As we age, the comfort level of our cars becomes increasingly important. People tend to keep cars longer as they get older, and that means you have to make sure the vehicle you choose is the right one. I hear it all the time from people who say “this may be the last car I will ever buy”. If that turns out to be true, you not only want to make sure the vehicle is comfortable, but also that it is equipped the way you want it.
Of course, safety should be a high priority, but the truth is, all cars are safe these days. There are some excellent option choices these days that can assist you in avoiding a severe wreck and also those annoying fender benders. One option I love is blind spot monitoring, which many cars have today. At a glance, you can tell if it is safe to make a lane change, which is important if your eyes are not a good as they once were, or your reflexes are not quite as fast as they used to be.
Starting in May 2018, all cars will be equipped with backup cameras and most already have them now, which can be a huge help. Many cars also have backup sensors that will beep at you if you are about to back into something. I always recommend a power seat for comfort and visibility, and keyless entry can be a nice feature as well. If you go with an SUV, I would make sure it has a power lift gate and that you can easily fold down the second row seat.
A lot of vehicles today, usually more expensive ones, have automatic braking, especially at lower speeds. Another nice option is adaptive cruise control, which keeps you at an equal distance from the car in front of you.
When you are car shopping, you want to make sure you can get in and out of the vehicle easily. This is one of the reasons more seniors are going from cars to SUVs. Many sedans today sit low, and while you may not have any problems entering and exiting the car today, think down the road 5 years if you plan to keep the vehicle a long time.
Be sure also to check the headrest and make sure it is not uncomfortable, some lean more to the front of the car than others. Also, check the dash to make sure you can see and read the important info like speedometer, fuel gauge, and warning lights. There is a big difference among the size of instrument clusters between cars. Make sure when you have your tilt wheel set for your comfort, that you have a good view of the dash.
Lastly, don’t get overwhelmed with electronics. While Bluetooth, navigation, and voice recognition are helpful options, don’t try to learn all the systems at once. Spend some time with your new vehicle and go back to the dealership in a week or so to take a deep dive into the electronics and infotainment systems if your car is so equipped.
If your next new car is possibly your last one, make sure you choose the right one that you will enjoy and one that will keep you safe.