Most comfortable cars for seniors

Fed up with more and more cars having huge wheels and stiff suspension? Pick the right car and you can still get comfy behind the wheel

Sam Naylor
Mar 25, 2021

If you’re looking for a new car that is, above all, comfortable, it can be a tricky process. After all, it’s not as easy as looking at a list of equipment - it’s simple to find out if a car has heated seats or air-conditioning, but it can be hard to gauge how comfortable a car really is.

That’s what we’re here for. Below you’ll find eight cars that we’ve tested extensively and found to be comfortable on all kinds of road, whether that’s because they have soft suspension, supple seats or a combination of both.

We’ve not just picked out any comfy models, though - as we know you need more than that. A car needs to be good value for money, for example. A Bentley may be comfortable, but it’s just not a good way to spend your money unless you have a huge amount of it to spend. Cheaper models make much more sense for many more people, so all our picks are good value for what they offer.

We’ve also gone for models that are easy for seniors to get in and out of. Some sports cars are actually very comfortable, but they’re likely to be more difficult for less mobile pensioners to get in and out of. So, the cars we've chosen have doors that open wide and are easy to step in and out of.

Plus, cars need to be practical, with a big boot or enough room for passengers to sit comfortably, as well as get in and out easily. Practicality can also be about how easy a car is to park, so we’ve also added models that are small and have good visibility.

All of the cars we’ve picked out are automatic, but manual versions are often available if you prefer, and in some cases are much more common and better value. If you're open to either, though, an automatic gearbox could make a lot of sense for you as an older driver, as it makes the driving experience more relaxed and it’s easier to concentrate on driving safely.

Most comfortable cars for seniors

1. Toyota Prius

Best for fuel economy

Our pick Toyota Prius 1.8 Excel Hybrid (2017)
Used deals from £13,100
Monthly finance from £144*

The Toyota Prius is more well-known for its impressive fuel economy than comfort, but for us the latest model (2016 onwards) is up there with the most comfortable cars money can buy. It is incredibly smooth over even really bumpy roads, but it’s also comfy in many other ways as well.

For example, the seats are highly adjustable and anyone should be able to find a good driving position. The seats are lower down than some other models on this list but still really easy to get in and out of, and the light steering means it’s no trouble to drive for seniors either.

The Prius is often seen in use as a taxi, which shows that those who drive all day every day love it - and it can also deliver very strong fuel economy. We found it easy to get 70mpg in normal driving, and you could get even more if you’re careful. The Prius is an excellent car - just get a low-mileage one to avoid a tired model that’s been used as a taxi.

TOYOTA PRIUS BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Volvo V60

Best for practicality

Our pick Volvo V60 D4 Momentum (2018)
Used deals from £16,591
Monthly finance from £237*

Volvo is a popular brand among older drivers because nearly all of its models are comfortable and good to drive. The V60 is a great example, as it’s relatively smooth on rough roads. However, the V60's biggest strength is the excellent seats you get, as they’re highly adjustable, supportive and easy to get in and out of.

The V60 isn’t as comfortable in sporty R-Design or luxurious Inscription form, which also has large alloy wheels, so pick a Momentum model. These come with smaller wheels that have taller tyres, which absorb bumps better. The D4 model’s diesel engine is great for long trips or towing a caravan as it’s economical but powerful.

The V60 is really practical too, as it has a big boot with a flat floor that’s easy to load up. There’s a good amount of room in the back seats for grandkids or friends, and the stylish interior is the icing on the cake: it’s a wonderful place to spend time as it feels like a much more expensive car than it actually is.

VOLVO V60 BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Skoda Citigo

Best for those who need a small car

Our pick Skoda Citigo 5dr 1.0 MPI Elegance automatic (2015)
Used deals from £4,195
Monthly finance from £93*

If you don’t need lots of space, or simply have a tight budget, our favourite model is the Skoda Citigo. You could also choose a Seat Mii or Volkswagen Up as these cars are nearly identical (Skoda, Seat and VW are all part of the same company), but the Skoda is more often found at bargain prices.

The Citigo is a tiny car with a huge interior - it hardly seems possible that such a small car can be so spacious inside. It could have a bit more adjustment in the driver's seat but the driving position is nice and upright, and the soft suspension means it’s smooth out on the road, so you should remain comfortable behind the wheel.

An automatic gearbox makes sense for older drivers but if you are still happy to change gear yourself, the manual is a good decision in the Citigo. The shift is really light and easy to use, and there are many more examples available, so you’ll probably get a better deal.

Whichever gearbox you go for, the 1.0-litre petrol engine isn’t very powerful, so the Citigo isn't a quick car, but it’s still more than good enough for motorway trips and also happens to be really cheap to run.

SKODA CITIGO BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Lexus UX

Best for those wanting an upmarket SUV

Our pick Lexus UX 250h CVT [Nav] (2019)
Used deals from £22,990
Monthly finance from £284*

Nearly all of the Lexus line-up is comfortable and easy to drive, but our pick for older drivers - and anyone else, for that matter - is the UX. This is the most recent model from the brand and it’s one of the best for a long time.

That’s because it’s more comfortable than other Lexus models while also being easier to use when it comes to the sat-nav and radio. Other Lexus models can be very fiddly in that regard, so get marked down for ease of use.

The UX is an SUV, but it’s slightly lower than the larger Lexus RX, for example. This means it’s easier to climb into, while still having a high driving position with plenty of adjustment available. It’s a hybrid, too, so fuel economy is excellent around town and it’s easy to drive because all models are automatic and the controls are nice and light.

5. Ford Fiesta

Best for value for money

Our pick Ford Fiesta EcoBoost Titanium X 5dr Powershift (2017)
Used deals from £7,150
Monthly finance from £140*

The Ford Fiesta is one of the best-selling cars ever in Britain, and that’s mostly because it’s fantastic value for money. The Fiesta does everything you need at a bargain price, especially used - because so many were sold, prices are low.

The Fiesta is really comfortable for a small car, as long as you stay away from sporty models with ‘ST’ in the name - Titanium X is a good choice for older drivers as this has lots of equipment for the cash. As with the Citigo above, a manual is better value but the automatics - known as 'Powershift' - are still fine for those who need one.

There’s enough adjustment in the seats to get comfy, and the driving position is excellent too. Plus, there’s enough room in the back for kids, a decent boot, plenty of equipment and easy access to the seats. The Fiesta is a fantastic all-rounder for those who want a small, comfy car.

FORD FIESTA BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Citroen C4 Cactus

Best for stylish seniors

Our pick Citroen C4 Cactus 1.2 PureTech Flair automatic (2016)
Used deals from £7,995
Monthly finance from £148*

The Citroen C4 Cactus is a left-field choice but is well worth considering, as it has all the right ingredients to appeal to older car buyers after maximum comfort. Those distinctive rubber patches on the doors aren’t just for style, either - they stop parking dents in their tracks.

The C4 Cactus is, primarily, really comfortable over rough roads. It’s designed to be as smooth as possible, so it’s great for those with a bad back - although the seats aren’t approved by the AGR, which rates the best car seats for those with back issues (check out the best cars for people with bad backs here), so it may be better to choose a model with approved seats if you have a particularly bad back. Either way, the upright driving position and cloth upholstery means it’s a very comfortable car to sit in and drive.

The Citroen is slightly let down by a fiddly sat-nav and radio unit, but the light steering, economical engine, practical interior and quirky looks all make up for that. It’s well worth a look for anyone looking for an high-riding hatchback that stands out from the crowd, whether you're a senior or not.

CITROEN C4 CACTUS BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Vauxhall Astra

Best for ease of use

Our pick Vauxhall Astra 1.4T Elite Nav automatic (2017)
Used deals from £9,700
Monthly finance from £164*

The Vauxhall Astra will surprise anyone who drives it, because despite its plain exterior and relatively dull interior design, it’s a great car to drive. The Astra is really comfortable over bumps in the road and the seats are very supportive and adjustable.

Getting in and out shouldn’t present much of an issue and there’s lots of space for passengers in the back as well. The only problem there is that the dark coloured interior can feel a bit claustrophobic - but it’s an illusion, because the Astra is very spacious.

It’s also fun and easy to drive, thanks to the pleasant steering and responsive engine range. Even better, it’s very well equipped for the money, so it’s a great choice if you want to get a lot of equipment without breaking the bank. There’s a good amount of safety gear and things like cruise control help keep you relaxed on longer trips, too.

VAUXHALL ASTRA BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Nissan Leaf

Best for electric motoring

Our pick Nissan Leaf 110kW 2.Zero 40kWh
Used deals from £15,389
Monthly finance from £235*

Electric cars make a huge amount of sense for older drivers who don’t do a lot of long trips but instead make frequent shorter hops  - especially as many of the newer electric cars can easily cover more than 200 miles per charge, making them a realistic only car. The Nissan Leaf is a great example - and the more recent model is more comfortable than the original, rounder-shaped car.

If you’re able to plug in at home then the Leaf will be really cheap to run, and also easy to drive. Access is simple, too, and the upright driving position is good for older drivers. It’s also practical and well-equipped.

But the best thing about the Leaf is the way it drives - the near-silent electric motor means it’s easy to hold a quiet conversation in the car at speed, since there’s no engine noise at all. Plus, the light steering and soft suspension mean it’s comfy all the time. The only frustration could be the slightly fiddly sat-nav and radio controls, which use a touchscreen and could take some time to learn.

NISSAN LEAF BUYERS' GUIDE

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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