It’s as much a fact of life as death or taxes that we’re all going to get older, but choosing the best car for older drivers isn’t as easy as it sounds. After all, car manufacturers go out of their way to market their vehicles to bright young things, but rarely target their cars at seniors.
But then, none of us would like to admit we’re old. Our top 10 cars here are ideal for those who appreciate a bit more comfort, ride height, simplicity, safety and ease of access, without being made to feel old or compromised. Each has its merits, and is a great choice of car for older drivers.
10. Vauxhall Viva
The Viva is a car that even has a name that will resonate with older motorists, bringing back a badge that hadn’t been worn on a Vauxhall since 1980. The current Viva is a world apart from the original, yet has some synergies, too – even Vauxhall describes the car as ‘insanely rational’. With five-doors, park assist technology and a high, comfortable cabin, the Viva is a sensible choice. But then, so are slippers.
9. Toyota Yaris
As rational a choice as the Viva, yet with a bit more flare and a bit more expense, the Toyota Yaris is one of the better supermini choices for seniors thanks to its supportive, high seats and user-intuitive controls – there’s nothing overly complex in the cabin, yet at the same time the car has a youthful feel, along with a useful money-saving Hybrid option.
8. Skoda Rapid
The Skoda Rapid is designed to appeal to those who appreciate Skoda’s traditional values, right down to its traditional three-box appearance, even though it’s actually a hatchback – a trick the very first Octavia pulled off 20 years ago. Spacious, comfortable and with no-nonsense spec and pricing, it’s a car that will appeal to the rational and sensible cash customer – a rare thing on the market today.
7. Ssangyong Tivoli
The Tivoli is a quirky crossover that’s available for the price of a supermini, meaning that on a small car budget you can get something that’s bigger, more spacious and easy to get in and out of. Ssangyong also has excellent levels of passive safety and an unlimited mileage five-year warranty, along with optional four-wheel-drive.
6. Volvo XC40
The Swedish manufacturer is targeting the XC40 at trendy young urbanites, but it’s a car that also holds plenty in the way of appeal for the more mature motorist – well made, safe, comfortable and stylish (after all, age doesn’t dampen appreciation of aesthetics), the XC40 also has a raised ride height and the dimensions of a small hatchback, plus plenty of room for luggage. It’s a trusted brand, too.
5. Honda HR-V
Like the XC40, the HR-V has the ride height and ease of access of an SUV, but with the footprint of a compact hatchback – a great way of getting a car that’s slightly easier to get in and out of without having to run to the bulk or expense of a full-size SUV. It’s also only two-wheel-drive despite the SUV chunky looks, which means better fuel economy.
4. Kia Venga
The Venga is essentially a supermini, but is designed in such a way that it has a particularly high cabin with unencumbered access through the front doors – ideal for the less mobile motorist. Kia’s unbeatable seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty adds further peace of mind. As a car that makes motoring as hassle-free as possible, the £12,555 Venga 1 takes some beating.
3. Dacia Duster
The Duster remains the UK’s cheapest SUV and by quite some margin, too. With prices starting at just £9,495 for the basic, no-frills Duster Access, the range has plenty of appeal for older drivers, not least the fact you can have the assurance of a decent-sized new car, with good access and ride height, for the price of a used supermini.
2. Nissan Juke
The strikingly weird looks might not be what you’d expect to appeal to older motorists, but the Nissan Juke is nevertheless a superb choice. It has the footprint of a supermini, making it easy to pilot and park around town, with great visibility and an easy-access, high cabin. It also has class-leading driver assistance systems such as Nissan’s 360-degree Around View Monitor Camera, which makes light work out of tight manoeuvres.
1. Suzuki Ignis
The number one choice for today’s more mature drivers, the Ignis is a car that successfully combines the practicality that most older drivers require with a spirit of youthfulness that most of us – of all ages - aspire to. Five doors, a decent boot, high seats, great all-round visibility and chunky 4x4 looks on a city car platform. It’s a car that has created a whole new niche, and a welcome one, too.