Back in the good old days, one could put aside some money for a slightly used German luxury sedan to take into your golden years. But with German luxury sedans becoming more complex, high-tech, and unreliable, more retirees are unsure where to turn to.
My own parents are moving at that stage too. So the advice I’m sharing here is based on what I would recommend to them. At the same time, I understand that everyone has different budgets to play with. With that in mind, these choices are also generally reliable, comfortable, and good value for money.
Below RM250,000: Toyota Harrier
By far one of the best cars I drove last year. Perfectly capable and powerful yet more comfortable and robust than most European alternatives. Yes, RM250,000 is a lot of money, but spend anything more and you’re entering the realm of diminishing returns. The Harrier puts many a premium marque to shame in the engineering department without really charging a significant premium. The higher seating position of an SUV makes it easier to get in and out of, plus the commanding driving position improves visibility.
Below RM200,000 Renault Koleos
Here’s another high-riding SUV option. Under the skin, the Koleos shares many core parts with the X-Trail. But that’s not the main reason I’d recommend it. While it doesn’t have the punch of the Harrier, it’s definitely one of the most comfortable and easy-to-drive SUVs in the market. Renault also have a service where they pick up and drop the car off when it needs to be serviced.
You can package this as part of your car loan too. It also looks unique and more expensive than it is. And if you buy one now, you might qualify for a free vacation to Paris. If all that doesn’t qualify it for retiree car of the year, I don’t know what will.
Below RM150,000 A Used Lexus ES or Toyota Mark X
I didn’t want to recommend something as vague as ‘A Used Lexus or Toyota Mark X’, but at this price point, these really are great options. You can still spring for a new D-segment car, but we’ve not seen anything too new here for some years. You can easily find a Lexus ES or Toyota Mark X that still qualifies for a bank loan under RM150,000. These might not be the most exciting cars, but they tick all the boxes. Get your mechanic to look one over and go for it.
Below RM125,000 Subaru XV
I understand Subarus don’t have the best reputation when it comes to long term maintenance cost. But I don’t doubt that babying an XV will allow it to last many years problem-free. That being said, the real reason I’d recommend one is just because it’s the most comfortable and quiet car in its segment.
Below RM60,000 Full-spec Myvi
The Myvi is a no-brainer here. Its advantage here is the ASA system. Not only will it be able to prevent accidental pedal operation, but it’s also capable of some limited autonomous braking. If your parent is distracted by something at a traffic light, the full-spec Myvi can detect the car ahead has moved and sound a buzzer. Nothing else in this price bracket comes close, really. Yes, a B-segment hatchback isn’t quite the retirement car most people imagine, but to many, there’s no need to live beyond one’s means. It’s a straight-forward car that now has enough safety features to get a wholehearted recommendation.