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What is a good safe car for seniors?

I’m looking (probably like many other seniors) for the perfect car for seniors. we don’t want much, just:

  1. safety equipment: lane departure/blind spot monitor, back up camera, auto braking to make up for diminished reflexes, sight, etc.
  2. comfort: to rest our weary bones
  3. quiet: to protect what little hearing we have left
  4. ability to see where the 4 corners are, or at least not have huge blind spots caused by massively wide pillars or huge rear view mirrors.
  5. and, of course, reasonably priced since, after all we are on a fixed income.

Jim from an Arizona retirement community

Stop by the local bookstore, pick up a Consumer Reports New Car Buyers’ Guide (or whatever the actual title is), and peruse the choices over coffee. Select the ones that look interesting to you and plan on a few weekends or so test driving them.

The CR guide can give you far, far, far more information than we ever could on this forum… a whole magazine’s worth! They’ll show you every single vehicle available and give you tons of comparative and comprehensive information.

Besides, we all have biases. The magazine doesn’t!

Happy shopping!

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Having researched and real-world tested the safety systems you mention in part 1, I am a big fan of them. They work, and seniors may benefit most. May I also suggest a mid-sized crossover instead of a sedan (which many seniors gravitate to due to familiarity)? Getting in and out of crossovers is so much easier, and the better view of the road ahead will be something many seniors will appreciate very quickly. Having tested many cars, and being middle-aged, my suggestions would be the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0 (ignore the Sport name, it only means two-rows) and the new Nissan Rogue, or Murano. Comfortable, quiet, safe, and be sure to get the full suite of active safety options. The 2017 Toyota Corolla compact sedan and RAV4 crossover now come standard with all the safety stuff you mention above if you lean toward that brand.


Subaru Forester
Honda CR-V
Toyota Avalon or Camry
Hyundai Azera

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There is no such thing as a perfect vehicle for seniors or any other classification for that matter. My senior neighbor thinks all old people should drive boring small SUV looking things. While my other friend who is senior would not have anything but a Corvette Z06.

Go to the manufacture web sites and use the build it yourself features and you will know if you want to spend that amount of money before you even leave the house.

+1 to this. My grandfather drove around an old Saturn Sedan for years before he traded it for a Subaru Forester (FYI this was a few years ago). His first criteria when he was looking for newer cars was how easily he could get in and out of them. I don’t think you could pay him enough to go back to a sedan anymore

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My 87 year old retired sister has a Toyota Camry which has all the items you need. The current models are available with all the monitoring equipment you mention. Buy the basic 4 cylinder model and equip it with the accessories you need. These cars are good for at least 20 years if you are a retiree.

Retirement community in AZ, I would think a golf cart would do :smile:

The choices are very broad; an older couple I know went from the generic Buick to a Chevy Spark (small car) and they are loving it. They live in the city of Los Angeles so like the small car for the ease of parking and great gas mileage.

I think any midsize sedan in today’s market would serve you well. The compact CUV’s suggested would be easier to get in & out but tend to be noisier. Test drive a few.

Car Talk Lackey
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Kia Sorrento four cylinder.

Be sure to test drive the Toyota Avalon. There’s plenty of good choices out there, but the Avalon, that’s the gold standard to compare the rest against.

Not sure if it is the best car for seniors, but I can say that Honda Accord is comfy, reliable and gets good mileage.


I suspect most seniors in this country are not as wealthy as your friend with the Corvette Z06 :smirk:

I’m a senior and I’m not. But it doesn’t matter, because I can no longer get in and out of a car like that anyway.

I find that coupes are far better for me, because with most sedans the B pillar is in the way getting in & out. I cannot bend my body the way I used to. My son’s 2016 Audi wagon (crossover, or whatever it’s called) is very difficult for this reason combined with the large bolsters on his sport seats. His fiancé’s new Accord sedan is better, but my neighbor’s Civic Coupe is much better, as is my tC. I don’t like CUVs and SUVs at all.

Everyone has very different needs, problems, and body shapes sizes and conditions. What works for one senior might be terrible for another. And preferences differ as well.

Well as 1 thought my 90 year old mother has better luck sliding around to get out on leather seats.

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Whichever car you choose after test driving many, call around to your local car rental agencies and ask to rent one for a few days and use it as you would your own car. A 20 minute test drive is one thing, and driving a car for 2 days is another. You’ll have the chance to see if the car really is comfortable and suits your needs.


Rent for at least a weekend. I’m a senior and I agree with a trial rental and safety equipment. We have 2 vehicles with wide angle back up cameras. Since the senior body doesn’t flex as well as it once did, those cameras are a nice addition to looking over the shoulder, and the rear view mirror.

Blind spot monitors have their limitations, but I like them. Honda models EX and above have cameras in the right hand rear view mirror which are activated by the turn signal switch. I’ve driven several and I like it.

The position of the B pillar (behind the front door) and the length of the door is important to me as I am 6’2" with a long, less flexible spine. We have an Acura MDX and an RDX. The MDX is larger but the RDX has a longer front door and is easier for me to get into.

My friend with a large, new Mercedes sedan is shorter but remarked how much difference the longer door made. His welting on the Mercedes door opening is already worn, as he rubs it each time he gets in. Lucky that we a re in Southwest Florida and we don’t wear heavy coats.

These are my priorities - good seats, good visibility, easy ingress, good mpgs, and reliable. So a CUV like a Forester might be a good pick, Accords also look like they have good visibility. But a test drive (extended) is required. Lots of CUVs have terrible visibility to the rear.

I’m going to add my recommendation that you get a CUV instead of a sedan. Even full size sedans like the Accord, Camry, Legacy have low seating and can be difficult to get in and out of. The Legacy is the easiest of this class but not as easy as a crossover vehicle (CUV) like the Forrester, Outback, Mazda CX5, etc.

Most sedans have accident avoidance systems, but are usually available only on the highest end models (expensive) so you have to buy options you don’t even want like a sunroof. They also have large alloy wheels with ultra low profile tires that are rough riding and very fragile if they hit a pothole or something.

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Depends on how tall you are. I’m 6’3 so I agree with this. Much easier to get in and out of. My but just slides right across. My wife who’s 5’3 finds her Lexus is easier for her. She has to climb into my Highlander.