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Best Family Vehicles For Senior Drivers & Grandparents


Unlike younger car shoppers, senior drivers tend to have more difficulty choosing and buying a vehicle. Baby Boomers and older shoppers must consider more than just fuel efficiency, price, and safety; they should also factor in things like front-seat accessibility, large-font controls, overall visibility, and even headlight performance—all of which aren’t typically on your “car buying” checklist.

To help elderly drivers maintain their independence, we’ve compiled a list of the top 4 new vehicles that are perfectly suited for senior citizens and grandparents, as well as some must-have features that’ll make life easier.

Chevy Malibu

4. 2019 Chevrolet Malibu

As elegant as the Chevy Malibu looks – and it certainly is elegant – it’s also one of the most practical and budget-friendly cars in America.

Older drivers will find the Malibu’s seats to offer what may be the most comfortable bucket seats in the midsize class; they’re contoured to envelop the driver, reducing body sway and providing cushioning to absorb bumps. A heated 8-way power driver seat amplifies that level of comfort.

Grandparents will particularly enjoy owning the new Malibu, as it comes available with Rear Seat Reminder and, most importantly, Teen Driver technology. Spend quality time with your grandkids while also coaching them to be better defensive drivers—now that sounds like a good weekend or afterschool activity.

The Malibu is equipped with a smorgasbord of additional safety features, such as Automatic Parking Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking, and other Chevrolet systems. And with a $22,000 MSRP, the 2020 Malibu is a truly great car for elderly drivers.

Buick Encore3. 2019 Buick Encore

The new Buick Encore is not only one of the best SUVs for older drivers, but it’s also considered one of the best SUVs period.

Encore’s reliability and safety ratings are excellent – it has a perfect NHTSA 5-star overall safety rating – and its cabin is high in quality, just as you’d expect from a Buick vehicle. Heated, leather-appointed seats are low to the ground and well-cushioned, and Buick’s patented QuietTuning™ technology drastically reduces road noise. Its infotainment system is simple to figure out and even simpler to use, as well, and the touchscreen can be personalized to the nth degree.

All new Encore SUVs come standard with 10 airbags, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, LED Daytime Running Lights, OnStar®, and Rear Vision Camera. Available safety features include Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, and Rear Park Assist.

2020 GMC Terrain2. 2020 GMC Terrain

Small crossovers are ideal for senior drivers, and the new GMC Terrain is no exception.

One of the best features in the GMC Terrain is its front-to-back Flat Load Floor; owners can very easily swing the rear seats down, producing nearly 8 feet of maximum cargo space (length)—perfect for grandparents who need a bit of extra flexibility. Pair that with the available SkyScrape Sunroof, and you’ve got an amazing, first-class compact SUV.

Of course, the 2020 Terrain also boasts helpful features like HID IntelliBeam headlamps, built-in navigation, a customizable GMC Infotainment System and touchscreen, 4G Wi-Fi, and driver-assist systems like Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, and GM’s award-winning Safety Alert Seat.

2020 Chevy Tahoe1. 2020 Chevy Tahoe

A full-size SUV? For seniors? Just hear us out: the new Chevrolet Tahoe is definitely large, but it offers far more than rival 9-seat SUVs—and without feeling like you’re driving a semi-truck.

Up front, older drivers will enjoy the embrace of a 12-way, power-adjustable, heated and ventilated bucket driver seat. They’ll also have access to one of Chevy’s niftiest features: a lockable storage compartment, hidden behind the touchscreen, that also includes a USB charging port. In fact, the Tahoe comes with up to 7 USB plug-ins, which should be more than enough to keep all the grandchildren happy on the next family vacation.

Power-release second- and third-row seats are even more convenient for those long vacations. The second-row can be folded down in seconds, and the fold-flat back row can do the same. With both rows down, cargo capacity ramps up to 94.7 cu. ft.

Best of all, seniors will appreciate the Tahoe’s available Head-Up Display. This system, a rarity in its segment, projects important data right across the windshield, ultimately reducing potential distractions. Other safety features include GM staples: Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Safety Alert Seat, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Park Assist, Side Blind Zone Alert, and more.

Must-Have Vehicle Features for Elderly Drivers

As you begin your research, try to narrow down your list of potential vehicles as best you can. Focus on cars that have the following features:

  • Easy access to the front seats – This includes wide door openings, step-ups, high ceilings, and low door sills.
  • Good visibility – Read reviews to identify which vehicles have better A-pillars and offer more rear visibility.
  • Easy-to-use controls – Knobs, buttons, and even gauges should have larger font, be easy to find, and be intuitive to use.
  • Quality LED headlights – A good set of LED headlamps should help older drivers who have poor night vision.
  • Advanced safety – Pick vehicles that have good, unobtrusive safety systems, such as forward-collision warning, emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning, and lane-change alert.

Have other questions or want to test drive a good senior-friendly vehicle in Marshall, MO? We’d love to assist you. Call our McCarthy Chevy Buick GMC team at 660-886-7495 to speak with a salesperson. Our Marshall car dealership proudly serves older shoppers throughout the Warrensburg and Moberly area.


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