Best Cars for SeniorsBest Cars for Seniors

Deaths, injuries and property losses result from thousands of car crashes on our nation’s highways and streets every year. In 2009, the latest date for which figures are available, there were 359,000 deaths on American roadways. The states that lead in traffic fatalities are: California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio, each with over one thousand fatalities in 2009. Many times, insurance pays some recompense for these losses, but there is no recompense for a lost life.

Insurance companies track which car makes and models are safer to drive and which are involved in more accidents. Because they have this information, they also charge lower rates to insure safer cars and safer drivers. That can result in savings for seniors who chose to buy safer automobiles.

The number of traffic deaths per year is trending downward, primarily due to manufacturers building safer vehicles. Modern cars come with lots of safety features that Henry Ford never dreamed of. Some of them have other features, too, that appeal to seniors. If you are in the market for a car, look for some of these features on automobiles that you consider buying.

Ease of access

  • A low step-in height will make it easy to get in and out
  • Tall seating position is great for seeing out in all directions
  • Power driver’s seat to make adjusting it effortless
  • Push-button starter with keyless access
  • Easily accessible cargo load floor

Safety

  • 360-degree camera or backup camera to make parking especially easy
  • Automatic headlights so you don’t forget to turn them on or off
  • Simple control layout
  • GPS for directions when driving in unfamiliar areas

Comfort

  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Comfortable ride
  • Fuel economy, so you don’t feel that your wallet is being drained with every trip to the store.

These features or similar ones are offered by most car manufacturers today. You may not be able to find all of them, especially if you are looking for a used car. But you can think about the ones that are most important to you before you get to the car lot, so that you know what to tell the salesman.

Auto Trader recommends these new and used cars as especially appropriate for seniors, offering many features for safety and comfort. If the new ones are beyond your budget, take a look at the same models a year or two old. You’ll find the savings is significant.

  • 2016 The Acura RDX, luxury SUV
  • 2016 Buick Encore, high driver’s seat and low step-in
  • 2005-2010 Honda Odyssey, minivan
  • 2009-2014 Hyundai Genesis, muscular powertrain
  • 2008-2012 Infiniti EX35, luxury and comfort
  • 2016 Jeep Cherokee, compact crossover
  • 2010-2012 Lexus RX, high quality ride, 32 mpg highway
  • 2016 Scion xB, unique boxy shape, roomy interior
  • 2016 Subaru Outback, midsize wagon; automatically stops the car at low speeds if an impending crash is detected
  • 2016 Toyota Prius, best for fuel economy: 51 mpg city

No matter what car you drive, be sure to fasten your seat belt and have all your passengers fasten theirs. Seat belts save lives. Happy car hunting!

Get more tips on safe driving for seniors.

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3 Comments

  1. Robert Schnell July 7, 2016 Reply

    I have been looking at vehicles for my elderly mom, and her main concern is getting in and out of the vehicle. The second concern is when she goes to a relatives, or family member to stay a night or so, she takes her oxygen tank with her. Has to be able to get it in and out of the vehicle.
    This is what I have come to know. There should be no footwell area, as the footwell causes seniors to get their feet caught when getting out of the vehicle. Therefore, the footwell area needs to be flat, even with the door entrance. This places two vehicles on the list, Honda Odyssey, and the Dodge Caravan.

    All the other vehicles on the list, they are not senior friendly, and should not be on the list. This is not just based on my mom, as my aunt is looking for a senior friendly vehicle, and I have talked with a few others, seems all of them have the same getting in and out of the vehicle concern.
    All of them have a concern about the ease of getting something in and out of the vehicle.

    The Honda Odyssey sits a few inches too high for females, when measured from the ground to the drivers and passengers floor entrance. Needs to be lowered two to three inches. The height is fine for senior men, guess this is due to females being traditionally shorter than guys.

    The Dodge Caravan, same thing, a few inches too high from the ground to the drivers and passengers floor entrance. The problem on the height is not getting into the vehicle, it is getting out of the vehicle. Females rotate their body and feet to the entrance, they then put their feet over the edge, and move their feet down to where their feet fall about two to three inches short of hitting the ground. They then slide their body down until their feet hit the ground. I have witnessed this on several elderly females, all of them do the same thing.

    Placing items in and out of the back area. Once again, the back area needs to be flat, and low to the ground. especially for what to them is/are heavy items. The oxygen tank is sixty pounds, and my mom rolls it out to the vehicle, puts it up against the back, and pushes it up and in.

    If the area were flat, the same height with no drop. It will be easy to get an item in and out of the vehicle. The Dodge Caravan really messed up here, and has a one foot drop, a well. Items will be down in this area, and have to be lifted up and out. Not able to pull or slide them out. Making the Caravan not senior friendly on getting items in and out of the vehicle. To note, the Caravan does have an even area at the sliding side doors, and the elderly with this vehicle will place things there, instead of using the back of the vehicle.

    The Honda Odyssey, someone was thinking. The area is even, making it easy to slide things in and out of the rear of the vehicle. The height from the ground to the rear floor is once again, not senior female friendly. It is guy friendly, not female friendly. The height needs to be two to three inches lower.

    Price, the Dodge Caravan is about seven thousand dollars lower in price, with comparable features.

    • Dennis April 1, 2018 Reply

      thanks for the article, it’s exactly the kind of info I was looking for

      Dennis

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