This article is all about the best cars for wheelchair transfers.
If you are considering buying a car that has a user-friendly design for a wheelchair then you are in the right place.
After a lot of research in this article, we are going to let you know all the important things that you should consider while choosing the right car for your daily use, keeping in mind the need for easy wheelchair accessibility.
Why You Need For a Car with easy Wheelchair Transfer?
In today’s time, the manufacturers of a particular product keep in mind everything that its customer needs.
Just like the invention of the electric wheelchairs and stair-climbing wheelchairs, car manufacturers also keep in mind the need for storage of wheelchairs in the car in case of an outing or travel plans.
There are a lot of vehicles now that look great, are comfortable for a wheelchair user, and are designed in a way that helps with the storage of wheelchairs without putting in any extra effort.
Some of the whee;chair-friendly cars are SUVs, trucks, and even sports cars, but it really depends on the type and size of the car.
But now there are a lot of cars that are required to pass what is called a wheelchair accessibility test, which is to ensure that the vehicles are safe for wheelchair transfers.
If you are someone with some mobility difficulties or someone in your family and you all are thinking to buy a car then you must be wanting the best out of the situation by providing safe and easy wheelchair transfers along with daily uses.
How to Select a Wheelchair-Friendly Vehicle- What features are best for cars used for wheelchair transfers?
If you go to a specific cars showroom you will find that there are specific associations and dealerships dedicated to helping you find the ideal car as per your need.
The key to finding the best cars for wheelchair transfers is through understanding the different features it provides. Some of them are space, accessibility, safety, the place you live, parking, and more.
To elaborate on the key features here are some important points that you should keep in mind that will help you narrow down the vehicle selection process:
#1 Mobility Challenge
First, you will need to answer whether the person with a disability will be the main driver or the caregiver, also keep in mind the ramp used, is it a fold-out ramp or a slide-out ramp.
Also, keep in mind the future needs, if the disability face by the person going to be fine after some time, then it’s better to buy a vehicle that has a high resell value.
#2 Car Parking
If you live somewhere in the city or close to a city where you have to face hours of misery searching for a parking spot, then it’s better to buy a small car.
But if you live somewhere outside the city where there is a lot of empty spaces and you won’t find any problem regarding parking, then you can choose any car as per your needs.
#3 Low Ride Height
The most widely used vehicle for wheelchair purposes is the vehicles with lower ride heights as it makes it very easy for transferring wheelchairs. Look for a car with seats low to the ground so that the user can be transferred from a wheelchair with little effort.
#4 Adjustable Seats
Adjustable seats in a car are a must. It should take as little effort as it can for moving the seat forward, backward, raising and lowering the seat.
If possible look for a car with button-operated adjustment, most of the cars now have this function inbuilt, even if your liked vehicle doesn’t have it you can add it separately from any car repair or manufacturer.
#5 Multiple Entry Options
Vans are vehicles that have a lot of entry points and can be great for wheelchair transfer, but it can be a little costly and the usability of the van is also not much if you are getting the car for the whole family. But you can also get multiple entry-exit with larger cars and some SUVs.
Also, big cars have an easy ramp installation option which is also a great advantage. Now a day there are a lot of car manufacturers which provide multiple entry options and easy ramp installations.
For example, Chrysler Pacifica, Toyota, Sienna, Honda Odyssey, and Grand Caravan are some vehicle manufacturers which come with easily attached side ramps.
#6 Side Entry Ramps
There is a reason why we are putting a lot of emphasis on side entry ramps as it has a number of benefits like it helps lower a floor for the wheelchair user and makes it easy to move through the main cabin of the vehicle.
With side-entry ramps, the user can easily access the front and passenger seats very easily.
#7 Rear Entry Ramps
The rear entry ramps are a great feature that can be of great use for its user it is different from the side entry ramps as the main objective of side-entry ramps is to increase accessibility and to allow wheelchair transfers to be very smooth, whereas, the rear entries can allow two wheelchairs at one time in the back.
Though the rear entry ramp has a downside too, through the rear entry ramp the wheelchair users cannot navigate to the driver’s seat or front passenger seat, but if the wheelchair user is not supposed to be the one driving then it’s fine.
#8 Hinged Doors
It helps the user by allowing the user to swing doors open widely making wheelchair transfers far more simple. Cars with hinged doors provide you extra space which is a big advantage for wheelchair transfer.
There is a lot of features that one can manage without like the rear entry ramp but a car with a hinged door or a door that can swing open enough to make space for a wheelchair is a must.
This is best suited for wheelchair transfers that require additional sets of hands, and for those whose budget is a little tight and want to use the vehicle for multiple purposes.
#9 Sliding Doors
If a vehicle with a hinged door is something out of your target budget then a vehicle with a sliding door is also a great option. A lot of vehicles comes with sliding door now a but make sure the sliding doors can be fitted on car with low floors.
There is not much difference between sliding doors and hinged doors, it’s just that hinged doors cars can be a little expensive if compared with sliding doors.
Also with hinged doors be aware that there are some limitations with wheelchair transfers as very large-sized wheelchairs may cause some problems and will require a large degree of assistance. Whereas with sliding doors, you do not need to worry about how far the doors swing-out.
#10 Removable Seats
Having a car where seats can be collapsed and easily removed can be very useful for anyone who owns a large powered wheelchair as it needs more flexibility in terms of space.
Also, you must be buying a car keeping in mind the whole family’s needs not just for wheelchair transfer, therefore a car with removable seats as per the requirement may be a great option for you.
#11 Comfortable Seats
It is not even a thing to think about, it is a must even more for someone with a wheelchair. Look for cars with seats that will provide comfort for a longer period of time.
A well-cushioned seat is a great option for anyone also if the seat is capable of heat or cool as per the environment like leather-made seats are a great option too.
#12 Multi-Adjustable Seats
It allows users to adjust the seat positions as per the comfort and also allows for different levels of support.
#13 Cars Ceiling Height
The higher the ceiling height of the car the better. The most ideal choice that one must look for is low riding height and high ceiling height.
Kia Soul is one of the cars out there which is known for its balance of both, It has low floor height and generous ceiling height which is great for anyone be it a wheelchair user or a non-wheelchair user.
#14 Cargo Space
It is also an important factor if you have a big family. A decent cargo space provides additional storage in case you need any additional wheelchair tools, parts, luggage, or any safety equipment, for safe and easy storage.
#15 Heavy-Duty Side Rails
Heavy-duty side rails help by providing added security and safety for easier and safer wheelchair transfers.
#16 Safety Features
Another must-have feature. Now almost all cars come with technology that comes with smart safety features for a safe drive. Some of the important features that come under this category are automatic high beams, safety lights, adaptive cruise control, and detection systems.
The detection system is someone who is becoming popular quite lately it alerts the car driver if there is a pedestrian nearby.
While all these features are not related to wheelchairs still they are someone the most important features to look for if you want the best cars for wheelchair transfers.
To know more about easy wheelchair transfers read this article.
Which Cars Are Best For Wheelchair Transfers?
After considering the above important features that a car must-have for an easy and smooth wheelchair transfer, we have made of list of 13 cars that have most of the mentioned features in them and are best for easy wheelchair transfers.
This is our favorite in this list that is why it’s in the number one spot.
The MV-1 is the world’s first purpose-built accessible vehicle, everything about this vehicle is designed keeping in mind the needs of people with disabilities.
With a super-sized interior power ramp that has two different aspect ratios, safety lights, and more, this is one of the best car for wheelchair transfer one can get.
2. Kia Soul
If your budget is a little tight Kia Soul is a great option for you. The Kia Soul has high ceilings and low floors which are perfect for wheelchair use. The storage space in this car is also a lot
Kia Soul is also known for making a special wheelchair-accessible model if one pre-orders it. In addition to the extra space, it also has one of the lowest starting rate prices in its class. This car also comes with a rear ramp entrance option.
Kia Soul because of its variety of features is one of the best cars for wheelchair transfers that you can get.
3. Dodge Grand Caravan
The third on the list is the famous Dodge Grand Caravan which like Kia soul has a specific wheelchair-accessible model, It comes with a side power entry ramp, multiple exit options, and a safety railing.
4. Honda Odyssey
Honda Odyssey comes with a traditional ramp system; along with that, it has a powered fold-out ramp for the side entrance. It is also one of the low-budget options with separate wheelchair accessibility options.
A great alternative to SUVs, Honda Odyssey has plenty of space and is very comfortable to get in and out of. The floors are low, the doors are big, plus they slide, offering extra space for easy entry and exit.
The seat footrests and side rails in the car can be easily removable if one needs more space for people and the seats are strong enough to support up to six hundred pounds.
If that’s now enough then decent fuel economy, solid safety scores, and car-like handling all make the Honda Odyssey one of the best minivans for people with disabilities.
5. Honda Element
Next on the list is 2011 made Honda Element. It is a great option if your main purpose of getting the car is easy wheelchair transfer. It comes with a wide easily cleanable door and in-built safety features.
Honda Element has been used for wheelchair transfers for quite some time and is still one of the best cars for wheelchair transfers out there.
6. Toyota Sienna
The sixth car on the list is Toyota Sienna.
This minivan is widely used for wheelchair transfer purposes on top of that it provides a chair lift and is also suitable for driving on any surface.
7. Hyundai Sonata
Next on the list is a car from Hyundai; Hyundai sonata. If you a looking for a low-stress midsized car then this is the best you can get.
This car is known for its reliability with a focus on easy and smooth transportation and has an excellent warranty. It has a low-ride height, which makes it perfect for access if mobility is a challenge.
The supportive seats which have safety features make it easy for drivers and their passengers to find a comfortable position. It also comes with an easy-to-use smart system, which is very helpful.
8. Scion xB
Don’t judge this car by its small name, the Scion xB is known for its generous mobility program, which can be outfitted with wheelchair/scooter lifts, It comes with power and easy hand control with manual swivel seats, wheelchair restraints, and many more amazing features.
Scion xB is one of the best cars for wheelchair transfers that you can get.
9. Ford Mustang
Ford is known for its sports-car reputation, making that an advantage, the Ford Mustang comes with carriers, easy hand controls, lifts, power-assisted seats, and steering devices.
10. Subaru Forester
Next is this perfect vehicle which is known for its smooth use in different whether that destination is in the backcountry for some camping, or the snow, or any desert exploring, or anywhere the Forester is the car for you.
This car comes standard with an automatic transmission, All-Wheel-Drive, and is best known for its reliability.
The models can be modified as per your needs, and accessibility features like hand and foot control and more can be added.
11. Jeep Grand Cherokee
Jeep is mainly known for its usability any model of a Jeep can be outfitted with some ] modifications such as additional lifts, running boards, power seat attachment, and many tie-downs for things like wheelchairs making the Jeep Grand Cherokee an excellent choice.
Jeep cars are definitely on the list of some of the best cars for wheelchair transfers.
12. Chevrolet Silverado
The Chevrolet Silverado is the perfect car for any person with disabilities as it comes with a wheelchair lift and hinged doors.
If you want a strong, big car with a lot of space for wheelchair transfer along with daily uses then this car is for you.
13. MI Honda Pilot Northstar E
This car is one of the newest models and the largest handicap accessible SUVs on the market right now, the VMI Honda Pilot Northstar E offers everything a person with disabilities would want.
It has a 32 inches door for easy entry and exit of large wheelchairs. It has a lot of extra space. The front seats are also removable, so one can use the space as per their needs.
Last but not least MI Honda Pilot Northstar E is a great car for wheelchair transfers that you can buy.
Also Read: Best gloves for wheelchair
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best Car for a handicapped person?
The MV-1 is the world’s first purpose-built accessible vehicle with super-sized interior power ramp, safety lights, and a lot of great features which make it the best car for a handicapped person.
What is the Best SUV for disabled passenger access?
MI Honda Pilot Northstar E is one of the newest and largest handicap accessible SUVs which offers everything a person with disabilities would want. Which makes it the best SUV Car for wheelchair transfers.
What is the best car for wheelchair transfer in the boot?
Most of the SUVs like Honda Odyssey, MI Honda Pilot Northstar E can easily fit a wheelchair in the boot and are thus best for wheelchair transfer.
The Bottom Line
Purchasing any one of these 13 best cars for wheelchair transfers would be a great decision for anyone with disabilities.
We have kept all the important factors in mind that are necessary, so feel free and choose the car as per your needs.