Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

Best car for elderly passengers

I am responsible for much of the transportation for some elderly friends, 94 and 95. I have a 2 door Civic and Villager minivan. Each presents problems for the 5 foot 94 year old and the 6 foot 95 year old who uses a walker.



What would be a good car for their ease of entry and exit? Two suggestions I have heard are Acura and Impala, neither of which I have known.
«1

Comments

  • edited April 2008
    My grandfather has a Lincoln Continental. He doesn't drive anymore by the way, just rides. He is 5'8" 90 years old and it is perfect for him to get in and out. He doesn't have to step up or down and the seats are the right hight for ease of movement to and from a walker. A cheaper alternative would be a Crown Victoria or a Grand Marque.
  • edited April 2008
    I would certainly look at the style of boats suggested by jsutter. They may be just the ticket. But I also know that a lot of older people actually like the minivans b/c they are easy. So I wonder if it isn't that the Villager is too high to step up into.

    If so, you might do a quick shop for some kind of add-on product, such as a flip down step or something like that. Many of these are fully modified to do wheel chairs. I'm sure that is very expensive but I'd be surprised if there weren't reasonable "helper" types of products that could be easily installed.
  • edited April 2008
    A vehicle with a high step in/out is what you need. Not a climb up like an SUV. A crossover or high wagon Mitsu Outlander, Vibe/Matrix, Mazda5, etc. Also the Chrysler 300 and Magnum have a high step in/out. Big sedans (Lincolns/Mercury's) often associated with old people usually have a bit of a climb to get up and out. Get a vehicle that doesn't require up or down movement.
  • edited April 2008
    Crown Vic or Grand Marquis. If you're over 70 I think it's a law that you have to own one.
  • edited April 2008
    This is not so easy. Everyone with physical problems has something different to deal with. Some folks have trouble stepping up high, while others who are seated low have trouble pulling themselves up and out.

    I don't think there is any vehicle that solves all problems for all handicapped persons. If you find one let us know. Until then, use what you have. Do as I do and show patience; lend the helping hand when needed.
  • edited April 2008
    My neighbor has a bad back and another friend has arthritic knees. Both are satisfied with a Honda CR-V. You might also check out similar small SUVs like the Rav-4, Escape/Mariner/Tribute, and others.
  • edited April 2008
    My grandmother and great aunt/uncle love their Foresters for the entry/exit height & ease beyond the AWD traction they need in their parts of NH white mountains.

    I think small SUV's are a great recommendation.
  • edited April 2008
    This is what I'd look into, or maybe even a portable ramp you could store in the back of the van after they get in. maybe get some red velvet carpet put on it to tell them you're giving them the red carpet treatment.
  • edited April 2008
    If you are looking for late models a Ford 500 or *new* Taurus (which is the 500 with a different name).

    The Crown Vic and Grand Marquis are, of course, old standbys for the elderly set. They have lots of room in the trunk for walkers and such, easy to slide in and out of, and plenty of leg room. Lincoln Town Car is a slightly stretched version of the same chassis.
  • edited April 2008
    The Crown Vic and Lincoln Town Car are the most affordable solutions that are simple and durable vehicles. I'd opt fot the Town Car since it's a little more luxurious with nicer styling. The ride will be nice and smooth for your older riders as well. However if you live in a snowy climate the rear wheel drive may be an issue. It's fairly hard to recommend a vehicle without knowing your price range, climate, etc.
This discussion has been closed.