Driving is something that most people take for granted. Unfortunately, things often aren’t so easy behind the wheel for senior drivers. Older motorists frequently face challenges that can make it difficult to find the right vehicle. Considering many seniors experience limited flexibility and range of motion, the ease of entering and exiting a vehicle is often a primary concern. So, too, is safety. As such, many seniors also prefer smaller and more maneuverable cars, comfortable seating and excellent visibility from the driver’s seat.
For these reasons, compact cars are often a popular choice for senior drivers. Many compacts offer excellent crash test ratings and active safety features to prevent and protect against accidents. They also tend to feature very accessible front seats and good visibility.
If you’re looking for the perfect car for a senior driver, the seven compacts below should be high on your list.
1. 2019 Honda Insight
With a very roomy cabin and a manageable 13.5-inch step-in height, the 2019 Honda Insight is surprisingly comfortable and spacious for a hybrid compact sedan. It also happens to be an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. In fact, the Insight boasts perfect ratings across the board. Active safety features include lane-departure and lane-keeping assist systems, forward collision warning, automated braking systems, driver attention monitoring, and traffic sign recognition. Honda’s LaneWatch system is also included as a standard feature.
The 2019 Honda Insight starts at a reasonable MSRP of $23,725. There are no official deals or rebates yet, but active military members and recent college graduates can take $500 off by financing through Honda Financial. Expect more sales and incentives to appear later in the model year.
2. 2018 Kia Forte
Consumer Reports named the Kia Forte one of the 25 best cars for seniors. Considering its excellent driver visibility, user-friendly controls, and roomy interior, it’s not hard to see why.
On top of that, the 2018 Kia Forte boasts an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ and a variety of safety features. Autonomous braking, forward collision warning, lane-keeping, and lane-departure systems are all available on some trim levels. The 2019 Forte is also an excellent choice, but you may find the 2018 model slightly easier to enter and exit.
The 2018 Kia Forte starts at an MSRP of $16,800. Unfortunately, the only active rebate is a $400 savings available to military personnel and their families.
3. 2019 Honda Fit
It’s technically a subcompact, but don’t let that fool you. The 2019 Honda Fit offers a ton of space for passengers and driver alike. It’s also got tremendous safety ratings in IIHS crash tests. The Fit comes with the excellent Honda Sensing suite of safety features, too. Automatic high beams are a welcome addition for the 2019 model year. Just as importantly, it’s been named one of the easiest vehicles to get in and out of by Autobytel.
The affordable 2019 Honda Fit starts at an MSRP of $16,190. Like the Insight, the Fit is eligible for a $500 incentive for military members, college students, and recent graduates.
4. 2019 Hyundai Elantra
The Hyundai Elantra has come a long way in recent years. First and foremost, an already safe car has gotten even safer. The 2018 Elantra was an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. The 2019 iteration has yet to be tested, but there’s a pretty good chance it will claim the same award.
The 2019 Elantra adds a variety of new Hyundai SmartSense active safety features. This includes lane-keeping assist, a driver-attention system and forward collision detection. Select trim levels also include Hyundai’s Safe Exit Assist to ensure that passengers can exit the vehicle safely. Plus, it boasts a low step-in height and a roomy passenger cabin that’s easy to enter and exit.
You can expect an MSRP beginning at $17,100 for the base model of the 2019 Elantra. Buy now and you could also cash in on $1,000 retail bonus cash, a low APR of 1.9 percent, and other exclusive offers through Hyundai dealers.
5. 2019 Chevrolet Volt
The Chevy Volt is one of the best plug-in hybrids on the market. It’s also one of the best compact cars available for seniors. It’s got a low profile that’s easy for nearly anyone to enter, a generous cargo area, and a small footprint that’s easy to control thanks to its outstanding handling.
The Volt also has a history of excellent safety scores. Though the 2019 model hasn’t been tested yet, the Chevy Volt has claimed near-perfect safety scores for every year it’s been on the market. The 2019 Volt offers virtually every active safety feature on the market. The only mark against the Volt is that nearly all these systems are non-standard features.
6. 2019 Subaru Impreza
The Subaru Impreza is a great choice for any driver, but it’s especially well-suited to seniors. Standard all-wheel drive is a great addition for seniors who sometimes need to drive in snow or other adverse conditions. The 2019 Impreza is likely to match the 2018 model’s superb crash test ratings as well.
In addition, the Impreza boasts the EyeSight safety assist package. This includes adaptive cruise control, lane-departure and lane-keep assist systems, automatic braking, a rearview camera, and more. Optional safety features include automatic reverse braking, blind-spot monitoring, and the STARLINK Safety and Security package.
The 2019 Subaru Impreza’s MSRP starts at a modest $18,595. Military personnel can save $500 in bonus cash, but even non-veterans can catch a break thanks to Subaru’s special financing offers. Depending on your qualifications, you may be eligible for an APR as low as 0.9 percent.
7. 2019 Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla has long been an excellent car for seniors. That’s especially true for the 2019 model year. The 2019 Corolla features excellent driver visibility, especially through the front windshield. It’s also tremendously comfortable, ensuring there’s as little stress as possible on driver and passengers alike. Its safety record is also unquestioned. Both the 2019 hatchback and 2018 sedan have earned praise from the IIHS. Best of all, the Corolla comes standard with the full Toyota Safety Sense-P suite. That includes systems for collision warning, lane departure, lane keeping, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, and more.
Expect an MSRP starting at $18,700 for the 2019 Toyota Corolla. As an added bonus, you may also be eligible for $1,500 cash back on a qualifying purchase.