Finding a good car is difficult enough, with sky-rocketing gas prices, ever increasing gadgets and rising sales costs.  For those who use wheelchairs or caregivers who transport loved ones in wheelchairs, the challenge can seem even greater.  From expert resources and user reviews, we compiled this list that can kick-start your search for the most comfortable and most user-friendly vehicle.

Kenguru cars allow drivers to roll right in.

Credit: Kengurucars.com

Before purchasing, here are some things to consider:

–  Ease of parking – Consider a ramp extension or space to pull out the wheel chair in addition to finding  a vehicle that can comfortably fit into standard parking spaces.

–   Space – You want to not only be able to get the passenger and wheelchair into the car, but to also have enough leg room. The height of the doors and storage space should allow for easy transfer of the passenger and wheelchair in and out quickly.

–   Utility – Considerations that may be taken for granted are orientation of functions such as the height of the steering wheel and layout of navigation tools which may need to be adjusted in standard vehicles.

1)      Honda Element – This car has a seating configuration that is inherently accommodating for those in wheelchairs, and frequently needs little or no modifications for those using wheelchairs. The doors are more than accommodating in size for a wheelchair. It offers options for style, performance, and accommodation of lifestyle. The Element is more affordable than a modified van.

2)      Ams Vans Minivan – A minivan is considerably cheaper than an SUV alternative and tends to have lower doors.  These cars also tend to have a higher passenger capacity than a standard sedan.  The seats fold down so you can move around inside without climbing over seats.  On the downside, they tend to not accommodate wider or taller wheelchairs.

3)      MV-1 Mobility Car – Due to a green CNG fueling system, this vehicle has better gas mileage than a standard minivan. Parking is easy and it showcases a classy interior and safety features including anti-slip surfaces and electronic stability control. This model however, does not allow occupants to drive independently and driving does take getting used to, particularly when the car is full of passengers.

4)     Chevrolet Silverado Truck– Companies such as Mobility SVM (formerly Go Shichi) offer Disability Accessible Trucks that they themselves converted or will convert for you. The model they most frequently work with is the Chevrolet Silverado, though the GMC Sierra 1500 series has also been popular. Trucks are useful for those who continue working, gardening or just need to cart around a lot of equipment.  Gas is more expensive for trucks, as of course is parking.

5)     Kenguru– More like a wheelchair scooter, the Kenguru is an invention from Norway that is a great alternative to getting around locally and for short trips.  It accelerates up to 60 miles per hour and is fairly small to fit almost anywhere.  The vehicle allows wheel-chair drivers to roll right in to propel the car straight from their wheelchair.  However, there is no storage space or room to transport other riders.

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