Top 5 New 2021 SUVs for Senior Drivers
The market for SUVs (sport utility vehicles) started increasing nearly two decades ago and has been expanding ever since. In the year 2000, SUV sales comprised only four percent of the market. By 2018 they comprised forty percent. During this period, the number of older drivers on U.S. roads also increased by fifty percent. This means more drivers 55 years and older are driving SUVs in 2020. Why did crossover SUVs become so popular among senior drivers?
SUVs have safety features on which senior drivers can rely. Modern SUVs also have improved maneuverability and fuel economy, making them more affordable and comfortable to operate. Senior drivers look for ease of access into a vehicle. Crossovers provide enough space and height to get in and out of without much trouble. Additionally, an SUV has plenty of cargo space and seating. This is important for seniors who still travel, transport pets, or need to carry medical equipment such as wheelchairs or walkers.
Top 5 New 2021 SUVs for Senior Drivers
There are five excellent incoming SUVs for senior drivers in 2021:
- 2021 Acura RDX
- 2021 Subaru Forester
- 2021 Jeep Cherokee
- 2021 Ford Edge
- 2021 Toyota Highlander
1. 2021 Acura RDX
The 2021 Acura RDX is a premium sport crossover SUV with a starting MSRP of $38,200. The advanced package trim with brilliant Performance Red Pearl paint starts at $46,500. While the advanced package boasts additional comfort, entertainment and visual features, all trims have the same engine specs. This crossover contains a 272-HP 2.0L Vtec Turbo engine with an impressive fuel economy of 22MPG city and 28MPG highway.
The RDX interior has a high-class nautical appearance and a sense of comfort, style and control. There is an electronic gear selector and 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for ease of operation. Ambient lighting, a moonroof and advanced smartphone connectivity make driving the RDX a smooth, pleasant experience. The vehicle can also tow up to 1,500 pounds. Perhaps most impressive for drivers 55 and up is the standard Integrated Dynamic System (IDS), which allows drivers to switch between four operational modes for better, safer driving in snow, rain and other conditions.
2. 2021 Subaru Forester
Subaru claims its 2021 Forester is the SUV for all the things a driver loves. A starting MSRP of $24,795 and 33MPG on the highway make it hard to argue. Symmetrical all-wheel drive for better control and EyeSight® driver assist technology for added safety are also features loved by senior drivers. The 2021 Forester also boasts 111.0 cubic feet of passenger space for comfortably carrying friends and loved ones on longer excursions or even short trips around town.
Additional standard safety features include adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking and a lane departure warning system with lane-keeping assistance. In fact, the Forester received a 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This model also retains higher resale value than many of its class competitors.
Subaru also includes a touchscreen infotainment system utilizing its proprietary Starlink interface. The interior is classy and comfortable, and there is plenty of space for groceries, pet carriers or medical equipment in the rear area.
3. 2021 Jeep Cherokee
Jeep built its 2021 Cherokee with a classy, smooth and rounded exterior look. Jeep has an overall off-road reputation and marketing still focuses on a sense of journey and adventure. It also focuses on peace of mind by making many modern safety features part of standard packaging. These safety features include:
- Blind spot monitoring and rear cross path detection.
- Full speed, forward collision warning with active braking.
- LaneSense®lane departure warning
- Electronic stability control.
The 2021 Cherokee has a starting MSRP of $26,535 and gets as low as 20MPG in the city and as high as 31MPG on the highway depending on trim. Engine power is 180 HP at 6,400RPM in lower three trims, and 271 at 6,500RPM in the two highest. One great feature of the Jeep Cherokee is the ease of getting in and out of the vehicle. Another great benefit perfect for senior drivers is the automatic enrollment in the Jeep Wave® program, which provides 36 months of covered maintenance, and 24/7 customer support at no additional charge.
4. 2021 Ford Edge
Estimated starting MSRP for the incoming 2021 Ford Edge is around $33,000. The base package provides adequate features across the board, and this 2-row midsize SUV provides a roomy, comfortable and quiet ride. Interior tech features are not as modernized as competing SUVs in its class, however the 2021 model is expected to included an upsized 15.5-inch touchscreen and the proprietary Ford SYNC® 4 software system
The fuel economy on the 2021 Ford Edge is expected to be 29 MPG on the highway as rated by the EPA. At the time of this writing, Ford was still featuring the 2020 Edge on its website. That outgoing model was the 2020 IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) Top Safety Pick in models featuring adaptive LED headlamps. The 2021 model is expected to uphold such high standards, making it a great choice for senior drivers concerned about roadway safety. The 2021 Ford Edge is a great choice for 55+ drivers who prefer extra comfort per passenger to carrying additional people. There is plenty of luggage space when the rear seats are folder down, however, also making this SUV a great choice for senior couples taking longer road trips.
5. 2021 Toyota Highlander
Toyota boasts redefining the daily drive with its incoming 2021 Highlander. Starting MSRP is $34,810 and the SUV is listed with a fuel economy of 21/29 MPG in the city/highway respectively. Toyota has manufactured some of the more reliable vehicles on the market and Consumer Reports lists the company behind only Lexus overall. The incoming Highlander is expected to maintain status in that regarding overall reliability.
This is a classy looking SUV with a bit of perceived size to it due to its exterior design. The perception of size on the outside is matched by a lot of legroom inside. There are two and three-row trims, but the Highlander is spacious regardless of which one is purchased. Actual carrying capacity and cargo space vary between the 2-row and 3-row trims but both sizes are quite comfortable and full of great tech features. Reports by the IIHS state the Highlander received solid safety ratings overall, and top ratings for its automatic emergency braking system, which is a standard feature.