A senior-friendly car should be comfortable above anything else. This means that the car should have quality seats, soft suspension, and appropriately padded interior surfaces. Moreover, senior-friendly cars should also be easy to drive and easy to see out of.
Car segment-wise, it should be a car with a raised driving position which makes it a lot easier to get in and out of. Automatics are easier to drive, but if you prefer a manual, it’s up to you. These cars should also be safe and fit in many price categories.
Superior fuel efficiency is also welcomed, and so is general practicality. A senior-friendly car should be relaxing and easy to figure out, without overly complicated infotainment systems and not overly distracting.
The Toyota Prius, Volvo V60, Lexus UX, Nissan Leaf, and Ford Fiesta are the more popular senior-friendly cars. If you want an even more upmarket experience, go for the Mercedes Benz E-Class, Volvo XC90, or the Audi Q5.
The Toyota Prius is often a subject of mockery among car enthusiasts, but the general usability, practicality, comfort, and fuel efficiency can’t be ignored. That being said, the 1.8L Hybrid Prius model offers class-leading fuel efficiency and is also appropriately sized for a senior.
The suspension setup is comfortable and it easily deals with multiple types of road surfaces. If you pair that with generous and spacious seats which are highly adjustable, the Prius seems like a great option. The steering wheel is lightweight and the Prius is also relatively easy to get in and out of.
The Volvo V60 is comfortable and incredibly easy to drive, just like any other Volvo out there. In addition to this, the Volvo V60 certainly does offer one of the most comfortable seats in this price category which are adjustable multiple ways and relatively high for easy entry.
Used prices of the Volvo V60 are tempting, and the interior of the V60 certainly does seem like a step above all other cars in this segment. Volvos are built with quality and incredibly safe. The general practicality of the V60 makes it a great car option for seniors.
Hybrids are not the type of cars you would usually associate with the elderly, but when you think about it most seniors don’t do long trips all that often. And the Leaf can go around 200 miles per charge, which makes it a great option for seniors who don’t want to spend time filling their tank often.
The Leaf offers a raised driving position for easy entry and exit, and the more recent Leaf models are also a significant step above the previous generation when it comes to comfort. The Leaf is quiet, efficient, affordable, and easy to drive, all of which make it a great car for seniors.
The Ford Fiesta is probably Ford’s most popular car of all time (besides the F150 of course). And it’s easy to see why because the Fiesta manages to offer quite a bit of quality at an affordable price. The Fiesta is a great selling car, so the used car market offers a bunch of these at a discounted price.
In addition to the good price, the Fiesta is comfy, easy to see out of, and the interior layout is intuitive and easy to understand. The driving position is also great, and so is the general practicality even though the Fiesta is a small hatchback.
Mercedes Benz E-Class
It really is not right to talk about cars for seniors without mentioning the executive grandad-mobile – the Mercedes Benz E-Class. Even though the E-Class is a significant bump in price compared to previous cars on our list, it certainly makes up for it with amazing comfort, technology, and sophistication.
The seats in the E-Class are definitely class-leading, and so is the adjustability and equipment list. All E-Class models are plenty powerful and packed with loads of useful comfort and luxury options. You truly can’t make a mistake when you buy an E-Class, as history has shown that many times by now.
There are a lot of SUV options out there, and the Audi Q5 is a relatively small SUV. It has a raised-up position and is a great all arounder. If you pair that with amazing technology, multiple-way adjustable seats, powerful engine options, great practicality, and an incredibly light steering wheel, it’s hard to fault the Q5.
If you want a larger SUV, go for a Volvo XC90, as this good-looking Swedish SUV is all you’d ever need. The XC90 is spacious, incredibly comfortable, has good insulation, and it also offers class-leading efficiency and safety.
The XC90 is incredibly easy to get in and out of, and the infotainment screen is large and offers huge fonts so you can read it easily. The XC90 is probably the most famous SUV for older people, and it’s obvious why that is.
Buying a car as a senior
Which cars should I avoid as a senior?
Supercars, sports cars, and full-size sedans. Supercars are obviously not made for older people as they are usually way too low, hard to get in and out of, and are also stiff and uncomfortable, even for shorter trips.
Flagship sedans are unnecessary and hard to drive in tighter city streets. Only if you are being chauffeured, does it make sense to buy a full-size sedan, otherwise, stick to an E-Class.
Do EVs make sense for seniors?
Seniors usually don’t take long trips, and the daily commute an older person makes is likely to be under 150-200 miles at the very maximum. Despite this, buying an EV does make sense, but only if the person is well informed about all the things an EV requires.
EVs are different and they take some readjusting. So, even though they make sense theoretically, in practice it might be a bit different.
How important is a raised-up driving position?
Very important. Some older people see a low driving position as a definitive no-go, because it gives them poor visibility.
Cars with raised-up driving positions are also way easier to get in and out of, especially if the car is parked on uneven ground. Another thing to think about is that doors on larger cars (SUVs) are sometimes assisted thanks to the increased weight, so be sure to keep that in mind.