Baby-boomers are getting older. So are their cars.
Eric Peters (www.ericpetersautos.com) is a respected automotive columnist in Washington, D.C. and a regular contributor to Bottom Line Secrets, one of my consumer resources.
He says older car-buyers prefer used cars because of how quickly new cars depreciate. He also says older drivers care more about practicality, safety and comfort.
These are the used cars he says are the best for older drivers, including an estimated price range based on year, mileage and condition:
* 2002-07 TOYOTA COROLLA ($5,000 - $18,000). Peters says it's a compact, but it seats like a large sedan -- lots of head, shoulder and leg room. The Corolla also scored very well during those years in its crash-testing.
* 2002-07 CHRYSLER PT CRUISER ($5,500 - $15,500). Peters recommends these model years for older drivers because of their fuel economy and because they can be easily modified to accommodate disabled drivers and passengers. The Cruiser is expected to be discontinued, and there is a glut of them out there, so there are good deals to be had with the supply out there.
* 2005-07 BUICK LACROSSE ($12,000 - $18,500). Seats six, plush ride, V-6.
* 2005-07 FORD FIVE HUNDRED ($12,000 - $20,000). Standard V-6 with lots of room and comfort, but not so good on the gas.
* 2000-07 TOYOTA AVALON ($7,000 - $25,000). Power, class, quality and reliability. Peters says the Avalon is the best full-size car for retaining its value.
* 2002-07 MERCURY GRAND MARQUIS ($7,000 - $20,000). Long service life, lots of room, powerful V-8.
You might have noticed that these recommendations don't go back that far in years.
"The newer a used car is and the lower its mileage, the more likely it will be that at least a portion of its original new car warranty will still be in effect," explains Peters. "This includes either bumper-to-bumper coverage for everything except normal wear and tear or longer-term power train coverage."