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Buying a new car

I’d like thoughts on a new or used sedan to buy that a) is high enough off the ground for my 94-year-old mother to get in and out of without much difficulty, b) gets 30 mpg highway or better, c) has some pep/response when you step on the accelerator, d) has ample head room in the cabin for my 6’1" frame and e) comes in at no more than $28K. Thanks!

On the Car Talk site, click on “Actual Car Info”, then “Car Talk Auto Advisor”. My first thought would be a Malibu, Camry, Fusion, Accord, Six, Sonata, or Altima. Any preference?

Drive around to dealerships and try them out…or test drive and bring it home to see if it works for your mother…

Take your mother with you when you go shopping. It’ll give you an idea of what’s best for her, and you get to spend more time with her. Depending on her height, a small SUV might be better than a sedan. With the butt height of a small SUV, she won’t have to fight both ways(falling in and climbing out) in a sedan.
A Ford Escape hybrid fits all those wants, except the price. The regular hybrid starts out just under $30k, and don’t expect much in the way of haggling, as hybrids are the “in” thing to have now. Unless you wait for the 2011 models to come in and they have 2010 models left over.

I agree with bscar - and mshugna. We have friends with back and knee problems that found the Honda CR-V was comfortable to get into and out of. Any small SUV could fit the bill. You can improve mileage by buying a hybrid, but the gas savings doesn’t often justify the extra cost to buy one. Drive them from the dealer to Mom’s house, or yours if she is there and see how she feels about them. You can take her with you, but it could be a big strain on her. If she can still get around well, it can be an adventure for both of you.

Big sedans like the Taurus and Impala might fit the bill.

If not, then an MPV like the Mazda 5 or small CUV like the RAV4 and CRV may be best.