Let’s face it — if you’re headed toward an early retirement you’ll be living on a budget. Unless, of course, you hit the jackpot during your career. Part of living on a budget is scaling down. Scaling down your lifestyle can mean different things, depending on your individual situation. Perhaps you want to cut out unnecessary expenses, or move to a smaller house — or drive a different car.
When you retire, you might decide to buy a new car. It is essential that you choose a good, safe, economical vehicle — but that doesn’t mean you have to forego comfort and style. Read on to see the top vehicle choices for those who retire, then choose the one that’s right for your lifestyle.
1. 2018 Subaru Forester
With a starting MSRP of $22,795, the Subaru Forester combines economy with a lot of benefits for older drivers. Its standard, 170-horsepower, four-cylinder engine is powerful enough to zip around town — and it gets up to 26 mpg in the city and 32 on the highway.
What’s best about the Forester for retirees is that it has awesome visibility and is easy to get in and out of, and it comes standard with a rearview camera and all-wheel drive. If your budget allows, choose options that will help keep you safe, such as pre-collision braking, EyeSight safety system, blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning.
Next: Low ride height and great gas mileage
2. 2018 Hyundai Sonata
Reliable and affordable, the 2018 Hyundai Sonata starts at $22,050. It comes with a strong warranty and gets up to 28 miles per gallon in the city and 37 on the highway, which will make it easy on your gas budget. If you have any type of mobility problems, you’re in luck. The Sonata has a low ride height, which makes it easy to get in and out of, and its supportive seats enable senior drivers to get comfy the way they want. A rearview camera ensures you know exactly what’s behind you before you hit it.
Next: Take the high road
3. 2018 Toyota Highlander
Although the Toyota Highlander isn’t the least expensive ride on the list with a starting price of $31,030, its safety and reliability ratings make it one of the best. The Highlander gets 21 miles per gallon in the city and 27 on the highway, which is pretty good for an SUV. In addition, it has a comfortable ride height and good visibility, two important things for seniors. Because the Highlander handles more like a car than an SUV, it might be an easy transition for seniors who have driven smaller cars. A rearview camera is standard on the vehicle, and that’s a good thing.
Next: Keep your oldie but goodie
4. Keep the car you’ve been driving
If you’re really looking to save money, forget buying a new car when you retire. Instead, drive the vehicle you have until it dies. If you’ve taken care of your car it should run long past the point when it has 100,000 miles on the odometer, according to Consumer Reports. Keeping your old car means that you won’t be making payments on a new one — and your insurance premiums will be lower. If your car needs a major repair, such as an engine replacement, it won’t likely be worth it to keep it, but aside from that, it’s a sound money decision to keep your old ride and spend your money on something else.
Next: Upscale and comfortable
5. 2018 Buick Encore
You’ve worked your whole life. You deserve a nice, upscale, comfortable car in your retirement, right? If that’s what you have your sights on, consider the Buick Encore subcompact SUV. It’s a modern vehicle with a luxurious ride that many seniors think of when they think “Buick.” The Encore offers easy egress and ingress but still gives you a great view of the road. Safety and reliability ratings are high, and it comes with a rearview camera and the OnStar telematics system, which notifies you in the event of an oncoming accident. At a starting price of $22,990 — and gas mileage figures of up to 27 city and 33 highway — the Encore also offers great value.
Next: Go on your own, personal odyssey.
6. 2018 Honda Odyssey
The Honda Odyssey starts at $29,990, gets 280 horsepower, and delivers fuel ratings of 19 miles per gallon in the city and 28 on the highway. Sure, it’s a minivan, but it’s perfect for older drivers — it’s easy to get in and out of and it provides enough space to take a crowd for an outing. The sliding doors make entry simple — and there’s plenty of room for storage. Can you say “road trip?”
Next: Go for reliability
7. 2018 Toyota Camry
Reliability is key if you’re retired. You certainly don’t want a vehicle that nickel and dimes you or breaks down frequently. The Toyota Camry might be just the ticket. The midsize sedan has a starting MSRP of $23,495 and gets up to 29 miles per gallon in the city and 41 on the highway, making it super economical. Its dashboard features large controls, which makes it easy to adjust temperature and audio while you keep your eyes on the road. In addition, all Camrys come standard with a rearview camera.
Next: Go for reliability
8. 2018 Kia Soul
With a starting MSRP of $16,100, the Kia Soul is an incredible value. In addition, the sporty compact gets up to 26 miles per gallon in the city and 31 on the highway. And it has strong safety and reliability scores, a topnotch warranty, and a lot of cargo space. The Soul is easy to enter and exit and Kia recently updated it with a host of active safety systems.
Next: Go big or go home.
9. 2018 Chrysler 300
The Chrysler 300 is a big, smooth-riding car that’s perfect for older drivers. Starting at $28,995, the 300 comes standard with a 292-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine. It gets a reasonable 19 miles per gallon in the city and 30 on the highway. In addition, this Chrysler offers a number of safety features, which is always a plus.
Next: An easy-to-drive car
10. 2018 Chevrolet Impala
Safe, reliable, and comfortable, the Chevrolet Impala has a starting price of $27,895. It’s easy to drive, and the dash, which features large controls and displays, is laid out intuitively. This is a modern car that should make older drivers feel at home. The Impala doesn’t come with very many standard safety systems, so you might want to budget for some, like the important rearview camera. It does, however, include GM’s OnStar system, a service that includes roadside assistance, navigation instructions, and automatic crash response.
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