What car to buy when need is comfortable ride and low gas mileage?

I have arthritis, so comfortable ride is priority in choosing car. Recommendations have been US being more comfortable vs. imports (harder ride). looking for '03+ with under 50,000 miles, V6, reliable, decent gas mileage. any ideas?

GM products with the 3800 engine would be a good choice. Since it will be used, pay a competent, trustworthy mechanic to inspect the car before you buy. That will greatly reduce your risk of getting stuck with a piece of junk.

Buick, Crown Vic, Grand Marquis. These are the comfort champions.

My Father in law owns a Buick LeSabre and likes it a lot. He’s in his mid 70’s, and comfort means a lot to him, too. My Mother in law has a bad back and finds it comfortable, too. It’s a full size car, but he routinely gets over 25 MPG and got over 30 MPG on a long road trip.

Yep. You definitely need a Buick. There’s some imports that have a cushy domestic style ride, such as the Toyota Avalon and the non-sporty Lexuses (Lexii?), but there’s no reason to recommend them over the Buick, which by some indicators has exceeded the Japanese on reliablilty and initial quality. A four-year old Buick will also cost way less.

Your criteria is pretty easy. Look for domestic mid-full size’s that catch your eye. Buick is good reliable choice in the mix with high depreciation which makes them used car bargains.

The guy who did up my Chevelle has an 05 Impala and is always driving out west(we live in ohio) and he said that car is the most comfortable car he’s owned, and he’s 70 years old.

It’s good to see people recommending a purely US brand again. Yes, Buick still has the soft ride.

Now, if you wanted a comfortable ride and GOOD gas mileage, a Honda Accord is good. The other recommendation of Buick won’t hurt that much.

I wouldn’t write off Japanese Vehicles just yet. Check out the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. A Honda or Toyota will also be more reliable than a Ford/GM vehicle any day.

I think you are off base. My Mom has a Grand Marquis and my Mother-in-Law has '02 Accord - there is no comparing the rides or the comfort. The Grand Marquis has a much better ride. Can’t comment on the Camry.

Mom gets 20 MPG in city driving, which ain’t bad for nearly 4000 pounds of real steel! Plus, an added feature is that the next time someone slams into her, she is safe. Besides, the big domestics are reliable and cheaper to fix, given the higher costs of import parts

Few cars - maybe a Jag XJ8 or a big Benz or BMW - can compare with the ride of any of the big American sedans mentioned above. I would also consider a Town Car, too. Their depreciation is steep, making them a good used car buy.

I test drove a new Accord a little while back. I have to say the leg room is about the same as my 2dr 99 Civic, even with the seat all the way back. While the seat was alright, I wouldn’t say it was for everyone. I did sit in an Acura RL and that was really nice to sit in, the cost isn’t worth it when you can get a Crown Vic or Taurus for half the price. base price for the RL is 46k while a Taurus will run your 31k with moonroof and navigation system.

That would be 4000 lbs plus!

The Town Car has a lot of extra electric and electronic doo dads that are more trouble-prone than the regular stuff in Crown Vics and Grand Marquis.

Besides, the big domestics are reliable and cheaper to fix, given the higher costs of import parts

Says who??? SOME import part are more expensive…but MOST are the same or even cheaper.

As for Ride…I will agree that the bigger American cars offer a better ride then Vehicles like the Accord or Camry. But don’t discount cars like the Lexus…

Accord’s even new ones bias there ride for better handling over comfort. I like the compromise but its not a marshmallow puff ride the OP is looking for. Lexus, Toyota and Buick make more marshmallow rides at the expense of handling.

I have rather advanced degenerative disc disease, with the accompanying osteoarthritis in my spine. Comfort in a car is extremely difficult for me and is A-#1 priority.

My only suggestion is to be sure to take a long, relaxed test drive. I bought a brand new Corolla in '05 without a sufficient test drive and had to trade it in 2 months. It was crippling me. I bought a Scion tC and love it. Fantastic ride, laid back comfortable seating, easy handling, cheap price ($17.8K delivered with automatic tranny), and good gas mileage. And it’s highly reliable…and peppy.

I forgot to note that lots of people rate Lincoln seats more comfortable than Ford/Merc.

All cars are compromises. Soft ride = sloppy handling. Comfort = bigger car, usually. Good gas mileage = less weight and smaller engine.

So the right choice depends on a lot of factors. First, what do you mean by comfortable ride? There are cars with very soft suspension that have rather average seating. Others with great seats have a firmer ride (many sports cars, for example). Do you require upright seating, higher seating position, or just soft seats? Do you drive primarily city or highway? A city car could be a 4 cylinder which would save fuel during extended idling in traffic. On the highway, engine size becomes less a factor than weight and wind resistance. Many U.S. cars that used to be super-soft, super sloppy handling, have firmed up their suspensions to equal the imports. Progressive rate coil springs can give a soft ride over most road surfaces, yet firm up on heavy cornering/braking demands as the intertial forces increase spring deflection.

If you are looking for a used car, then you are cost-conscious and an expensive import is not a good choice. Virtually all cars today are reliable (how often have you seen a newer model car disabled along side the road for anything but a flat tire?). Since you can’t work on the car yourself, your choice of a dealer might be another factor – buy the car from an established, reputable new car dealer rather than off some used car lot that just appeared.

Recommendations for a Buick are good. These late model cars have topped most new car lists for reliability, fit, finish, ride comfort and customer loyalty. Above all, go drive them and see which one you like. The 3.8L GM V6 is one of the best V6’s built and also comes in a more economical 3.0L version. I have over 160,000 miles on a supercharged 3.8L and it still runs like new.