What are the best cars and SUVs for seniors?

Based on IIHS-HLDI's recommended features for seniors and their Top Safety Pick+ list, the best cars for older drivers include these 2023 models: BMW X1; Honda Accord, CR-V, HR-V, and Pilot; Lexus UX; Hyundai Palisade; Jeep Grand Cherokee; Kia Telluride; Mazda CX-90; Nissan Pathfinder; Subaru Ascent and Outback; and Toyota Camry and Highlander. Other recent model years of these cars and SUVs may also be good for older drivers but check which of the safety features noted in this article they have before you buy.

4 min to read

What should seniors look for in a car?

The best cars for older drivers have the following features, according to the Insurance Information Institute and Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS-HLDI):

  • Side airbags with head and torso protection

  • Frontal airbags

  • Modern safety belts with pre-tensioners and load limits

  • Rearview cameras and rear parking sensors

  • Front crash prevention systems

  • Blind spot detection

  • Lane departure warning

  • Electronic stability control

What are the best cars for older drivers?

These IIHS-HLDI Top Safety Pick+ mid-size cars (and wagon) have IIHS-HLDI's recommended safety features for seniors (either standard or optional), making them the best cars for older drivers:

  • 2023 Honda Accord

  • 2023 Subaru Outback

  • 2023 Toyota Camry

Is a car or SUV better for senior drivers?

Based on safety studies, SUVs are generally better for older drivers than cars. SUVs also tend to be higher off the ground, making them easier for seniors to get in and out of.

Vehicle weight and size are important factors in predicting survival in a crash, according to IIHS-HLDI. While seniors may lean toward getting a small "retirement car," larger cars like SUVs with good safety ratings and certain safety features are proven to be better at preventing crashes and fatalities. This is true for all age groups, including senior drivers, who are more prone to collisions.

What are the best SUVs for older drivers?

These IIHS-HLDI Top Safety Pick+ small and mid-size SUVs have all their recommended safety features for seniors, making them the best SUVs for older drivers:

  • 2023 BMW X1

  • 2023 Honda CR-V

  • 2023 Honda HR-V

  • 2023 Hyundai Palisade

  • 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee

  • 2023 Kia Telluride

  • 2023 Lexus UX

  • 2024 Mazda CX-90 (including the PHEV version)

  • 2023 Nissan Pathfinder

  • 2023 Subaru Ascent

  • 2023 Toyota Highlander

Pro tip:

Make sure the trim level you choose has all the safety features that make a car great for older drivers. Most models listed in this article come standard with all the recommended features for seniors, but some models offer certain features (like blind spot monitoring and rear parking sensors) as optional.

What are the easiest SUVs for seniors to get in and out of?

These SUVs made Consumer Reports' best cars to get in and out of, according to Torque News, and IIHS-HLDI's top safety picks:

  • Honda CR-V: 2023 Top Safety Pick+

  • Honda Pilot: 2023 Top Safety Pick+

  • Hyundai Santa Fe: 2022 Top Safety Pick+

  • Hyundai Palisade: 2023 Top Safety Pick+

  • Kia Telluride: 2023 Top Safety Pick+

  • Nissan Rogue: 2023 Top Safety Pick

  • Subaru Forester: 2023 Top Safety Pick

  • Subaru Ascent: 2023 Top Safety Pick+

  • Toyota Highlander: 2023 Top Safety Pick+

What are the best EVs for seniors?

As you age, you might drive less frequently or shorter distances, making you a great candidate for an EV. If you're considering buying an EV, the following electric sedans and SUVs made IIHS-HLDI's Top Safety Pick+ list and have their recommended features for older drivers:

  • 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6

  • 2023 Lexus RZ

  • 2023 Subaru Solterra

  • 2024 Genesis GV60

  • 2024 Mazda CX-90 (plug-in hybrid)

Car buying tips for seniors

Shopping for a new car can be a stressful experience at any age, especially if it's been a while. Some universal tips to keep in mind include:

  1. Research before going to a dealer

    Some dealers may try to charge higher-than-market prices. Research the MSRP of car makes and models you may be interested in before you commit to buying. Knowing the car's true retail value makes it easier to talk a dealer down.

  2. Get preapproved for a loan

    While a dealership might offer financing, you can often score a better deal and lower interest rates if you use a bank or credit union for your car loan. Securing financing before you buy your car also reduces the pressure a dealer can put on you with promises of limited time offers. Of course, no-interest loans should typically be your first choice, so watch for dealers offering that option.

  3. Take your time

    When shopping for a vehicle, you have the power. Take your time browsing different models and deciding which one best fits you. Dealers want you to purchase before you leave because they know you might not return if you walk off the lot. Let that work in your favor. You can compare prices and negotiate the best car deal just with a willingness to walk away. Learn about Progressive's Car Shopping Services, which allow you to get offers from certified dealers in your area completely online.

Insurance for your new car

Safety features can help keep you safe on the road, and driving safely can help you lower your car insurance rate. Learn about car insurance for seniors and how Progressive's Snapshot program rewards you for safe driving.

And if you're considering insurance for a car make mentioned in this article, check out these resources:

Want to make sure you have the right coverages? Get a car insurance quote online with Progressive or call 1-866-749-7436 to speak with a representative about a new or existing policy.

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