What makes a car easy to drive? Reliability plays a big part in the driving experience. No one wants to agonize over expensive repairs, but the vehicle also needs a smooth ride that doesn’t knock around passengers. Hip-height seats and broader door openings make it easier to get into. Comfortable and ergonomic seats should leave enough room for adequate cargo space.
Quick-read gauges and uncomplicated controls are imperative for those who need to focus on the road. Large windows and thinner A-pillars also assist that. Yet, insufficient soundproofing can spoil any of these, so a quiet cabin is a must. Consumer Reports used these metrics to create a list of nine easy-to-drive vehicles for 2022, ranging from compact sedans to a lone third-row SUV.
Small Sedans: 2022 Volkswagen Jetta
Standard blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warnings ensure drivers aren’t stressed over sudden road obstacles. Great outward visibility and a comfortable driving position make it easier to focus on the road ahead.
Consumer Reports testers also coaxed 52 mpg out of the Jetta on the highway. With its starting MSRP of $20,365—the cheapest on the list—its shallow reach into your pocket will likely lead to carefree driving.
Midsize Sedan: 2022 Subaru Legacy is one of the easiest cars to drive
Subaru’s popular sedan is a desirable pick for its creature comforts commonly seen in luxury offerings. Base models boast comfortable seating, including padded armrests to complement a premium driver orientation boosted by superb outward visibility due to slimmer A-pillars.
Consumer Reports states the Legacy delivers the best ride comfort of any midsize sedan on their list. Testers were particularly impressed with how well the Subaru’s suspension isolates bumps and keeps the body steady on various surfaces.
Midsize Sedan: 2022 Toyota Camry
The Camry has shaken off its rather unremarkable looks and put the same effort into making the Toyota safe enough to soothe any nervous soul. Pre-Collision Safety with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, and rear-seat reminder systems come standard. Its conventional controls and cabin quietness also delighted Consumer Reports, not to mention an EPA-rated 52 mpg city and highway combined, according to the U.S. Department of Energy fuel ratings.
Midsize Sedan: 2022 Kia K5
The K5’s traditional gear selector, audio controls, and gauges allow drivers not to waste attention when altering the cabin atmosphere, optimized by standard dual-zone climate control. The Kia’s high rating for rear seat comfort is a lovely addition to the lower trim levels. It also has a smaller, easier-to-use 8-inch infotainment system that includes wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Small SUV: 2022 Subaru Forester
The roomy, utilitarian Forester rides smoothly while giving the driver and their passengers a taste of higher seating orientation and outward visibility found in much larger and less economical SUVs.
In contrast with other Subaru offerings, the Forester has a straightforward infotainment system, with physical buttons and knobs that allow easier control. Still, the simplicity stops there as lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control are found on all trims.
Small SUV: Toyota RAV4 Prime is one of the easiest cars to drive
Toyota’s plug-in hybrid version of its popular RAV4 has a more refined ride quality than its fuel-sipping counterparts, providing drivers a silent, 42-mile EV range—enough for many on their morning commutes.
The Prime’s interior also supports drivers and passengers of any size with ample legroom. The model offers better interior quality than other versions of the RAV4, with SofTex surfaces and trimming throughout and many driver-assist and active safety features.
Midsized 2-Row SUV: Subaru Outback
Like other cars with tall driving positions, the Subaru Outback gives the benefits of an SUV, like off-road capability without ride quality drawbacks. A versatile interior is spacious for passengers or cargo, and both front and rear doors offer easy access into the Outback.
Midsized 3-Row SUV: Chevrolet Traverse
The lone third-row SUV makes it onto the easy-to-drive list with sizeable doors all around, offering trouble-free access to the vast, serene interior compartment surrounded by large windows for greater visibility. Adding children is no hassle as access to the third row is unencumbered by complicated levers. There are enough USB charging ports and built-in WiFi connectivity to entertain all in tow.
Minivan: Honda Odyssey is one of the easiest cars to drive
Honda’s practical, Odyssey rounds out the list with dual sliding rear doors and family-oriented seating that can be moved around easily to haul nearly any load. Outward visibility is supported by an elevated driving position and large windows supplemented by the Odyssey’s standard multi-angle backup camera. The tech doesn’t stop there, as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, and road departure mitigation systems are fitted to every trim level.
Care-Free Car Conclusion
These nine vehicles prove that buyers have plenty of options for no-hassle driving. Whether buyers are looking for good visibility, comfortableness, quietness, simplicity, or smoothness on the road, nearly every segment offers a solution.