Toyota Echo History – toyota echo
That’s my backward mom’s 2000 Toyota Echo, with her 45-year-old best authorization plates. It’s a four-generation car; she collection it into her 90s, again I collection it for a few years and now my babe drives it with her cast new baby. I would accept anticipation it was the absolute car for earlier drivers; it’s bargain to maintain, gets abundant gas mileage, simple and aboveboard with no complicated electronics, and it’s absolutely accessible to park.
It consistently afraid me with what it could do. We collection it with bristles mostly full-sized adults and a lot of baggage for bristles hours from Toronto to Montreal and it never complained. (I was the boilerplate commuter in the aback seat, and I aloof complained a bit.)
This is a car for crumbling boomers? (Photo: Kevauto [CC BY-SA 4.0]/Wikipedia)
So aback I afresh saw an commodity blue-blooded 5 best accepted 2019 SUVs for seniors, I was outraged. I’m no fan of SUVs for anyone, and their top aces is a big, big-ticket Acura SUV with all the new electronics including “a advanced array of assurance appearance including a rearview camera, dark atom monitoring, anchor assist, and banal detection.” Added recommendations were Jeep Cherokees and Toyota Highlanders, all monsters that I anticipation would be too high, too adamantine to park, too big-ticket and like added SUVs, too deadly; pedestrians are three times as acceptable to die if hit by an SUV or auto barter than they are if hit by a approved car. I was actively accessible to rant.
However, aback accomplishing added research, I had to calm bottomward a bit. AAA, alive with the Institute for Mobility, Activity and Participation at the University of Florida, loves all this being you can’t acquisition in a 20-year-old Toyota. Six-way adjustable seats are bigger for those with leg issues. Covering or faux covering is easier to accelerate in and out of. Got arthritis? Keyless entry, ability mirrors (the Toyota didn’t alike accept ability windows!) push-button ignition. Got cerebral issues? “Classic Car designs — bound technology or added appearance abate distractions and advance acquaintance with controls” – conceivably that’s who gets the Echo.
As we get older, some bodies accept bound ambit of motions, so advancement cameras, alongside esplanade assistance, advanced and rear sensors accomplish activity easier. And aloof in case, airbags everywhere, but be abiding that they are “Dual-stage and dual-threshold airbags, because chief drivers accident abrasion if airbags arrange with too abundant force.”
AAA does acceptable research, but they’ve been about aback 1902 announcement automobiles, and there doesn’t assume to be a new technology they don’t love. It’s bright all of these high-tech add-ons can accomplish a difference, but they all add up to accomplish a car actual big-ticket and high-maintenance.
There’s additionally not a chatter about which cars are safest for the bodies alfresco the car, which isn’t hasty because until recently, that capricious wasn’t alike abstinent in North America. As Sarah Holder acclaimed in CityLab, “the cardinal of deaths involving SUVs added 20 percent faster than that of commuter cars amid 2013 and 2017, as retail sales of ablaze trucks like them added dramatically. With their greater accumulation and bound disciplinarian visibility, SUVs accept accepted to be added baleful than their abate cousins.” This should be taken into consideration.
Then there’s Consumer Reports, which comes up with a account of its 5 best cars for adeptness seniors, and they’re all SUVs, but “cross-overs” — mostly smaller, congenital on a car anatomy rather than a truck’s. They’re all imports, so they’re advised to accede with Euro NCAP regulations for banal safety, with lower, angled advanced ends. Consumers Reports’ key criteria:
They like the mini-SUVs because “older drivers may no best drive to assignment every day, but they ability charge a car for best alley trips or one that can calmly fit a car bench aback it’s time to aces up the grandkids.” I accept to agenda that car seats fit in any car, including the aback bench of the Echo. But OK, I accede that “either way, a agent that’s a breeze to get into and out of is a must.”
Their top aces is a Subaru Forester.
My wife’s Subaru, abate than a Forester but big abundant for us. (Photo: Lloyd Alter)
This is … sensible. My wife drives a Subaru Impreza and we advanced endemic an Outback, bought the aforementioned day as that Toyota Echo aback in 2000. They are reliable, basal cars. All of Consumer Reports’ recommendations are sensible, economical crossovers. Interestingly, Subarus appear out on top in the new Insurance Institute for Highway Assurance picks for the safest cars on the road.
But Consumer Reports and the others never acknowledgment the baby amount of altitude change, advising beneath fuel-efficient 4-wheel drive so that our earlier drivers are “ready for adventure.” No Nissan Leaf or added little electric car that’s bargain to accomplish and abundant for abbreviate trips.
In Copenhagen, a lot of bodies ride e-bikes, including me. It’s a approach of busline abounding seniors should consider. (Photo: With permission to Lloyd Alter)
And I aloof couldn’t address this column after advertence that added alternative, which I’m aggravating and accept discussed before: bandy abroad the car keys. There are added means to get around, and you accept to plan ahead. Tracy E. Noble of AAA writes that “seniors are outliving their safe active years by an boilerplate of seven to 10 years, and charge now alpha planning for their “driving retirement,” abundant the aforementioned as they plan for their banking retirement.” These new car technologies may extend those active years a bit, but at some point, you are stuck. Noble continues:
I apperceive my limitations, and I apperceive that I and anybody about me is safer aback I’m on foot, on the streetcar, or on my new e-bike. Added bodies should accede those options.
Lloyd Alter ( @lloydalter ) writes about acute (and dumb) tech with a ancillary of architecture and a birr of boomer angst.
What’s the best car for earlier drivers?
Just about anybody recommends a big gasoline-powered SUV for seniors. This will not end well.
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