Question Of The Day: Grandma's New Car

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

After nearly 15 years of faithful service from her 2000 Honda Civic, my grandmother is looking for a new car. There’s nothing wrong with her car, other than the fact that the Civic’s relatively low seating position makes the car difficult to get in and out of for someone who will turn 81 and has broken their hip twice.

Naturally, I’ve been tasked with helping my grandmother find a new car, but I wanted to draw on the collective wisdom of the B&B for some ideas.

Her requirements

  • Brand new, under $20,000 CDN
  • Automatic transmission (she drove a manual well into her 60s, but that ship has sailed)
  • Similar footprint to her 2000 Civic
  • Reliable
  • Not overly laden with tech (touch screens would be an unwelcome distraction)
  • But a backup camera would be welcome

Based on the reliability issues afflicting the Ford Powershift transmissions, the Fiesta has been struck from the list. The Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio seem to have struck her interest, as has the new Honda Fit. Sadly, a decently equipped Mazda3 is over the $20,000 threshold.

What am I overlooking here? Please keep in mind the requirements. This is an 80 year old pensioner we’re talking about. She thought that the much-unloved 2012 Civic was fantastic. The first person to suggest a used, maintenance-intensive enthusiast vehicle or provide unsolicited financial advice about buying a new car will get an all-expenses paid one-week vacation from their commenting privileges.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Michal1980 Michal1980 on Oct 01, 2014

    top gear, season 19, episode 5.old peoples car episode.

  • Tbhride Tbhride on Oct 01, 2014

    The Fit would probably be a pretty jazzy option!

  • 87 Morgan 87 Morgan on Oct 01, 2014

    Had the same issue with my mom. She went with the jeep patriot. Liked the AWD and the power rear hatch. Honestly, I am not sure they are still in production anymore or what the price point would be up north. She likes it, easy on gas and good in the foul weather. She's and American car kinda gal, so no honda or Kia for her. No sense getting into the it's made here argument with your mom, just make her happy was the route we decided on.

  • Stodge Stodge on Oct 01, 2014

    She needs to pony up the cash for a Buick Encore - she's the perfect age to be a Buick owner! :)