There are no hidden trails when it comes to testifying about the perks of driving. But there are a few unexplored trails if you are a senior driver. Years of experience are definitely a strength; however, you need to consider specific features for your car that will enhance your driving experience. Stress is the last thing you need from driving as a senior citizen.
This blog talks about the best cars for seniors. Which are the best sedans and SUVs available for senior drivers? Are electric cars a choice for seniors? We also dive deep into the features one should factor in while purchasing a car for the specified age.
What are the general features to consider for senior drivers?
Your drive as a senior citizen shouldn’t fray your nerves under stress. There are a few more boxes to tick off while you purchase a car for an older driver. Accessibility features, comfort, and visibility should be taken note of while making your purchase. We will look in detail at why these features are necessary for a senior driver.
Sports cars, trucks, and SUVs can all be tricky. Those cars might not fit your frame or needs that arise with old age. Deteriorating motor skills, arthritis, or simply the need to avoid keys altogether, points to keyless entry and push-button ignition. Wide doors, tall roofs, and low step-in also improve the accessibility of the vehicle.
Driving is tiring if not stressful. Comfort must not be overlooked, especially if you are a senior driver. Heated seats and steering wheel, reclining seats are necessary to relieve joint pain that can be triggered due to long hours of driving.
Higher seats, a wider area of glass, automatic exterior lighting, and rain-sensing wipers play a vital role in ensuring the visibility of the drivers under any circumstances. Adaptive headlamps also help in avoiding blinding drivers during night drives.
Safety lies not just in the making but also in the additional features available in cars. Sensors that alert the driver to blind spots, automatic braking, rearview cameras, a maximum number of airbags (some cars provide more than 6), and collision avoidance systems must be looked out for when it comes to safety.
Ease of Navigation and Control
The sophistication of the high-tech controls younger generation cars may not sit well with the senior citizens. Cars with voice controls and wide, uncomplicated dashboards are favorable for the elderly. Also, a digital speedometer, large and easy-to-read controls and touchscreens with contrasting backgrounds can be easier on the eye.
Low Maintenance Cost
Your car must have the features that will make your driving experience smoother as you grow older. But it shouldn’t eat up your savings. It is important to choose those that are easier and reasonable on the pockets to maintain.
What are the specific features available in cars for senior drivers?
Apart from the features that are essential for a senior driver, there are specific driver-assistance technologies that will enhance the driving experience of a senior citizen.
Backup Cameras and Cross-Traffic Alert
Backup cameras are a necessity in cars. It helps while parking. The cross-parking alert that complements the backup cameras, warns about the approaching cars while backing out of a parking space.
While the sensors help detect closer obstructions, the parking assistance in most of the cars automatically carries out parallel and diagonal parking which requires only minimal modulation by the drivers.
Adaptive Cruise Control
This can be useful, especially during heavy and slow-moving traffic. The adaptive cruise control maintains the programmed speed while also reacting to changes in the speed of the vehicle ahead. It slows your car as the car in front of you slows, then speeds up again to keep up with the traffic flow.
Emergency brakes are a part of the forward-collision warning system. It reduces the intensity of a crash or alerts when a crash is about to happen.
Lane Keeping Assist
As a senior driver, it helps when there is an alert available that ensures you stay in the lane. Those cars come with cameras that detect lane markers and nudge the driver if there is a deviation from his side.
Which are the best cars for seniors?
One can choose a sedan, SUV, or a cross-over option, considering all the above-mentioned factors.
SUVs are designed for rugged roads and so they are huge and heavier. Hence, they tend to have better traction on wet and snowy roads. Also, they come with good interior space and provide better visibility. With their greater ground clearance, getting in and out is an easier task in an SUV. But they are on the higher price end, making them expensive to purchase and maintain.
Sedans on the other hand are lower maintenance, smaller in size, fuel-efficient, and cheaper when compared to an SUV. The interior of sedans is proportional to their size. This poses a challenge to visibility as well. Their smaller ground clearance makes getting in and out difficult as well.
With a single-unit SUV built on a sedan platform, cross-overs are friendlier in your pockets than SUVs. They are light, provide easier entry and exit, have better space and visibility when compared to sedans, and are fuel-efficient.
What are the SUV options available for senior drivers?
One of the most popular SUVs, Honda CRV is a friendly SUV for seniors. Although compact, it provides enough cabin space and wide doors making the entry and exit easy. It also comes with spacious cargo and is fuel-efficient.
It features driving aids like adaptive cruise control, auto emergency braking, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. However, rain-sensing wipers and LED headlights are absent even in the higher models.
Price Range: $25,500 to $34, 800
Image Source: Subaru
Launched in 1997, Subaru Forester is now in its fifth generation and that probably explains its popularity. Simple controls, spacious interiors, and the right ground clearance make Subaru Forester a smooth experience. Hosting the EyeSight driver assistance suite, with improved cameras, gives broader and better visibility. Though Forester is picked out for its minimal styling, 2022 introduces a Wilderness trim with rugged styling features.
It comes with many safety features like torque-vectoring, electronic parking brakes, and an optional automatic emergency steering system.
Price Range: $25,400 to $35,500
This SUV from Kia is a budget-friendly choice for senior drivers. With enough room, adaptive cruise control, and visibility, Kia Soul is a good option. But it is the Plus trim that comes with the other suggested features like fog lights, automatic headlights, forward collision warning, heated front seat, and climate control.
Price Range: $17,000-19,000
It is best suited for those seeking a smooth driving experience. Even though the third row is best suited for kids, Toyota Highlander is spacious. The standard features include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and automated emergency braking.
Price Range: $34,650 to $48,850
Compact and sporty would best describe Mazda CX5 without any compromise on the advanced safety features. Blind-spot warnings, heated seats, rear cross-traffic alerts, and rearview cameras are present in all its models. Customized drive modes for various roads are available in Mazda CX5.
Price Range: $26,250 to $39,000
Which are the best sedans for senior citizens?
Image Source: Subaru
This is a mid-size sedan that comes with essential safety features and adaptive cruise control. The all-wheel drive makes it an apt choice for those living in the snow belt. Subaru Legacy’s premium model features automatic climate control, and LED lights that are steering responsive.
Price Range: $22,750 to $35, 900
This mid-size car holds style and value in the perfect combination. This fuel-efficient sedan comes in the powerful V6 engine option. The impressive safety features nest under Safety Sense 2.5+. This includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-tracing assist, adaptive cruise control, and high-beam assist.
Price Range: $24,430 to $35,135
Built on the Honda Civic platform, this sedan is highly fuel-efficient, with wide doors and enough room inside, heated front seats, and alerts the driver through its Collision Mitigation braking system and Road Departure Mitigation System.
Price Range: $25,760 to $29,790
The base model of Hyundai Sonata is equipped with the features that are considered essential for senior drivers. It comes with automatic headlights, adaptive cruise control, high-beam assist, lane control assist, and an 8-inch infotainment touch screen among the others. The upgraded model has an integrated turn signal, blind spot monitor, dual-zone automatic climate control, hands-free smart trunk, and heated front seats.
Price Range: $23,600 to $33,550
This sleek and sporty sedan is the best option for those looking for a compact sedan. Smart cruise control, auto emergency braking, blind-spot detection, and rear cross-traffic alert are among the safety features of this sedan. In conclusion, Kia Forte is an affordable choice given its impressive safety features.
Price Range: $19,000 to $27,000
Which are the most affordable electric cars for senior drivers?
This is one of the foremost EVs to have hit the market. Nissan Leaf comes with driver-assist features and is spacious. Apart from the sustainable benefits of driving an EV they are also eligible for the federal tax credit as well.
Price Range: $27,400 to $35,400
Chevrolet Bolt is an all-electric hatchback that offers a smooth long-drive experience. It comes at a driving range of 259 miles per charge. Even though it is criticized for its compact cabin space, the Bolt EUV which will join soon will have better space and redesigned seats.
Price Range: $36,500 to $41,700
Which are the cheapest cars for senior drivers?
The pocket-friendly options available in this category include Kia Rio, Mazda CX3, Nissan Kicks, Hyundai Tucson, Subaru Crosstrek, and Nissan Rogue Sport.
What are the auto insurance rates for senior citizens?
As one grows older, the insurance rates change. One could be retired, relocate, reduce their travel, or buy a different vehicle. Therefore the best insurance for seniors includes those giving comprehensive coverage, good customer service, and discounts for older drivers. The average full coverage rate for those above 65 years of age is $2063 and $1652 annually for minimum coverage.
Which are the best luxury cars suitable for older drivers?
There are many luxury models best suited for senior drivers. Genesis G90, Acura RDX, Audi Q7, BMW 5 series, and Mercedes Benz GLC.
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