5 best cars for older drivers this Father’s Day

Liza Barth

If you’re lucky, perhaps your dad bought you your first car or may even have taught you how to parallel park. Now that you’re older (and wiser), this Father’s Day is a good time to say thanks and give back to dear old dad with some sage advice of your own. If he’s in the market for a new car and he’ll “let you” help him with his decision, here are some of the best cars for older dads. We know how some dads are. They know everything. But you still can lend a hand helping him get the best car for his needs.

For this list, we focused on models that do especially well in our visibility, access, and comfort evaluations—traits that are especially important to senior drivers. Go to each model page to learn more about other features that are important to dad and prepare to earn his confidence with your car knowledge.

The redesigned 2014 Impala scored very high in our tests and is now a contemporary large sedan that's roomy, comfortable, quiet, and enjoyable to drive. The big front seats are roomy and plush. They're pleasingly soft at first touch and provide good support beneath—a boon for staying comfortable on long trips. Since rear visibility is difficult, opt for the well-priced $890 Advanced Safety Package to get a backup camera, forward-collision and lane-departure warnings, blind-spot detection, and a cross-traffic alert system.

One of the best large sedans on the market, Chrysler's 300 is roomy and luxurious. The V6-powered 300 we tested rides comfortably, handles responsively, and has a quiet cabin packed with useful features and amenities. The front seats are firm and well shaped, with generous padding, and both have a welcome power lumbar adjustment. The simple Uconnect infotainment system is easy to use and well laid out. Plus, basic radio and climate functions have big physical knobs and buttons, as well.

Great visibility and fuel-efficient, the four-cylinder Accord is our top family sedan. It rides and handles well, has a roomy and well-finished interior, and gets and impressive 30 mpg. Overall visibility is excellent, particularly in an era with swoopy, coupelike styling and thick roof pillars. The basic cloth front seats are wide, spacious, and provide good support. A higher trim level brings you power-seat adjustments, including lumbar. The Accord comes with a standard backup camera. The right blind zone camera system is standard on EX and higher trims. Forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems are standard on the EX-L trim.

Redesigned for 2014, the hip Soul brings more to the table than quirky styling. The boxy shape brings abundant interior space, while the chairlike seats and big windows provide an excellent view out. Plus, drivers can easily reach everything. Short of a small SUV or minivan, access doesn't get much easier. Seats are at chair height and tall, square doors give you lots of room to slide in and out. But make sure dad takes it for a decent test drive, since some will find the ride very stiff. Opt for the loaded Soul +, which has leather seats with power controls for the driver. Turns out these are great seats for a fairly cheap car.

The Forester is one of the easiest cars to live with, young or old. Big windows, a square greenhouse, and thin roof pillars give it outstanding visibility. Bucking some modern styling trends that result in sleek profiles and a badly crimped view out, the Forester has a practical, upright and boxy shape. Getting in and out is very easy with the low, flush door sills and chair-height seats. The big door frames mean you don't need to duck your head, either. Plus, it's almost as easy to access the rear seats as the front. Choose the optional EyeSight package to get a suite of electronic safety features such as forward-collision warning and blind-spot detection.

If dad is going through a midlife crisis, we have recommendations for that, as well.

Happy Father’s Day!

Liza Barth



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