Top 10 Vehicles for Seniors for 2007

From Edmunds.com

You're not getting older, you're getting better. But that doesn't change the fact that your senior-citizen status has likely meant big changes in the amenities you're looking for in your upcoming new-car purchase.

According to figures released by the Centers for Disease Control, arthritis affects almost half of all Americans over the age of 65. If you're one of them, you'll want a vehicle that caters to this condition. Grasping can be difficult for those living with arthritis, which means that features like buttonless shifters, touchscreen controls and hands-free Bluetooth technology are a plus. Keyless ignitions are good, because they allow drivers to start the car without suffering the pain that twisting a key may bring. Heated seats soothe arthritis-sore backs, and tilt-and-telescoping steering wheels and adjustable pedals make getting comfortable in the driver seat a no-brainer. Stiff joints can make bending a challenge; a vehicle with a tall seating position and ample front passenger room thus becomes desirable, since these features can make entry and exit so much easier.

Many seniors also wrestle with conditions that can compromise their vision. Poor depth perception can be a problem. If you face this issue, features like backup cameras and rear parking sensors can add value. Night vision systems are also available that use infrared technology to generate images of what lies ahead on dark roads.

Other senior-friendly innovations include lane-drift warning systems that let drivers know when they've edged outside their lanes. Adaptive cruise control makes life easier for the driver by automatically maintaining a certain distance between their vehicle and the one immediately ahead. Voice-activated navigation systems make getting directions a snap. And Lexus offers an advanced parking guidance system that uses sonar sensors to allow vehicles to essentially parallel-park themselves; all the driver has to do is monitor the brakes.

Keeping all of these factors in mind, we've developed a list of vehicles that offer features (some standard, some optional) seniors will love. Included are hybrids for those who think green and a minivan for those who need the room to haul grandchildren. The spacious full-size sedan has long been a favorite of the senior set; we've included some outstanding choices in this segment, as well as a couple of smaller sedans for those who like the ease of a compact. There's a fun-to-drive SUV, as well as high-end luxury sedans for those seniors with the means to afford the very latest in technology.

Here are the 10 vehicles (listed in no particular order) that we feel best cater to the needs of seniors.

  1. Toyota Avalon
    Senior-friendly features:
    Spacious cabin, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, keyless ignition, 12-way power-adjustable driver seat with memorized setting for two drivers, power-adjustable lumbar support, voice-activated navigation system.
    Other perks: Upscale cabin, smooth ride, relatively affordable price tag that belies its long list of luxury features.

  2. Ford Five Hundred
    Senior-friendly features:
    Heated driver seat, eight-way power-adjustable driver seat with manual-adjustable lumbar support and memorized settings for two drivers, spacious cabin, tall seating position, height-adjustable driver seat, power-adjustable pedals, rear parking sensors.
    Other perks: Available all-wheel drive, excellent visibility, outstanding crash test scores. At 21 cubic feet, the Ford Five Hundred's trunk is also the largest in its class. If you like the features offered by the Five Hundred but want a different look, consider its twin, the Mercury Montego.

  3. Toyota Prius
    Senior-friendly features:
    Touchscreen controls, roomy cabin, buttonless shifter, keyless ignition, voice-activated navigation system, backup camera, tilt-adjustable steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity.
    Other perks: Hybrid technology makes this the most fuel-efficient car available, affordable price, relatively compact dimensions.

  4. Toyota Sienna
    Senior-friendly features:
    Backup camera, roomy cabin, tall seating position, height-adjustable driver seat, heated driver and passenger seats, eight-way power driver seat with memorized settings for two drivers, adaptive cruise control, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, voice-activated navigation system.
    Other perks: Available all-wheel drive, smooth ride, minivan versatility. The Sienna also has an available mobility package designed to cater to mobility-challenged drivers.

  5. Mercedes-Benz S550
    Senior-friendly features:
    Night vision, height-adjustable driver seat, heated driver and passenger seats, 14-way power-adjustable driver seat with memorized settings for up to three drivers, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, keyless ignition, backup camera, adaptive cruise control.
    Other perks: Available all-wheel drive, crisp performance and handling, a plethora of luxury features.

  6. Honda CR-V
    Senior-friendly features:
    Tall seating position, roomy cabin, backup camera, height-adjustable driver seat, heated driver and passenger seats, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, voice-activated navigation system.
    Other perks: Nimble handling, available all-wheel drive, impressive degree of refinement throughout.

  7. Honda Civic/Civic Hybrid
    Senior-friendly features:
    Height-adjustable driver seat, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, voice-activated navigation system.
    Other perks: Compact size facilitates easy parking, sterling reliability, excellent safety ratings, hybrid version is the second most fuel-efficient vehicle on the market.

  8. Infiniti M35
    Senior-friendly features:
    Lane-departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, backup camera, voice-activated navigation system, heated driver and passenger seats, height-adjustable driver seat, roomy cabin, 10-way power-adjustable driver seat with power-adjustable lumbar support and memorized settings for up to two drivers, keyless ignition, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity.
    Other perks: Available all-wheel drive, athletic performance, no shortage of luxury features.

  9. Lexus LS 460
    Senior-friendly features:
    Advanced parking guidance system, height-adjustable driver seat, 12-way power-adjustable driver seat with power-adjustable lumbar support and memorized settings for up to three drivers, roomy cabin, Bluetooth connectivity, keyless ignition, heated driver and passenger seats, backup camera, adaptive cruise control, voice-activated navigation system.
    Other perks: Quiet ride, opulent interior, brisk acceleration.

  10. Toyota Camry and Camry Hybrid
    Senior-friendly features:
    Height-adjustable driver seat, eight-way power-adjustable driver seat with manual-adjustable lumbar support, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, voice-activated navigation system, keyless ignition, heated driver and passenger seats, roomy cabin.
    Other perks: Hybrid version offers stellar fuel economy, outstanding reliability.

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