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Easy Driving: The Best Cars For Seniors To Get In And Out Of

Easy Driving: The Best Cars For Seniors To Get In And Out Of

Some seniors struggle getting in and out of vehicles due to mobility issues or injury. Here are the best cars for seniors to get in and out of so that travel is easier and safer.
Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®
By:
Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®
Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

With over 20 years of experience and certifications as a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)® and Senior Home Safety Specialist (SHSS)®, Scott Grant provides reliable recommendations to help seniors maintain independence through informed product and service choices for safe, comfortable living.

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Best Cars For Seniors
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Summary & Highlights

Seniors should look for cars with low ride height and wide-opening doors for easy entry and exit, even with joint pain or stiff hips. Other features that affect the ease of entry and exit are a comfortable and adjustable driver’s seat, a seatbelt that is easy to disengage, a wide interior pathway, and a softer suspension.

Some examples of cars that are easy to get in and out of are the Honda Accord, the Toyota Camry, the Kia Forte, the Nissan Altima, and the Hyundai Sonata. If you prefer an SUV, look for a Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forrester, Hyundai Santa Fe, or a Toyota Highlander.

Car door assist handles, portable step stools , ramps, and cushions help older people get in and out of vehicles without having to replace them.

Top 5 Cars for Seniors That Are Both Easy To Get In and Out

Our research shows these five vehicles are the best for seniors because they offer a combination of accessibility, comfort, and safety.

All five cars feature a step-in height that offers easy access, adjustable seating and seatbelts, and comfortable suspension.

In addition, all five vehicles feature a range of safety features, such as airbags and anti-lock brakes, to help ensure seniors’ safety on the road.

1. Honda Accord

The Honda Accord is an excellent choice for seniors because of its comfortable and roomy interior. The seating position is designed to make it easy to get in and out of the vehicle, especially with the available power-adjustable driver’s seat.

The Accord also offers plenty of legroom and headroom in the front and back, so there is plenty of space to get comfortable.

The Accord has many essential safety features, such as a rearview camera, a blind spot monitoring system, and a forward collision warning. This combination provides seniors extra peace of mind while on the road.

2. Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry is an excellent vehicle that offers easy entry and exits with a low door sill and plenty of leg and headroom.

The Camry has various helpful features, such as an adjustable seat and steering wheel, adjustable lumbar support, and multiple airbag systems for additional safety. Camrys also offer a smooth ride and excellent visibility for easy driving and navigation.

Finally, the Camry offers excellent fuel economy, meaning seniors will spend less money on gas.

3. Kia Forte

The Kia Forte is specifically designed for easy access and egress. The high-mounted driver’s seat and wide-opening doors make it easy to enter and exit the vehicle.

The Forte offers a power-adjustable driver’s seat, which you can adjust to the optimal driving position for maximum comfort and visibility.

Other benefits for seniors include an adjustable steering column, a low step-in height, and an ergonomic dashboard layout.

The Kia Forte boasts an impressive array of advanced safety features, such as forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring, to keep seniors safe on the road.

4. Nissan Altima

The Nissan Altima offers excellent access and visibility with a low step-in height and wide door openings. It also offers a higher seating position, providing better driving visibility.

The Altima also has a wide range of advanced driver-assist technologies, making it an excellent option for seniors who may need extra help behind the wheel.

These features include Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and an available Intelligent Around View Monitor that gives older drivers a 360-degree view of the area around the vehicle.

The Altima also offers exceptional fuel economy and a comfortable ride, making it an excellent option for seniors who may be on a budget or want to save gas.

5. Hyundai Sonata

The Hyundai Sonata is an excellent choice for seniors due to its roomy interior, oversized doors, and comfortable seating.

The Sonata has an impressive amount of headroom and legroom and a low step-in height, so seniors won’t need to bend down or lift themselves to get in and out.

The Sonata has vital safety features, such as blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control, which help to keep seniors safe on the road.

The Sonata also offers plenty of storage space, making it easy to store items in the trunk or glove compartment.

These features make the Hyundai Sonata an excellent choice for seniors who want a reliable, comfortable, safe vehicle.

Best cars for seniors SUVs
The Subaru Forester is equipped with a good amount of headroom and legroom for seniors to sit comfortably.

Top 5 SUVs for Seniors To Get In and Out

Many small SUVs provide ample roominess and legroom for elderly passengers. The Honda CR-V has unique features designed to provide extra comfort and support for older adults.

Additionally, many small SUVs have adjustable seating, allowing passengers to adjust their seating position to accommodate their individual needs.

Here are our favorites:

1. Honda CR-V

A Honda CR-V offers easy and accessible entry and exit, a low step-in height, and wide-opening doors.

Additionally, the CR-V’s ergonomic and supportive seating is comfortable and makes it easier to maintain good posture while driving. In addition, the CR-V has a roomy interior with good visibility.

Plus, the CR-V also offers excellent fuel economy and a smooth ride packaged in an affordable and reliable vehicle. Honda vehicles are always a top safety pick of most car rating publications. 

2. Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 has wide-opening doors and a low floor height.

The RAV4 also offers assistive features seniors will appreciate. The power-adjustable front seats and a power liftgate make it simple for seniors to adjust their seating and access the cargo area.

The RAV4 offers a quiet, comfortable ride with less noise and vibration.

3. Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester has easy access and visibility because of the high seat position, large door openings, and relatively low step-in height.

Additionally, the Forester is equipped with a generous amount of headroom and legroom, allowing seniors to sit comfortably.

The Forester also has a large rear cargo area and plenty of storage space, making it an ideal choice for seniors who need to transport groceries or other items.

Furthermore, the Forester has many safety features, such as stability control and a rearview camera, helping to ensure the safety of seniors while driving.

The Subaru Forester is one of the safest cars for seniors due to its easy access, good visibility, generous space, and attention to safety.

4. Hyundai Santa Fe

The Hyundai Santa Fe SUV has a slightly higher ride height, making it easier to get in and out of than a lower-slung sedan.

The Santa Fe also has large, comfortable doors that open wide, making entry and exit easier for seniors. Furthermore, Santa Fe has plenty of legroom and headroom for those who need to stretch out or need more space to fit in.

Finally, the Santa Fe has many safety features that protect seniors, such as blind spot warnings and rear cross-traffic alerts.

All these features make the Hyundai Santa Fe an excellent vehicle for seniors who require an accessible vehicle to get in and out of while providing a safe and comfortable ride.

5. Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander combines a tall roof line and a lower step-in height, resulting in an exceptionally generously sized door opening.

The adjustable driver’s seat accommodates a variety of heights and body sizes, making it easier for seniors to get comfortable and find the proper driving position.

The Highlander also offers a smooth and quiet ride, making it an enjoyable experience for seniors looking to cruise around town.

Types of Vehicles Best Suited for Seniors

Choosing a vehicle that provides easy access, good visibility, plenty of room, and safety features is essential for seniors. These are the five types of vehicles best suited for seniors and their various features.

1. Sedans

Sedans are smaller cars that offer a great combination of comfort and convenience, perfect for seniors who want a comfortable ride and easy access. Midsize sedans generally have the proper height and door opening size, making them easier to get in and out.

Additionally, four-door sedans usually have plenty of legroom, headroom, and cargo space, making them an excellent choice for seniors. 

2. SUVs

Sport Utility Vehicles often have a higher seat position and wide opening doors. They generally have plenty of legroom and headroom for stretching out and finding a safe and comfortable driving position.

Additionally, many small and midsize SUVs are equipped with helpful safety features that ensure the safety of seniors while driving. 

3. Minivans

Minivans are perfect for seniors who need to transport family members or cargo. Minivan’s side-sliding doors open wide for easy access.

Additionally, minivans typically have ample seating, legroom, headroom, and a large cargo area, making them ideal for seniors with larger families. 

4. Hatchbacks

Hatchbacks and smaller SUVs offer space and convenience, perfect for seniors who need to transport cargo but want to maintain easy access.

Hatchbacks typically have wide-opening doors, making getting in and out of the vehicle easier. Additionally, hatchbacks usually have a low step-in height. 

5. Wagons

Station wagons are ideal for seniors who need a vehicle with plenty of cargo space and easy access. They combine the low floor height of a sedan with the larger door openings of an SUV.

Additionally, wagons usually have plenty of legroom and headroom, providing seniors with a comfortable ride.

Avoid sports cars or full-size cars that are high off the ground.

Best cars for seniors vehicle features
In order for seniors to enter and exit the vehicle easier, look for easy-to-use door handles.

Vehicle Features That Affect Entry and Exit

The ability to easily and safely enter and exit a vehicle is a primary concern for seniors who drive, as it can affect their comfort and safety.

Features like step-in height, door openings, and seating positions are essential in ensuring seniors have a safe and comfortable ride. 

Step-in Height

The step-in height is the measurement from the ground to the bottom of the car door.

Shorter step-in heights are more manageable for seniors to negotiate, while taller step-in heights can be difficult for seniors to climb. 

Door Openings

Large door openings, height and width, make it easier for seniors to enter and exit the vehicle without squeezing, bending over, and straining their backs. Look for easy-to-use door handles that are located lower on the door.

Seating Position

Adjustable seats enable finding both their optimal driving position and a comfortable position that makes it easy to enter and exit the vehicle.

It’s crucial that the seat distance from the dashboard, as well as the seat height, are adjustable. We recommend seats with power adjustments for seniors and the elderly.

Seat Belts

Seat belts are essential for seniors to ensure they are safely secured in the vehicle while driving. But, they also affect how easily a senior can get out of their car.

Easy-to-reach seat belts that require less force to unbuckle are the best options for seniors.

Interior Design

Interior design features such as dashboard depth and console locations affect how easily seniors can get in or out of their cars. Wide, clear pathways are more manageable for seniors to navigate.

Suspension

Look for vehicles with a soft suspension, which can help reduce jarring and shaking when entering and exiting the vehicle.

Accessories and Tools To Make Entering and Exiting a Vehicle Easier

Car door assist handles attach to the inside of the car door giving seniors a more stable place to hold onto when entering and exiting the vehicle. 


Vehicle ramps provide sloped surfaces for seniors with difficulty stepping in and out of the car. 


Portable step stools are a great option for seniors who need help getting in and out of taller vehicles, like trucks and full-size SUVs.


Car seat cushions make entering and exiting a vehicle easier by raising the seat height with extra padding for cars without adjustable seats.

Car steps and running boards attach to the side of the car and provide a step for older adults to use when entering and exiting.

Accessibility and assistive technology options include swivel seats, vehicle lifts, and power-assisted doors. Consult a vehicle modification specialist for these options.

How to Safely Enter and Exit a Vehicle

  1. Before entering or exiting the vehicle, make sure the car is parked on a flat and level surface.
  2. Step out of the car using both feet, keeping your weight evenly distributed between both feet.
  3. Lean forward slightly and place one hand on the car for support.
  4. Use your legs to lift yourself slowly, not your back.
  5. When entering the car, always sit first then swing your legs in.
  6. When exiting the car, use both feet, one after the other.
  7. Place one hand on the car for support as you stand up.
  8. Make sure to avoid sudden and jerky movements.
  9. Have someone physically assist you if needed.

How Senior Drivers Can Choose The Best Car for Their Needs 

In addition to the above recommendations, here are some crucial tips for getting the best vehicle for you:

  1. Ensure the car you are considering has necessary safety features such as anti-lock brakes, airbags, blind spot monitoring, and backup cameras.
  2. Research crash test ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
  3. Consider fuel efficiency to save money on gas.
  4. Look for simple controls and an intuitive dashboard with large, clear text showing the car’s speed and any warnings.
  5. Find a car that fits your budget and provides the necessary features and performance.
  6. Test drive several cars to see how they perform, and make sure you feel comfortable and safe. 
  7. Calculate the total cost of ownership, including car insurance, gas, taxes, and maintenance costs, to determine the best overall value for your money. 
  8. Have a qualified mechanic inspect the car before you make a purchase, even if you are looking at new vehicles.
  9. Be bold and ask for discounts or incentives when negotiating a price, especially on used car deals.
  10. Take your time to get the best car for your needs.

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Best Cars For Seniors To Get In And Out Of

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Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

With over 20 years of experience and certifications as a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)® and Senior Home Safety Specialist (SHSS)®, Scott Grant provides reliable recommendations to help seniors maintain independence through informed product and service choices for safe, comfortable living.

Learn More Email

8 thoughts on “Easy Driving: The Best Cars For Seniors To Get In And Out Of”

  1. Ginny Mc Garvey

    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 !!

    • Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

      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. Alicia Foley

    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.

    • Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

      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. Nancy Francesco

    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. Helga H Spotts

    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!

    • Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

      Hi Helga – glad this information was helpful!

  5. NORMA WATSON

    Regarding your article on the Top 5 Cars Seniors that are both Easy to Get in and Out of, no small cars are listed. On purpose? In particular, I was wondering about the Mazda 3, about the same dimensions as a Kia Forte.

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