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I'm looking at small SUVs so I can carry a companion wheelchair easily, as well as having good safety features, especially for winter driving. I'm especially concerned that the vehicle will be easy for him to board. Right now, I'm considering a Jeep Cherokee (2014). I can't afford a luxury vehicle. I'm just interested in domestic cars. Does anyone have any recommendations?

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buy a 67 dodge van. the slant 6 cylinder is / was indestructable. to everyone buying an electronic nightmare of a modern car. i dont care when it starts brainfarting you. no sympathy here. classics require upkeep but they are easy to upkeep.
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Thank you all for the helpful comments! I went out with my car-genius brother in law and we tried both the Equinox and the Jeep. Both were excellent vehicles, but I felt like the Equinox was more cumbersome and the Jeep more nimble. I got the Jeep with 4WD, backup camera and plenty of safety features. Dad had a bit of trouble stepping up to get in but once seated, he was very happy! Most of the time I pick him up along a curb, which gives him the leverage he needs, but if I can't do that, I have a foldable stool to help.
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Have you looked into the Ford Transit Connect? You can order one directly from Ford and get it with a wheelchair ramp that folds out. The front passenger seat is lower, like a car, and you can even have it ordered with a seat that turns and lowers mechanically. (the mobility site I am sending a link for will also install a turn and lift seat into other SUVs/cars) When the time comes to sell it, it will be easy to sell for a decent price because it has the ramp and can be used to transport a wheelchair. It also gets great gas mileage.
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I have a chevy equinox and it is working well if the chair is not too big. Decent mileage and good in basic bad weather. We live in the boonies! Plus the heated seats are a bonus for cold elders.
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I have a 1996 Jeep, bought it when it was 2 years old so I was able to get the luxury model the Grand Cherokee. The leather seats are easy to slide in and out of, and the seats do adjust easily.

My Dad [who is 92] loves riding in the Jeep. Dad is short [amazing how parents get shorter and shorter over the years] and he has no problems getting in and out of the vehicle. Also, the cargo bay makes life easier when it comes to shopping, no more diving into the trunk to get things out.

I have the heated seats, but Dad didn't like them, he said the heat made him feel like he had to go to the bathroom :)

One draw back, my Mom can no longer climb up into the Jeep. I think it is an excuse because she doesn't like the "truck ride" of my Jeep. She rather be in her big Olds which makes me carsick just backing out of the driveway :0
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My MIL just went thru this. Do some research. MIL went to carmax where they put FIL in golf cart to haul all over and evaluate several car types. FIL was allowed to navigate in and out of multiple models, adjust the seat and see what was easiest and most comfortable for him to get in and out, as well as MIL or other caregiver to be able to maneuver dad and help. Higher cars with adjustable seat where you can adjust higher or lower was best for him, as well as seats that were easy to scoot and turn in and have easily accessible handles to give him leverage.

They got an ACURA SUV which worked for them.

Take dad with you and try several.
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Oldcodger2, you made me laugh with the large bottom and velcro seats, har har har.
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Just recently I read a story online about seniors often purchasing minivans for exactly the reasons you mention, ease of entry, wheelchairs and walkers, etc. I'm sure if you goggle seniors and minivans you can find information. We are driving a town and country Chrysler mini. It is perfect for them, except it does have the velour/Velcro seats. And with leather seats, make sure you get heated seats, they do get cold and most of those older folks are cold most of the time anyway!
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Our front wheel drive Mercury Sable handles quite well in the winter too. Most front wheel drive autos do.
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We have been driving a 2000 Mercury Sable since it was new and keep it just for chauffeuring mom around. It has leather seats (a MUST). Nothing worse than what we call 'velcro seats' with a large bottom :0) This car has 240xxx miles and purrs like a kitten. (Reg. oil changes and trans. fluid changes :0)

The trunk is quite large and it is easy to get the wheelchair or walker in/out. I also purchased a little gizmo that fits into the car door that allows her to lean on it to get up. The company called 'Standers' has lots of disability aids.

We also have a Sport Utility and for a while she was able to get in/out of it with the use of a ramp we purchased on Amazon. We can roll the wheelchair right up to the seat - problem now is that she cannot stand up from a wheelchair without someone to help her out and - well - it just doesn't work with the ramp. She was strong enough for a while to walk up the ramp (it wasn't real steep) - but she is wobblier now and using the ramp isn't safe. So, we have gone back to using the car.

I would not purchase something really expensive - Sport Utilities cost much more than a regular auto with leather seats and the mileage is poorer. We find the car adequate for her transportation needs. It is easy to lift her legs into the car and fasten her belt as well.

The trick is to find one that has not had the odometer turned back - so buy from someone reputable.
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I have an SUV and the higher seat height is very difficult for mom. Make sure the seat is low enough for him to sit in without having to pull up into it.
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Okay you said safety features, consumer reports. Google cars for the disabled and get your answers there.
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I have been researching Consumer Reports, but have not been able to find any information about ease of boarding the car. If he has to climb too high, it is hard for him.
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When I went in to the library to check sometime in Consumer Reports, I found they have back and current issues, and, oh my goodness, they have them all available online, for viewing from home! Libraries are awesome!
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INMO, you'd be best served getting Consumer Car Report book for years your interested in buying, library has older book, probably have to buy 2014. Well worth the time of research, compare and contrast, that's what I did.
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