5 Great Cars for Baby Boomers
Suggestions for that time when an empty nest means a change in the family wheels.
Baby boomers are making for booming sales in automotive showrooms. According to a recent study by AARP and J.D. Power and Associates, people over 50 bought nearly two-thirds of the new cars sold in the United States last year. There's no secret to the phenomenon. Boomers — basically, those born between 1946 and 1964 — may be the only group of meaningful size that has any money left; they can afford new cars.
What cars are good for boomers? Many models, actually, as the boomer generation is large and diverse in its interests. But there are a few strong boomer characteristics, automakers and social psychologists say. Aging or not, boomers maintain their independence and value displaying their social status. If they can't stay relatively active, they want to at least maintain the façade of activity, and they sure as heck don't want a car that says "retired."
So now with the kids gone, it's goodbye to the minivan and hello, Lexus; out with the bulky SUV and in with the Subaru wagon; and, of course, there are the ever-present concerns about mileage and affordability. With that in mind, here is our starter list for baby boomers on the new-car prowl.
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Boomers who are shed of children and downsized at home are likely to bypass clunky SUVs and minivan drones for comfy sedans. Fitting the name-brand, premium midsize sedan niche like a well-washed pair of Levis is the upgraded, sportier, rear-wheel-drive 306-horsepower Lexus GS 350. Lexus' ironclad reputation for reliability and a fawning dealer experience are draws; the downside is the $46,900 base price.
Boomers willing to trade badge status for buying patriotic will find roomy satisfaction in the $26,600 Ford Taurus. Available in trims from mild-mannered sedan to thrust-happy SHO, the front-wheel-drive Taurus is expansively roomy and features state-of-the-art engines with compelling combinations of power and economy.
Yes, the $49,600 Corvette is the cliché midlife-crisis car, but you can't argue against it. No other sports car is as fiscally approachable, capable, devoid of emasculating cuteness or classically good-looking. The throb and thrust of the Corvette's tractable V8 engine is a boomer birthright and proof that all is right in the world to those who remember a time when gas was 28 cents a gallon and they had no worries short of nuclear annihilation. Plus, once you're past the deep knee bends required for ingress, the roomy Corvette is surprisingly accommodating for an empty-nester 2-seater. Factor in fuel economy of 26 mpg highway, and there are fewer better ways to be seen when touring.
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The outback, yaris,...I almost threwup reading this drivel! Which boomers are you hanging with! The ones that died and have not realize it yet? Give us some old fashioned performance!
No mention of the Challenger, Mustang,... Give me a break! I'm a boomer, my wife drives a Mustang GT and I drive a 1967 Olds Cutlass that is a tire smoking, gas guzzling, emission puking, awe inspiring machine. I drive it everyday, rain, shine, snow...etc!
What a sad list. Oh wait...put together by someone who knows nothing about cars.