Top 10 Vehicles for Seniors for 2014


  • 2014 Acura RDX

    2014 Acura RDX

    2014 Acura RDX. | January 09, 2014

30 Photos

Age is merely a number and there are some older drivers who have experienced little if any physical diminishment. Still, for many, the march of time brings with it ailments and conditions that can make driving uncomfortable and downright dangerous. Fortunately, today's automobiles are available with a host of features designed to help compensate for many of the physical changes that can come with aging.

Lower-body mobility issues such as limited knee range and leg pain are common for those over 55. Features such as adjustable power seats, a low door threshold and adjustable foot pedals can help lessen or eliminate discomfort.

Many seniors also face upper-body mobility issues that can cause pain or stiffness in the back, neck, arms or shoulders. Adjustable lumbar support and heated seats can help soothe aching backs and shoulders. Large wide-angle mirrors and large rear windows aid visibility, and can work with a rear backup camera, active parallel-park assistance, and front and rear parking sensors to help senior drivers maneuver their vehicles without engaging in too much of the upper-body twisting and turning that can be painful for those with stiffness in the neck or shoulders.

Age can bring with it shorter stature. Starting at age 40, people typically lose about a half an inch in height with each decade, according to studies conducted by Harvard Medical School. Age can also bring weight gain. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one-third of seniors aged 65 and older wrestle with obesity. Features such as adjustable seats, adjustable foot pedals and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel can help both shorter and overweight drivers to find safe and supportive seating positions.

Arthritis is a common disease of aging, and it can result in stiff fingers and compromised fine-motor skills. A thick steering wheel is easier for arthritic hands to grasp, and keyless entry and ignition helps these drivers avoid the potentially painful hand movements involved in inserting and twisting a key. Other user-friendly features for arthritic drivers include a heated power mirror and larger dashboard controls. In SUVs and crossovers, an automatic tailgate closer can be a real bonus for drivers with arthritis.

Vision is another faculty that can diminish with age. Older drivers may have difficulty reading information presented on their vehicles' instrument panels. Their eyes may also recover more slowly from glare. Features such as extendable sun visors, larger audio and climate controls, auto-dimming low-glare mirrors and a high-contrast instrument panel can help seniors who face these challenges behind the wheel.

The following 10 vehicles (listed in alphabetical order) each offer features designed to support drivers coping with the conditions discussed above. Our picks include both sedans and SUVs, and range from top-of-the-line luxury models to those with very affordable price tags.

For an even wider array of choices, the American Automobile Association offers a useful tool that you can use to find vehicles with the right automotive features to support the physical changes that can come with aging. Though this tool looks at model-year 2013 vehicles, in many cases, the features shown are carried over for 2014 models. Additionally, for more information on features that benefit older drivers, see our story "Smarter Cars and Fit Evaluations Can Keep Older Drivers Safe."

Get the best deal on your vehicle by researching its True Market Value before negotiating a purchase. You might also find these models offered through Edmunds.com's Price Promise® program.

  1. 2014 Acura RDX

    1. 2014 Acura RDX SUV

    Senior-friendly features: Heated, power-adjustable seats with lumbar support; low door threshold; thick tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; keyless entry and ignition; larger dashboard controls; automatic tailgate closer; rear backup camera; extendable sun visors; larger audio and climate controls; high-contrast instrument panel; large, heated, wide-angle, auto-dimming and low-glare power mirrors.

    Other perks: Strong fuel economy, ample rear legroom and available all-wheel drive.

  2. 2014 Audi A8

    2. 2014 Audi A8 Sedan

    Senior-friendly features: Heated, power-adjustable seats with lumbar support; low door threshold; thick tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; keyless entry and ignition; larger dashboard controls; rear backup camera; extendable sun visors; high-contrast instrument panel; large, heated, wide-angle, auto-dimming and low-glare power mirrors; front and rear parking sensors.

    Other perks: Stylish, luxurious cabin, superb ride and handling, standard all-wheel drive, and cutting-edge technology features. Available with diesel powertrain.

  3. 2014 Ford Taurus

    3. 2014 Ford Taurus Sedan

    Senior-friendly features: Heated, power-adjustable seats with lumbar support; low door threshold; thick tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; keyless entry and ignition; larger dashboard controls; rear backup camera; extendable sun visors; larger audio and climate controls; high-contrast instrument panel; large, heated, wide-angle, auto-dimming and low-glare power mirrors; adjustable foot pedals; large rear windows; active parallel-park assistance; front and rear parking sensors.

    Other perks: Smooth, quiet ride; huge trunk; and a long list of standard features and cutting-edge options. Available all-wheel drive.

  4. 2014 Honda Accord

    4. 2014 Honda Accord Sedan

    Senior-friendly features: Heated, power-adjustable seats with lumbar support; low door threshold; thick tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; keyless entry and ignition; larger dashboard controls; rear backup camera; extendable sun visors; larger audio and climate controls; high-contrast instrument panel; large, heated, wide-angle, auto-dimming and low-glare power mirrors; large rear windows.

    Other perks: Spacious, high-quality cabin; quick acceleration; and responsive handling. Available with hybrid powertrain.

  5. 2014 Hyundai Sonata

    5. 2014 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

    Senior-friendly features: Heated, power-adjustable seats with lumbar support; low door threshold; thick tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; keyless entry and ignition; larger dashboard controls; rear backup camera; larger audio and climate controls; high-contrast instrument panel; large, heated, wide-angle, auto-dimming and low-glare power mirrors.

    Other perks: Outstanding fuel economy, ample standard features and options for the money and a generous warranty. Available with hybrid powertrain.

  6. 2014 Lexus ES 350

    6. 2014 Lexus ES 350 Sedan

    Senior-friendly features: Heated, power-adjustable seats with lumbar support; low door threshold; thick tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; keyless entry and ignition; larger dashboard controls; rear backup camera; extendable sun visors; larger audio and climate controls; high-contrast instrument panel; large, heated, wide-angle, auto-dimming and low-glare power mirrors; large rear window; front and rear parking sensors.

    Other perks: Comfortable ride and composed handling, luxurious cabin, smooth V6 engine and ample rear legroom. Available with hybrid powertrain.

  7. 2014 Mazda CX-9 SUV

    7. 2014 Mazda CX-9 SUV

    Senior-friendly features: Heated, power-adjustable seats with lumbar support; low door threshold; thick tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; keyless entry and ignition; larger dashboard controls; automatic tailgate closer; rear backup camera; extendable sun visors; larger audio and climate controls; high-contrast instrument panel; large, heated, wide-angle, auto-dimming and low-glare power mirrors; front and rear parking sensors.

    Other perks: Roomy cabin, easy-access third-row seat with room for adults and responsive steering.

  8. 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

    8. 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan

    Senior-friendly features: Heated, power-adjustable seats with lumbar support; low door threshold; thick tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; keyless entry and ignition; larger dashboard controls; rear backup camera; extendable sun visors; larger audio and climate controls; high-contrast instrument panel; large, heated, wide-angle, auto-dimming and low-glare power mirrors; front and rear parking sensors; active parallel-park assistance.

    Other perks: Superb ride quality, and a long list of safety features. Available with diesel and hybrid powertrains.

  9. 2014 Toyota Avalon Sedan

    9. 2014 Toyota Avalon Sedan

    Senior-friendly features: Heated, power-adjustable seats with lumbar support; low door threshold; thick tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; keyless entry and ignition; larger dashboard controls; rear backup camera; extendable sun visors; larger audio and climate controls; high-contrast instrument panel; large, heated, wide-angle, auto-dimming and low-glare power mirrors.

    Other perks: Roomy cabin, large trunk and strong fuel economy. Available with hybrid powertrain.

  10. 2014 Volkswagen Passat

    10. 2014 Volkswagen Passat

    Senior-friendly features: Heated, power-adjustable seats with lumbar support; low door threshold; thick tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; keyless entry and ignition; larger dashboard controls; rear backup camera; extendable sun visors; larger audio and climate controls; high-contrast instrument panel; large, heated, wide-angle, auto-dimming and low-glare power mirrors; large rear window.

    Other perks: Roomy, high-quality cabin and a refined, quiet ride. Available with diesel powertrain.

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