Driving over 65? Consumer Reports Selects Best New Cars for America's Record Number of Senior Motorists

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Subaru models top Consumer Reports list of standouts for reliability, safety, senior-friendly features

2017 Subaru Forester

Senior drivers need a car that’s easy to get into and out of, with controls that are easy to reach and intuitive to use, among other features.

More Americans over the age of 65 are on the road than ever before, with more than 40 million carrying a driver’s license. With an eye toward their specific needs, Consumer Reports has compiled a list of the Top 25 New Cars for Senior Drivers.

“Senior drivers need a car that’s easy to get into and out of, with controls that are easy to reach and intuitive to use, among other features,” said Jake Fisher, Director of Automotive Testing for Consumer Reports. “Our picks combine reliability, safety, and senior-friendly features.”

Consumer Reports determined the rankings on the list by giving special consideration and extra weighting to specific features it determined are essential for senior drivers, such as: front-seat access that makes vehicle entry easier for those with physical limitations, visibility with cars that enable tall, medium, and shorter drivers to see out of the front, sides, and back of the car, controls that are easy to reach and intuitive to use, and headlights that are powerful and make driving at night easier for people with decreasing or compromised vision.

All the cars are recommended by CR and earned an Overall Score of Excellent or Very Good in their respective categories. The top five on CR’s list of Top 25 New Cars of Senior Drivers are:

  • Subaru Forester ($22,595 - $34,295)
  • Subaru Outback ($25,645 - $38,640)
  • Kia Soul ($16,100 - $35,950)
  • Subaru Legacy ($21,995 - $31,640)
  • Kia Sportage ($23,200 - $34,200)

The complete list is available on CR.org and in the July issue of Consumer Reports magazine, as is a new report by CR entitled Driving Safer, Driving Longer.

Although there are challenges, including physical and/or cognitive limitations, that may come with old age, senior drivers crash less (per mile) than teens, according to data reviewed by CR. And perhaps surprisingly, a CR survey of nationwide drivers revealed that older motorists (ages 75+) were less likely than younger ones (ages 18-29) to report difficulties and errors in the previous six months such as difficulty merging into traffic or changing lanes, driving through a stop sign or red light, accidentally putting the car in reverse instead of drive, or having difficulty adjusting to faster traffic around them.

“There are important benefits for seniors who can continue to drive as long as they safely can, and there are real challenges for those who outlive their ability to do so,” added Fisher. “Our report details the promising research and innovation that’s currently ongoing that will help meet the challenges.”

About Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. For 80 years, CR has provided evidence-based product testing and ratings, rigorous research, hard-hitting investigative journalism, public education, and steadfast policy action on behalf of consumers’ interests. Unconstrained by advertising or other commercial influences, CR has exposed landmark public health and safety issues and strives to be a catalyst for pro-consumer changes in the marketplace. From championing responsible auto safety standards, to winning food and water protections, to enhancing healthcare quality, to fighting back against predatory lenders in the financial markets, Consumer Reports has always been on the front lines, raising the voices of consumers.

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© 2017 Consumer Reports. The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is an expert, independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to work side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. We accept no advertising and pay for all the products we test. We are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports® magazine, ConsumerReports.org® and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants. Our Ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our prior written permission. Consumer Reports will take all steps open to it to prevent unauthorized commercial use of its content and trademarks.

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James McQueen
Consumer Reports
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