Longer warranties a big change for ’07

Front end of Pontiac

Longer warranties, with extras like roadside assistance, are being offered on many 2007 cars and trucks.

General Motors Corp. extended its warranty on engines and transmissions to five years, or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first, for all eight of its brands - Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, Saab and GMC.

It had been offering a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty on Chevrolet, Pontiac, Saturn and GMC cars and trucks, and a four-year, 50,000-mile warranty on Cadillac, Buick, Saab and Hummer vehicles.

Ford Motor Co. extended its powertrain warranty for Ford and Mercury models to five years or 60,000 miles, up from a three-year, 36,000-mile guarantee. Lincoln powertrain warranties were extended to six years or 70,000 miles, up from four years or 50,000 miles.

Those warranties can be transferred without charge if the car or truck is resold and include full roadside assistance with lock-out, fuel and towing services for as long as the powertrain warranties are in effect.

You should take that into account when you're shopping for a new car or truck. Can't decide between two competing models? Pick the one with the best warranty.

Better warranties and the improved reliability of most new models also make it easier to turn down the extended warranties sold by dealers and independent insurance companies.

Powertrain coverage doesn't include parts such as air conditioners, cooling systems and electronics. Most brands cover those under basic or "bumper-to-bumper'' warranties that typically last three years or 36,000 miles. (Luxury brands usually provide better coverage.)

But extended warranties, which are really a type of insurance policy complete with deductibles, aren't worth the cost. That's especially true if your new car or truck has a 60,000- or 100,000-mile warranty on the engine and transmission -- the most costly parts to fix.

Those policies are big profit-makers for dealerships, so expect your salesman to push 100,000-mile "bumper-to-bumper" protection very hard.

Just say "no.''

Here's a brand-by-brand look at the warranties on 2007 models:

Acura: Four years/50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; six years/70,000 miles powertrain. Fully transferable.

BMW: Four years/50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper. Fully transferable.

Cadillac: Four years/50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; five years/100,000 miles powertrain. Fully transferable with roadside assistance for five years or 100,000 miles.

Chevrolet: Three years/36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; five years/100,000 miles powertrain. Fully transferable with roadside assistance for five years or 100,000 miles.

Chrysler: Three years/36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper. Fully transferable.

Dodge: Three years/36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper. Cummins Intercooled Diesel engines are warranted for 60 months/100,000 miles. Fully transferable.

Buick: Four years/50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; five years/100,000 miles powertrain. Fully transferable with roadside assistance for five years or 100,000 miles.

Ford: Three years/36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; five years/60,000 miles powertrain. Fully transferable with roadside assistance for five years or 60,000 miles.

GMC: Three years/36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; five years/100,000 miles powertrain. Fully transferable with roadside assistance for five years or 100,000 miles.

Honda: Five years/60,000 miles. Hybrid batteries are covered for eight years or 80,000 miles. Transferable only if sold by dealer.

Hummer: Four years/50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; five years/100,000 miles powertrain. Fully transferable with roadside assistance for five years or 100,000 miles.

Hyundai: Five years/60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; 10 years/100,000 miles powertrain. The powertrain warranty is available only to the original owner.

Infiniti: Four years/60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; six years/70,000 miles powertrain. Fully transferable.

Jeep: Three years/36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper. Fully transferable.

Kia: Five years/60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; 10 years/100,000 miles powertrain. The powertrain warranty is available only to the original owner.

Lexus: Four years/50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; six years/70,000 miles powertrain. Hybrid powertrains are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles. Fully transferable.

Lincoln: Four years/50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; six years/70,000 miles powertrain. Fully transferable with roadside assistance for six years or 70,000 miles.

Mazda: Three years/36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; five years/60,000 miles powertrain. Fully transferable.

Mercury: Three years/36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; five years/60,000 miles powertrain. Fully transferable with roadside assistance for five years or 60,000 miles.

Mercedes-Benz: Four years/50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper. Fully transferable.

Nissan: Three years/36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; five years/60,000 miles powertrain. Fully transferable.

Pontiac: Three years/30,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; five years/100,000 miles powertrain. Fully transferable with roadside assistance for five years or 100,000 miles.

Saab: Four years/50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; five years/100,000 miles powertrain. Fully transferable with roadside assistance for five years or 100,000 miles.

Toyota: Three years/36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; five years/60,000 miles powertrain. Hybrid powertrains are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles. Fully transferable.

Volkswagen: Four years/50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; five years/60,000 miles powertrain. Fully transferable.

Volvo: Four years/50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper. Fully transferable.