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  • By Lisa Jevens

Best Cars for Retirees

Have you aged out of your car? If your life has changed post-retirement, why not shop for a new vehicle to match your new lifestyle?

A new car more suited to your needs and physical abilities may keep you driving longer safely. Modern cars have an incredible array of convenience and safety features, many of which are standard. Here are some ideas for a new ride that fits your stage in life.

2015 Nissan Altima (above)

The Nissan Altima is known for delivering excellent mileage (27 mpg city/38 mpg highway) for a mid-size sedan, partly due to its CVT transmission that does not use traditional gears. Midwestern drivers will love the remote engine start system available on some models. The Altima also has user-friendly features. It will honk the horn when you’ve put the right amount of air in a tire. It has bright gauges, and was noted for having one of the less complex infotainment systems. It also has so-called Zero Gravity seats that are supposed to make long drives more comfortable. Starting MSRP: $22,300

2016 Acura MDX

Looking for a vehicle versatile enough to tow the boat to the lake along with the grandkids and all their gear, that’s also nice enough to drive out to dinner? The popular Acura MDX is a midsize luxury SUV that can tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. It can seat seven in three rows, or stow 90.9 cubic feet of gear when the seats are folded down. It comes with a V6 engine, all wheel drive, and a 9-speed transmission with push-button gear selector. The 2016 model has a cutting-edge safety package called AcuraWatch, which includes various warning systems, a rear camera, a collision mitigation braking system, and more. Starting MSRP: $42,865

2015 Toyota Prius

With gas prices low, it’s a good time to get a deal on a hybrid and position yourself for the next spike. At 51/48 mpg, you’ll make a lot fewer trips to the gas station. (The Prius can run on its electric motor, its gasoline engine, or both.) The Prius will get a major redesign in 2016, so it’s a good time to get a deal on a 2015. After 15 years, the Prius is a proven winner and holds its resale value. Helpful features such as daytime running lights, heated power outside mirrors that fold, keyless entry and push-button start buttons are standard. The Prius is also a great way to make the earth a little cleaner for the next generation. Starting MSRP: $24,200

2016 Ford Mustang Convertible

If a Mustang has always been on your bucket list, check out the 2016 model with its cool muscle car styling, and the latest technology. It’s definitely geared toward the baby boomer cohort — Ford’s website is quick to point out that the trunk will hold two golf bags. In addition to power and style, the 2016 Mustang convertible comes with convenience features such as heated and cooled seats, push-button top closure, and a newly simplified infotainment system. There are different engine sizes (4 cylinder to V8) from which to choose, and many options and styles available to customize the look and feel of your dream car. Starting MSRP: $29,300

2015 Kia Soul

The Kia Soul is a highly rated, fun little running around car. It’s the perfect size to tow behind your camper on cross-country trips or keep at your second home. Considered a compact multipurpose vehicle, this sporty economy hatchback is packed with features of cars twice the price: available heated rear seats, steering wheel and mirrors, keyless entry, backup warning system, and state-of-the-art infotainment system including voice-recognition. Drivers say it has plenty of room in front, so they don’t feel cramped. The Soul comes with Kia’s 10-year/100,000 mile warranty and five years of roadside assistance. Starting MSRP: $15,190

Originally published in the Chicago Tribune Prime Time senior living section on September18, 2015.

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