Good Car Choice for Older Driver


#1

I am seeking a car (prefer midsize) for my mother. She drives once a week or so for errands, and her sister would drive her out of town once a month in this car for doctor appointments. I’d like to find a car with good visibility (no high back windows, etc.), a comfortable interior – one that is safe and reliable with cold A/C. Anything 2000 and newer is fine – price range up to $6K. Any suggestions for cars to consider? Thanks


#2

One of the Buicks; Ford fusion; Mazda 6 or equiv might work. I have driven quite a few Chrysler products as rentals and don’t like their high belt line. If gas mileage isn’t much of an issue, then the Chev HHR is much better, to me, than the PT Cruiser.


#3

Rule out Toys/Hondas for that price range. I’d recommend a Ford Taurus…they all did quite in crash test. reasonably reliable and inexpensive.


#4

Hyundai Elantra or Sonata.


#5

The correct answer is the Ford Crown Vic/Grand Marquis. Millions of geriatrics can’t be wrong.


#6

Buick Century. It’s almost identical to the Regal but costs a lot less to buy. The differences are that it doesn’t use the same 3.8L engine (great engine IMO) it uses the 3.1L, it has a bench seat, and the Century uses drum rear brakes. None of those are likely problems for your mom. You can get a 2002 Century from a dealer for less than $6000 but a comparably equipped Regal will be about $1500 more. She could also get a 2002 Olds Intrigue for about $6000 at a dealer. That’s a very nice car, comparable to the Regal in many ways. It has a new(er) generation 3.5L DOHC V6 engine. It’s well worth looking into. Olds is out of business, but as a former GM marque any GM dealer can service it.


#7

I am going against the grain and recommending a small or midsize economy car. Putting an elderly person in a wide vehicle, like a Crown Vic or a Grand Marquis, increases the changes it will side swipe parked cars and other objects. A midsize or smaller car will be easier to handle and navigate between obstacles. I suggest you look at the Corolla and the Civic.


#8

I would suggest asking her what she likes and make sure she test drives it herself with no input from you initially. My first inclination given your budget are Buicks as they are both reliable, comfortable and have cold AC.