Best 2020 SUVs For Seniors

SUVs aren’t typically the vehicle of choice for seniors. But that is starting to change.

As SUVs become smaller, more fuel-efficient, and are easier to get into and out of, they offer a number of benefits for more seasoned drivers.

This includes more room utility, a higher ride height with better visibility, more cargo-carrying capacity, superior all-weather driving capability, and more room for family, groceries, and grandkids.

And seniors who opt for a crossover model don’t have to compromise on safety. All of the models listed below are 2020 Top Safety Pick models from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Below are our picks for the best 2020 SUVs for seniors.

hyundai kona

Hyundai Kona

The Kona is a subcompact crossover with a starting price of about $22,000. The model has a relatively upscale interior with simple, user-friendly controls.


The Kona comes with a host of standard features that are perfect for older drivers including forward collision warning, driver attention monitor, lane keep assist, and a rear-view camera.

The model has an easy to get into ground clearance of 6.7 inches.

hyundai santa fe

Hyundai Santa Fe

The Santa Fe is a good value in the midsize SUV class. It’s also a good option for older drivers. It comes with a host of useful safety features including Safe Exit Assist, which prevents passengers from exiting the vehicle when cars or bicycles are approaching from behind.

The Santa Fe is easy to get into for its size with large door openings and 7.4 inches of ground clearance. Being in the midsize class, it seats five and has a good amount of cargo space with a high cabin to stretch out.

Mazda CX-5

The CX-5 is one of the best compact SUVs for seniors. It has a modest 7.5 inches of ground clearance and blends agile handling and fuel-efficiency with a sharp interior.

For 2020, the CX-5 has newly added standard drive assistance and maintains its user-friendly tech features.

2015 Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V

The CR-V is a great compact SUV for senior drivers. It combines excellent fuel economy, good power, a spacious interior, comfortable seats with a large cargo area for its class.

The CR-V is a fantastic choice for seniors needing to load a walker or scooter. It has a hands-free lift-gate available, along with a power lift-gate and a low lift-over height.

The model’s safety features include road departure mitigation, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. The CR-V combines quality, value, and utility making it a great choice for senior drivers, despite its 8.2 inches of ground clearance with all-wheel drive.

Kia Telluride

KIA Telluride

The Telluride is an all-new model for 2020. With ample size and comfortable seating for up to eight, the Telluride is a top SUV choice for seniors in the three-row crossover class.

The Telluride has a powerful V6 engine and smooth, composed ride for family trips while still getting 26-mpg highway. Despite being a larger vehicle, the Telluride has a manageable eight inches of ground clearance.

The Telluride also has the Safe Exit Assist feature, as seen in the Santa Fe, which prevents children from opening the rear doors when danger looms. It also has driver attention monitor and pedestrian detection, and a lot of safety tech, to allow seniors to feel confident and safe driving it. The model is also a great vehicle if you’re an overweight driver.

For senior drivers looking for a three-row SUV with lower ground clearance, consider the Honda Pilot, which is in the latter stages of its current generation but has aged well, at 7.3 inches and the Chevrolet Traverse at 7.5 inches. The Traverse also has one of the largest, most spacious interiors in the class.

Mercedes-Benz GLE

The GLE is a compact luxury crossover from the German automaker. In base form, the model tows a robust 7,700 pounds with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.

Equipped with the latest safety features, the GLE has a ground clearance of 7.1 inches. The 2020 GLE has a starting price of $56,000 and is a good choice for older drivers who want to arrive in comfort, safety, and style.

Tesla interior

Tesla Model Y

If you’re a senior in driving an electric SUV, the Model Y is a great choice. The Model Y has a powerful motor and can gain over 280 miles of range on a full charge.

The Model Y has a low center of gravity with a ground clearance of only 6.6 inches. This affords excellent handling, a spirited driving experience, and easy ingress and egress.

More Fuel-Efficient SUV Models for Seniors

Older drivers looking to save at the pump may also want to consider the RAV4 Hybrid. This compact crossover delivers an excellent EPA-estimated 41-mpg city and 38-mpg highway.

The RAV4 Hybrid has reasonably quick acceleration and standard all-wheel drive. One drawback for the RAV4 may be its 8.4 inches of ground clearance, which could be a bit of a hurdle for older drivers.

Best Luxury SUVs For Seniors

Some of the top picks for luxury SUVs for seniors include the Acura RDX, Lexus NX, and Cadillac XT6. You can learn more about those models and their safety features here.

In addition to the above, other valuable features to consider for seniors when choosing an SUV would include power-adjustable seats, key-less entry ignition, climate control zones, and larger controls.

And if you’re a dog owner, take a look at these 2020 dog-friendly SUVs.

Ground Clearance Can Vary Significantly

In reviewing our 2015 article on best SUVs for seniors, you’ll notice several models no longer make the list. Vehicles models can change quite a bit year to year.

In the case of the Toyota RAV4, the 2020 model has a ground clearance of 8.4 inches. In 2015, it was 6.3 inches to get into. This more than two inches difference can happen when a model is redesigned.

And among vehicle classes, the Model Y’s ground clear inches is more than two inches less than a Subaru Forester.

Which model on our best 2020 SUV for seniors list is your favorite?

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