Senior-friendly new cars
Dallas, Texas—One of the nice things about traveling to the United States at this time of year is that you get to buy the Consumer Reports New Cars issue.
The Consumer Reports November 2017 issue reviews and rates 243 all-new 2018 vehicles, including the edgy Toyota C-HR subcompact SUV, the Audi Q5 with an all-new platform, and the Volkswagen Atlas, a born-in-the-USA three-row SUV.
A compelling article in this issue tells how three companies are meeting older drivers’ needs, helping to keep aging drivers on the go.
With the marketplace for drivers 65-and-older expanding, three manufacturers have been taking into consideration the needs of senior drivers in their vehicle designs.
For the older generation with limited flexibility, hearing, motion, vision and even sense of touch, Ford looks at details such as ease of opening doors, seat belt operation, the space between infotainment buttons so that drivers can avoid hitting two at once.
Ford engineers also focus on creating sound or sight warnings that won’t annoy or overwhelm the driver.
When designing cars with seniors in mind, Subaru concentrates on access, controls and visibility, and to keep its cars free of anything that’s confusing or complicated.
For example, Subaru makes sure doors open wide and eliminate low or sloping rooflines so that no one has to duck to get into a car.
Subaru makes sure gauges and touch screens are large and visually clear, with easily readable fonts.
Gauges are placed high on the dashboard to help keep a driver’s eyes on the road.
Known for reliability and value, Toyota relies on research, partnering with institutions like the University of Michigan and Wayne State University to explore issues, including how to reduce injuries to seniors in a crash.
For example, Toyota’s collaboration with a senior center in Michigan led to changes in the seat design in some models to make it easier for seniors to maneuver out of their car.
Top cars for senior drivers
Consumer Reports listed and ranked 25 new cars that combine reliability, safety and senior-friendly features.
Specific features essential for senior drivers were:
1. Front-seat access to make entry easier for those with physical limitations;
2. Visibility to enable drivers to see out of the front, sides and back;
3. Controls that are intuitive for changing the radio, shifting gears and adjusting the air conditioner; and
4. Powerful headlights to make driving easier at night for those with decreasing or compromised vision.
The senior-friendly 2018 models with their rankings as sold in the Philippines are:
1. Subaru Forester
2. Subaru Outback
3. Kia Soul
4. Subaru Legacy
5. Kia Sportage
7. Toyota Prius V
8. Toyota RAV4
9. Honda Odyssey (2017)
11. Honda Accord
13. Hyundai Sonata
14. Toyota Camry
17. Honda CR-V
18. Honda Pilot
19. Kia Forte
20. Ford Escape
21. Toyota Corolla
22. Kia Sorento
24. Hyundai Santa Fe
25. Hyundai Tucson