MotoBullet is headquartered in Florida where every winter we import retirees seeking refuge from cold weather, and in the spring we hopefully export a similar number. As the latest season of “snowbirds” is coming to a close, we’ve tasked the office with identifying the cars that are most often seen in the retirement villages. Where this becomes relevant to our reader demographic is when our loved ones pass on, occasionally they leave us with automotive gifts. Sure they’re nowhere near as cool as your current car, but this one was taken care of better and doesn’t smell like your gym bag.
In honor of what we may someday receive (but hopefully never soon) we have created the list of the top ten cars you’re most likely to inherit. The rules for this list excluded the oddities such as those old-timers who bought Corvettes after discovering the little blue pills. Also, each car is only listed once even if there are multiple generations that qualify (if we didn’t do this, the Toyota Camry would take up almost half the list.)
We could have built this list using statistical data, but that would have just meant more research for us and less fun for you. Instead we went by our own observations, which leaves the list open for interpretation. This allows for everyone on the internet to be able to participate in their favorite pastime: arguing.
The top ten cars you’re most likely to inherit (in alphabetical order):
Buick Regal (Third and Fourth Generations, 1988-2004)
Buick took a real risk giving the Regal name to its version of the Opel Insignia
. Buick may want us to remember the Regal Grand Nationals and GNXs of the mid 1980s, but in between those and the latest Regal were two generations of “who cares” cars.
Possibly the only thing the third and fourth generations of the Buick Regal (and its Century twin) really have going for them is staying power. It has been seven years since GM has produced these cars, but after a scan of the Denny’s parking lot at early bird hour, there is a lot of evidence that these cars seem to hang on like a tube of Super Polident.
Of course there is a big ‘ol Caddy on this list. Cadillac is trying to slowly step away from the image of being the choice for drivers who can’t see over the wheel, but this car isn’t helping. The DTS even still has tailfins.
It is not the GM doesn’t respect these older owners, but when Cadillac wants to build a customer for life, the appeal of the DTS starts out a little later than Cadillac was hoping. Then again, the young person this Cadillac gets left to may discover the joy of land yacht cruising.
Chrysler Sebring Convertible (All Generations)
This is the one we would vote Most Likely to Find a Cialis Bottle in the Glove Box. It is not exactly a distinguished award, but it is the vehicle for senior citizens who still want to seem hip (feel free to add you own hip replacement joke here.)
The Sebring Convertible has long been the Mike Brady retirement vehicle. This attribute comes from episodes of the Brady Bunch where Carol had to drive the station wagon, but Mike got a nice convertible. Mike’s choice of droptops seemed to trade cool points for more room to hold a few of his kids (although he did have a Plymouth Barracuda for a little while.) That’s the Chrysler Sebring of today, wholly uninteresting but cooler than Carol’s wagon.
Dodge Caravan (All Generations)
Your father wouldn’t be caught dead in one, but for some reason your grandfather loves them. Grandpa likes the idea of sitting up high and being able to pick up plenty of wood to build birdhouses. You hoped he’d look into getting an SUV or a crossover, but now that he doesn’t have to drive in the snow, Grandpa doesn’t have to worry about ground clearance.
This is possibly the most unfortunate car on the list to inherit unless you’re a drummer in a traveling band.
GEM electric vehicle
Some family members retire to enclaves so vast that they never have to leave the confines of the gated community for everything from Wendy’s to Wal-Mart. So just to confirm that they don’t want to even pick you up from the airport, their Vista Cruiser gets traded in for a glorified golf cart. They’ll try to tell you how practical it is, but you’re too distracted thinking about if someday your country club will let you store it in their shed.
Honda Civic (All Generations)
The Civic is one of the easiest cars to inherit on our list because the Honda Civic’s inoffensive styling is still popular with both the young and the old. The Civic’s inclusion on our list is more a nod to our Canadian friends. In the Great White North the Civic is particularly popular, and if you’re really lucky you may inherit the Canada-only, Civic-based Acura CSX.
Hyundai Sonata (Fifth Generation, 2004-2010)
Hyundai has been trying to tell us for quite a while what a great value their cars are. Then a few years ago they began to offer the 10 year/100,000 warranty, and it was like everyone’s hearing aid suddenly turned on at the same time. The previous generation Sonata was becoming so successful that it was dangerously close to being as ubiquitous at the Senior Center as an entry a little further down this list: the Toyota Camry.
The latest Sonata is a strikingly attractive sedan. So if you can teach Grandma how to use the Bluetooth system, this has the potential to be another inherited car you can live with.
Lincoln Town Car (All Generations)
It is hard to look cool in the ultimate retirement machine. Fans of the television show Justified may try to take this inheritance and pretend that they are U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. Unfortunately his late-model Town Car comes in a tasteful black, and the one left to most people will likely come in colors like Metamucil Brown of Blue Hair Blue.
Mercury Grand Marquis (All Generations)
Whoever inherits one of these will have an interesting distinction of not only outliving the owner of the car, but also the car company. The only Grand Marquis that was cool was Jack Lord’s cars in original Hawaii Five-0
, and we doubt any women will find that bit of trivia sexy.
There were so many of these cars littering the roads of Florida at one time that they almost had to put it on the state flag. But eventually the torch was past to the final car on our list...
Toyota Camry (Last Four Generations, 1984-current)
My grandmother tells a great story about this car. She was in her complex’s social hall one day when a person came into the main room and announced, “The owner of the Camry needs to move your car before it gets towed.” She then describes the scene as half of the room made a fast(ish) break for the door.
This car ticks all the right boxes for the retirement community. It is reliable and comfortable at somewhat of low cost. Unfortunately Toyota has seemed to discover that the more personality it removes from a car, the more it appeals to the Shady Acres crowd. By that logic, this crowd may try to hire Toyota to remove that last little bit of flavor from vanilla pudding.
All we know is don’t act too disappointed when you get this one in the will. After all, the Camry may be an automotive letdown, but it is one that will last forever.