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

  1. The Subaru Forester for 2022 is NOT good for older drivers. There is a problem with the design of the headlights. At night, you see black images in front of you – can’t tell if it’s something in the road or a shadow. Also alignment of headlights makes it extremely difficult to see road signs. There should be a recall on this car, but none is forthcoming.

  2. Why do you keep recommending the Subaru Forester? What about the parasitic battery drain issues?

  3. Nice idea to compile such a list, but shame on you for recommending only gasoline-powered cars. Retirees and seniors have a better sense of the future, having lived longer than young people, and are in the best position to model sustainable decisions by driving EVs. For the budget-conscious, please recommend the 2022 or ’23 Chevy Bolts, whose base price was just reduced by about $6,000. For those with a higher budget, the new Hyundai Ioniq 5s are the current car of the future, with only 18 min. to charge to 80% of capacity, and a 260-mile range.

  4. Interesting list but disappointing that you don’t include at least one hybrid. The Toyota and Hyundai hybrid SUVs for example would be worth discussion. If you don’t think they rate then that would be worth saying also.

  5. I think that the Subaru Forrester would be the perfect size vehicle for me, as a senior citizen, if only the Company would boost the gas mileage a little. According to news reports, Subaru will offer a Forrester with a hybrid setup for the 2024 season. I expect that my Toyota Corolla will hold up until then–it has been trouble-free and only has 189,000 miles on it. (It would have been considerably more if not for the pandemic.)

  6. Nisson Versa, 32/40 mpg? Why don’t they make all cars beautiful, stylish, and desirable? I’d love to be driving around in a car, especially these days, that gets32/40 mpg! A great-looking Versa sized car that was as stylish as a Mercedes Coupe or a Camaro or do I say Bagatti, LOL, only smaller? I tried to find a new car that was stylish to use as an example but there aren’t any, they’re ALL UGLY? One of the Versa designers probably came up with a sporty Versa coupe with a convertible top and turned his drawings in and they said, “What a beautiful car, but no, it has to be ugly, especially if it’s going to get 32/40 mpg.” For the Versa, they picked the design by Poindexter Smith, who drew it up while eating his plain baloney sandwich on white bread during his lunch break. Oh well, the cars of the 21st century! Who knew?

  7. I think you sell older drivers and retirees short by not including any electric vehicles in the story. I fall in both those categories, as does my height-challenged wife (4’11”). We’ve driven a Tesla Model 3 almost exclusively for 3.5 years and would never by choice go back to a fossil-fueled vehicle. Were I buying a car today, I’d probably go for a Tesla Model Y (easier to get in, out) or one of the smaller SUV crossovers (VW, Huynai, Kia, or even the other Ford Mustang, the electric one). No, these aren’t econo-boxes, but neither are they in the high-roller category (like the Telsa Model S or X, Audi/BWM/Benz EVs). And face it: many older people and retirees have more disposable income than working families with children. I consider myself pretty frugal, and I LOVE paying a fraction of what I would for gasoline or diesel and the very minimal maintenance costs. I also LOVE that I’m not perpetuating the unsustainable model of personal transportation that will continue to plague my children and grandchildren. And for those who disagree, I’ll address a few of the right-wing talking points: much of our electricity where I live is generated by clean or cleaner fuels — and even in those dwindling number of places that still use mostly coal, the toxic emissions are way less than burning fossil fuels in our cars. And I charge 90% of the time at home in the middle of the night (programmed right in my car or phone app) when demand is low. For every alleged inconvenience or supposed EV environmental issue, there is a reasonable response; educate yourselves before spewing the reactionary talking points.

  8. My Cadillac CTS-V is perfect for a near nonagenarian. The Recaro seats are kind to my high mileage back and stiffening neck. When I hit the gas instead of the brake that supercharged V8 goes a long way to getting me the heck out of there before some minion-satrap tries to confiscate my driver’s license. Cadillac assures me that model will achieve 192 MPH. Hell – I can’t see that fast, so I generally limit myself to 135. Great cars for the elderly. 4 doors makes them easy to get in and out of. Be sure to remove the ‘V’ emblems.

  9. I have been leasing the least expensive Lexus SUV. This September will be my 4th. For quality, comfort, reliability and safety it can’t be beat. This September I will be 86 and can’t wait to get my new one!

  10. My wife and I bought a new Toyota Venza Hybrid and we are getting more than 43 mpg.

  11. To the “dreamer” list I’d submit the 2022 Kia Stinger V6 twin turbo. With 368hp, AWD, 4 doors and a hatch, it’s going to be easier to sell to your more practical partner, particularly if you have to drive through snow (the rear-wheel only Mustang is no doubt fun until it gets stuck). The Stinger doesn’t come in a convertible but it has a huge sunroof. Plus it’s fun as hell to drive and it’s rare enough to turn heads. Can’t beat the 5 year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper – 10 year/100,000 mile warranty.

  12. I don’t see any 4WD vehicles with a good ground clearance here. I live in a rural area and need a vehicle with a good ground clearance and 4wd to get in and out in the winter. Do you think we all live in a paved and populated area. I’m staying out in the woods on our lake until they carry me out. I don’t need a sissy vehicle. Guess I’ll stay with my Tacoma.

  13. why does the phrase ‘seniors and retirees’ transl;ate to BORING ? Not everyone at the age is feeble and broke. I’m 76 and just traded in my ’64 Corvette convertible 6 spd manual one a Ram 1500 Hemi . That Vette took us on more than a dozen cross country trips , best mileage we achieved was 32 mpg (pictures to prove it). Our main card has been a leased Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited for the last dozen years. New every 3-4 years, always under warranty. Fellow retirees along my road drive a Tesla and an Escalade. This ‘best cars for seniors’ should have a couple of different tiers based on available funds and lifestyle.

  14. I purchased a pre-owned Honda Civic in 09.
    No extended warranty. Waste of money. It takes me where I want to go. Have many miles on it.
    I Can park anywhere.

  15. These picks seem like your opinion not you actually driving them. You may be right. I have a Honda Crv Touring model. For those men married they have another woman telling them what ther’re doing wrong. I am a system engineer don’t buy a car smarter then yourself. I was responsible for the Lunor Module System that got the astronauts to and from the Lunar Landing. Thank God there is a switch to shut her off. Tom C

    1. Ground Control to Major Tom: A clever fellow might find a way to de-select the voice of his his nagging co-wife in favour of the gentleman’s-club tones of Leonard Nimoy.

  16. If the FEDS. really wanted to save the environment, they would outlaw SUV’s. Recommended Book: High and Mighty by Keith Bradsher. In it he makes the point that switching from a standard size car to a full size SUV for one year is the same waste as leaving your refrigerator door open for 6 years.

  17. Where are are all the hazardous waste products going to go when your batteries wear out? I was a firefighter. Try putting out an electric vehicle fire; it ain’t fun. How about roof-top solar panels? They are live even if they fall on the ground and they too will have to be disposed of at some point with their hazardous waste products. China and India cause most pollution as does destruction of the Rain Forest in so.America.

  18. please suggest for a 3oo lb. person. i have 2012 IMPALA WITH BENCH SEAT AND TRANSMISSION CONTROL ON STEERING WHEEL. IS THERE ANYTHING SIMILAR AVAILABLE.. Or at least without a console between the front seat.

    1. Hi Herb, thanks for the question. Here’s what our Car Doctor John Paul has to say: There are no sedans available that I know of with bench seats, the last was your Impala and the Toyota Avalon. Now you are left with trucks. The Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe have 40/20/40 split bench seat options (adds $250-an extra front airbag needs to be included) For 2021 Ford GM and RAM offered six passenger seating with optional bench seats. Here is a picture from the GM website of the Suburban.

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