Investing in a new car requires that we look at multiple factors and understand how each element affects our family and ourselves. Especially when it comes to older drivers, choosing the right car involves thinking over many different questions. For example, which safety features does the car have? Is it easy for senior drivers to enter and exit the vehicle? Does the car offer additional support for drivers with arthritis? Additionally, between luxury and more affordable cars, which would be the right pick according to your budget?
Let us look at all of these factors individually to consider what options you have.
Safest Cars for Seniors
Although essential for all, safety is all the more critical for seniors, who are more prone to injury.
Standard technologies for security in most cars include:
- Forward collision warning
- Automatic emergency braking
- Driver drowsiness monitoring
- Lane keep assist
- Adaptive cruise control
- Backup camera
- Other control features
For seniors, the best cars fall in the sedan category or are sport utility vehicles (SUVs). To list out some benefits of both:
Sedans are an excellent choice for those who want to drive around for errands within their local area. They are easy to maneuver and to park and make for a generally smooth ride.
Due to their low height, Sedans can also be easier for some seniors to reach instead of climbing into an SUV.
Sedans also offer great fuel efficiency since they are designed for everyday usage.
However, they have less interior space than SUVs and can also lead to difficulty with visibility for some drivers.
A hatchback also offers the same benefits as a sedan but comes with a smaller trunk.
For those looking for a car that can handle more ruggedness, an SUV would be the right choice.
SUVs are taller as well as heavier than sedans, which offers more traction control for drivers.
Seniors who find it difficult to bend their bodies will appreciate the height and ample interior space that an SUV can offer.
SUVs are also designed to be safer and are therefore equipped with more safety features and better visibility, making them the best choice for longer journeys.
The smaller version of SUVs (called crossovers) might be the best choice for those who want the control and height of an SUV, but also the mobility and efficiency of a sedan, or even a hatchback.
Cheap Cars for Seniors
Now that we have discussed some safety features, let us delve into what cars you can realistically pick for yourself if you are a senior. Even if you are on a tight budget, you do not have to compromise on your safety. There are some great options in the market for those who want to buy a new and affordable car.
Price range: $25,350-$33,650
This car offers the best of both worlds: it is an SUV, but one that is small and agile enough to maneuver easily.
This compact SUV is comfortable and spacious and is also packed with all the essential safety features.
Its height also allows seniors to get in and out comfortably.
The Honda CR-V also allows good visibility and has a lower liftover height in the back’s cargo area.
Price range: $24,795-$34,895
The Subaru Forester has been a consistent favorite of seniors for many consecutive years now, and for good reason, too.
This affordable and compact SUV crosses all the requisites to get the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick Plus rating.
It has wide-opening doors, which allow seniors good access to get inside and out of the car. The Forester also offers excellent visibility, lots of cargo space, and an easy-to-use infotainment system.
Price range: $24,970-$32,185
The first sedan on this list, the Camry, has been one of the most popular cars for seniors on a budget in America for a long time now.
This mid-size sedan is comfortable, affordable, efficient, and smooth, which is everything you would want in an everyday car. It provides decent visibility and all the necessary safety systems.
For senior drivers who need a car to get about in the city every day, the Toyota Camry would be the perfect pick.
Best Luxury Cars for Seniors
If retirement planning worked out well for you, then you might have a larger budget to delve into for your new car. And why not enjoy your old age in luxury? After all, a higher budget car will not only be more luxurious but also more comfortable.
Price range: $43,200-$79,900
The Mercedes-Benz GLC is one of the best luxury cars you could choose as a senior driver. It is the perfect blend of comfort and luxury and provides top-of-the-class safety features.
This small and compact SUV is mobile and offers a smooth ride.
The Mercedes-Benz has excellent interior space and design and a low step-in height which would be comfortable for seniors.
Price range: $67,500-$131,900
The Cayenne is a crossover between a sedan and an SUV, and its mid-sized body is perfect for seniors who want the best of both worlds.
It is weather-friendly and also has a fantastic air-circulation system.
Apart from all the best safety features that come as part of being a Porsche car, the seats also offer easy access in and out of the vehicle, a 360-degree camera system, and parking sensors.
Tesla Model 3
Price range: $38,190-$54,990
Owning a Tesla is one of the best investments you could make in today’s world, not just for yourself and your family but also for the environment.
This electric, four-door sedan has a complete glass roof and can hold a weight of up to four times its size.
Its accessible size will be great for anybody, and it is a good choice even if you have to travel longer and more rugged terrains regularly.
If a sedan is what you are looking for, then a Tesla Model 3 should be at the very top of your list.
Price range: $54,900-$64,900
Another four-door sedan on this list, the Audi A6, has high-quality interiors and an excellent navigation system.
The car also comes equipped with assistive technology for seniors, advanced airbag technology, and an anti-theft alarm system.
It offers class with comfort and has great functionality alongside great style. Its wide door design will also be helpful for seniors.
Best Cars for Seniors with Arthritis
For seniors with arthritis, choosing a car can be a little trickier. There are some additional features you need to look for to make the right choice for you. Some key features you should look for:
- Try to go keyless, especially if you have arthritis in the hands. Remember, your car should include both entry and push-button ignition. You can also ensure you don’t have to use your hands as much if you look into a voice-activated navigation system.
- Go for as much mobility as you can in a car. Your seat and your steering wheel should both be highly adjustable so that you don’t have to move and adjust your positioning too much.
- Visibility can be a massive issue if you are driving with arthritis. Craning your neck towards the rear of the car, or even to either side, can be very painful. Choose a car that offers more support for visibility, like more glass, and camera views, especially 360-degree ones.
Taking these features into account, here are some of our recommendations for cars for seniors with arthritis:
BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
Price range: $35,900-$41,850
If you are interested in trying an electric car, but you aren’t ready to invest in a fully electric car yet, this is a great car that has the option of using either electric or diesel.
This car offers highly adjustable seats, and various helpful safety features such as lane assist, which helps you stay on the road, in your lane.
Price range: $17,990-$29,867
This hatchback is wildly popular among seniors because it is accessible to get into and to drive.
The driving position is comfortable and upright, making it easy on the back.
The steering wheel is light, and the interior is straightforward and practical.
The special seats in the Honda Jazz are able to fold upwards and downwards, so you can fit all sorts of things in the back of the car and reach them as needed.
This car also has a reverse camera and is comfortable to use on bumpy roads.
What cars are easy for seniors to get in and out of?
Going hand in hand with cars that work well for seniors with arthritis are cars that are straightforward to enter and exit.
Price range: $23,400-$33,300
The Sonata has ample seating both in the front and the back, and the sets are very easy to reach.
Aside from being accessible, this is also a fantastic mid-size car, and quite popular as well.
The Sonata also uses a sound-deadening interior so that being in the car is quiet and peaceful.
Price range: $22,995-$23,995
The Volkswagen Passat was designed specifically for the American market, so it is a family car with extra space and soft, comfortable seats.
This is a perfect choice for someone with a big family, who wants lots of space to share with kids and grandkids.
Price range: $34,576-$67,700
This mid-size luxury car is easy to get in and out of, and also offers ample inner space and highly comfortable seats.
The driving experience is a bit stiffer than other models, but the excessive legroom is a fantastic touch that makes up for it.
There are also larger models if you want even more space for your limbs and head.
The automobile industry is huge, and there is something for everybody in the market.
Choosing the right car for a senior driver can be tricky, but it’s definitely possible.
A new buyer should look at their own individual requirements, and make their decision accordingly. It is certainly not cheap to buy a car, which is why you should look at all features it offers before you invest. Pay special attention to the safety features.
Remember, even small details like the infotainment system, the number of doors your car has, and how much your seat moves, matter a great deal.
You should feel relaxed in your car of choice because as a senior driver, there are already a lot of things that could make it hard to drive.
- Cars, The Best Cars for Senior Drivers, https://www.cars.com/articles/the-best-cars-for-senior-drivers-426554/
- U.S. News & World Report, 15 Best Cars for Older Drivers, https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/best-cars-for-older-drivers
- Great Senior Living, The Best Cars for Seniors in 2020: Terrific Options for Older Drivers, https://www.greatseniorliving.com/articles/best-cars-for-seniors
- Kiplinger, The 10 Best Cars for Senior Drivers, https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/cars/t009-s001-the-best-cars-for-senior-drivers/index.html
- Nation, The Best 2019 Luxury Cars for Seniors, https://www.nation.com/the-best-2018-luxury-cars-for-seniors/