What are the Best Cars For Seniors To Get In And Out Of?

By: Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

The best cars for seniors to get in and out of have a low door sill, easy open door handles, a wide door opening, and adjustable height seats.

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Most seniors start to lose their balance and flexibility far before they lose their ability to drive. For that reason, it’s important to get a car that’s suited for senior drivers. One of the most important features of a quality senior car is that it’s easy to get in and out of.

This is often the most difficult part of the whole driving experience for the elderly. Low seats or cars that don’t have sufficient handles or other support make it incredibly hard for people with limited mobility, like seniors, to maneuver.

Below are a few key features to look for when finding the best car for seniors to get into and out of, as well as some suggested models for you to review. Most important, make sure to test drive any vehicle before buying it to make sure it’s comfortable and easy for you to use.

Best Cars for Elderly to Get In and Out Of Easily

Based on reviews from Consumer Reports, these are the best cars for senior drivers for a variety of reasons, including how easy it is to get in and out of them.

1. Chevy Impala

The Chevy Impala is a large sedan that offers a ride comparable to luxury competitors. It’s very quiet inside, allowing the driver to focus on the road, and has the handles, low door sill, and large door openings a senior would need to easily get in and out of it.

2. Honda Accord

The Accord from Honda is another great, roomy sedan that’s larger than most of its competitors, which is better for seniors who need that extra room to maneuver getting in and out. It also has good visibility, since it has larger windows, and the low door sill and handles that you’ll need for stability.

3. Subaru Forester

Subarus are known for quality and durability, so this is a great investment if you’re looking for a new car and you’re approaching your retirement years. The Subaru Forester will last you far into your older years, and still be easy to use all those years later with its large doors, great visibility, and storage capacity. This car was practically designed for the older driver.

4. Toyota Highlander

If you’re looking for an SUV that has all of the qualities mentioned above, the Toyota Highlander is the way to go. Normally I wouldn’t suggest an SUV for an older person because they’re larger, bulkier to manage on the road, and typically require a bit of a climb to get into and out of. But the highlander’s doors are low to the ground, so they took care of that issue. It also offers many benefits of SUV’s for senior drivers like increased visibility, since it’s so high up, and extra large supportive seats.

inside of an old car showing the car seats

Features to Look For

When finding a perfect senior car, there are a few features you need to find first, especially if you’re looking for one with easy maneuverability. They’re outlined below.

A Low Door Sill

A door sill is basically the little ledge underneath the doors on cars that allow you to step down from the driver’s seat to the road. When it’s lower, it’s easier to transition to the ground and less painful for arthritic elderly knees and ankles. It also provides added support for the senior when transitioning from sitting to standing.

Easy to Open Handles

There should be plenty of ergonomic and strategically placed handlebars inside the car. One on the door itself, one on the side of the doorway near the seat, and one security handle above the doorway will provide the most safety, support, and maneuverability for seniors trying to get in and out of the car.

Large Door Opening

Obviously, the door opening itself should also be fairly large to account for swinging their legs in and out of the car as well. Hunching over to get out of small or low door openings can be terrible for seniors’ backs (leading to a Dowager’s hump) and necks, so make sure it’s as tall as it is wide.

Average/Adjustable Seat Height

Possibly the most important feature is the seat height. Usually this is adjustable in any car, but make sure it’s at your unique ideal condition for easily getting into and out of the car, and driving as well. If it’s too low, it will be much harder to get out of the car. If it’s too high, it may be easy to lose your balance. Make sure to test drive and adjust the seat to whatever height works best for you.


Generally, midsize sedans are the best options for seniors because they come with all the features listed above. They’re also not too bulky to manage, but not small enough to be constricting or uncomfortable in any way. Stick with mid-size cars when shopping for cars for seniors.

Summary and Sources

There are many factors to consider when trying to find the best car for seniors, especially in terms of the car being easy for them to get into and out of. Hopefully, with the features outlined above and the suggested models, you can find one that works for your needs and lifestyle.

If your current vehicle just isn’t comfortable, consider using a cushion in the car seat, especially for those longer trips.

Do you have any tips for making the driving experience easier for seniors? Share your insights below! Oh! If you found this article helpful, please share with your friends on social!

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7 thoughts on “What are the Best Cars For Seniors To Get In And Out Of?”

  1. I just read this and it was common sense info ! Thank you. Getting older as my mother said. Is not for Sissies. So true. You must get a bit stronger and keep moving every day. Do not sit and wait. Get up and keep moving !!

    • Hi Ginny! Thanks for the comment. I try to use common sense when researching and writing these articles. Keeping active is awesome advice too! Scott

  2. I just traded in my RAV4 for a Passat thinking that it would be easier for my 90 year old father and 83 year old mother to get in and out of (they could not get into the RAV4 without difficulty because of the height). They both have mobility issues and my mother cannot follow instructions for getting in/out due to dementia. Taking them on the first Dr.’s appointment in the car was horrible because the door is too short (father has to crouch down and cannot do this) and the seats do not go back far enough for him to avoid the dashboard (stiff legs). My father couldn’t get all the way into the passenger seat and once halfway in, could not get back out. We finally got it, but it was very uncomfortable for him. I thought I was doing the right thing by getting a midsize car for them but it ended up not a good choice.

    • Hi Alicia – thanks for taking the time to provide some real world feedback. Your comments are super helpful for my readers and is appreciated!

  3. I’m so glad I found this page. Do you have any recommendations for a minivan for me? I am a paraplegic and have had cars all my life and successfully got in and out. My last car was an outback wagon, which I loved but the new ones were too high for me. My husband surprised me with my dream car, a BMW hard top convertible when I retired but I do find it difficult to get out of it because it does not have a handle on the roof and now use a transfer board. We’re talking about a minivan which I hate the idea of but here we are. Any thoughts?

  4. I hope to use the information here to purchase our next car. I have a 2006 Jeep Liberty and a bad right knee. Before, I had a PT Cruiser.

    I’d like to find an SUV that I can slide into and out of sideways or has an adjustable seat. I would also need an adjustable steering wheel and back seat access for an aging shepherd mix dog. I had hoped for 5 more years with my Jeep, but it’s on its last legs. God bless it for giving me 15 years!

    • Hi Helga – glad this information was helpful!

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