Best Cars for Savvy Seniors

Older drivers may no longer commute to work every day, but they might need a car for longer road trips or one that can easily fit a car seat when it’s time to pick up the grandkids. Either way, a vehicle that’s a breeze to get into and out of is a must. “Unfortunately, many modern cars have a sleek, low-slung profile that makes them a struggle to exit and enter,” says Jennifer Stockburger, director of operations at CR's Auto Test Center.

In addition, many new cars have touch-screen-based controls—some of which can be extremely confusing for drivers of any age, let alone those who are not digital natives—so we chose cars with the least-fussy tech. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t ready for adventure. All our picks have available all-wheel drive and plenty of room for outdoor gear, plus comfy and quiet cabins.

For safety, forward collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB) are must-haves.

Key Criteria for the Senior Life Stage Score: 
Advanced safety features, good visibility, easy access, no-nonsense tech and/or knob controls, quiet cabin, good ride quality.

Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester - Best Cars for Savvy Seniors

Life Stage Score: 88

The same easy access that makes the Forester a great fit for a growing family makes it an ideal choice for older drivers. We’re especially impressed with its simple controls, standard safety features, and excellent front and rear visibility.
Price range: $24,295-$34,295

Read the complete Subaru Forester road test

Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai Santa Fe - Best Cars for Savvy Seniors

Life Stage Score: 82

The new-for-2019 five-seat Santa Fe combines unique interior appointments, supportive front seats, and easy-to-use controls. The cabin is roomy and quiet. FCW, AEB, and BSW come standard.
Price range:  $25,500-$38,800

Read the complete Hyundai Santa Fe road test

Kia Sorento

Kia Sorento - Best Cars for Savvy Seniors

Life Stage Score: 82

With a third row that holds extra passengers in a pinch or folds down, the Sorento is a great choice. Its seats are comfortable, its ride is composed, and its controls are straightforward.
Price range: $25,990-$46,490

Read the complete Kia Sorento road test

Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback - Best Cars for Savvy Seniors

Life Stage Score: 80

Lower tailgate than an SUV, easy to get into and out of, and has standard AWD.
Price range: $26,345-$38,995

Read the complete Subaru Outback road test

Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V - Best Cars for Savvy Seniors

Life Stage Score: 80

Good cargo space and wide door openings for easy access, and options don’t drive up the price.
Price range: $24,150-$34,050

Read the complete Honda CR-V road test

Other Good Choices

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the March 2019 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.