Autos with room for a bike
I need to rent a car for a day or two, and I want one that will be big enough I can get a bike in the trunk, or inside. I’ll have two passengers and a driver. I know that a “premium” will have a big enough trunk, but what about a smaller “crossover”, like the Pontiac Vibe? Can you get a road bike in the back of one of those? With both wheels off, but not necessarily removing the handlebars?
i have a honda fit. the seats are split in the back and i can fit my bike with part of the back seats down. but then again, i ride a 50cm road bike.
My 2009 Impreza can hold a road bike with both wheels off in the trunk with half of the back seat folded down.
Whenever I get a new car, I so want a Honda Fit. Do they have a manual model?
If the back seats fold down most small cars will be able to hold one bike (with the front wheel removed). Sometimes you may have to remove the seat + post or both wheels.
Oh, and my Saturn can fit one bike with the front wheel removed when the seats are folded down.
there is a semimanual mode on my sport. there are these paddles by the steering wheel. i believe they might have a fully manual version, but not sure. i got mine at the dealer in monroeville. i love my fit. it gets more than 35miles/gallon combined highway and city.
and i can keep both of my wheels on the bike in the back of my car.
My 60cm cross check will not fit in a 97 camry with both wheels off if I have fenders/rack/seat on the frame. If I take all that crap off I can pack it in.
Back in the 90s they didn’t have fully foldaway rear seats, just a small, silly ski passthrough. Useless for a bike.
Zipcar has a Honda Element downtown, my Element can carry 2 people and 2 bikes with the wheels on, 2 people and 3 bikes with the front wheels off, or 3 people and 2 bikes with front wheels off. And some luggage.
Seems like a Scion xB might do similar, if anyone rents those.
You can indeed buy the Fit with a full manual transmission.
I can fit my bike in the back of our Nissan Versa and Toyota Matrix. Both are hatch backs though.
This is what I got in terms of a response from a friend who drives a Vibe:
Hmmm, I have no problem getting my bike in the back (the seats fold down) and that’s with the tires on. Not certain if there would be enough room for the 2nd passenger as you’d have to put 1 seat up.
you could fit a bike with the wheels off in the trunk of our old nissan sentra too.
@rsprake: I believe the Vibe is a Toyota Matrix. Would there be room for the bike in the back with the wheels off and the seats up? Plus luggage?
I’m leaning strongly toward the big Buick, just to be safe.
Lyle, The trunk area with all of the seats up is pretty small. With both wheels off you could probably fit a bike in there, but if you’re planning on filling the car up with people, luggage and a bike you may want to consider bringing a trunk rack.
Just a data point, I can get two bikes inside my 1999 Mercury Sable wagon, ready to roll, with room for one passenger comfortably and another uncomfortably squeezed next to a couple of bike wheels. The rear seat is a 1/3-2/3 split and each piece folds down. It is much easier on all concerned to tie them to the roof rack.
Honda Element is the way to go. I’m currently shopping for my second one. It will fit my size large mountain bike standing up with both wheels on. WIth the seats folded up you can fit four bikes with the wheels on. I once fit four bikes, three people and all our cargo for a weekend race trip. Plus there is not carpet to rip or stain.
My tiny bicycle can fit as is in the backseat of a tiny Volkswagon
When shopping for a new Honda to replace a 93 with 180k miles on it, we were told Honda is planning on a Hybrid Fit that would have a 5 speed manual availible in a year or two.
We thought seriously about the hybrids, but between taking the bus or biking every day, it was not worth the extra thousands to walk past it every day in the driveway.
My E36 (91-99) BMW 3-Series can fit my bike with the front wheel off in the truck with the seat folded down.
I think a lot of the hatchbacks, larger sedans have no problem fitting a bike in the back — even with the wheels left on. It’s the need for a rear seat passenger (and luggage) that is the complicating factor here.
The Honda Fit is amazing. For a 10 hour drive, my cousin’s comfortably fit:
-my cousin’s husband, 6’+
-my cousin, who needs to sit in back with her leg elevated on a folded-down front seat
-all our luggage
-my 58cm touring bike with the wheels removed
All that in a subcompact. Amazing car; if I were planning to buy a car any time soon I’d get one.
@alankhg agreed on the fit. when i was looking at suvs i looked at the element and crv before i found my blazer. i was shocked at how little added interior space they had over stef’s fit.
FIT vs SUV?
SUVs have nothing at all going for them.
Not safe. Not practical. Not economical. UGLY.
The TV tells me they are really cool.
That’s one more reason not to watch TV.
well i’m excited about the idea of the fit being available in a hybrid form in a few years! but mine is only a year old, so i will keep it until it dies, most likely.
I rented a prius the ohter year. the airport has
them. 55 mpg and 2 bikes 2 dudes and TONS of stuff
i wonder if you would have the same objection to my vehicle if it was an s10 with a cap? i use my blazer to do things like hauling half a ton of brick/stone/concrete/top fill/lumber/etc for our house, doing shuttle runs or going out for the weekend with 4 downhill bikes plus riders plus gear on fireroads that require far more clearance than a minivan would allow, saving myself hundreds (maybe thousands) of dollars a year at downhill resorts by having a vehicle i can sleep in without getting kicked out for camping in the parking lot, taking my family with two enormous dogs on trips to go camping/see my family up north/etc. in short i actually use the thing for its intended purpose.
while i do agree that many MANY people that own suvs use them as unnecessary, disgusting, bloated luxury cars or to make owning a station wagon seem cool to them, it is unfair to say that everyone that owns one fits into that category.
@cburch: your SUV probably gets better mileage than my 2-door compact car….
I never had a problem getting bikes in my two Honda Civics (’94 coupe and ’08 4-door). Pretty sure I’ve stacked two bikes on top of each other in the ’08.
I’ve only taken the front wheels off, but we have to do that even in the GTI hatchback – the length just isn’t there in a small car. And of course you have to fold one or both seats down.
In a small sedan it’s a bit tricky because there’s the “ceiling” bit under the back window (that shelf where people put baseball caps and stuffed animals), you have to thread the bike through. Back wheel first. But most modern small cars are designed with enormous trunks by making the trunk lid higher and giving up the ability to see the pavement out the back window. So the depth of the trunk is substantial, but I’m pretty sure I could back over a 6-year-old and never see him.
@cburch – The founder of Bike Pittsburgh, David Hoffman, drove an SUV. He used his bike for commuting and most trips, so when he needed a car he usually had stuff to haul!
One of the Zipcar guys here said they were trying to get bike racks placed as standard options on some of the cars. He said they were hoping to have it done by the summer, but I don’t know that I’ve seen any actually outfitted yet.
An actual rack, or just the hitch to connect a rack to? I’d think the latter would be needed, but also equipping every car with a rack you can fold up and stow in the trunk would be really, really nice.
Yeah I was being unjustified in insulting people who actually have a use for those things. Sorry.
I don’t own a TV and rarely watch one. When SUVs beame the thing to have in the 90’s, it puzzled me for a while.
Then I saw some TV. What I saw was a 20 minute commercial for large, unsightly, uneconomical, and unsafe, but extremely profitable vehicles. I mean, it pretended to be an “action” show, but it was really pretty, pretty people showing off their SUVS as though they were cars that rational people would WANT to drive.
The purpose of the program was to normalize SUVs.
At one point, I read an article in Scientific American about how unsafe SUVs were in comparison to similarly-sized cars. Next time I saw the TV, I noticed the SUV commericals. (I mean the OFFICIAL SUV commericals. Much of TV programming is SUV commercials ostensively parading as “programs”).
The SUV commercials were stressing the idea of buying SUVs so you would feel safe with your family in them. They did everything they could to present SUV’s as more secure than cars, when the opposite is true.
In clever marketing fashion they did not actually lie, but they were deceptive.
So, I have this gut feeling that SUV marketing, use and the profits thereof are a serious crime (Millions of dollars. Hundreds, perhaps thousands or hundreds of thousands, of extra lives lost).
Now, thger are many times in the modern world when a person is almost forced to help crime or help pay for crime.
One example: I paid income taxes all through the Bush Administration while that administration was wantonly killing hundreds of thousands in the mid-east.
If you have to drive a semi-industrial vehicle in the city? Well, that is what you need to do. Soem people do have a need for that.
But some of your money supports intense, dishonest efforts to convince suceptible people that driving an SUV (or S-10) is a really cool thing to do, when a smart car would be a more appropriate solution and often when a bicycle would be the more appropriate transportation.
Don’t think for an instant that those efforts haven’t killed many people.
None of us have clean hands.
SUVs (and light trucks) were also exempt from the luxury tax in the 90s, as well as the gas guzzler tax – and they’re also exempt from the bumper height requirements that apply to cars, which makes them more dangerous to pedestrians among other things.
Plus, it was a great way for the struggling US auto companies to make tons of money – SUVs were cheap to produce, had a price advantage (especially “luxury” SUVs), due to the aforementioned tax breaks, and zero foreign competition at first. Then we all got to pay for it when people decided to stop buying the things and the companies all went broke. And again to subsidize people trading in their SUVs for new SUVs that got 2mpg more.
Whatever – it’s not my place to tell people what to do; I’m sure I do plenty of stuff that other people find offensive. I’m not happy about subsidizing that stupidity, either with my wallet or my personal safety, and the fact that “your safety is more important than someone else’s” was a successful marketing campaign (whether it’s true or not) is the truly sad part of it all.
On the Vibe/Matrix discussion – I have had a Vibe and currently have a Matrix. They are the same car – manufactured for Pontiac by Toyota. Literally the only difference is the styling on the rear windows and the logo.
You will be able to fit one bike and two passengers if you take the front wheel off of the bike and fold down one back seat. There will be room for a couple of backpacks but not much more.
My husband an I typically put the rack on the Matrix when we travel as it’s easier than disassembling bikes and cramming everything inside.
On tri days (when he drives and I race), we just flip down both back seats and dump my bike inside.
I decided to go with the Buick just to be safe. I couldn’t risk winding up with two passengers and their luggage at my house and no way to fit them in, and I knew that had a big enough trunk.
Then, as it happened, Avis gave me a Chrysler 300 instead, and THAT trunk is not large. I barely got everything in. Actually, I had to leave my toolbox home, which was a gamble.
But we enjoyed the satellite radio on the long drive.
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