Everyone has different focuses when they go looking for a new vehicle. For senior drivers in 2018, the most common qualities they look for have remained similar to previous years. These qualities include high visibility and simplified dashboard controls, namely in the field of infotainment and driver assistance. For many seniors, safety features are an equally vital aspect of a new automobile.
Since most automotive companies don’t take the time to cater their advertising directly to senior drivers, it can be difficult to find a car that ticks all the boxes. But with this list of 2018’s best new cars for senior drivers, you’re one step closer to finding the perfect vehicle.
1. 2018 Honda Fit
The Honda Fit has been majorly updated for the 2018 season and now boasts additional safety features that make the Fit a great choice for senior drivers. It now boasts an additional collection of safety features rolled together in the Honda Sensing package, including adaptive cruise control and lane departure alerts.
This small, trendy offering from Honda is excellent for those who drive rarely or for mostly short distances. The relatively small size means it can be easily parked in cramped spaces, an advantage for senior drivers concerned with keeping their paint-job and their record unblemished.
2. 2018 Hyundai Sonata
Like Honda’s Fit, the 2018 Hyundai Sonata has been vastly improved for 2018. Although alterations to the vehicle’s overall design give the Sonata a sleek new look, the real advantage for senior drivers comes from the 2018 model’s newest safety features.
The Sonata comes standard with blind spot detection and anti-lock braking systems, as well as a long list of other safety features. The substantial gains in the area of driver safety were critical in the Sonata receiving the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick+ award, classifying the Sonata as one of the safest vehicles of the year.
3. 2018 Volvo V90
In 2017, one of the standouts of the Volvo V90 was an advanced air suspension system that vastly improved the vehicle’s ride, even in adverse conditions and on bumpier roads. This same system was applied to the 2018 model with the same results, making the V90 one of the year’s most comfortable rides — which, of course, is great for senior drivers with a high sensitivity to bumps and jolts.
The V90 is roomy and has plenty of storage space, giving it a fair amount of utility while maintaining the style and elegance that Volvo is known for.
4. 2018 Subaru Forester
The Subaru Forester has been a standout of the compact SUV class for years, and they didn’t bother to change much for 2018. Those same qualities that make the Forester popular are back in full force, including all-wheel drive and plenty of storage space.
The Forester’s safety features have been updated for the new season with the addition of reverse automatic braking, added as a facet of the Subaru EyeSight system. Unfortunately, the Forester’s suite of infotainment features is limited compared to rivals. For senior drivers interested in safety and class, the Forester is a great choice.
5. 2018 Buick Enclave
The Buick Enclave is unique among the vehicles on this list in that the features it boasts are relegated to more expensive trims. In fact, the standard trim offers only rear parking alerts. For shoppers unconcerned with price, the Enclave’s Avenir trim offers a wide range of features from lane-keeping assists to automatic emergency brakes that still function even at high speeds.
Although the Enclave is more expensive than some of the other vehicles on this list, it managed a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2018, making it one of the safest vehicles on the road.
6. 2018 Genesis G90
Although Genesis is a lesser known car manufacturer compared to other choices, the Genesis G90 is a standout of the class and boasts excellent safety features that make it a perfect choice for senior drivers. In fact, like the Hyundai Sonata, this sedan received the Top Safety Pick+ award in 2018.
Unlike the Enclave, the G90 comes standard with a full selection of safety features like collision detection warnings and seatbelts that tighten automatically when the vehicle senses danger. The G90 is top of the line, one of the finest vehicles of the year for drivers of any age but particularly for older customers looking for a new car.
7. 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
When it comes to hybrids, the Chrysler Pacifica is one of the safest available. This minivan successfully received the highest possible ratings when tested for crash-worthiness and improved on past year’s offerings by making previously optional features standard.
These features include upgrades like blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts. Minivans are known for their safety anyway, but the large size of the Pacifica creates a wide range of visibility at the front of the vehicle — perfect for seniors who like to keep a strong awareness of the road.
8. 2018 Honda HR-V
There are few things more annoying than struggling with a latch, and many senior drivers find that their vehicle’s latches are difficult to maneuver. For the HR-V, the 2018 season sees improvements on the effectiveness of the latches used to buckle in child seats and additional packages.
The Honda LaneWatch system is the big standout of the HR-V’s safety features. When the right hand blinker is activated, a camera feed gives the driver a continuous camera view of the lane to the right.
9. 2018 Kia Niro
The Kia Niro continues to be an impressive member of the compact crossover field, a status they can credit to their lengthy selection of cutting-edge safety features for the 2018 season. These include a wide range of airbag protections, including side curtain airbags and knee-level airbags on the driver’s seat, as well as computerized systems like electronic brake-force distribution and hill start assist control.
While some of these features can be difficult to fully understand, the end result is that they’ve created one of the safest rides of the year. Plus, the vehicle’s pedestrian detection system makes it safe for everyone, not just the driver.
10. 2018 Buick Encore
Like its cousin, the 2018 Buick Encore is a safe ride and a great choice for senior drivers. The only real differences in features come in the Premium trim, where this subcompact crossover features an ionizer in the cabin air filter. For senior drivers with respiratory problems, this can be a great way to improve your comfort while driving.
Of course, the Encore’s safety features are impressive too. The vehicle comes standard with a whopping 10 airbags, both positioned around the sides of the vehicle and on the crossover’s ceiling. With a more expensive trim, these features are bolstered by computerized collision detection systems and blind-spot monitoring.