Chevy, GMC Powertrain Warranties Slashed for 2016 Models

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Automotive Editor

Armaan Almeida was an Automotive Editor who produced buying guides and sneak previews, in addition to publishing daily news stories and tracking monthly deals, incentives and pricing trends from Toyota, Nissan and Lexus.

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, Automotive Editor - May 28, 2015

Warranties drop from 100,000 miles to 60,000 miles while free maintenance may soon be a perk of the past.

GM sent a memo to Chevrolet and GMC dealerships nationwide informing them of changes to the powertrain warranties on all new 2016 models. Currently, the powertrain warranty coverage for 2015 models comes in at 5 years/100,000 miles. But warranties for 2016 Chevrolet and GMC models will be lowered to 5 years/60,000 miles. The changes will take effect as soon as 2016 models begin hitting showroom floors this summer. The cut follows the revised coverage made to both Buick and Cadillac back in 2013 which dropped the coverage from 100,000 miles to 70,000 miles.

Base MSRP MPG Powertrain Warranty Free Maintenance
2015 Chevrolet Cruze $16,995 26/36 5 Year/100,000 2 Years/24,000 Miles
2016 Chevrolet Cruze N/A N/A 5 Year/60,000 1 Year/12,000 Miles
2015 Toyota Corolla $17,775 28/37 5 Year/60,000 2 Years/25,000 Miles
2015 Honda Civic $19,310 28/36 5 Year/60,000 Not Offered
2015 Ford Focus $17,995 26/36 5 Year/60,000 Not Offered

An Example

Take the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze. It's a solid car that offers heaps of value and some great incentives this month. It stacks up competitively with the proven benchmarks in its class. Fuel efficiency, performance and safety for the Cruze are all kosher. Even with the cut in powertrain warranty coverage for the 2016 model, it's still right there with the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and our favorite, the Ford Focus.

Powertrain Warranty Basic Warranty
Chevrolet (2016) 5 Year/60,000 miles 3 Year/36,000 miles
Chevrolet (2015) 5 Year/100,000 miles 3 Year/36,000 miles
Buick 6 Year/70,000 miles 4 Year/50,000 miles
Cadillac 6 Year/70,000 miles 4 Year/50,000 miles
Ford 5 Year/60,000 miles 3 Year/36,000 miles
Chrysler (2015) 5 Year/100,000 miles 3 Year/36,000 miles
Chrysler (2016) 5 Year/60,000 miles 3 Year/36,000 miles
Toyota 5 Year/60,000 miles 3 Year/36,000 miles
Nissan 5 Year/60,000 miles 3 Year/36,000 miles
Honda 5 Year/60,000 miles 3 Year/36,000 miles
Mazda 5 Year/60,000 miles 3 Year/36,000 miles
Subaru 5 Year/60,000 miles 3 Year/36,000 miles
Hyundai 10 Year/100,000 miles 5 Year/60,000 miles
Kia 10 Year/100,000 miles 5 Year/60,000 miles
Volkswagen 5 Year/60,000 miles 3 Year/36,000 miles

What It Means For You

Although the cut looks huge, we wouldn't put too much stock into what it really means for prospective buyers, and here's why: the vast majority of owners don't use powertrain warranties anymore. At least that's what GM says. Yeah, they are there, but new models are designed, engineered and rigorously tested to withstand years of trouble-free use. Besides, who does 100,000 miles in 5 years anyway? Meanwhile, the move might hurt sales of Chevrolet and GMC, as consumers and cynics will ask this magic question: If it doesn't matter, why make the change?

Still Worried?

If today's news gives you another ounce of worry, your best bet is to buy an existing 2015 Chevrolet or 2015 GMC model. They'll come with the extra 40,000 miles of powertrain coverage. Our advice to really, truly ask yourself if you really think you'll need it. We agree that it does offer peace of mind, but we've been driving and testing cars long enough to know that it's not going to have an impact on the performance, safety or reliability of future 2016 models.

Engine

No More Free Maintenance

Another more tangible note is that GM will also will scale back its current offer of two years of free maintenance, including oil changes and tire rotations, on most Chevrolet, GMC and Buick vehicles. The brands, which began the free-maintenance deal for model year 2014, will reduce the number of free service visits to two, from four. It will effect all 2016 models.

, Automotive Editor

Armaan Almeida was an Automotive Editor who produced buying guides and sneak previews, in addition to publishing daily news stories and tracking monthly deals, incentives and pricing trends from Toyota, Nissan and Lexus.

Follow On: Google+ | Website