He still travels a lot. Wants good gas mileage. Would like a comfortable car that is easy to get in and out of (No Miatas, I guess). Thinking Accord, Camry, Taurus, Malibu…any suggestions?
We’ve had this type of post before. We can only recommend cars in a general way; if your father has any specific physical problems, that may determine the final decision. Whatever we recommend he has to like the seats; seniors are fussy about seat comfort!
In general, a 4 cylinder, mid size car would be the best overall choice. I would go with a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. Both are very reliable and can be serviced anywhere your father travels, and you don’t need to go to the dealer for service.
My 70-something mom and 80-something aunt seem to like mid-size buicks (whatever they’re called now). They’ve each owned about 5 of them over the last 20 years, my mom just keeps trading them in every 4 years/100K miles. I’ve never driven the silly things, but they must be comfortable.
Got a Ford Focus SES for the reasons you stated–age,comfort,mpg,realability,and service available all-over.
I am 70.5 yrs old and enjoy my Cadillac. I get 26-27 mpg at 75mph, fully loaded to the ceiling plus 2 cats when I travel between Fl and MN. It has a huge trunk, the Northstar engine and will lay rubber if you are not careful. Mine is a 2002 with over 97K and going fine. I would look for a good 2004 0r 2005 with average miles.
As much as I like Hondas for their excellent quality, they are not appropriate for elderly people or for anyone with mobility problems due to the fact that their seats sit VERY LOW to the floor. As a result, the driver and passengers must lower themselves downward to enter the car, and–even more difficult–they must pull themselves upward quite a bit to exit the car. All of this is somewhere between difficult and impossible for the elderly.
Truthfully, the best bet for ease of entry and exit would be a small crossover SUV, like the top-rated Subaru Forester. For most people, the seats in the Forester (and possibly the Honda CR-V) are exactly “butt-height”, meaning that you can slide in and out without having to lower yourself or raise yourself. Another good choice would be a Ford Taurus (the new design), since the seats are higher than in most other sedans. Alternatively, perhaps a Buick.
Take your father car shopping. Let him worry about whether the car is comfortable. Your job is to make sure he understands the advantages and disadvantages of various models and to discourage the dealership from taking advantage of him. (I assume he is still physically and mentally competent to continue driving.)
I would be looking for good visibility (no Mustangs), automatic transmission (even if he prefers a stick). Backup sensors would be a good option if available in the car you choose.
I would take him to look at a Focus.
For easy in-and-out, the current VW Bugs cannot be beat.
If my parents (slightly younger than your dad, but not by much) are any judge, give the Pontiac Aztec a whirl. Although it’s looks are…singular, they love it for it’s easy access and egress, big gauges, and decent mileage. In truth, I think they like how it looks too. In complete truth, I am also beginning to think its not so bad. In absolutely complete truth, I kind of like them. Genes.
The Aztek is a no-go if he wants a new car. 2005 was the last year for that, uh, unique model.
But a minivan might be a way to go.
Minivans are a bit tall. I’ve had to step up into every one I’ve gotten into. The small SUVs seem to be the right height.
Ford Crown Victoria
The Honda Fit. It not only has a rather high roof, good gas mileage, and a Reliability GPA of a perfect 4.00 over a 3-year data history, it is a fun car to drive.
On our local public radio station, an Edmunds test driver said that he had never owned a car until recently (because his test cars supplied his transportation needs), but he enjoyed driving the Fit so much that he bought his first car - the Fit.