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Looking for a Special Needs Car

I’m trying to decide on a new car for a walker-using friend who is now driving a Buick Regal. The new car has to have a drivers seat which is elevated, but does not require a step-up to enter. (Getting up and out of the Buick is challenging.) Also, a shifter which does not have a push-button is necessary.

Thanks for your help and suggestions!

Allow me to suggets that a very easy opening door is probably also a requirement.

If your frend can afford new, there are a number of makes now on the market such as the new Kia models that I’ve not yet tried. You may wnat to spend a Sunday looking at some. I have found that GMs and Fords tend to load the door mechanisms to provide a heavy feel, and from the sound of it a lighter feel, something eays to open and close, woould be better.

I’d avoid Chryslers right now.

Honda has some models that fit the need, as does Nissan and Scion. The Ciivc, the xD, the xB, the Nissan Cube, try these for starters. But test drive them before your friend gets in them. The rides are firmer and that may not work well for someone requiring a walker.

A Buick crossover vehicle may even work. It may have a Buick type steering column shifter. I don’t know.

My former neighbor has degenerative back disease and he found that a Honda CR-V worked for him - just slide in and out. Get the EX so that you can have a power seat. Then you can set it at just the right level. Another friend with arthritic knees owns a CR-V, too, and has no problem getting in or out.

I have degenerative disc disease, quite advanced. Numerous stenosis, bulges, annular tears, and osteoarthritis in the facet joints.

I also have arthritis in my hands. And my shoulders.

My ladyfriend has collapsed discs in her cervical region (neck), as well as advanced arthritis.

That’s how I knew about the easy opening door problem.

For me a tC is perfect because of the laid back seating (I don;t bend at the waist well). My neighbor has had four operations on his lumbar region. He has more pins than a laundry. He likes his Chevy Silverado. It’s very different for everyone with these aging diseases.

Look at wheelchair accessible vehicles and these should have a ramp that one could simply walk right into, then sit down in the driver’s seat

Some elderly folks I know with disabilities like the PT Cruiser for the ease of getting in and out.

Avoiding a push-button shifter may be a challenge. You may want to call a few of the places that do vans for the disabled and see if they have any tips there. If nothing else, someone could probably rig the button to be depressed all the time. That’s a little unsafe, but maybe necessary in this case.

Thanks for the replies!

I’m going to check out some of your suggestions.

She has a VERY strong grip, but working the button on the shifter is near impossible. I know that the Prius does not have such a button; does anyone have experience with the Prius?

I don’t have any experience with Prius, but it sounds like an excellent possibility.

Yes, I do. There is a button to engage “Park”, but everything else is controlled by a lever.