Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A tan 2013 Chevy Equinox LTZ is shown driving on a empty road.

The Hunt for the Perfect CPO Family Chevy

We know what you’re thinking. We do! You’re thinking: “What’s the perfect Certified Pre-Owned Chevy that’s best for my family?” It’s alright to blush. It happens around here all the time.

The fact of the matter is, when you’re in the market for a used car, the selection can be overwhelming. You search and search, and the creeping anxiety in the back of your mind has got your blindspot warnings on high alert. You don’t want to buy a used car that stinks. We get that. That’s why you’re looking at CPOs. Specifically, Chevrolet CPOs. This is an excellent choice. Let us explain why.

Benefits of a GM CPO

General Motors (GM), who own Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC, has one of the industry’s most comprehensive CPO benefits packages. Any vehicle eligible for a CPO needs to fit the following criteria:

  • They must be a GM branded vehicle (obviously).
  • The vehicle needs to be within 6 model years, meaning that if you’re buying this year, 2022, the farthest back you’ll be able to go is 2016.
  • A qualifying car must NOT exceed 75,000 miles. So your 150,000 mile 2017 Silverado won’t qualify despite being within the model year range.
  • The vehicle MUST have a clean title.
  • And most importantly, it must pass GM’s rigorous 172-point inspection/reconditioning process.

And that’s all before you put pen to paper.

The suite of benefits isn’t exclusive to the pre-buying process. Oh no. Once you’ve purchased you’re GM CPO, you have a goodies package that includes, for starters, your choice of two company-backed warranties: 1) 6-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty and 2) a 12-month/12,000-mile Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty.

You’ll also be entered into the scheduled maintenance program, 24/7 roadside assistance and a courtesy vehicle with the 6-year warranty mentioned earlier, and a 3-day/150-mile exchange program. Essentially, you have 3 days or 150 miles to decide if you like your car or not. If not, you can exchange it for a different one within that time/mileage window.
Does that boost your confidence a little? Good. But you’re here to buy a Chevy for your family. Several factors need to be kept in mind while making this purchase, but we’ve boiled it down to 3 big ones:

  1. Can it fit my family?
  2. Is it safe?
  3. Will it suit our lifestyle?

We’ll start with some great options for small to medium families, say 1-2 kids and a dog.

A silver 2013 Chevy Malibu Turbo is shown from the rear driving at dusk after leaving a Certified Pre-Owned Chevy dealership.

Best CPO Chevy’s for Small/Medium Families

If you’re one of those drivers that doesn’t care for the current crossover craze, we got you covered! The Chevy Malibu is a great, American alternative in a midsize sedan market flooded with Asian imports. This sedan is an excellent choice for the commuting suburban family who need to get the kids to school before heading into the office. The Malibu has kept its same overall design since 2016, so you’ll be in luck with finding a CPO one that fits your design requirements.

Like any midsize sedan, the Malibu can fit up to 5 passengers, and has 15.75 cu-ft of trunk space. On the safety front, Malibu is equipped with 10 airbags, rear child security locks, OnStar connection, and Teen Driver, which allows you to configure and limit certain vehicle features to encourage safer driving. All models are FWD and come standard with a 1.5L turbo 4-cylinder which produces 160 hp, 184 lb-ft of torque, and has a combined rating of 32 mpg. Though not as popular as they once were, the sedan is still a great option for smaller families looking for something safe and simple to drive.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the Equinox—Chevy’s ever-popular two-row crossover. 2022 has seen a slight change in design for the Equinox, but the CPO market will have you looking mostly at 2018/19 models. Market research has shown that more people than ever are buying crossovers and SUVs, and it doesn’t take more than a drive to the grocery store to see the proof. Many families opt for crossovers like Equinox for the size, ride height, AWD capability, and roominess. Equinox is neither out of place at the soccer field or the weekend campsite.

A subcompact crossover, Equinox can handle up to 5 passengers and has 29.90 cu-ft of storage with the second-row seats up and 63.20 cu-ft with the second row folded down. The second row splits 60/40, meaning you can handle a rear passenger and a larger piece of cargo simultaneously. For safety, you get airbags, OnStar, child safety locks, automatic emergency braking, and rear seat reminder, which reminds you to check the back seat before exiting the vehicle. A helpful tool for the ever-feared moment when we forgot that we left our kids in the car.

Fuel economy is better than you might expect for a crossover: 26/32 city/highway MPG for FWD and 25/30 city/highway for AWD. This comes from the 1.5L turbocharged inline 4-cylinder, which produces 170 hp and 230 lb-ft of torque, giving you enough power to tow up to 1,500 lbs. Depending on how your family likes to spend its weekends, that is a valuable feature.

Best CPO Chevys for Larger Families

Now we’re on to the bigger families. To be entered into this category, you must have a minimum of 3 children and a maximum of 6. Any more than that and you will need to buy a bus.

Chevy makes a decent range of 3-row vehicles, but we’re going to look at two we feel best fit larger family needs—the Traverse and Suburban.
The Traverse is the bigger sibling of the Equinox. With room for up to 8 passengers, this is the vehicle you’ll want to buy if you’re minivan-averse. It comes standard with front wheel drive, but like all crossovers, is also available with all-wheel drive. FWD models are equiped with a 2.0L inline 4-cylinder engine that gets 20/26 city/hwy mpg.

If you’re looking for AWD, you’ll be getting a 3.6L V6 engine—this is the one you want if you have a traveling family. It gives out 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to tow 5,000 lbs. So, that small boat you were thinking of buying for lake trips? Go ahead and get it. You can tow it with the Traverse. If it’s just you for the weekend and you need the space, Traverse has 98.20 cu-ft of storage space with all the rear seats folded down.

The big daddy of the entire Chevrolet family is, unquestionably, the Suburban. At 225.7 in long (that’s 18.8 ft) and space to accommodate 8 passengers and everything they bring with them, the Suburban lives up to its name. Barely anyone who buys a Suburban is interested in fuel economy, but we’ll include it if you’re one of those who are—15/22 city/hwy with 2WD, and 14/21 city/hwy with 4WD.

So, what can you do with such a massive vehicle? Well, you can tow up to 8,300 lbs with the standard 5.3L V8, which makes 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. And what’s the interior like? Oh, you’ll be incredibly comfortable on long journeys with wide, supportive seats, plenty of legroom for rear passengers, and automatic climate control. Storage in the Suburban is enormous with 41.50 cu-ft with all rows up, 93.80 cu-ft with the third row down, and 144.70 cu-ft with both rows down. That’s enough space for a week’s vacation or one very large dog.

As far as safety goes, for both Traverse and Suburban, you’re looking at the same suite of equipment standard on most Chevrolets—OnStar, 7 airbags, automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, rear-mounted HD cameras, as well as other safety features. Not to be flippant, but with Chevrolet having given practically all of its cars this standard set of safety tools, going over them can be repetitive.

A black 2018 Chevy Suburban is shown in front of a modern building.


As demonstrated above, our picks for the best CPO Chevrolets out there showcase just why they demand a comprehensive look when hunting for a CPO. They cater to all sorts of families, small or large, can handle a diverse range of driving needs, and will keep your crew safe should the unfortunate strike. As we’re excellent at reading your mind, we now know that you’re wondering where you can find a CPO Chevrolet. Well, our answer is you can find one at virtually any Chevrolet dealership. See? You’re blushing again.