By Anthony Santiago - Editor-in-Chief

March 28, 2023

I get asked all the time by friends and family what cars I would recommend to their older parents or young teen. As the car guy in my circle, I know what I would want my own family to drive, and I've put together my best tips on what to look for in the best cars for seniors.

As always, buying a car depends on your budget, how far you will drive, and how often. Also if you or your loved one suffers from arthritis, then you might consider an SUV.

However, you definitely have specific needs if you are in the golden years.

For example, when my dad got older, he needed more help getting in and out of the car. In addition, backup cameras would have saved us from backing up into another car. As for my wonderful mom, she enjoys a smaller car to drive as it's much easier to drive.

There are things on the list of must-haves to make the driving experience more comfortable and enjoyable as a senior.

Situations like this are far too common, and I'll discuss the best cars for seniors and what you need to consider if there are older drivers in your family or for yourself.

This guide on the best cars for seniors is here to help you make the right decisions.

Five Facts about Best Cars for Seniors:

✅ Surprisingly, seniors are safer drivers since they drive less and don't take as risky behavior. (Source: Forbes)

✅ Data supports that seat belt comfort and supportive seats are hugely important for seniors. (Source: IRCOBI)

✅ Cars with good visibility, including large windows and rearview cameras, are preferred by seniors. (Source: Cars.com)

✅ Many seniors prefer cars that are easier to get in and out of. (Source: AARP) SO TRUE!

✅ Cars with advanced driver assistance systems and better visibility are becoming increasingly popular among seniors. (Source: KBB)

Importance of Safety for Senior Drivers

As we age, our driving skills may not be what they used to be. In fact, data shows that as we age, our response time can increase by up to 30%. These are the fact of life, but today's technology can help us stay safer on the roads.

Safety is key for all drivers and not just seniors.

Today's vehicles have advanced features like airbags and traction control as standard. However, blind spot detection and 360 cameras would be highly recommended features to consider.

In addition, automatic emergency braking is another safety feature to consider. This technology uses radar to help avoid a frontal collision.

I have this feature in my CLA250, and it is very useful in stop-and-go traffic or on the highway. All of these features will add to the cost of the vehicle but will help future-proof your vehicle for years to come and reduce the chances of an accident.

Also, check the vehicle's Safety Rating from institutions such as the IIHS and NHTSA. During the test drive, pay attention to visibility, multimedia system, and system control display. The IIHS Top Safety Pick and Pick Plus are indicators of a vehicle's safety.

Crossovers and SUVs are good options for senior drivers, with good visibility, higher entry height and easy-to-use controls.

When choosing a car, consider the following:

  1. The power seating position and Comfort
  2. Entry and exiting height
  3. Sight Lines and Visibility
  4. Backup or 360 Rearview cameras
  5. Fuel economy
  6. Cargo Space and Vehicle Size

When considering a vehicle for a senior, I would put the following list based on an emphasis on important features such as safety, usability, and price.

The following lists apply to new and used vehicles and can help shortlist the best cars for seniors based on real-world experience and feedback.

Small Cars

Why consider Small Cars?

Small cars are great for senior drivers because they easy to park and drive around town. Plus, smaller cars are typically better fuel-efficient, especially for drivers on a fixed income or budget.

Here is a list of small cars to consider.

best cars for seniors - honda civic

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is a good car for senior citizens because it offers a great combination of fuel economy, reliability, and Comfort in a compact size. My neighbor swears by it, and she loves her green Honda civic. Honda's number one reputation is reliability. Depending on the size of the driver, there might be better options for larger seniors, but it is great overall for long-term reliability and fuel economy.

The Honda Civic has a tilt-telescopic steering wheel to help adjust the steering wheel to a preferred one. The cargo room is pretty good and has seating for 4 adults comfortably should the need arise.

best cars for seniors - corolla

Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla also makes a list of terrific options for older drivers. Like the Honda Civic, the Toyota Corolla's unrivaled reliability and quality will last years. It is a popular choice for many seniors with great value, Comfort, and good visibility. I also know a few family friends who drive corollas and Camrys for stress-free ownership.

The Corolla is good for shorter drivers. If you are a taller driver and need something higher up, then the Toyota Rav4 is a good alternative. In addition, the Toyota Corolla has many safety features, such as automatic high beams, lane departure, and steering assist for new models.

best cars for seniors

Kia Soul

Kia Soul is a little quirky but is a great option for seniors for its upright seating position, wide doors, and excellent cargo capacity.

My other neighbor owns two Kia Souls for him and his wife since it's easy to drive, have good power delivery, and is priced very competitively.

The Kia Soul, which some consider a small SUV or crossover, looks like a box on wheels and provides the driver and passengers excellent accessibility.

The height allows individuals with bad knees or backs to enter and exit the vehicle easier versus a lower car like the Corolla.

Plus, the better seating position allows for greater visibility of surroundings. The fuel economy is very good, with 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. It has a gas engine or electric motor option as well.

Midsize Sedans

Why consider Mid-sized Sedans?

Mid-sized Sedans are good for senior drivers because they are easier to enter and exit than smaller compacts. In addition, sedans provide more passenger space and cargo for belongings.

best cars for seniors - Toyota Camry

Toyota Camry

Toyota is known for its safety features, and the Camry is no exception. This mid-size sedan has many standard safety features like lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

The seats are at a good height, and they're really comfortable. Plus, it has great visibility all around, which is important for older drivers.

Seniors need a car they can count on, and the Camry has a reputation for being dependable.

best cars for seniors - Honda Accord

Honda Accord

Accord could be a great midsize sedan option for senior citizens. It's got a comfortable ride and excellent safety ratings.

It has many advanced safety features like adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, and lane departure warning. There's plenty of room for passengers and cargo.

Just like the Civic and line of SUVs, Honda is world-renowned for its reliability and high resale value. 

Crossovers / SUVs

Why Crossovers and SUVs?

Seniors might consider a crossover or SUV if they have bad knees or joint problems.

The increased height of the vehicles and wide opening doors in this class allows greater ease in entering and exiting the cabin.

However, it might be too tall for shorter or petite drivers. In addition, the cargo space and the rear seats can offer more room.

Consumer Reports shares that vehicles in this class are popular with seniors.

best cars for seniors - subaru

Subaru Forrester

The 2020 Subaru Forester is ideal for senior drivers. The engine is powerful enough to merge seamlessly on the highway and is great for commuting.

I know firsthand how popular Subaru is with seniors. My aunt owns both a Forrester and an Outback, which are great for inclement weather with their all-wheel drive. Both vehicles are easy to drive and park since they are relatively mid-sized.

The seating is comfortable, and there's plenty of cargo space. The 2020 Subaru Forester is great for seniors and comfy for long trips or errands.

best cars for seniors - subaru outback

2020 Subaru Outback

Seniors in search of a reliable car need not look further! The 2020 Subaru Outback is the ideal choice. It boasts advanced safety technologies, such as lane departure warning, blind-spot detection, and Subaru EyeSight® driver assist technology. These features help keep drivers and passengers safe on the road.

Comfortable seating with ample legroom and headroom make it great for longer trips. In addition, if the outback is equipped with advanced operator assists like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, seniors have a safer driving experience.

Ford Escape

Seniors looking for a vehicle tailored specifically to their needs can look no further than the Ford Escape SE.

This car features an array of convenience and safety features such as a lower step-in height, adjustable steering column, and ergonomically designed seats all designed with older drivers in mind. 

best cars for seniors - honda cr-v

Honda CR-V

The higher ground clearance of a CR-V makes it easier for seniors to get in and out of the car without having to lower themselves too much.

Additionally, it notes that Honda's popular CR-V is a good choice for seniors due to its elevated ride height and lower lift-over height in the rear cargo area, making it easier to get in and out of the car and load and unload cargo.

Both the CR-V and Camry have great safety features. Plus, the CR-V has more space than the Camry. This means seniors can stretch their legs and have more room to move around.

Still, the CR-V has a higher seating position, which gives seniors better visibility on the road, especially when turning or changing lanes.

best cars for seniors - Toyota rav4

Toyota Rav4

The higher driving position of the Rav4 makes it easier for seniors to get in and out of the car, and the larger size makes it easier to load and unload groceries or other items.

Besides, the Rav4 also has better visibility than the Corolla, which is important for older drivers with reduced vision.

toyota-rav4-cabin for seniors

Another consideration is that the Rav4 has all-wheel drive capabilities, useful in snowy or rainy weather.

Pro tip: Before buying any vehicle, take it for a spin and assess ease of entry and exit, visibility, and Comfort.

best cars for seniors - Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai Santa Fe

The Hyundai Santa Fe is another great option for older drivers. Why? It's reliable and safe and offers Comfort and convenience with an attractive package.

The spacious cabin, easy-to-use infotainment system, and excellent safety ratings make it a top option best cars for seniors. Santa Fe also has a soft,supple ride, which is good for long trips. Hyundai has been making many strides to continue innovating and elevating the brand.

best cars for seniors - Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai Tucson

The Hyundai Tucson is another sensible vehicle for senior drivers. It's got a roomy interior and plenty of cargo space.

Since it's a compact SUV, it's easy to maneuver and park. It also has good visibility, which is important for senior drivers.

Style and performance come together in Tucson, making it an ideal choice for seniors, especially since pretty affordable for an SUV. The ride is smooth, and the engine is efficient – perfect for those with limited mobility. And it's reliable, so you won't have to worry about frequent repairs.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, when it comes to finding the best cars for senior citizens, there are many factors to consider.

From trim levels, additional tech features, and prices can vary from brand to model.

For seniors who enjoy road trips and company in the car, a car with a comfortable interior and plenty of passenger and cargo space may be a priority.

Newer features like Lane-keep Assist and blind spot detection can provide peace of mind while on the road.

While the base price is important, it's essential to consider the car's long-term value. Considering all these factors, seniors can find a car that suits their needs and enhances their driving experience.

FAQs about Best Cars For Seniors

1. What are the best cars for seniors?

Several cars are well-suited for seniors, including the Honda Civic, Subaru Forester, Kia Soul, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, and Ford Escape.

2. What makes these cars good for seniors?

These cars are easy to get in and out of, have good visibility, offer comfortable seating, and have advanced safety features.

3. What should seniors look for in a car?

Seniors should prioritize Comfort, ease of access, reliability, safety features, and fuel efficiency when choosing a new car.

4. Do these cars come with accessible features?

Yes, most cars today have accessible features, such as backup cameras, blind spot monitoring, and automatic emergency braking, making driving easier and safer for seniors.

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Anthony Santiago - Editor-in-Chief

About the author

I am a passionate car enthusiast who likes to help people save money and avoid headaches when it comes to cars. I believe that everyone can find the right car at the right price. I share my tips and experience so you can learn quickly and maximize your next SUV, truck or car purchase.

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