There are no mainstream cars or brands out there that are specifically designed for seniors. But, lots of car manufacturers try to offer a wide variety of cars for all kinds of purposes, and between such a large array of cars out there, a significant portion of them are well suited for older drivers.
A car for a senior has to be easy to drive, easy to see out of, easy to get in and out of, and generally practical, safe, and affordable. Of course, if you have the means, buying a Rolls Royce Cullinan is always the option, but 99% of people out there can only dream about a Cullinan.
Car-segment-wise, the best option would likely be smaller SUVs, crossovers, and cars with lots of senior-friendly features. Lots of people have their own opinions as to which car is the one to get, but objectively speaking, crossovers and SUVs are the way to go.
And the Kia Soul, Nissan Leaf, Subaru Forester, Honda CR-V, Toyota Highlander are all great options. If you want a more luxurious option, go for the Mercedes Benz GLC, Audi Q5, or the Volvo XC90.
Kia is a brand that has lately been making lots of noise with lots of value-friendly, good-looking, and appropriately equipped models. And the Kia Soul offers a bunch of senior-friendly features such as high positioned seats, big windows, easy entry and exit, and excellent visibility.
The Soul also offers a bunch of useful safety features and the infotainment system is intuitive and easy to read. If you pair that with a relatively good-looking exterior and interior, the Kia does seem like a great option in this price category.
The Nissan Leaf is one of Nissan’s most popular cars with seniors, and it’s easy to see why. Even though the Leaf is an EV, it does make sense to own an EV as a senior as most seniors don’t really do anything else besides relatively short daily commuting.
That being said, the 200-mile range the Leaf offers is plenty enough. Besides the obvious benefit of no money being wasted on fuel, the Leaf is easy to get in and out of and is appropriately comfortable and easy to see out of.
The Subaru Forester is for some, the best senior-friendly car money can buy right now. And even though that might be a bit of a stretch, no one can deny that the Forester does offer loads of senior-friendly features and options.
The visibility is class-leading and so is the simplicity of interior controls. With a raised-up driving position, a smooth ride, and an appropriate seat height, the Forester does have lots of beneficial aspects for a senior looking for an affordable SUV.
The Honda CR-V has also always been considered a great car for seniors. The CR-V offers a raised driving position, incredibly wide opening and relatively lightweight doors, and an incredibly roomy interior and cargo space.
The gas mileage for an SUV is relatively good and the visibility is also above average for this segment. All of which make the CR-V a solid choice for anyone, and especially an older driver. The CR-V is incredibly common, and it’s easy to see why.
Between Audi, Mercedes and BMW, Mercedes is the one usually making the most senior-friendly cars. Even though the Mercedes Benz E-Class is the most popular Mercedes model with the elderly, the GLC offers a better driving position and a significant increase in visibility.
The GLC also offers great build quality, powerful engines which relatively fuel-efficient, and loads of usable adjustments that should be able to make you comfortable no matter the size or weight. If you pair that with class-leading technology, the GLC seems like a great option.
If you are not a Mercedes type of guy, the Audi Q5 might suit you better. The advantages of the Q5 are fairly similar to the Mercedes GLC, but where these two differ is the fact that the Q5 is the best all arounder in this class.
The Q5 is less blingy and more under the radar which can be beneficial if you are not an attention-seeking senior. Besides this, the Q5 is appropriately sized, available with loads of useful options, and is also fairly reliable and easy to see out of.
Probably the best senior-friendly SUV on this list is the Volvo XC90. The XC90 offers a mature design language, a perfectly raised driving position, wide-opening doors, plush and supple seats that are adjustable in many different ways.
Engines are punchy, efficient, and reliable. And besides all of this, the Volvo is incredibly safe, quiet, relaxing, and easy to drive. The infotainment system is intuitive and easy to understand and the visibility is also great thanks to a good-old classic boxy SUV shape.
Compact, mid-size or full-size SUVs for seniors?
When choosing an SUV for an older driver, be sure to inform yourself of what the car is going to be used for. A compact SUV should do the trick for most occasions and is tall enough. If the person needs way more space for family or dogs or whatever, go for a mid-size SUV.
Choosing a full-size SUV for a senior only makes sense if all the 7 seats are used frequently, and that’s probably never going to be the case.
Best SUVs for seniors with disabilities?
The best car for a disabled person is one that appropriately matches all the needs of that specific person. But in general, the Honda Odyssey, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-9 are some of the most popular choices in this category.
For such purposes always consult with professionals, and try to scout cars that are the closest possible match to a perfect car for that very person. Besides the cars listed in this answer, all the aforementioned cars are also sometimes used for the same purpose.
Should I buy used or new if I am a senior?
It depends on the car you want. In some instances such as financing, buying a newer car might make more sense. If you plan on buying the car outright, buying a used car might be the more sensible option.
No matter what you do end up choosing, be sure to cross-shop as much as possible as there are loads of tempting options just waiting to be discovered. Used cars might offer you more for your money, but you are usually not covered by any type of warranty.