Buying preferences vary from individual drivers with some going in for speed and performance while others wanting comfort and convenience. Preferences also range from fuel efficiency, driving experience and affordability like those buying an entry level car. In the same way, we have young and elderly buyers who have their own preferences. You may be asking, which is the best car for elderly in India?
Senior folk usually like cars that are easy to enter (tall boy design), cars they can drive easily, have great safety records, and very comfortable seating.
Most manufacturers in the country know their target group is between the ages of 20 and 40. Although youngsters are willing to drive a car without all the luxuries and make do without some new features, this is not the same case with senior citizens.
The elderly is a demographic group that is often forgotten, and manufacturers don’t make cars especially suited to them. Leave it up to us to sift through the large number of models to find the best ones for the older generation.
Which is the Best Car for Elderly in India
Looking through the car models and finding the best one for senior citizens can be a tough task, but if you know what you are looking for, like affordability, ease of driving controls, safety features like airbags, and easy levels of entry and exit, the choice is not that difficult.
Other features that are well suited to senior citizens are cars that are easy to park, have comfortable ride and handling, have a high roof and have soft suspension. All these features make for a car that is well suited to the needs of the elderly.
Have a Look at Our List of Good Cars for the Elderly
Maruti Suzuki Wagon R
This tall boy has been on the Maruti Suzuki portfolio for 2 decades now, and it is no surprise, because it was a t one point the best-selling car in Japan, and has been extremely popular in India as well. This is a good high car for the elderly.
The Wagon R is excellent for senior citizens because of its tall roof that can have senior citizens almost walking in and out of the car. The doors also open wide to almost 90 degrees which makes ingress and egress even easier.
The AMT transmission is the gearbox of choice for its ease of driving and trouble-free operation for the elderly. The engine options are either a 1 litre or a 1.2 litre. Fuel economy is quite decent at 20 kmpl and it has a light power steering with steering mounted control for ease of use.
In terms of safety it comes with airbags, ABS system, and rear parking sensors. Boot space is a spacious 341 litres.
This car from Tata is a good looker and comes with a host of excellent safety features. In the Global NCAP (New Car Assessment Program), the Tata Tiao receives a 4-star rating meaning it is a very safe car indeed.
It comes with a 1.2 litre engine with the option of a 5-speed manual or AMT transmission. Fuel economy is 23.84 kmpl, great as a city car for the senior citizen. In terms of comfort features, it gets adjustable and power steering, voice control, gear indicator, and driver footrest in the case of the manual.
Safety features include power windows and door locks, airbags, front and side impact beams and corner traction control. Boot space is a wide 242 litres.
Maruti Suzuki Ignis
The Maruti Ignis offers plenty of headroom and legroom for the elderly and also has a high roof for easy entry and exit from the vehicle. Ground clearance is 180 mm, which gives a comfy ride over potholes and speed bumps.
There is a 1.2 litre engine on offer with the option of a 5-speed manual or AMT gearbox to pair with the silky smooth and refined engine.
Fuel economy is 20.89 kmpl and comfort features include automatic climate control, adjustable steering system and GPS navigation.
For safety it gets a seatbelt warning system, crash sensors, dual airbags, ABS with EBD, reverse parking camera and a speed warning alert. Boot space is a spacious 260 litres.
Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS
This well-equipped hatchback from Hyundai offers fog lamps and projector headlights to provide excellent visibility for the senior citizen. Legroom and headroom are both generous in this car and the older generation will love this interior cabin for its premium and refined feel.
Ride and handling are comfortable. It comes with a 1.2 litre petrol and diesel option for the engines and a choice between a 5-speed manual and an automatic gearbox.
Mileage for the petrol version is 21 kmpl and for the diesel it is 26.2 kmpl. Convenience features include keyless entry, GPS navigation system on a multi-functional display system, power steering and premium interiors.
Safety features include a headlamp escort system, rear view parking cameras, dual airbags, ABS with EBD and a speed warning. Luggage space is a roomy 260 litres.
The sub-4-metre sedan from Tata is stylish while remaining affordable at under Rs.6 lakh. It is a very safe car as it gets a 4-star rating from NCAP making it an ideal car for the elderly.
It gets its power from a 1.2 litre petrol engine that comes paired to either a 5-speed manual or AMT gearbox. The AMT transmission is the gearbox of choice here.
Fuel mileage stands at an impressive 20.3 kmpl, and for comfort / convenience it gets voice control, an automatic boot lid, automatic climate control, and keyless entry. Safety is top notch with corner stability control, rear view parking cameras and sensors, crash sensors, anti-theft sensors, dual airbags and ABS with EBD.
Luggage area is excellent with 419 litres of space to carry your belongings.
The Tata car that gets a 5-star crash rating from NCAP, the Altroz is the safest car one can buy for senior citizens in India. The Altroz is especially easy to drive with navigation controls and cruise control added to its comfort features.
The Altroz is available with a 1.2 litre petrol engine and a 1.5 litre diesel unit that comes paired to a 5-speed manual transmission.
Fuel economy is 19.05 kmpl for the petrol and 25.11 for the diesel engine. Comfort features for the Altroz are voice control, automatic climate control air conditioning, cruise control, GPS navigation system, real time vehicle tracking system and keyless entry.
On the safety front, which the Altroz is known for, you get central locking, corner stability control, dual airbags and ABS with EBD. The luggage compartment is a spacious 345 litres.
Maruti Suzuki Swift
The Maruti Suzuki Swift comes with an ultra-refined new K-series engine with features like cruise control that make it easy to drive. It is a 1.2 litre petrol unit that comes mated to either a 5 -speed manual or an AMT gearbox.
Fuel mileage is an economical 23.76 kmpl, and for comfort you get GPS navigation system, keyless start/stop engine control, and voice control. For safety, features include a seatbelt reminder, speed sensing automatic door locks, speed alert, hill climb assist, rear view parking camera, ABS with EBS and dual airbags.
The luggage space is a roomy 268 litres which is ample to carry your luggage.
This is a great sub compact SUV from Hyundai that is well suited to senior citizens with its various safety and driver assist features. The Venue gets features like vehicle stability control and electronic stability which is a great safety add on.
There are two petrol engines and one diesel engine on offer with the option of a manual transmission or an automatic gearbox.
The Venue has good road presence and is excellent for the elderly to drive. It also comes with an air purifier, tyre pressure monitoring system and voice controls.
Cars for Senior Citizens
Here are some tips and tricks to make the right choice of car for the senior citizen
- Easy access for elderly passengers. Check if it is easy to step in and out of the vehicle. A tall boy design works well here, because the elderly will not have to stoop to enter the car.
- There should be good visibility from inside the car’s driving seat. Elderly usually have vision needs and a clear and wide windscreen goes a long way in helping them drive safely.
- Controls should be well laid out and easy to use. Voice control is an added advantage, but even without this feature, the elderly should easily use the controls without fumbling
- Look out for comfort features with large seats, cruise control, navigation GPS system, seatbelt warning, automatic climate control, and reverse parking cameras. All these features go a long way in making the driving experience more pleasurable for the elderly.
- There should be lots of luggage space in case they need to carry a full-size walker, wheelchair or anything else a senior citizen might want to carry along with him on a ride.
Best Cars for Transporting the Elderly
Finding the best car is the first step, after that is actually driving the car which can be a task for some senior citizens. Use the following suggestions as driving tips for the elderly
Do some stretching exercises or yoga to keep the body flexible and physically fit. Driving a car in rush hour traffic can get quite stressful, so make sure your body is up to the task
If you need glasses, ensure that you wear them before driving. A visual impairment may make it hard for you to see oncoming motorists and make the driving experience a little unpleasant. Also, hearing should be in perfect condition before you drive.
If you are taking any medication that may impair your driving skills, consult a doctor before you take the wheel.
Driving under the influence of intoxicating substances is prohibited and must be avoided at all times
The elderly usually have poor memory skills and tend to forget things they have already learned. Taking a refresher driving lesson will help them revive their memory and remember all the rules and regulations of the road.
With a vast number of vehicles available for the elderly and well suited to their needs, it makes sense to have a comparative study on them to find out which is best.
The list we have curated for you is a good start and you can make your selection from there, or use it as a base for the start of your search.
To make the best choice for senior citizens, you should thoroughly research all the cars you have shortlisted. Options from the segments of hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs, and compact SUVs are all well suited for the senior citizen.
Beside the type of body, you must also analyse the transmission option (automatic or manual), fuel (petrol, diesel or CNG), safety features available and comfort levels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Are automatic cars good for a senior citizen?
Ans. Automatic cars are much easier to drive than manual transmission cars. With automatic cars, you don’t have to worry about the clutch and changing gears, just accelerate and brake, that’s all. Manual transmission cars require you to modulate the clutch to move forward and you always have to keep an eye on which gear you are driving in.
Automatic cars are popular choices for senior citizens because of their ease of operation. If you have never driven an automatic car before, don’t worry, it is not that hard to learn and a few driving lessons should do the job.
Q2. What are some of the safest cars for the elderly available on the market?
Ans. Safety is a big concern for senior citizens and features like airbags, seatbelts, ABS and reverse parking sensors and cameras are essential.
According to official studies and standards like NCAP, some of the safest cars on the road are the Tata Tiago, Tata Altroz, Tata Tigor and Mahindra XUV 300.