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The Best Cars for Older Drivers and Retirees

For the practical, the well-traveled or those who have been saving for a dream, these are some of the best cars for older drivers and retirees.

The 2019 Kia Sorento

At every age in life, drivers consider different components when looking for a new car. That is certainly the case for older drivers. Most in this demographic put a greater emphasis on factors such as visibility, safety features, easy-to-use systems and how comfortable it is to get in and out of the car. Or maybe, if they have recently retired, they decided it is time to finally splurge and get behind the wheel of their dream car. Whatever the situation, these are a few of the best cars for older drivers.

best cars for older drivers

For The Practical Driver

Subaru Forester

MSRP: $24,295

MPG: 26 city / 33 highway

Crash Test: 5 stars

The Subaru Forester makes getting behind the wheel a cinch for older drivers – literally. Large doors and elevated seating allow for easy entrance and exit to and from the car. Once set to drive, the chair-like seating position coupled with big windows and thin pillars supply excellent driver visibility. The Forester’s climate and infotainment systems are straightforward and easy to use.

The Forester comes with a five-star crash test rating. Even better, Subaru has worked to significantly cut down on crashes thanks to EyeSight, the manufacturer’s driver assist technology. EyeSight works by equipping the car with dual color cameras near the rearview mirror. These cameras can monitor traffic movement, optimize cruise control and warn drivers if they sway outside the lane. EyeSight has been found to reduce rear-end crashes with injuries by up to 85%.

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For The Traveler

Kia Sorento

MSRP: $26,290

MPG: 22 city / 29 highway

Crash Test: 5 stars

With your nine-to-five days behind them, retirees have much more free time – and much more free time to travel. Whether visiting the grandkids or checking off a destination on their bucket list, retirees need the right car for all their future adventures.

The Kia Sorento is a midsized SUV with all the prerequisites needed for older drivers: comfortable seating, simple controls and available safety technology. What makes it perfect for long trips is the large, quiet cabin, comfortable ride, ample storage space and, most importantly, above-average highway gas mileage. Check out our list of the most fuel-efficient cars.

Also, the Sorrento’s third row of seating can be folded down if you need more storage space or up to hold passengers, in case they do happen to visit the grandchildren.

best cars for older drivers

For The Frugal Consumer

Honda Fit

MSRP: $16,190

MPG: 29 city / 36 highway

Crash Test: 5 stars

Many older drivers and retirees are living on a fixed income. They’ll want to prioritize finding a safe, reliable car to get them to and from where they need to go – no need to break the bank.

The Honda Fit’s subcompact size makes it easy to maneuver, yet the model still offers plenty of cabin space. The car’s controls are large and easy to use, allowing drivers to keep their focus on the road. Newer models have improved suspension and cabin noise, providing a smoother, quieter ride.

But above all, what makes the Honda Fit one of the best cars for older drivers? The price. With a base price of just $16,190, you will be hard-pressed to find a better value.

Want to see more inexpensive cars? Here’s our list of the cheapest new cars of 2019.

best cars for older drivers

For The Dreamer

Ford Mustang BULLITT

MSRP: $46,595

MPG: 15 city / 24 highway

Crash Test: 5 stars

Those recent retirees who waited to reach social security’s full benefit age (66) most likely started their driving career in the 1960s or early 70s. This era in automotive history was marked by the rise of muscle cars and there was no such car more popular than the Ford Mustang. Assuredly, many current retirees dreamed of getting behind the wheel of a Mustang. And if they weren’t able to then, now is the time. Finding a vintage Mustang may be challenging. Fortunately, the model is still going strong. In fact, it recently celebrated its 55th anniversary.

If you really want to go all out, try the Ford Mustang BULLITT. In 2018, Mustang re-released the model in honor of the 50th anniversary of the classic film starring Steve McQueen. Just like the original, this special edition comes with unparalleled performance and that legendary mean-green color. (It also comes in black if you choose.)

Some of the updated features that you won’t find in vintage models include a 12-inch digital instrument cluster, red-painted Brembo brake calipers, and active performance exhaust system that allows you to control the volume of the exhaust.

Save up for your dream car with banking and savings options from AAA.

For more car recommendations, check out our test drives

AAA members get great rates and competitive terms when shopping through the AAA Auto Buying program. Learn more about our network of certified dealers and to start comparing vehicles today.


  • Margaret D.

    Interesting you mention the Honda Fit. According to Car and Driver and other publications, sources for Honda indicate that it is not certain that the all-new 2020 Honda Fit, to be introduced in October in Japan, will be sold in the US.

  • For cheapest places to retire, the quality of local health care (will travel for quality care be needed), cost of assisted living & nursing homes & the availability of quality facilities as well as the availability of the state’s Medicaid long-term care assistance program for should be taken into account due to the high percentage of retirees who are likely to need some or all of these types of care.

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