"Luxury Corolla" for 83 year old

Here’s the story: my mother is 83 years old and is still driving, and is looking for a new car. She had a Lexus ES300, which she liked, but it had gotten too big for her. Getting older, it was getting harder for her to maneuver a big car like that. So she got a Corolla. She doesn’t like the Corolla: poor power, harder to steer, doesn’t drive as well as the Lexus (duh…). But the size is just right.

So my question: any suggestions for a Corolla-sized car, that is more high end (price range up to ~$40K), and would be good for an 83 year old driving in LA? My problem is that the cars I could think of that were higher end and small, were all very sporty ( Infiniti G35, as one example). That may be okay, but am looking for other ideas, too.



Acura TSX

Mini Cooper Clubman

It is clear that your mother must give final approval. She is the only one that can do it. Any car that seems just right to you or I might still be judged unacceptable for reasons that are hard for us to fathom.

Rather than seek a theoretically perfect model, you ought to arrange for her to test drive a variety of vehicles. Who knows, after going through a dozen demos, she may decide the Corolla is really much better than she originally thought.

Reply to SteveF: Well, the exact reason I’m doing this is so she doesn’t have to go through a dozen demos. She asked me to make some suggestions, and I am doing some of the legwork for her so hopefully we can narrow it down to 2 or 3 demos. Of course the decision will be up to her. At this point we’re looking for good ideas.

Scrabbler: yes, the Accura TSX is a good idea. I’ll need to check out the Mini Cooper.

Any other suggestions???

There’s always the BMW 1 or 3 series. Also, maybe consider a Hyundai Elantra or Accent. They’re certainly not high end, but she may like them better. Maybe. What about an Audi A4? Or a VW Golf or Beetle? While repair costs may be higher, it sounds like your mother is well off financially, so this may not be as much of a concern. I would also check out a well-optioned Honda Civic.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class
BMW 3 series (or 1 series if she doesn’t mind a sportier 2 door)

A Mercedes C-class should fit the size and budget. They have a “luxury” version and a “sport” version if you are looking at new, but a late model C240 would be less expensive and pretty decent car.

Since she liked the Lexus, stop by and see what they offer in a smaller model.

Check out the Mazdaspeed 3 , or the Audi A4 , or the Volvo S40 , The Lexus IS is a little smaller than the ES, so that might be an option.

Yikes some people are posting some pretty big or impractical cars here. I’m not sure if folks are trying to be funny or not… Has anyone seen a new BMW 3 series in person?? It’s the same size as an ES300 Lexus. Trust me-I was at the BMW dealer for service yesterday. The 1 series is nice, I test drove one, and it’s a possibility.

The Mini Cooper is ridiculous for an 83 year old woman used to a Lexus for numerous reasons, but most importantly the stiff ride and unusual control layout. An Acura TSX is almost the same size as an ES300-too big. The Audi A3 is small, but luxurious inside if she’s used to quality and could be considered. The Mazdaspeed 3 is a high powered psuedo sports car which makes about as much sense to recommend as a Corvette. An Audi A4 is too big and a Volvo S40 won’t feel much more luxurious than a Corolla. A VW Rabbit is a possibility, but once again misses the luxury of a Lexus.

I think her best bets are an Audi A3 which is small, but very luxurious inside, or a BMW 128i which is also a very nice vehicle. If you live in a snowy climate my nod goes to the A3. Good luck.

In that price range, I would look at a c-class (her current lexus is the same size as a e-class). The current BMWs are more sporty and seem to be styled for 12 year olds anyway. Also, check out an audi A4.

Don’t feel bad, my mom still insists on driving buicks.

The Audi A4 is only 5 inches shorter than a Lexus ES-that doesn’t help her much. A Mercedes CLK350 (a compact Mercedes) is a full foot longer than an Audi A3 or BMW 128i. She needs a smaller car.