good cars for bikes?

jdd

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#1
As a cyclist, what kind of car do you have (or dream about)? I've got a Fit that's 6-7 years old that has been just enough since a bike will fit in the back with the rear seats down (w/bars & front wheel turned 90 degrees, or with the front wheel off). Browsing around, I've also seen this recent Honda PR pic showing how the bottoms of the rear seats can be raised, and then a bike will fit in cross-wise (tho I think I like the back better):

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fimage.motortrend.com%2Ff%2Froadtests%2Foneyear%2Fhatchbacks%2F1506_2015_honda_fit_ex_review_update_5%2F125749019%2F2015-honda-fit-ex-with-cannonale.jpg&hash=cd323c2160f81d4902360341689fb1b7


A Toyota Auris seems like it's a slightly bigger Fit alternative. Another is Honda's Freed, which with the right seating choice you can run a even a mama-chari up the center between the seats, or with the seats down, pics like this:

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.paultan.org%2Fimages%2FHonda_Freed_MPV_32.jpg&hash=aff93ef5a5340a5110eda1c0abb15f60


After a phase when I was fixated on a new Hi-Ace, I decided that that big was bad (IMO), and I've since looked for the the biggest interior inside the smallest exterior. I do have an outside rack for the back (Tacx?) that I've used, but here I'm asking about cars that bikes fit inside of.

Any ideas or suggestions?
 
Jan 14, 2007
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japanichiban.com
#3
I used to have a STPWagon Honda that could pack a lot of bikes in the back and still seat a lot of people. Should have kept that a bit longer.

My current Forester is a bit tight in the back but usually the bikes go on the roof and the dogs in the back.

The Toyota Vellfire/Alphard looks roomy on the inside and they have a hybrid version as well....

Would love a Toyota Hilux. I guess it depends on how many people and bikes you want to tote.

My car is currently falling apart here and there so looking around as well. I drive 300 to 500km a week so looking more for fuel economy.
If I didn't drive so much, I'd get a HILUX van. Subaru just brought out a Hybrid Impreza... That will be a bikes on the roof car but not sure where to put the dogs...

Hope this thread gives me some good options as well...

Current car:
Windscreen cracked last week. The windscreen has a built in navi tv antenna so the quote on that was ¥130000+ (insurance) Then found a whole headlamp kit has been leaking in water and have to replace the whole unit. (¥90000) New tires due soon and shaken in Oct. Should have sold it 6 months ago...
The quicker you make the money the quicker they take it away...
 

jdd

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#4
I have a (non-cycling) skiing colleague who swears by his Forrester. I've looked, and for being the slightly more vehicle that it is, it doesn't seem to have much extra interior room.

I shy away from the largest vans like the Vellfire/Alphard. They're way big as a vehicle to drive/park/maneuver, and they're all too plush on the inside. I'm in Kanazawa, and the roads are rather narrow and traditional. And I have absolutely no use for a third row of seats.

At least with a Hi-Ace you get a reasonably small turning radius, no third row, and a very utilitarian inside. Yes, it's a 4-number, but that doesn't bother me. Unbelievable room on the inside, tho it's as big as the largest 3-number vans. It's also truly a b!tch to climb into and out of, esp. when in a parking space next to another car. One of it's good points is that you can get rear sliding doors on both sides, not just the pax side.

With a Freed/Auris and probably even a StepWagon, I think that I could live with 2wd here (my Fit is 2wd). And their lower taxes. (Auris a 3-number.) Honda does really well with their 3rd row in that they really do fold out of the way.

Anything bigger and (for the snow here, at least) you have to pay the extra 24-man for 4wd.

The Fit Shuttle is another I've looked at, probably more room in back than the Auris, and cheaper besides.

With the Freed/StepWagon, bikes can at least stand up. The Fits you have to lie them on their side.

Finally, tho I'm not into performance (even tho my fit is the RS 1.5L w/paddle shifters), I certainly don't want a dog.
 
Last edited:
May 22, 2007
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halffastcycling.com
#5
@AlanW gets around a bit with bikes in his car. ("A car is the ultimate cycling accessory.") What do you drive, Alan?

I have an ancient Nissan Elgrand E51. At a pinch it will take 5 bikes and 5 people, all on the inside.

The most uselessest car for a cyclist that I have personally experienced is the Caterham Seven. There is not even room for a folded-up Brompton on the passenger seat. I have literally tried and failed.
 

zenbiker

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#6
The VW Touran is roomy and is high enough to fit bikes without taking off the seatposts.
The rear seats are easily removed, so you can have 2 to 7 passengers. The newer ones with the 1.4 TSI engine has enough power. I had a Forester..... wish the VW had the Forester motor!
 

bloaker

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#7
I have the same van as @Half-Fast Mike. E51 - I have no issues driving it around (but I live in Zushi - roads are not as narrow as some places I have seen around yokosuka and yokohama) and I usually leave the 3rd row of seats folded up.
I usually have no issues parking or navigating small roads, but I don't have to do that everyday... so the few times I have an issue is not a concern.

I took a bike somewhere not to long ago and I only had to move 1 side of the second row seats up 2 clicks and the bike went in whole. Did not even remove the front wheel nor did I have to lower the seat. (my road bike is a 60cm - so it isn't small). So literally with just my bike, it takes literally under 1 minute to store it in the vehicle.
 

jdd

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#8
Not sure if this is the same as the Touran, it's being called a Golf Sportswagon:

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.carlist.com%2Fnewcars%2F2015%2Fimage%2F2015_vw_golf_sportwagen_trunk.jpg&hash=d5dcb76da103b04315b61db2eb246f67


I wonder if they may be fudging things a little with a smallish bike. (When I put a bike in my Fit, I do move the pax front seat up a little.

And it comes in diesel. More ¥¥¥ but my last car was a toyota lite-ace, diesel, and it had lots of kick. Plenty of room in the back, too, but I sold it at 14yrs old.
 

theBlob

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#9
Ive got a stepwagon, plenty of room for everything that might need in a van but drives like a car and has a little more up front safety with the engine in the front. No hybrid options though which was fairly annoying but when I got it the price was best of the smaller vans and I have been happy with it for the 3 years ive had it now.
I can keep my bike in all the time and still have the 5 seats available and have room for shopping or whatever.
 
Likes: jdd

jdd

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#11
Stepwagon:
proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.honda.co.jp%2FSTEPWGN%2Fwebcatalog%2Finterior%2Fdetail%2Fimage%2Fsection_4%2Fblock_1%2Fslide%2Fvisual%2F3.jpg&hash=a1c10f0996655e3554f379eaf118963e


I'd probably run a wheel between the 2nd row seats (or remove a wheel and put it cross-wise in the back), so the front passenger would not have to be a double amputee.
 

George5

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#13
For the Freed, they tease you with this, but then don't show it after loading:
plenty out there though. https://www.google.co.jp/search?q=ホンダフリード+自転車&safe=off&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CCAQsARqFQoTCODX-pKWiccCFeHZpgodptsA8A&biw=1280&bih=671

@jdd How many bikes are you looking to carry? How often and with how many people.? Smaller cars I found two bikes means just two people. More than that and the bikes go up on top. I have a Nissan wagon that is good for four bikes sans front wheels inside and four or five people but then we have little space for gear and such, usually on the floor.

Don't forget this 4WD hybrid option but personally I would be looking at the Fit Shuttle Hybrid and 4WD.
 

jdd

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#14
@George5 Thanks for the Freed pics. And yes, the shuttle looks very nice. I wonder if the mounting bars for the bike forks are a Honda option? I'd have to check, but with the shuttle I might even be able to use my present set of studless wheels/tires. I guess with a single bike in the back, stretching out next to it for a cheap overnight might also be doable.

Loadwise, it would be just me and a bike or two, occasionally one other person/rider along. (Three-four and we'd take someone else's car!)
 

George5

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#15
Glad to read you are thinking about getting back on the horse that bucked you off. Hows the recovery?
Are you looking at new or pre-loved?
 

baribari

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#16
FWIW, I fit my 56 cm road bike in my rear-engined two-seater sports car by taking the wheels and seat post off, and then massaging it in the passenger seat.

Not so good if you're traveling with more than one person though...

I think I might get a Legacy Wagon from about 10 years ago (they're good looking and very reasonably priced) for winter and for possibly cycling trips. Or maybe go karts...
 

zenbiker

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#17
Not sure if this is the same as the Touran, it's being called a Golf Sportswagon:

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.carlist.com%2Fnewcars%2F2015%2Fimage%2F2015_vw_golf_sportwagen_trunk.jpg&hash=d5dcb76da103b04315b61db2eb246f67


I wonder if they may be fudging things a little with a smallish bike. (When I put a bike in my Fit, I do move the pax front seat up a little.

And it comes in diesel. More ¥¥¥ but my last car was a toyota lite-ace, diesel, and it had lots of kick. Plenty of room in the back, too, but I sold it at 14yrs old.
Thats a regular Golf wagon, The Touran is the same length but taller. The rear seats can be removed in seconds to make a small van.
 
Likes: jdd

zenbiker

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#18
Current car:
Windscreen cracked last week. The windscreen has a built in navi tv antenna so the quote on that was ¥130000+ (insurance) Then found a whole headlamp kit has been leaking in water and have to replace the whole unit. (¥90000) New tires due soon and shaken in Oct. Should have sold it 6 months ago...
The quicker you make the money the quicker they take it away...
I had a cracked window repaired by Autobacs. They used some special top secret bond and fricking lazers or something like that. Think it was about ¥8,000. Only good for small cracks.
You may be able to get a light unit on Yahoo auction.
 

zenbiker

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Chofu
#19
Current car:
Windscreen cracked last week. The windscreen has a built in navi tv antenna so the quote on that was ¥130000+ (insurance) Then found a whole headlamp kit has been leaking in water and have to replace the whole unit. (¥90000) New tires due soon and shaken in Oct. Should have sold it 6 months ago...
The quicker you make the money the quicker they take it away...
I had a cracked window repaired by Autobacs. They used some special top secret bond and fricking lazers or something like that. Think it was about ¥8,000. Only good for small cracks.
You may be able to get a light unit on Yahoo auction.
 

jdd

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#20
Thats a regular Golf wagon, The Touran is the same length but taller. The rear seats can be removed in seconds to make a small van.
Very good to know. For the Hondas I'd very likely go new, for the VWs I'd probably try shopping used.

There's another Honda slightly bigger than the Shuttle, called a Jade. It also has this kind of pic:

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.honda.co.jp%2FJADE%2Fwebcatalog%2Finterior%2Fimage%2Fusf_photo01_5.jpg&hash=2a29d21fb4a965273192e058ced3b75a


One caution on the Honda pics off their site is that there's small print next to them saying the bikes are 26" and to be careful since your mileage may vary.

@George5 Upper body recover is 90-95%, but :( I'm still not allowed to put any weight on my bad hip. My present guess is I might be able to check out about the 21st, tho even that is iffy.

I do have plenty of time to surf around for cars!

This is the Toyota Auris. It's a 3-number, so wider than some Hondas, but I don't think it has much more length compared to, say, the Shuttle.
proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Ftoyota.jp%2Fpages%2Fcontents%2Fauris%2F002_p_004%2Fimage%2Finterior%2Findoor_space%2Fcarlineup_auris_interior_indoor_space_04_pc.png&hash=10cc30d37a2e81bbef47c00d48a03ef0


It does have more engine & model/interior choices, and tho it's one of my ridiculously stupid peeves, I don't want a console that interferes with free movement of my left arm. This is the Auris again, and the arm rest folds up out of the way, and the "arm freedom" is just like my present Fit:
proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Ftoyota.jp%2Fpages%2Fcontents%2Fauris%2F002_p_004%2Fimage%2Finterior%2Fequip%2Fcarlineup_auris_interior_equip_01_pc.png&hash=23cc1c0925be011538872cdf0ba261c4



Fit shuttle--no way to avoid it. That thing will be in the way all the time.
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Not a complete make or break, but it is a factor.