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4 Reasons Why Two Subaru Models Are The Best Car For Seniors - It’s Not About Safety

Are the 2021 Subaru Forester and Outback the best cars for seniors? A new list says yes, but it's not about safety.

In Subaru Forester and Outback tv ads, the Camden, N.J. automaker shows a younger demographic who lead active lifestyles driving the cars. But there are even better reasons for seniors to buy the two models. came out with The Best Cars for Senior Drivers, and the 2020 Subaru Forester and Outback are number two and number three best on the list. lists safety as the number one reason because seniors are keeping their driver's licenses longer. Are they inferring seniors are not safe drivers? The opposite is true because studies show seniors are driving longer and safer. Seniors are looking for the best safety technology, and don't have to buy a luxury model to get it. You can find the latest technology in most mainstream brands today.

2020 Subaru Outback, 2020 Subaru Forester

It's true Subaru has the top Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) safety scores of any automaker. But many automakers are now on the IIHS Safety Pick+ list. Subaru is a leader in safety, but they aren't the only automaker with top scores.

The other top cars best for senior drivers from the Cars list are the Kia Soul (#1), Hyundai Santa Fe (#4), Hyundai Tucson (#5), Honda CR-V (#6), and Kia Sportage (#7).

Why are Subaru models good cars for seniors?

2021 Subaru Forester pricing, features, specs

You can find many cars with the features lists as best for senior drivers. They listed an automatic transmission, safety tech, a quiet cabin, comfortable ride, power seats, and user-friendly multimedia. Just about all new cars offer these things. We've found four often overlooked reasons why Subaru Forester, Outback, and Ascent SUVs are best for senior drivers in our tests.

Do Subaru cars offer good outward visibility? does list good visibility as being important, but Subaru is the best in this crucial area. The Forester compact SUV rates number one in outward visibility from the driver's seat.

In a study by Consumer Reports, the 2020 Subaru Forester is the best for outward visibility. Forester is rated tops because of its exterior design with the driver's view "unobstructed by roof pillars, head restraints, or small windows," says CR. Visibility is a core value for the brand, and Subaru has kept Forester's conservative exterior design for this reason.

Easy entry and exit

Forester, Outback, and Ascent all offer easy access because the models sit 8.7-inches off the ground, higher than any mainstream brand SUV. Older drivers can slide in and out without climbing up into a tall vehicle or having to bend down while getting into a car that sits low to the ground. It could save your back from serious problems.

Subaru balance and stability

The 2020 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Ascent bring a unique quality called balance that sets the SUVs apart from all others. Scientifically, balance is the body's ability to maintain its center of gravity above its support base. In an SUV that sits higher off the ground, it helps maintain stability in all driving situations.

All Subaru models use a flat-four Boxer engine, and the unique design is unique to the brand. The horizontally-opposed design allows the engine to sit low in the chassis, lowering the center of gravity, giving the Forester optimal balance and improved driving dynamics. It's what sets the brand apart from all other automakers.

Are Subaru vehicles best for winter driving?

Subaru is committed to building cars that have its Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. You can find many SUVs with an all-wheel-drive system, but Subaru offers another system called X-Mode on Forester, Outback, and Ascent models. X-Mode offers optimal traction in deep snow, icy conditions, or mud. It provides another layer of all-weather capability.

Are the 2021 Subaru Forester and Outback the best cars for seniors? Cars says the Subaru Forester and 2020 Outback rank number two and three. We would add the all-new Ascent 3-Row family hauler to the list because it offers the same features as its two stablemates.

You Might Also Like: Is Subaru Quality Improving? One Important Indicator Says Yes

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru


Chupacabra (not verified)    October 6, 2020 - 11:55AM

I'm sorry but as an ex-owner of a 2020 Outback, the 11" infotainment system is an absolute disaster on this car. Even with latest firmware update, it's slow and requires way too much interaction with it for simple things like HVAC controls. I couldn't recommend this car at all for seniors who are typically tech-challenged to begin with. The car itself is outstanding, but the Infotainment system and lack of physical buttons for virtually everything is a huge problem with this car IMHO.

Linda (not verified)    October 6, 2020 - 6:30PM

In reply to by Chupacabra (not verified)

I agree with the infotainment package. I am the owner of a 2020 Outback and not a senior. I think it is difficult to navigate while driving. If you don’t have everything set up before a trip don’t try to figure out radio, A/C or seat warming while driving. It is complex. I still have my car and will keep it. Just hope over time it becomes easier to use. I’ve had it for 6 months with over 10,000 miles and still trying to figure it out.

Chupacabra (not verified)    October 7, 2020 - 9:50PM

In reply to by Cthus Hutchinson (not verified)

I had the car for 5 months, they've been out a year already. I once traded in a 3 week old Acura RSX because I realized I really wanted a Camaro. I have kept cars for less time that this Outback. My family situation grew and the OB just wasn't the right vehicle for me. Plus I got tired of all the annoyances with this car so it was worth it to me to eat some deprecation and get out of a car that was frustrating to drive.

George Brad St… (not verified)    March 27, 2022 - 3:12PM

In reply to by Cthus Hutchinson (not verified)

I had a 2018 mazda cx 5 and returned it, so you can have a vehicle short time and be an ex driver. The problem is spending alot of money on a car and not being able to try a week before making final decision. A test drive is not long enough! The mazda is a beautiful looking car, comfortable to sit in. But for me not enough legroom, and it had little buttons for the ac system. I went to a subaru forester 2018 which has more front legroom and better visibility. I love the car so far. Also has been handle to close door, the mazda had to put fingers in window buttons to close. The forester also has big simple ac and heat buttons. The 2020 mazda has copied them. Please call makers make climate control buttons easy to use. KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID as the phrase goes. I have to disagree with kia soul being better then the Forester. I have had 52 cars in my life, yes I know that is rediculus, but will tell your the forester has the best visablity of any car I have ever owned. Im 66 years old and love this car. The only change I would make is to allow up to 2,500 tow capacity like the outback has and a little more rear legroom. The best legroom I have seen in this size suv is Ford edge that has good front and back legroom with it not being to large of suv.

Luis X. (not verified)    April 20, 2021 - 11:33AM

In reply to by Chupacabra (not verified)

We have a 2017 Forester and the infotainment is simpler but that is not what we want in a car. We seek safety and reliability and don't care about how big or small the screen could be because that is not important for us. It runs good and stable and with good care it can last several years.

Michael Smith (not verified)    October 6, 2020 - 6:23PM

Love my 09 forester XT and the wife's 14...
But I can't see ever buying a new one until they get rid of that engine off at red lights nonsense

Chupacabra (not verified)    October 7, 2020 - 9:54PM

In reply to by Michael Smith (not verified)

The auto start stop on the OB is the worst of any vehicle I've owned with ASS. That includes two BMWs and a 2021 Wrangler It's really bad when it decides to fire itself up when at a light, if you don't have your foot firmly on the brake the car will jump forward. The auto start is also incredibly rough, it's just not a pleasant experience. A third party vendor just came out with a $100 device to disable ASS permanently, and there were lots of takers on the OB forum for it.

Shelagh (not verified)    October 6, 2020 - 6:36PM

I just bought my very first vehicle a Subaru Forester have absolutely no regrets i feel safe in it love how it handles the quality. The extra safety features that came with it help lots
I researched vehicles for over a year before deciding on this one and would buy another Subaru Forester in a heartbeat

Dave chuba (not verified)    October 7, 2020 - 8:44AM

At the end of 2019 I traded my 2011 3.6 R legacy for a 2018 Camry Hybrid. When I test drove the 4 cylinder subie’s they felt slow and not very responsive to me when I drove the Camry it exceeded my expectations. My gas bill with the Camry is $25 a month . I’m a senior and economy is important to me. Before retirement I drove a million miles for work (outside sales) in Front wheel drive cars in OH MI PA so all wheel drive is nice but no a big deal to me in winter driving.