These Are the Best Cars for Senior Drivers
Carmakers today face a tough balancing act: wooing younger buyers while holding onto their loyal, often older customer base. For many, this means swapping knobs for touch screens, developing advanced safety features that require a textbook to understand, and engineering powertrains to thrill.
But innovations in vehicle styling and technology don’t need to alienate older customers. New features can coexist with the ones AAA and Consumer Reports say are best suited to seniors: user-friendly safety features and dashboard controls, accessible seating, and suspensions tuned for comfort instead of dynamics.
Read ahead to see nine of the best new vehicles for senior drivers.
2017 Subaru Forester
MSRP: $22,595 (Details Below)
The 2017 Subaru Forester is an affordable compact SUV that offers a lot of benefits to older drivers. The Forester has some of the best visibility in the class due to its thin pillars and large windows, and it’s easy to get in and out of (even for an SUV).
The Forester comes standard with rearview camera and all-wheel drive, two highly recommended features for older drivers. Senior drivers should budget for the available EyeSight safety system, which includes blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist.
2017 Hyundai Sonata
MSRP: $21,600 (Details Below)
The 2017 Hyundai Sonata sits near the top of the midsize car class thanks to its comfortable and low-stress approach to basic transportation. The 2017 model features strong reliability ratings and an excellent warranty, making this an easy car to own. It also features great fuel economy ratings that add to its value.
The Sonata has a low ride height, which makes it easier to access if mobility is a problem, and supportive seats will make it easier for older drivers to find a comfortable position behind the wheel. A rearview camera and an easy-to-use infotainment system are included.
2017 Toyota Highlander
MSRP: $30,630 (Details Below)
With strong safety and reliability ratings, the 2017 Toyota Highlander is another SUV that comes highly recommended for senior drivers. For an SUV, the Highlander strikes a good balance between a high seating position (offering good visibility) and comfortable ride height (for easy access to the seat).
Critics also say that the Highlander handles more like a car than an SUV, which is likely to make driving a Highlander familiar and comfortable for older drivers. A rearview camera comes standard with the Highlander, while all-wheel drive and many of the latest active safety features are optional.
2017 Buick Encore
MSRP: $22,990 (Details Below)
Buick’s Encore, a subcompact SUV, might be a pleasant surprise for seniors who are accustomed to the older image of the brand. It has a modern and stylish look, yet it has the upscale vibe and comfortable ride that older drivers will expect from Buick.
The Encore is easy to climb in and out of, yet still provides a high seating position that offers a good view of the road. Safety and reliability data indicate that the Encore is a smart buy. A rearview camera and GM’s OnStar telematics system that provides automatic crash notification (among other useful services) comes standard.
2017 Honda Odyssey
MSRP: $29,850 (Details Below)
With decent fuel economy, good safety scores, and car-like handling, the 2017 Honda Odyssey is one of the best minivans on the market for older drivers. A minivan is actually a great alternative to an SUV because it provides plenty of space, yet it’s very comfortable to get into and out of.
The floor is low, the doors are big, and the sliding side doors offer easy access for passengers or cargo. Critics say the Odyssey’s cabin is easy to navigate, and all those family-friendly features (such as storage cubbies) are great for seniors, too.
2017 Toyota Camry
MSRP: $23,070 (Details Below)
The Toyota Camry is a smart midsize sedan option for senior buyers who value very good reliability. According to J.D. Power, the Camry is among the best in a class full of strong candidates. Critics also praise the Camry because it has a quiet cabin and a very smooth ride, both of which contribute to the Camry’s high overall comfort level.
The Camry’s dashboard has large controls, allowing for easy audio and climate adjustments without taking your eyes off the road. A rearview camera comes standard on all 2017 Camrys.
2017 Chevrolet Impala
MSRP: $27,500 (Details Below)
Chevy’s Impala is a class-leading large sedan that offers great safety and reliability, and, though it’s thoroughly modern, older drivers should feel right at home. It’s very comfortable and easy to drive, and the cockpit is easy and intuitive to navigate due to its large controls and displays.
The Chevrolet Impala includes GM’s OnStar system, which is helpful in case of an emergency. However, most safety systems and features are optional on the Impala, and Consumer Reports highly recommends budgeting for the rearview camera, at the very least.
2017 Kia Soul
MSRP: $16,100 (Details Below)
Older drivers might not have been the intended market for the Kia Soul, but frankly, many older buyers have found a perfect fit in this sporty compact. Despite its lighthearted styling, the Soul is a practical little car that features strong safety and reliability scores, a great warranty, and a lot of available cargo space.
A low floor and big doors make the Soul easy to enter and exit. The Soul is also affordable, which enables buyers on a budget to tack on additional safety features (and the Soul’s recently been updated with new active safety systems, such as forward collision warning).
2017 Chrysler 300
MSRP: $32,340 (Details Below)
The Chrysler 300, a large sedan, might be best left to older drivers who are more comfortable with the driving and handling dynamics of a rear-wheel drive car, although the 300 is also available with all-wheel drive. This big, comfortable car has a very smooth ride and an upscale feel, thanks in part to a lot of insulation that keeps the ride quiet.
Experts say the 300’s infotainment system gets the job done without being too overwhelming, making it a good choice for drivers who are intimidated by technology. Chrysler offers the 300 with plenty of active safety features, too.