The Best Cars for Older Drivers and Retirees

For the practical, the frugal or the dreamer, these are some of the best cars for older drivers and retirees.

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: $25,895

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: $29,590

MPG: 24 city / 29 highway

Crash Test: 4 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 for a SUV. 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.

nissan versa

For The Frugal Consumer

Nissan Versa

MSRP: $15,380

MPG: 32 city / 40 highway

Crash Test: 5 stars

The Versa was completely redesigned for 2021 (goodbye manually operated crank windows!) The makeover gave the subcompact sedan more legroom than one would expect, up to 15 cubic space of cargo room and a 122-horsepower four-cylinder engine.

Safety is addressed with the Nissan Safety Shield® 360, a package of features including automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and automatic high-beams. The entry-level Versa S sedan retains Bluetooth functionality, but lacks the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration you can find in higher trims.

But above all, what makes the Nissan Versa one of the best cars for older drivers — or any driver? The price. With a base price of under $15,000, 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 2022.

Ford Mustang Convertible

For The Dreamer

Ford Mustang Convertible

MSRP: $32,705

MPG: 20 city / 28 highway

Crash Test: N/A

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’s nearing its 60th anniversary.

While there are several model types to choose from, you can’t go wrong with a convertible. The Mustang Convertible EcoBoost models delivers 310 horsepower and gets 20/28 miles per gallon. And the powerful car still has a five-star safety rating thanks to features such as a Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert. The Mustang also comes standard with modern amenities like LED headlamps and lighting, active noise cancelation, six-speaker sound system, and leather wrapped steering wheel.

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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.

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137 Thoughts on “The Best Cars for Older Drivers and Retirees

  1. Is there a list of best cars for short drivers? I have to try various gadgets to keep the seat belt off my neck. I’m about 5′ 3″ tall.

    1. Hi and thanks for the question! Here are some suggestions from our Car Doctor John Paul: I have found the Subaru Outback, Kia Soul and Honda CR-V have enough adjustments in the seat and the shoulder harness height adjustment to find a comfortable seating position. For a little more upscale car, the Volvo XC-40 is pretty good. The other thing you might try is going to a big used car lot like Car Max where they have just about every late model vehicle and just try them out.

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