If you’re asking the question: ‘What is the best car for an elderly person?’ Then you’ve either come to terms with the fact that you now have a more specific set of needs than you used to, or are looking out for a parent’s next vehicle choice.
While there is an array of new cars on the market, some new features are quite bewildering and not as user-friendly as they ought to be, relegating basic controls to a complex array of touch screen menus and making things like reading the speedometer harder than it ought to be.
We’ve trawled through the new car marketplace to find the most suitable cars for someone with more limited mobility, or just might be after something straight-forward to operate and maintain. Trouble-free motoring should be accessible to people of all ages but a new car should look the part. Just because you want something easy to drive doesn’t mean you should sacrifice style in the process.
Here, in no particular order, are our top 10 best cars for seniors in Australia for 2018, from budget runabouts to something more luxurious.
Motoring doesn’t come more trouble-free than this. A five year, unlimited kilometre warranty, reliable and gutsy 1.6-litre engine for effortless driving, easy-to-read speedometer and radio controls, stylish alloys and roadside assistance. There’s a reason why Accent remains a best-seller, 7 years since the current model’s introduction and it’s hard to beat as far as simple, unpretentious transport goes.
Lexus ES 300h
Lexus, with its sporty aspirations to chase BMW and Mercedes probably won’t appreciate the inclusion of this vehicle on this list, but it should wear it as a badge of honour. The plushness, comfort and quietness of the ES is something else, with a luxury experience that is impossible to equal in this price range. We are glad Lexus left its sporting pretentious at the door with this one as it makes the car that much more complete as a luxurious long-distance cruiser.
Honda’s compact sedan is a very safe thing, with a reliable 1.5-litre engine and CVT automatic for high efficiency and low fuel costs. It’s comfortable and extremely well-built, as evidenced by Honda’s presence near the top of almost every reliability list since in recent history. The fact you can get an automatic City from just $17,990 ought to put a smile on your face.
One of the older compact SUVs on the market, almost inventing the segment itself. Despite this, Mitsubishi’s generous 5 year warranty and brilliant build quality makes the ASX a great buy and it is still very popular. The engine is a reliable 1.8-litre unit and the interior controls are where they should be, so it is very practical and user-friendly. Higher-end models with the glass roof add a layer of luxury on sunny days or starry nights. For buyers looking for a higher-up car that is easier to get into, the ASX is a smart chocie.
Not only is the Impreza more connected to the road thanks to its all-wheel drive system, but this means you get a higher level of control in adverse weather conditions than you would an ordinary small car. The 2.0-litre engine and CVT automatic combination might be a bit slow for some, but honestly, it’s more than fine for most driving. The new model has an extremely solid chassis, is user-friendly to use and looks great. The XV has a higher ride height for easier entry/egress and the occasional adventure.
Toyota Corolla sedan
The Corolla sedan is a perennial favourite in this space, for Toyota’s reliability, low maintenance, space, comfort and ease of use. All the latest safety features are there to keep you protected if the worst should happen and a range of finance and servicing options are available too. Corolla enjoys a high resale value due to their propensity for holding together, even after years of abuse.
The latest i30 manages not only to be one of the most stylish cars in its class, but it is also exceptionally easy to use. The speedometer is easy to read, the radio and (standard) satellite navigation, reverse camera and comfy seats mean this is a great car for people of all ages. There is nothing bewildering about the i30 and it’s an easy car to fall in love with.
Holden Astra sedan
Holden’s smart-looking new Astra Sedan is affordable to maintain, with the kind of luxury, space and safety you would have expected from a Holden Calais ten years ago. The interior is one of the most comfortable in its class, with an easy to read giant touch screen and standard six speed automatic. It has also been calibrated in Australia to handle any emergency or rough conditions unique to our nation.
Ford Mondeo Ambiente
The Mondeo has an absolutely enormous boot once you lift its handy hatchback tailgate. It can fit multiple golf clubs, if that’s your thing or supplies for an adventure in another state. Available in either petrol or economical diesel, the Mondeo’s interior is shared with its American-relation, the Fusion, which as one of the best selling cars in that country, can’t afford any unnecessary complexity. A comfortable and very stylish big Ford that looks far more expensive than its $33,190 entry price suggests.
Chrysler 300C Luxury
This big Chrysler is not only a hit with millennial rap artists and has unprecedented levels of coolness with its big wheels, it also plays a role of a genuine luxury car very well. The woodgrain used, the amazing heated and cooled leather seats and punchy V6 all form a large sedan that feels genuinely special. For grey nomads, it also has great towing capability too.