We’ll preface this guide by saying that by no means do we think your age has to dictate what car you drive. There is no rulebook out there that states you shouldn't drive a sports car over the age of 65. If that's what keeps you young and you can still (safely) burn rubber, we say "more power to you!"
However, if you’re looking for a more comfortable and safer vehicle for yourself or an elderly parent, you'll want to consider factors such as accessibility to the driver's seat, good visibility, and safety tech. We've gathered a list of 5 vehicles which will give the 'young at heart' driver more confidence behind the wheel.
Key Features to Look For
There are several vehicle features that will make the senior driver, and their loved ones, feel more at ease. The following are important to look for when car shopping and test driving.
Accessibility to the front seat: Senior drivers should look for large door openings, low door sills and a seat that is neither too low or too high.
Visibility: This is important for all drivers, but especially seniors who may have more trouble seeing. Choose a car that has great visibility from every angle.
User-friendly controls: Controls that are easy to see and use are important for driving experience and safety.
Safety tech: No driver should ever assume that a car's safety features will prevent an accident if they are not giving 100% of their attention to the road. However, features like
The following 5 vehicles are ideal for senior drivers because they offer up many, or all, of these features.
1. Toyota Camry
New and improved for 2018, the Toyota Camry is a fantastic midsize sedan for drivers of any age, but there are specific benefits older drivers will appreciate. For example, its size is a good blend of spacious and easy to drive. Front seat lumbar adjustments are standard for this vehicle, the touchscreen is intuitive and the buttons and dials for audio and climate control are easy to read and use.
On top of being intuitive and easy to drive, the Toyota Camry comes with a slew of standard safety features that will make cruising around town less stressful for senior drivers. You'll get a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert, enhanced vehicle stability control, traction control, ABS, brake assist, smart stop tech, blind spot monitoring, backup camera, and traffic alert.
2. Chevrolet Impala
Senior drivers will find that getting in and out of the Chevy Impala is hassle-free thanks to its wide doors. Visibility is good from all angles around the vehicle. Easy to use, large controls and comfortable wide seats top off this sedan's benefits for older drivers. An added bonus is that the Impala beats competitors in price with a starting MSRP of $27,985.
Safety tech including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control will give more peace of mind to the driver.
3. Buick LaCrosse
If you're in the market for a luxury sedan, the Buick LaCrosse is a good choice thanks to a spacious and comfortable front seat which is highly adjustable and offers heat and lumbar support. The seating position gives you great front visibility as well.
When it comes to safety, the LaCrosse offers loads of features including Ultrasonic Rear Park Assist, forward collision alert, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, lane change alert with side blind zone alert, head-up display, and a rear vision camera.
4. Kia Soul
The Kia Soul may be an unexpected choice for this list given that its advertising has been geared towards young drivers (think dancing hamsters). However, seniors will be pleasantly surprised if they test drive this subcompact SUV. The higher seat height and large windows offer great visibility, large door openings make getting in and out a walk in the park, and its dials and buttons are easy to read and use. A very reasonable starting MSRP of $16,490 will make this vehicle easy on you and your wallet.
In 2018, Kia started offering the Kia Drive Wise driver-assistance technology package including autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and smart cruise control. This new offering will give the senior driver all the safety features they need.
5. Subaru Forester
The rugged Subaru Forester will be able to handle both the daily errands and the occasional adventures on your calendar. Standard AWD, good visibility thanks to thin pillars and large windows, optional power-operated tailgate, and a flat load floor make driving and transporting items stress-free.
The newest model of the Forester has Subaru's Eyesight safety tech as standard equipment. You'll have all your bases covered with adaptive cruise control, pre-collision automatic braking and throttle management, sway warning, and lane keep assist. Subaru also has an option to add DriverFocus safety tech which used facial recognition to monitor if the driver is getting fatigued or is losing attention.