For many seniors, the ability to get around on their own is incredibly important. Unfortunately, the realities of aging sometimes make driving a challenging experience. Aches and pains can make it difficult to get in and out of a vehicle. Slower reflexes can also make driving more hazardous. However, it’s not all bad news. Automakers are more eager than ever to cater to a segment that’s grown by over 50 percent between 1999 and 2015.
To help, here are five of the best 2019 cars on the market to help senior drivers maintain their independence and continue driving in safety and comfort.
1. 2019 Subaru Legacy
The 2019 Subaru Legacy isn’t among the most popular cars on the market, but it probably should be. It boasts a roomy and comfortable interior, a cabin that’s easy to enter and exit, great outward visibility, and controls that are simple and easy to use. Add standard all-wheel drive to help you safely navigate any weather conditions and you’ve got an affordable car that’s a perfect fit for senior drivers.
Best of all, every 2019 Subaru Legacy ships with the EyeSight driver assist safety suite. This includes lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and more. Higher trim levels add even more features, including cross-traffic detection and lane-change assist systems, blind spot monitoring, and a rearview mirror that automatically dims for better visibility. As if that weren’t enough, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also gave the 2019 Legacy its highest Top Safety Pick+ award.
2. 2019 Nissan Altima
It may not have been Nissan’s intention to build an ideal car for older drivers, but they’ve very nearly accomplished it with the 2019 Nissan Altima. It begins with the NASA-inspired “Zero Gravity” seats that are designed to minimize pressure and fatigue for driver and passengers alike. The seats and the steering wheel are both fully adjustable for maximum comfort and convenience. Both can also be heated to help soothe aching bones and joints. Driver visibility is also great from virtually any position.
The Altima is a 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick thanks to excellent crash test ratings and a spate of advanced safety features. Standard features include a forward collision warning system, automatic braking, and a backup camera. For even greater safety, you can also add systems like adaptive cruise control, pedestrian and traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, and more. For those congested commutes, the ProPilot Assist system also helps to safely navigate heavy traffic.
3. 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid
Considering it claimed the top spot on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best large cars on the market, it’s fair to assume the 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid must be doing something right. As it turns out, it does a whole lot right. The Avalon Hybrid offers an extremely smooth and comfortable ride, plenty of storage space, and a cabin that’s very roomy and easy to manage for those with limited mobility. At 44 mpg combined, its excellent efficiency is also great for seniors who need to keep fuel costs down.
The 2019 Avalon Hybrid also boasts virtually impeccable safety scores. The Avalon comes outfitted with the Toyota Safety Sense P suite, including lane-departure and lane-keeping assist systems, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, cross-traffic alerts, and a rear backup camera. You can also add a parking sensor suite, 360-degree camera system, and automatic reverse braking.
4. 2019 Honda Insight
Unlike some of its predecessors, the 2019 Honda Insight is a great car that just happens to be a hybrid. It’s easy to get in and out of the compact sedan, though the form factor means it may not be right for people of all sizes. You’ll get excellent visibility thanks to broad windows and seating that parks you in a comfortable, alert position. The gear selector can be a bit tricky, but the Insight is otherwise very easy and straightforward to operate. With a reasonable price tag and a fuel economy of up to 55 mpg, the 2019 Insight is also hard to beat if you’re getting by on a fixed income.
As with many of its brand mates, the Honda Insight is also a safety superstar. An IIHS Top Safety Pick+ certification attests to the Insight’s ability to keep its occupants safe. Adding to the overall package is a Honda Sensing advanced safety suite that includes several driver assists as standard equipment. This includes systems for lane-keeping assist and lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. There’s no blind spot monitoring available, but Honda does offer the Honda LaneWatch system on higher trim levels.
5. 2019 Buick LaCrosse
If you can afford the higher price tag, there’s plenty to love about the 2019 Buick LaCrosse. The LaCrosse channels the spirit of many classic luxury cruisers of the past, offering a plush, spacious, near-silent ride that’s unmistakably luxurious. The back seats are a tad cramped, but the front seats are designed well to accommodate the needs of seniors. Outward visibility is perhaps slightly reduced compared to some of the other entrants on this list, but it’s still more than adequate for any driver.
According to IIHS safety tests, the 2019 LaCrosse performs every bit as well as you’d expect in nearly every regard. However, subpar headlight performance resulted in the only blemish on the Buick’s record. As for advanced safety technologies, many of the most popular systems are optional rather than standard. Nonetheless, the LaCrosse offers lane-keeping and lane-changing assists, lane departure and forward collision warnings, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and a very useful head-up display. There’s also a Safety Alert Seat system that alerts you to dangerous situations by causing the driver’s seat to vibrate.
Older drivers may face any number of challenges that threaten their ability to drive, but that doesn’t mean you need to turn in your keys once you’ve reached a certain age. Any of the cars above can help you maintain independence and remain confident and comfortable behind the wheel.
With so many great options, you can even shop around to find the best deals available. For instance, great deals on the 2019 Nissan Altima include zero down and no payments for 90 days, $500 cash back for recent graduates and military personnel, and up to $2,000 total cash back for well-qualified buyers. For a limited time, you can also get up to $8,000 total cash allowance when you purchase a 2019 Buick LaCrosse.