Getting in and out of a vehicle is something most people do without giving it a thought. To older people, it is a whole different story. Most of them have limited strength and mobility problems, making squatting and moving into positions to get in or out of the car a difficult and sometimes a painful experience.
When choosing the best cars for elderly passengers, you should consider step-in height, accessibility in door openings, cabin space, wheelchair adaptability, and cargo area size.
With these in mind, you can easily eliminate the car types that are not suitable for senior passengers. However, narrowing down to the best cars for aged passengers will take more than the elimination method. This article compiles a list of the best vehicles for elderly passengers and the features that earn them a place in that list.
1. Subaru Forester
The Subaru Forester has always been a favorite among elderly passengers. With doors that open wide by design and excellent ground clearance, the Subaru Forester makes it easy for elderly passengers to get in and out. Its seats are at the “butt-height” of an average adult, allowing the passenger to settle in with ease without getting into uncomfortable squat positions. It also boasts a spacious trunk which is ideal for carrying wheelchairs and other aids that the elderly passenger may need.
2. The Dodge Caravan
The dodge caravan boasts of being the world’s first minivan. Chrysler has produced it since the 1980s and has grown to become one of the most desirable vehicles for elderly passengers. The caravan offers plenty of cabin space, and its construction makes it perfectly suitable for wheelchair adaptability. The minivan is fitted with sizeable powered slide doors in the back, allowing for easy accessibility. It also comes with optional side steps to enhance the ease of getting in and out of the car by elderly passengers. The Dodge Caravan is one of the few vehicles designed with the elderly and the disabled in mind, and you can order one tailor-made to meet your needs
3. Honda Odyssey
The other minivan that makes it into the best cars for aged passengers list is the Honda odyssey. It features second-row seats that slide in any direction providing for the most comfortable positioning of an elderly passenger. Except for the entry-level models, the minivan features keyless entry and a power sliding door that opens wide for easier access. This vehicle’s highlight is in its removable front seats and a built-in fold-out wheelchair ramp, making it ideal for passengers in a wheelchair. Its back row seats are foldable, allowing for increased trunk space for carrying elderly passengers accessories like wheelchair and walkers, and any extra cargo.
4. Renault Kangoo
The Renault Kangoo is amongst the most popular wheelchair-friendly vehicles in the market. Its highlight is its built-in wheelchair loading system that eliminated the tedious work of manually loading a wheelchair which can take more than one person to accomplish. Once loaded, the wheelchair is secured to the car floor using wheelchair-securing features fitted on its base. Its spacious cabin space, as well as height, allows for comfortable comminuting for elderly passengers. As an added advantage, the Renault is equipped with a safety belt cutter should the passenger find them in an emergency that warrants it. With these features, the Renault Kangoo makes it to the list of best cars for elderly passengers.
5. Maxus G10 Executive MPV
The Maxus G10 MPV minivan is pretty large compared to other cars made for elderly passengers with special needs in mind. Its intimidating size comes as an advantage in terms of room space. Its roomy cabin allows its users all the comfort they would ever need during transportation. It features large doors for ease of accessibility and a swivel chair that can be lowered to the height of the wheelchair for easy transfers of elderly passengers on a wheelchair.
Everything in this vehicle is roomy, including the trunk allowing for sufficient space to carry mobility aids for aged passengers. These features earn the Maxus G10 a spot in the list of best cars for aged passengers as it serves the needs of the aged.
Frequently asked questions: Best Cars for Elderly Passengers
At what age should an elderly stop drive?
There is no one fits all answer to this question because circumstances differ from one individual to another. However, it is essential to stay alert to the changes one is experiencing with age and listen to people’s thoughts about your driving suitability. Here are some of the signs that should alert you to cut back on driving or quit altogether:
- Losing your way while driving in familiar neighborhoods
- Your family is worried about you driving
- You get cautioned by a traffic officer about your driving
- You are getting ticketed more often than you used to for traffic violations
- Your doctor told you to stop driving.
How can I convince my elderly parent to stop driving?
Driving oneself around allows for independence that not many people want to give up. However, with age, everyone gets to give up this privilege at some point. Some people are reluctant to give up the privileged, putting themselves and other road users in danger. If you feel that an elderly loved one should stop driving, you must cautiously approach the matter to hurt their feeling and increase your chances of getting a positive outcome.
Respectfully express your concerns and those for others in the family and why you believe it is in their best interest to stop driving. You could also suggest that they confirm their driving capabilities and let them gauge for themselves how they fair with the help of an instructor. Ensure that you also provide alternative means of transportation. You can offer to run their errand or have someone do it for them. Every reasonable parent will listen and comply when approached respectfully and understands that it is in their best interests.
What signs show that a driver is loading essential skills?
If you are still unsure if it’s time to quit driving yet, here are a few indicators that it’s already time.
- You keep running red lights unknowingly or stopping at green lights
- You find yourself on the wrong lane from time to time
- Finding it hard to differentiate gas and brake pads
- You are experiencing moments of lost memory
Finding a car with an elderly passenger in mind can be a hustle, and your options could be limited. This guide narrows down the options you may want to consider when shopping for the best cars for elderly passengers. The above list features cars that meet the standards suitable for elderly passengers.