Older drivers benefit from features such as great all-around visibility, easy accessibility, lots of adjustments in the driving position, easy to reach the steering wheel and dashboard controls, a comfortable ride, lots of safety gadgetry for both increased awareness and a safer driving experience.
As such, you can find cars such as these in almost every car segment out there which means that you can indeed opt for either a smaller car or a larger car. Hatchbacks are quite possibly the best compromise as far as all of these are concerned, especially because they tend to cost less when compared to SUVs and sedans.
Cars like the Honda Civic Hatchback or the new Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid are great for senior drivers because they combine all of the features listed above. If you want a more upscale experience without spending way too much money, be sure to check out the VW Golf.
The Kia Rio is also a very well-rounded hatchback that also comes with all the senior driver-friendly features listed above. However, if you are interested in an electric hatchback, be sure to check out the Chevy Bolt EV because it’s arguably the best EV out there as far as senior drivers are concerned.
The new Honda Civic comes in lots of configurations including a 4-door sedan and a 5-door hatchback. Between these two you should mostly focus your attention on the hatchback version because it’s more accessible and practical in comparison.
However, the new Civic is also a highly-rated car as far as safety is concerned and it also comes with loads of safety features from the factory. The infotainment system is intuitive and easy to reach while the driving position is highly adjustable no matter your shape or size.
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
If you are interested in combining great value, efficiency and comfort, the new Hyundai Ioniq hybrid hatchback is the one to get because it starts at around $23k which makes it an incredibly competitive car for its price tag. If you want to upgrade to the plug-in hybrid model (which you should) it ought to cost you $3k more.
Besides the powertrain, the Ioniq Plug-In also comes with lots of safety kit from the factory which make it both safe and confident to drive. The space on offer is adequate for drivers of all shapes and sizes while the infotainment system is intuitive and easy to use.
The VW Golf is a golden standard when it comes to accessible hatchbacks in Europe which means that it combines comfort and space like no other brand out there. Thanks to a fairly boxy shape the Golf offers the most amount of space out of all hatchbacks here while also being one of the easiest cars to drive.
The visibility is great all-around and the Golf feels composed and sophisticated, so much so that you’d be forgiven for thinking that it belongs in a higher price category. However, the Golf you should be looking at is the Mk7.5 generation and not the Mk8 generation because the 7.5 offers better value for money.
The Kia Rio is a nippy little hatchback perfect for those who spent the majority of their driving time in the city. The engines on offer are reliable and efficient and should last you a long time if you take proper care of them. The Rio also comes with lots of safety kit as standard while upgrading to the mid-level trim offers you amazing value.
The Rio is both easy to get in and out of and to load thanks to a perfect ride height which should benefit older and younger drivers alike.
Chevy Bolt EV
If you are primarily interested in EVs, you should definitely check out the Chevy Bolt EV because it offers both efficiency and value in a very tempting package. It also offers a modestly raised-up driving position which ensures easier access when compared to most cars on this list.
With more than 250 miles on a full charge, the Bolt is one of the most value-oriented EVs on the market. Fast charging capabilities enable you to get 100 additional miles in only 30 minutes of charge. It also comes with lots of equipment from the factory which should keep you both safe and entertained for a long time to come.
Are hatchbacks perfect for older drivers?
If you are on a budget and you want to maximize what you get for your money a hatchback might as well be the best type of car to go for. However, if you want the best you can get and you are flexible with your money, it’s better to opt for a compact SUV because it combines everything you get from a hatchback with a superior driving position and visibility.
Sedans are the best type of cars to go for if you primarily drive your car on long highway slogs because they offer the most comfortable ride with the least amount of intrusion from both wind and tire noise.
Which types of cars are bad for older drivers?
Sports cars and supercars are not exactly the best type of cars to go for if you are a senior driver because they offer the lowest ride height out of all cars on sale today. This means that they are difficult to get in and out of and they tend to compromise on both comfort and practicality.
Full-size sedans are arguably the most comfortable cars on the planet but they are way too big for city driving because they offer inferior visibility when compared to most cars. Finally, large SUVs are simply unnecessary if you are someone who does not need the added space. If you are, a large SUV might be a more reasonable option.
Which features should I prioritize if I want a great car for older drivers?
Senior driver-friendly features consist out of easy accessibility, intuitiveness of all the controls, lots of adjustability in the driving position, and a safe and reliable platform. However, adding all of these to a new car can cost a lot of money which means you will have to prioritize.
The most important things to look out for are safety, accessibility, and great visibility.