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View Poll Results: What is the best car for senior drivers?
Sedan 7 17.50%
SUV/Crossover 33 82.50%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Today, 07:03 AM
2,802 posts, read 1,609,579 times
Reputation: 2809


Rather than a specific make and model, I'd suggest looking for the following features:

1. Forward collision warning and automatic braking. Top of my list.
2. Adaptive cruise control - makes for safer highway cruising.
3. Lane departure warning.
4. Good cabin visibility - few or no blind spots, especially to the rear.
5. Blind spot warning (in addition to #4!)
6. Rear cross traffic alert. Parking lots are the biggest accident place!

You can get each of these and more in just about any brand/model combination, but you may need to move up a trim line to get them all (and more...)

Shortly before retirement, we moved "up" in our auto choices by going from a sedan to a small SUV because it's higher and easier to enter/exit, a big plus 5 years later.

A few posters don't like CVT, and commented on their un-reliability. Reliability may have been a problem 20 years ago, but mostly is not now, although some brands have reliability problems across the board. Subaru oil consumption or head gasket issues? Ancient history now.

One note of caution. Some brands or trimlines, usually upscale, have most controls operated by touch screens. Usability of those controls while on the highway is a challenge, because you're forced to look at the screen. No touch feeling (haptics) to guide you like the "old fashioned" volume knob, which is returning. Steering wheel controls offer some relief, but at the cost of their learning curve and complexity. As I get older, I guess I value simplicity more?
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Old Today, 08:27 AM
Status: "The beach Life" (set 5 days ago)
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,850 posts, read 26,985,732 times
Reputation: 20575
My dad purchased a Cadillac XTS earlier this year. He seems to love it. He is 81.

My wifes uncle is 89 and has been driving his pickup since he bought it after he retired 24 years ago. It has less than 50,000 miles on it. LOL They also have a 5 year old Chrysler Town and Country with less than 10,000 miles on it.
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Old Today, 08:44 AM
448 posts, read 974,427 times
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Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
Subaru oil consumption or head gasket issues? Ancient history now.
I sure hope so, and not sure exactly what would define 'ancient history'...



The actual TSB:


This capture is from Consumer Reports, for a Forester, where engines not too long ago got the worst rating possible. I may recon ancient differently than others I guess (I drive an 06 manual trans Toyota), and it is encouraging to see the red go to green in latter years... Hope it keeps the trend, and I have found a definite correlation with their data and my actual hands on experience.

As for the issues I mention of earlier Subaru vehicles as it relates to how handled:

Corrective action: Dealers will replace the short block assembly.

Is pretty endemic of about as serious an issue you can have, if your vehicle confirms the problem. I will also re-state as I said in my initial post that Subaru is/was far from the only offender. Toyota had a similar problems and 'fix' regarding their 2AZ and early 1ZZ series engines, 'oil gelling', etc. Another 'problem' is how makers have gone IMO to a crazy criteria, for what constitutes excessive oil consumption. Seems CR agrees with what I have believed for a very long time:


Toyota/Subaru say using a qt of oil per 1200 miles is OK and within spec, some makers say 700 or so is normal! Yep, I'm not a powertrain engineer; I was however a service manager for a dealership, training director for an automotive service company, auto tech... All of this from long ago, but still I believe valid enough for most purposes.

Even *if* using say 4-5 qt's between a 6000-7500 mile oil change interval is OK by the makers, the cost to you is no joke for the oil, not to mention a LOT more pollution and detriment to the emissions system. I will say I believe to the extreme that any oil you use within the correct weight, spec, and change interval should be a FULL SYNTHETIC. Even with the vast improvement of conventional oils, full synthetics are superior and worth every penny. As for CVT transmissions, I believe you will find JATCO made/engineered transmissions not up to the reliability expected (Nissan it seems especially) for whatever reason, amid the seemingly endless variables that could be at play, where Aisin made ones are superior, even with both receiving proper service... Yep, as in you can still change the fluid in CVT's, and hopefully maximize longevity inherent to whatever extent the unit has.

I have no axe to grind with any maker, and hope folks most importantly enjoy whatever they purchase, and it brings them happiness and satisfaction.
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Old Today, 08:50 AM
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
14,142 posts, read 20,620,884 times
Reputation: 23101
The best car is a Buick.
It is the only car to drive when plowing into a crowd at the farmers' market.
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Old Today, 08:52 AM
Location: Loudon, TN
5,978 posts, read 4,961,675 times
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Originally Posted by NewbieHere View Post
I have an SUV right now, but thinking of adding a Tesla. I saw photo of a guy napping while driving. My neighbor has two Tesla and they said the car drives itself. I prefer my SUV but a self driving car like a Tesla.
What better place to nap than on a freeway!
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Old Today, 09:00 AM
Location: Land of the Great Bears
3,624 posts, read 1,997,629 times
Reputation: 4010
Originally Posted by LFJourney View Post
Iím a 60-year old female and looking for a new 2019 or 2020 car. I know that everyone says not to buy new, but thatís what I want since I hope to keep my next car at least 20 years, which is how long Iíve had my current car. Iím a planner so Iím thinking into my future needs as I age, and this could be my last car.

When I started this process, I never even considered anything but a sedan because thatís the only kind Iíve owned, but I saw this article and others like it and wonder if Iíd be making a mistake at this stage of my life.

If I did buy an SUV, Iíd definitely want the most reliable and durable smaller crossover type so itís more compact or subcompact. As a senior driver, what do you drive, and do you prefer a sedan or SUV and why? Thanks in advance for any insight you can give me.

That's a good list. I think it depends upon where you're driving and how much of it you're doing.

Around here, where there's not much driving to be done due to a limited road system and also not much traffic to deal with, just about anything will do IMO.

I know of a 77 yr old man who drives a jacked up, 30+ year old Suzuki Samurai around town.

Is he tempting a roll over or trying to make some sort of point? I don't know.

Most people, young and old, drive Subarus because they're great in the snow and relatively cheap.

We bought a '97 Subaru for our HS daughter several years ago and still have it. Despite having dismal power, lots of road noise and marginal seat comfort I really enjoy driving this one. Around here I suspect it will last for at least another decade.

"Inexpensive and built to stay that way"-their old motto was right on the money.
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Old Today, 09:10 AM
Location: Loudon, TN
5,978 posts, read 4,961,675 times
Reputation: 20274
We loved my 2002 Honda CRV so much that we sold DH's old car and he inherited it, and I got a 2018 CRV. The '02 has over 165,000 miles on it and runs like new. The only repair it has ever had in 18 years is the AC had to be pretty much replaced after 10 years. It was a known defect, but ours didn't go out until the pro-rated reimbursement period was over.

What I personally like about the Honda SUVs are that they are easy to get in and out of because they sit higher than a sedan, but not as high as a truck. They are pretty much bullet-proof, meaning sturdy, well-made, solid feel, no chintzy trim pieces, nothing that falls off, or gets tweaked or bent, etc. There is a HUGE amount of storage when the rear seat is folded down. This was important to us as we had two dogs, and we often took the car camping or antiquing and so needed room for cargo. I've actually carried a washing machine in the back, another time a full size dresser, even two bicycles once, and still got the door closed. The newer CRVs have very comfortable back seats with lots of legroom in the front and back. The gas mileage is good. It's easy to drive and doesn't have the top heavy, about-to-flip-over feeling some SUVs have when cornering. Has HUGE front windshield and good visibility on the rear and side windows. And of course Honda reliability. These cars go forever if cared for properly. DH makes sure that the maintenance and fluids are all looked after on schedule.

edited to add: many magazines rated the 2018 Honda CRV as the best small SUV of the current crop. Believe me, before re-upping for another CRV we researched the heck out of it and still came up with getting another CRV. And as to the fellow who said it was slow and boring, I don't drive faster than 75, so I don't need a Porsche. My good friend wanted a CRV and her status conscious husband insisted on the Porsche Cayenne. They paid more than twice what we paid and she hates it.

Last edited by TheShadow; Today at 09:30 AM..
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Old Today, 09:21 AM
Location: La Jolla
341 posts, read 168,760 times
Reputation: 616
I love my 2014 Acura RDX. It has all wheel drive and has great pickup for getting on the freeways here in Southern California. Both of our daughters bought new cars in the last year. The older one has a new Hyundai Tucson and the younger one a new Subaru Crosstrek. I had the chance to drive both of their cars and I think I like the Subaru just a bit more since it is a little smaller so easier to park depending on where you are going.
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Old Today, 09:23 AM
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
701 posts, read 186,924 times
Reputation: 1120
Originally Posted by cebuan View Post
Are those the only choices? I was gonna say '58 Mercury, with a compass on the dash.
And don't forget the fuzzy dice hanging from the rearview mirror!

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Old Today, 09:43 AM
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,689 posts, read 9,782,029 times
Reputation: 11182
Originally Posted by NYgal1542 View Post
In 1993 I bought a 1993 Honda Accord. What a car!! Very nice. It was a pinkish/grey color. I liked it.

I've never owned a brand new car and never will but that's okay.

My Honda Accord was a real gem of a car. When I bought it it was already 10 years old (1986) and had 211,000 miles on it. The owner bought it new and commuted to Phoenix from Flagstaff every day so about six hours on the road. He sold it to a Honda mechanic who redid a LOT of stuff on it and had a stack of receipts to show for it. Without those the finance company wouldn't have let me finance it! I drove that car for 15 years, had very few problems with it and only sold it when it started to nickel and dime me to death. I figured it was time for another one. It had nearly 300,000 miles when I sold it. I have to give my cousin some of the credit because we were roommates for 7 years, he managed an auto parts store and was an excellent mechanic. He took care of things BEFORE they became a problem.

I've considered getting a smaller type SUV but only because there are so many times I need to haul things and have to find someone with a vehicle big enough.
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