspection to ensure that you’re not getting a lemon.

» MORE: Lexus IS extended warranty: cost, coverage and plans

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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. Edmunds, “Used Lexus for Sale Near New York, NY.” Accessed May 6, 2024.
  2. J.D. Power, “Vehicle Dependability Slumps as Rate of Deterioration Increases, J.D. Power Finds.” Accessed May 6, 2024.
  3. Consumer Reports, “Who Makes the Most Reliable New Cars?” Accessed May 6, 2024.
  4. Consumer Reports, “Lexus IS.” Accessed May 6, 2024.
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