We are in the market for a new car for me to drive. I have been looking for some time and having a hard time finding one that is hand friendly for the gear shifts. It seems most of them have a button you have to push with your thumb to release the gear shift. Will not be good if I have hand/thumb issues. Just curious to see what others are driving.
I drive an automatic. I know what you're talking about with the button, but I find that you don't have to use your thumb, it can be more of a palm grasp, so it doesn't require the same fine motor skills. Actually, I've been driving my car completely left handed for the last month, since I had surgery on my right hand. It requires twisting to get the gear shift, but my back is okay.
I drive a totally PsA unfriendly 12 passenger van, so I'm absolutely no help! LOL
We were faced with that issue last year. After going to all the dealerships in our area and driving every car I could possibly think of, I went with a Ford Flex. I absolutely love this car. The button is pushed on the handle by grasping the gear shift. I have moderate hand issues and so far have had no problem with shifting. Did I say that I really love this car? :)
I drive a CRV. I love it. I have leather seats which make it easy to spin in my seat when getting out. It is an automatic but the stick is up on the dash. I can reach it easily and as Stoney says it is more of a palm grasp I do not use my thumb. It has cruise control too which I love. It has a fifth door in the rear which is easy for me to open and load when shopping. It would also hold a scooter when i need one. I have all ready decided when this one goes I will get another. I bought it as a certified used car as they are expensive.
I have a Subaru Outback, 12 yrs now. It is slightly higher than most cars (it is built on a truck chassis), so I don't have to pull myself UP to get out. The leather seats help me slide out more easily as well, and the seats have the heating and electronic adjustable which is amazing. I adjust the seat all the time while I'm driving to reduce pressure on different areas. The shifter (I have an automatic) is large and has no button. I use the palm of my hand to move it, not my fingers. The top of the shifter is rounded and smooth (wrapped with leather) that fits my palm.
Unfortunately, I am going to have to drive my beloved Outback less, as we have been getting by with one car for most of the past 19 years (my husband bicycles to work year round). The kids now have activities in two different directions at once, and there is no choice but to get a 2nd car. We are buying a Prius next month for better mileage because of all the driving we are going to be doing. We are getting the leather seats for ease of getting in and out, and the electronic adjustable seats with heating (it helps me A LOT, esp. the back heater). We tried out a whole bunch of efficient cars, and the Prius was the only one that felt comfortable to my husband and I. Also, because I can't see on my left side (artificial eye), I need to be careful that my vision isn't blocked more than I can handle by the physical makeup of the car.
And then I got into my car. My current Hyundai has no button, just the shifter.
I have to give a second shout out for the Ford Flex. My hands don't hurt too often, but when they do, I don't find the shifter too much trouble. I think this is great car if you have back pain because it is not low to the ground, so you only slide in and slide out.
We purchased a Nissan Rouge a few months back. Automatic, easy to get in and out, great fuel economy and heated seats :-) I have a hard time getting in and out of cars. I haven't owned a car in years and find when I get in one I realize my dream of having a little sports car is no longer an option!