Although I’m not that old, I have arthritis and need to use both hands to operate gear shifts that are between the seats, which isn’t very convenient. I’d like to know which cars (automatic transmission) within the last few years still had gear shifts on the steering column. I’ve seen old posts on this topic, but there weren’t many suggestions and were for older model cars. I’m hoping to get a “new” used car soon and would like to focus my search before I start randomly looking around… Thanks much for any suggestions!
In the Ford line it’s the big cars with that option and the F150 pickups. ( when I search beginning 08 forward )
The Ford Crown Vic, Mercury Marquis, Lincoln Town Car had most on the column with some console options.
The F150 pickup had many on the column ( some on the floor )
If you focus on cars with front bench seats (instead of bucket seats), you should find that they are equipped with a column shift. I would suggest that you look at Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis sedans (they are essentially identical) or at full-size Buicks. There may be other models, but the above-mentioned ones would be good to focus on, based on both the feature that you want AND very good reliability.
Some versions of the Chevrolet Impala also have a column shift. Many have a console shift though, and I don’t know Impalas well enough to know if the shifter changes with the engine/transmission options or with the interior trim level.
Minivans have gear shifts on the column; newer ones have the gear shift on the dash board above the right knee.
Mercedes S class starting with model year 2007 as well as the ML , R class, and GL series of vehicles from m.y. 2006 forward if you are considering SUV’s
My Caravan has the shift lever on the dash as jtsanders says. It also has the smoothest automatic I have ever driven.
My 06 Dakota pickup has column shifter coupled to the weirdest auto trans I’ve ever owned.Way back when, the hotrod set wanted to move the shifters to the column for whatever reason of course back in the day a lot of Guys blew money on Hurst shifters.(To grab a mean second)Aside from the linkage difficulties,I think the floorboard is better left uncluttered[firm believer that a modern automatic is an upgrade(too many old Fords and Macks I guess-my Stirling Moss days are long over)-Kevin
This may be out of your price range, but I’m pretty sure you could work the transmission lever on some or all of today’s BMWs. It’s just an electronic switch with very little resistance and very little range of motion.
Several Lexus hybrids offer an electronic cvt with a center console mounted shifter that has a very simple, effortless operation. Check out the ct200h and the hs250. Since the advent of elctronically controlled automatic transmissions, the need for manual linkages has disappeared, thus making even center console mounted shifters easier to operate. The possibilities for finding a vehicle that will be comfortable to use is more expansive than you may envision. I would suggest that you find a vehicle that you like, give it a try and see how the experience is. With all of the great vehicles available today I am sure that you will find something that works for you.
Not many cars left with the traditional column shifter, but the Prius is shifted with a stubby stalk growing from the dashboard to the right of the steering wheel. There are now three distinct Prius models, the original, the larger Prius V and smaller Prius C, so your chances of finding one that fits your needs have increased. Its upscale couisins, also hybrids, the Lexus CT 200 and HS 250h share this shifter arrangement.
Minivans also have the shifter up off the floor, typically sprouting from a bulge in the middle of the dash. Recent Dodge and Chrysler models have the shift lever all up at the same height as the steering wheel. Most are a about even with the bottom of the wheel. You might still find those tough too operate, as they feel more like regular shifters than do the Prius’s stubby stalk. They are all a bit different so some may suit you just fine even if another doesn’t.
If a big minivan is more than you need, the Honda Element and Mazda5 are practical smaller vehicles with similar shift arrangements. The Mazda is like a very small minivan and the Element is a uniquely practical box on wheel, very hard to classify. It’s super popular with dog owners. The Prius and its kin, Mazda5 and Element all have good records for reliability. Hope this helps. I also have disabilities that make me unable to drive at all. You can have all my unused miles to enjoy.
Does your current ride have a button you need to press in order to get the lever moving?
If so, many current models offer a no button lever that you might try out to see how that works for you.