More Americans over the age of 65 are on the road than ever before, with more than 40 million carrying a driver’s license.
To help older drivers, Consumer Reports has compiled a list of the Top 25 New Cars for Senior Drivers.
“Senior drivers need a car that’s easy to get into and out of, with controls that are easy to reach and intuitive to use, among other features,” said Jake Fisher, director of Automotive Testing for Consumer Reports. “Our picks combine reliability, safety, and senior-friendly features.”
The rankings were determined by giving special consideration and extra weigh to features researchers determined are essential for senior drivers, such as: front-seat access that makes vehicle entry easier for those with physical limitations; visibility with cars that enable tall, medium, and shorter drivers to see out of the front, sides, and back of the car; controls that are easy to reach and intuitive to use; and headlights that are powerful and make driving at night easier for people with decreasing or compromised vision.
All the cars recommended by Consumer Reports earned an overall score of excellent or very good in their respective categories. The top five on its list of Top 25 New Cars of Senior Drivers are:
- Subaru Forester: $22,595 - $34,295
- Subaru Outback: $25,645 - $38,640
- Kia Soul: $16,100 - $35,950
- Subaru Legacy: $21,995 - $31,640
- Kia Sportage: $23,200 - $34,200
The complete list is available on CR.org and in the July issue of Consumer Reports magazine. You can also find copies of Consumer Reports at most libraries.
Although there are challenges, including physical and/or cognitive limitations that may come with old age, senior drivers crash less, per mile, than teens, according to data reviewed by Consumer Reports. And, a Consumer Reports survey of nationwide drivers shows that older motorists, ages 75-plus, were less likely than younger ones, ages 18-29, to report difficulties and errors in the previous six months such as difficulty merging into traffic or changing lanes, driving through a stop sign or red light, accidentally putting the car in reverse instead of drive, or having difficulty adjusting to faster traffic around them.
“There are important benefits for seniors who can continue to drive as long as they safely can, and there are real challenges for those who outlive their ability to do so,” said Fisher. “Our report details the promising research and innovation that’s currently ongoing that will help meet the challenges.”