Is It Worth Buying a Used Acura? This Extended Certification Program Wants to Convince You

Shelling out the money to buy a new Acura is not reasonable for drivers who are shopping on a budget. There’s always the used-car lots and private sales, but used luxury cars get a bad rap for reliability and longevity. Fortunately, there’s a new option in town. It’s called the Acura Precision Used program, and it’s an extension of Acura’s typical Certified Pre-Owned program.

While Precision Used lives under the “Acura Certified” umbrella, there are some key differences to be aware of. The biggest one? You can now buy a certified, inspected, warrantied used Acura that is up to 10 years old. That is huge. 

Acura Precision Used program details

Not every car can be labeled Certified Pre-Owned, or “Precision Used.” These cars need to meet some set of criteria and be inspected and backed by the manufacturer and Acura dealers. The criteria for the Precision Used program is a lot lighter than those for the Acura Precision Certified program.

The Precision Used program takes any Acura car, coupe, or SUV that is 10 years old or newer from its original in-service date. (The in-service date is the original sale date of the vehicle when it was new.) Unlike other programs, there are no mileage restrictions. 

Qualifying vehicles undergo a 112-point inspection completed by an Acura Certified Technician to make sure they’re fit to sell. Pre-owned Acura vehicles that meet the criteria and pass the inspection are given a six-month/7,500-mile warranty. This warranty covers both powertrain and non-powertrain. There are a few other perks included, as well, like a free three-month SiriusXM subscription, one free oil change, and one year of roadside assistance, among other things.

Surprisingly, Acura’s extended Precision Used program is a lot more comprehensive than its sister brand’s. The HondaTrue Used program only gives drivers a measly 100 days of 5,000 miles of additional warranty coverage.

Exterior shot of an Acura dealership on a bright sunny day. Dealers sell both new and used Acura cars
Acura dealership | John Nacion/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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Acura Precision Used vs. Precision Certified program

Used Acura cars and SUVs need to meet a stricter set of standards to be eligible for the Acura Precision Certified program. Acura Precision Certified cars receive a seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and a two-year/100,000-mile non-powertrain warranty.

These vehicles must be within six years of their original in-service date and have less than 80,000 miles on the odometer. This mileage restriction helps to sort out the higher-quality used vehicles and give consumers more confidence. This means that a three-year-old Acura with 85,000 miles would not qualify for the Precision Certified program, but could qualify for the Precision Used program. 

What about cars older than 10 years? Those simply fall into the “Acura Used” category and come with few if any benefits, beyond a low retail price.

Chart showing the differences between Acura Precision Certified, Precision Used, and plain used as described in the text above. The chart is set up as columns with each program's details in its own column.
Acura Certified warranty coverage and benefits chart | Acura Certified

There is a catch….

And it has to do with what each warranty really means, because they can be a little misleading if you don’t read the fine print.

The warranties offered on Acura used cars don’t all follow the same rules. The Precision Used program’s six-month/7,500-mile warranty kicks in after the new-vehicle warranty expires (four years/50,000 miles for bumper-to-bumper and six years/70,000 miles for powertrain) or the day you purchase the vehicle. According to AcuraCertified.com, mileage is based on miles traveled after purchase/after the new-vehicle warranty expires.

The Precision Certified program, on the other hand, is a little different. The two-year/100,000-mile non-powertrain warranty covers the vehicle for an additional two years after the new-vehicle warranty expires or after the sale date—but the mileage is total miles on the odometer. The seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty is total age of the vehicle and total mileage. 

Knowing these details can help you make more informed decisions.

RELATED: Certified Pre-Owned Cars: Forbes Says 2022 Is A Good Year To Buy

Is this the best time to buy? 

Automotive News reports that the used-car market is hot right now, which means it’s both a good and bad time to buy. Good, because you may have a larger availability of vehicles to choose from. Bad, because they’re likely going fast and for higher retail prices than they would in a slower market. 

With this new expanded warranty coverage, it could be well worth your time to shop Acura Precision Used or Precision Certified vehicles. You could find an affordable Acura that comes with a little more peace of mind.

Just don’t fall for those weird warranty phone scams.

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