Top-Rated Senior-Friendly Cars For 2007
Last year you wrote an article on the top-rated 2006 cars for seniors. Can you write one for this year's 2007 models? My wife and I are healthy 65-year-olds and are shopping for a new senior-friendly car, and could use some help.
Even healthy seniors face some degree of physical challenge (reduced mobility, strength, range of motion and vision) that can make driving more difficult. Finding a car that meets those challenges can make a big difference in both pleasure and safety. But what makes a good car for seniors? For many, top priorities include one that's easy to get into and out of, easy to adjust for fit and comfort, easy to maneuver and see out of, as well as reliable and a good value, too.
Each year, Edmunds.com (the premier online resource for automotive information) evaluates and creates a list of new vehicles that best cater to the needs of older drivers. The list is based on seniorfriendly features as well as performance and overall quality. Here's what they came up with as the best 2007 vehicles for seniors.
+ Toyota Avalon: Prized for its comfort, roominess and smooth ride, this fullsize sedan is again a top-rated favorite of older drivers. Senior-friendly features include a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a 12-way power-adjustable driver seat, which makes it easy for seniors of any size to find a safe, comfortable driving position. It also offers heated seats to soothe stiff, aching backs, a keyless ignition which does away with grasping and twisting an ignition key (instead, the engine is activated by touching a button), and a voice-activated navigation system that makes getting directions a snap. Price: $26,875 to $34,065.
+ Ford Five Hundred: This spacious sedan offers a tall seating position, which enhances visibility and makes getting into and out of the car easier for seniors who have problems bending and stooping. Other handy features include a heated, power-adjustable driver seat with lumbar support. Pedals that adjust to accommodate your size are also available, as are rear parking sensors, which sound a signal to indicate how close you are to what's behind you when you're backing up. Price: $23,035 to $28,460.
+ Toyota Prius (hybrid): This compact car has features that can make life easier for drivers with arthritis and other joint problems, including a buttonless, easy-to-move shifter, keyless ignition, and a backup camera that provides a rearward view on a screen on the dashboard. This makes parking easier for seniors who have difficulty looking back over their shoulders. It also offers touch-screen controls, a voice-activated navigation system and hands-free Bluetooth cellphone capability, along with excellent fuel economy- more than 40 miles per gallon. Price: $22,175 to $23,070. (Tip: A federal tax credit of $787.50 is available if you purchase a new Prius before Oct. 1, 2007.)
+ Lexus LS 460: If you're in the market for a luxury car, the Lexus LS 460 is a top model for seniors. Not only does it provide a roomy cabin, quiet ride and opulent interior, it also offers a technologically advanced parking guidance system that uses sonar sensors that allows the vehicle to essentially parallel-park itself. Additional features include a heightadjustable power driver seat with lumbar support, heated seats, keyless ignition, backup camera, voice-activated navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity and an adaptive cruise control system that automatically starts braking if you get too close to the car ahead. Price: $61,000 to $71,000.
+ Toyota Sienna (minivan): If you're looking for something bigger to transport your grandkids from time to time, you'll love Sienna's roominess and versatility. Features include a height-adjustable power driver seat, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power sliding doors, power folding rear seat, adaptive cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, voice-activated navigation system and a backup camera. And seniors with significant mobility problems can order a "Mobility Upgrade" package (www.toyota.com/mobility) that offers electric swivel lift-up seats and wheelchair/scooter lifts. Price: $24,155 to $37,665- does not include the mobility upgrade.
Other top-rated vehicles for seniors on the Edmunds.com 2007 list are the Honda CR-V, Infiniti M35, Toyota Camry and Camry Hybrid, Honda Civic and Civic Hybrid and Mercedes-Benz S550. See www.edmunds.com for more information.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit www.savvysenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to "The NBC Today Show" and author of The Savvy Senior books.
The Gazette does not endorse the contents of The Savvy Senior. Check with professionals about the contents of this column.