One of the most important considerations for many people when choosing a car is motability. For many people with disabilities, the car is a lifeline. It affords an independence that is incredibly valuable.
Car manufacturers know this. It's why they've been producing motability vehicles since 1977. Now there is a broad range of cars to choose from. They range from tiny superminis to 4x4s and SUVs. In other words, those with a disability have very similar choices to the more able-bodied.
But such a large choice makes decision making difficult. There are so many options to choose from. Here we will review the best motability cars in each of the major car categories. That means that there will be a car for you, whatever your needs.
Best SUV : Skoda Yeti
The real benefits of the Yeti are its low price and its great handling. It's essentially a family crossover. The cheapest model comes in front wheel drive. Though, if you wanted something with a little more performance, you can opt for a 4x4 version.
Specialist motability dealers, like RRG Group, offer nil advance payment on the Yeti. This helps to make it more affordable. If you want, you can join the Motability Scheme to reduce costs even further. It's available to people on the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance. But you can also get it if you receive the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of the Personal Independence Payment.
Lastly, the Yeti has an intuitive interior. The controls are well-positions and the cabin easy to navigate. There's plenty of space in the rear too for storing wheelchairs and other mobility equipment.
Best MPV: Ford B-MAX
Ford have done something rather clever with the B-MAX. They've taken what is essentially the Fiesta and upscaled it slightly. For many, this is a genius move. The reason is that the Fiesta itself is a highly celebrated car and a genuine class leader. And now the B-MAX wants to gain from some of that pedigree.
What's so interesting about the B-MAX is how well suited it is for motability. The car features sliding doors on both sides. And it doesn't have a B-pillar, which means great access to the back seats.
What's more, when you drive the B-MAX you feel in control. That's because the seat height has been raised significantly over the Fiesta. You get a far more commanding view of the road ahead.
Added to that, you also get that signature Ford feel. The car feels light and responsive, which is unusual for an MPV.
There are other notable mentions in the MPV category, like the Vauxhall Zafira. But whether it's the looks, or something else, they don't quite feel on a par with the Ford.
Best Hatchback: Ford Focus
Ford have had a real run of success with the Focus. Since the car was debuted in the late 1990s, it has become the UK's most popular family hatch. And for good reason.
The car is just stunning to drive. You always feel in control. And now that the car comes with a better engine, more recent models are cheaper to run and more reliable. Although, it was still pretty darn good in the early days.
Motability customers can opt for a range of models. The 1.0 Ecoboost is one of the cheapest to run. And, at least according to early results, one of the most reliable engines on the market.
The only drawback is rear leg room. The back of the car tends to be a little cramped. This is because Ford wanted to open up more boot space. If you're planning on using the back seats regularly, there may be better options for you. These include the Seat Leon and the Peugeot 208.
Best Supermini: VW Polo
The supermini category is a difficult one to call. The problem is that the cars are so small, it's hard to recommend any of them. However, within this class, there are a few standouts, one of which is the VW Polo.
The Polo is the winner for me because it embodies all of VW's build quality. Though it is only an entry level car, that does not mean that VW has skimped on attention to detail. Under the Motability scheme, the car is very affordable. And the car does well regarding handling, fuel economy and reliability.
Of course, if you're looking for something that's a little more interesting to drive, you'll probably want to opt for the Fiesta. The Fiesta perhaps falls down a touch on the reliability front, compared to the VW. But it picks up points when it comes to the drive.