What does it mean for seniors when it comes time to buy a vehicle? Keeping in mind things such as fuel economy and safety features, check out our top SUV picks for seniors.
2019 Hyundai Santa Fe
With a V6, 3.3-liter engine that kicks out 290 horsepower, the Hyundai Santa Fe generates plenty of power to meet the needs of seniors who want above average acceleration. With torque listed at 252 pounds-feet, the classy Santa Fe delivers outstanding performance over rugged terrain and hilly roads. The fuel economy rating of 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg over the open road compares favorably with the other best crossover SUVs for seniors. Kelley Blue Book calls the Hyundai Santa Fe “the most powerful naturally aspirated V6 in its class.” Hyundai competitors in the mid-size crossover SUV class include Kia Sorento, Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder, and Mazda CX-P.
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Seven adult passengers fit comfortably in the Santa Fe, which should make the crossover SUV popular with seniors who pick up and drop off grandchildren frequently. The class leading safety rating comes from state-of-the-art features, such as blind spot detection and rollover prevention. Hyundai’s Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection system has made the vehicle a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The downside of the Hyundai Santa Fe is that its power trails competitors, such as the Ford Explorer, which offers a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that delivers 385 horsepower. Moreover, Hyundai does not offer a hybrid version of the Santa Fe, which gives the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid an advantage.
2019 Mazda CX-3
The four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine that powers the Mazda CX-3 kicks out 146 horsepower. With torque at the identical number as the horsepower, owners of the luxuriously appointed crossover SUV enjoy fuel economy of 27 mpg for city driving and 29 mpg for highway driving. As part of the sub-compact class of crossover SUVs, the CX-3 offers more interior space than what you find in a Honda HR-V. The crossover SUV also has more safety and entertainment features than what the Kia Soul offers. Impressive handling over undulating roads and highways as well as the luxurious interior should attract plenty of interest from seniors who still want a little power without having to operate a large SUV.
With an all-weather drive train option, the Mazda CX-3 is a terrific buy for seniors who live in cold weather climates. Considerable front seat legroom and above average cargo space makes the crossover SUV ideal for seniors who take frequent short to mid distance trips. Smart City Brake Support stops the vehicle on a dime and the Active Driving Display alerts you to possible safety issues.
The back seat is where it gets a little cramped, especially for tall adults and adolescents. In addition, the infotainment system lacks many of the advanced features offered by competitors in the sub-compact class. Seniors in the market for a light off-road SUV might not like the CX-3.
2019 BMW X4
A four-cylinder engine does not mean the BMW X4 does not generate plenty of power. With a 240-horsepower rating and 260 pounds-feet of torque, the sporty crossover SUV offers enough oomph to pass lagging vehicles on steep inclines. The X4 gets 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on highways. BMW has created a luxury crossover SUV that possesses coupe styling, SUV like ride height, and an all-wheel drive that handles the worst weather Mother Nature throws at it. To understand why the BMW X4 is one of the best crossover SUVs for seniors, look at how Mercedes-Benz has applied the concept of imitation being the best form of flattery with the GLC Coupe.
For 2019, BMW has changed the company’s option packages by bundling the most popular features into a tiered pricing structure. For the first time, a rearview camera is a standard safety feature for the X4. BMW also offers customers a 355-horesepower turbocharged engine option for seniors who want faster acceleration. Combined with the coupe-style design of the body, the engine delivers superior power compared to other models in the X4 class.
The coupe-styled body limits the amount of interior space, which might prompt seniors who take frequent overnight trips to search for a luxury crossover SUV that has more interior room.
2019 Kia Sportage
Seniors who place fuel economy at the top of the buying criteria list for a crossover SUV should consider the Kia Sportage. The four-cylinder, 2.4-liter engine delivers 181 horsepower and 175 pounds-feet of torque, with a fuel economy rating of 22 mpg for urban roads and 29 mpg for getting around in the country. The Sportage competes favorably with crossover SUVs in the compact class, such as the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4. Kia offers an industry leading warranty for the Sportage, as well as the roomiest interior of any crossover SUV in the compact class.
Advanced tech safety features, like autonomous emergency braking prevent vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents. Climate controlled seats quickly adapt to rapidly changing temperatures to ensure optimal driver and passenger comfort. The pristine quality of the audio coming out of the Harman/Kardon audio system is the most popular entertainment feature for the Kia Sportage. Kia has added a button operated touch screen navigation system to make it convenient for tracking vehicle movements.
The newly introduced Honda CR-V provides more space and better fuel economy than what the Sportage offers. Seniors who want more interior space, like a third row, might want to look at other options in the compact class.
2019 Chevrolet Equinox
Considered part of the compact class of crossover SUVs, the Chevrolet Equinox offers more interior space than what competitors, such as the Mazda CX-5, has to offer. The turbo four-cylinder engine produces 170 horsepower and 203 pounds-feet of torque, which places the Equinox at around the average range for power and acceleration for compact class crossover SUVs. Seniors who want more kick out of the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox can opt for the 252-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. Chevy also offers a 1.6-liter diesel engine that delivers nearly 40 mpg for highway driving.
The six-speed automatic transmission combined with the larger engine option creates one of the fastest compact crossover SUVs on the market. Owners should enjoy the suspension system that rewards drivers for taking sharp corners at above average speeds. Chevy’s popular idle stop feature conserves fuel to improve efficiency.
The lack of active cruise control might turn off seniors who love to take extended road trips. Chevrolet has not included some of the same safety features for the Equinox that the company offers for the more upscale Premier.
2019 Subaru Forester
The Forester comes standard with a four-cylinder, 2.5-liter engine that produces around 170 horsepower. Most experts and critics agree that this is normally more than enough horsepower for most driving conditions. However, some may find that it does not provide quite enough power when trying to pass a car on the highway.
If you are looking for more performance out of your Forester, it would be worth upgrading to the turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces a far more impressive 250 horsepower. Give the size of the compact SUV, this is considered to be a very powerful engine that provides more than enough power to anyone driving around.
When driving the Forester, you will also find that it has great fuel efficiency. When coupled with the base engine option, you can expect to get about 32 mpg when driving on the highway and 25 mpg when driving in the city. The fuel efficiency metrics do drop off about 10 percent when you upgrade to the strong engine option. However, the fuel efficiency overall is considered very good for an SUV, especially one that has standard all-wheel-drive.
Overall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the IIHS have each given the Forester very good overall safety ratings, which are also among the best in the class. There are a variety of safety features that help to make it a great car for drivers of all ages. All Foresters come standard with a variety of airbags, brake assist, child safety locks, and traction control.
The Subaru Forester also has a range of different entertainment features that can keep your car rides fun and exciting. The SUV comes standard with a 6.2-inch screen that provides a variety of entertainment controls and a rearview camera. There is also a great eight-speaker sound system and plenty of USB ports to keep your entertainment devices charged. There is also a very intuitive dashboard that can make it fun to drive.
Overall, the Forester stacks up very well against the competition. While the base engine option may be smaller than some other options, it is considered to be very sufficient and can be upgraded. Its biggest selling points are the standard safety and entertainment features, which are ample compared to the competition.
2019 Nissan Rogue
The Nissan Rogue comes standard with a four-cylinder engine option that produces around 170 horsepower. While the overall engine option is in line with some of the competition, Nissan does not offer an upgradeable engine option for the Rogue. The SUV comes standard with rear-wheel-drive but can be upgraded to all-wheel-drive.
Overall fuel efficiency for the Rogue is pretty good. The standard engine option when paired with rear-wheel-drive will produce around 33 mpg when driving on the highway and 26 mpg when driving in the city. Fuel efficiency falls slightly when upgrading to all-wheel-drive.
The NHTSA and IIHS have both reviewed the Nissan Rogue and have given very positive reviews. Overall, the SUV is very safe. This is partially due to the variety of standard features including seven airbags, blind spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert, integrated turn signal mirrors, and a variety of other modern features.
The Rogue comes with plenty of great entertainment features. The seven-inch display can be connected to Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, which allows you to connect your phone and use it as an entertainment guide. There are also many great upgradeable options including an enhanced speaker system, HD radio, and a premium audio system.
The Nissan Rogue compares favorably to the competition in some areas. The standard safety and entertainment features, fuel efficiency, and safety ratings are strong selling points. However, some people are concerned that there is a lack of engine options.