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What car?

brandfreakbrandfreak Posts: 137
edited January 2012 in MTB buying advice
Hi all,

What Mountain Bike ran a guide to which car might be best for bike transport aswell as all the other things cars have to do. My trusty Ford Focus is 10 years old and coming to the end of it's useful life. Their is only my wife and I. I have used a strap on rack mostly but want something big enough to leave/transport bikes inside. Uses are commuting, shopping trips, numerous camping trips (hence locking bikes inside).

What do you guys drive, what do you think I should be looking at? Not decided on a budget yet but somewhere between 4k-7k, thinking of an estate (maybe Skoda Octavia) or something tall enough to stand bikes upright with front wheels removed.

Thanks for your help.
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  • tarbot18tarbot18 Posts: 531
    I use the mrs stilo with a clip on bike rack or my crv with bike racks on the roof rack , just depends whether your happy with lifting your bike onto the car but it does save getting your car full of mud.
    The family that rides together stays together !

    Boardman Comp 29er 2013

    Whyte T129s 2014 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12965414&p=18823801&hilit=whyte+t129s#p18823801

    Road Scott speedster s50 2011
  • swelsbyukswelsbyuk Posts: 421
    The What Mountain Bike recommendation is the Honda Jazz and I second that.

    In the UK, the Jazz is the car for retired, ex-middle income set. Therefore, they are generally very well looked after and low-mileage. We are on our second (despite being in our 30s) and you can pick up some excellent second-hand models around.

    It's hardly an exciting vehicle but it does what's needed of it and does it well. Plus, there's loads of room in the back.

    p.s In Japan, where it's known as the Honda Fit, the user group tends towards boy-racers. I kid you not!
  • Thanks swelsbyuk - is the Jazz big enough to load a tent/supplies for a weeks camping - then store the bikes inside when you're there?
  • The very notion that they build a "strap on" big enough to house a bicycle brings tears to my eyes. Shouldn't this be in the crudcatcher?
  • swelsbyukswelsbyuk Posts: 421
    The Jazz fits both my bikes in with ease (with front wheels removed). Never taken it camping but had two adults, two kids, luggage and all Xmas presents in there last month! Tight squeeze admittedly, but managed it.
  • RushmoreRushmore Posts: 674
    I drive a Peugeot 307 estate..

    moved from a honda civic. Due to needing a big car to lug my band and bike gear about..

    Love it... it's like having a van.... without having a van ;)

    it also comes with roof bars already fitted... and there is absolutely tons of space inside.. And you can pick them up pretty cheap.
    Always remember.... Wherever you go, there you are.

    Ghost AMR 7500 2012
    De Rosa R838
  • I have a mk2 octavia estate but always use a roof mounted system as I have kids in there when I have the bike, there is lots of space in the Octavia but I've not looked to see if they sell an internal mounting system. My vote if there is only 2 of you would be either the Skoda Roomster/Yeti, they offer an internal mounting system for bikes 8)

    Alternativly I've found that with SWMBO's Rav4.2 you can fit an MTB width ways in the boot with just the front wheel removed and if you need a little more room the rear seats slide forwards

    Matthew
  • delcoldelcol Posts: 2,848
    peugeot partner or citroen berlingo.. take 2 bikes 2 adults no messing about.. or 3 bike (minus front wheel) and 3 adults..
    and perfect for camping gear ect....
  • oodboooodboo Posts: 2,171
    I've got a golf estate and before that I had a focus estate. Both about the same sort of size. Can easily fit two bikes in the back with the wheels off but find using a roof carrier much easier. Both cars were good with economy and never felt too big when it was just me and the missus. Hoping to get a VW Caddy WAV later in the year.
    I love horses, best of all the animals. I love horses, they're my friends.

    Strava
  • What about a vw t4/t5 kombi? I have a t5 panel van with kombi windows and full carpet lining and insulation and love it.
    Yeti SB66c 2013
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,537
    brandfreak wrote:
    Thanks swelsbyuk - is the Jazz big enough to load a tent/supplies for a weeks camping - then store the bikes inside when you're there?

    Mondeo TDCi fits that bill and cheap to buy/run.

    Hell even in the hatchback for added security if you remove both wheels you can put the whole bike(s) and wheels in the boot without having to put down the seats down/remove parcel shelf, so they're totally hidden from view.
  • I have dogs and ride bikes so over the years have owned a number of estates. I would say that ANY estate would be suitable for putting 1 bike in the back. If you want to put 2 bikes in the back (standing up)with the front wheel removed then you want a lot more floor to ceiling room and hence a much larger luggage compartment. The best estate on the market for lugging kit about (in other words the most spacious) is the Volvo V70, basically a box on wheels. Expensive though to buy and insure.
    The Peugeot 307SW has a lot of room for a middle sized estate. This is very flexible too, it has a low floor, can actually seat up to 7 people, but you can remove all the back seats completely leaving a van like rear. or just remove 2 seats on one side and shuffle the others around. It's cheap to buy and insure.
    Also have you considered a MPV - Vauxhalls Zafira would seem to fit the bill or the Volkwagen Touran.
    There's warp speed - then there's Storck Speed
  • spongtasticspongtastic Posts: 2,651
    delcol wrote:
    peugeot partner or citroen berlingo.. take 2 bikes 2 adults no messing about.. or 3 bike (minus front wheel) and 3 adults..
    and perfect for camping gear ect....

    Another vote for the partner/berlingo. They have a image of being a an old/disabled persons car but they are cheap (09 plates with low milage for about £8k) the new 1.6 HDi diesel does over 50 mpg on a long run, higher range models have a hard wearing interior that's easy to clean (we take our kids to stables etc in ours and it still looks like new) and they are huge inside. Last camping trip we had 4 people, 1 dog, 2 bikes, large outwell tent and all the other stuff without being crammed in.
    Visit Clacton during the School holidays - it's like a never ending freak show.

    Who are you calling inbred?
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    I got 3 bikes and a weeks worth of kit for two people in the back of my Mk 2 focus. The car is tall enough to take the bikes upright and upside down if you take both wheels off.

    The Mondeo estate is like an aircraft hanger inside though!
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Thanks swelsbyuk - is the Jazz big enough to load a tent/supplies for a weeks camping - then store the bikes inside when you're there?

    How small do people think cars are!? You could do that in a Punto/Ka/Lupo/Aygo etc if you've only got 2 people.

    Like my Golf GT TDI, estate if you don't want to remove both wheels (I remove front to chuck bike in).
  • tseniortsenior Posts: 664
    I would say that ANY estate would be suitable for putting 1 bike in the back. ...................The best estate on the market for lugging kit about (in other words the most spacious) is the Volvo V70, basically a box on wheels. Expensive though to buy and insure.

    Yep, ANY estate will be fine, you wont go back to a saloon.

    I cant reccomend the Octavia highly enough though, great car!
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    + another 1 for the Octavia, mine is hard to beat on almost any grounds. You can't get bikes in upright without removing wheels but you can still get a lot of stuff in there.

    Mind you, I'm now using our Kia Picanto most often, and have managed to get 2 bikes in the back with only 1 wheel off each :shock:
  • Ive been using a t5 kombi for a couple of years now. Its excellent, drives like a car, is fast, economical and reliable.
    I used to use a variety of cars over the years. they ranged for form a Mini cooper s to a 330d saloon. But the best was a mk4 Astra GSi. I had aS4 avant and the astra was better, as was an S3.
    If i had to go to one vehicle I would live with just the T5. But if it had to be a car for 4-7k it would be an Astra 1.9CDTI 150bhp estate. Fast, reliable and roomy.
    2011 Orange 224 evo race
    2009 Orange 5 pro
    2008 Scott Scale 30
    2002 S-works m5 fsr
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Civic gets a couple of bikes in the back with the seats down. Not huge but not tiny either, and vtec is really nice. Not to mention you feel like Captain Picard driving it ;)
  • GrowmacGrowmac Posts: 117
    I've had my Accord diesel estate for 130k miles from new (2006). Still runs like new, everything still works perfectly, absolutely massive inside, and nice to drive.

    I have had two bikes and camping kit for a weekend in the boot with the cover over. With the back seats down you don't even need to take the wheels off to get bikes in.

    I would have it on a shortlist with the Octavia and Mondeo if I were you. All will be easy to live with, good to drive and last well.
    1994 Clark Kent F12; 2004 Mount Vision; 2011 Canyon AM 7, 2012 Canyon Torque FRX 6, a unicycle and a Brompton.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,473
    You just can't top a long wheel base 110 defender (land rover), but its not good for commuting. Volvo v70 estates are good. The Nissan X-trails are good if you avoid the DCi models. But I've always been impressed with ford mondeos so perhaps an estate model.
  • mcnultycopmcnultycop Posts: 2,143
    X-type 2.2 Diesel, (not the 2.0 which is only 2WD). The Octavia is a good suggestion too.
  • SH4RKYSH4RKY Posts: 38
    Defender 90. The biggest smallest car out there! Wait, what....?
  • mattrgeemattrgee Posts: 157
    In all seriousness, what about buying a small cheap van as a second vehicle? You could have something more fun for the daily commute etc...
  • Best bike carrier I had was a Ford Galaxy.It would take my 3 children and bikes with ease and often doubled up as builders/removal van........

    Running costs were high though.If I had the money nowI`d buy a Ford S Max,but I`m making do with a Ford Focus for now.

    The boot is surprisingly big,its great to drive and has reasonable runnig costs.I would imagine the estate to be even better.
    2006 Giant XTC
    2010 Giant Defy Advanced
    2016 Boardman Pro 29er
    2016 Pinnacle Lithium 4
    2017 Canondale Supersix Evo
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 52,926
    Briggo wrote:
    Mondeo TDCi fits that bill and cheap to buy/run.

    Hell even in the hatchback for added security if you remove both wheels you can put the whole bike(s) and wheels in the boot without having to put down the seats down/remove parcel shelf, so they're totally hidden from view.
    +1 for the Mondeo TDCI.

    I've go the hatchback version and that easily takes one bike without removing any wheels, so 2 with a wheel off should be fine. Security wise I have a good quality bike chain lock that fits around the metal 'catches' that the rear seatback clicks into, so when the seats are down you can chain the bike up in the car (handy when part of the bike is on view).

    Estate version even more so on space. If you want truly cavernous, go for an S-Max or Galaxy which can be had pretty cheap as well.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,804
    Subaru Forester, size of a Focus, 1 can fit 2 bikes (one 16" and one 17") in the boot with their wheels and 4 on the rack on the back.....can only carry 5 passengers though!

    Transit Connect Tourneo would probably take 2/3 bikes with wheels on.

    Vauxhall Zafira has the largest load area of the mini MPV's in either 5 or 2 seat trim.

    Simon
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • delcoldelcol Posts: 2,848
    mattrgee wrote:
    In all seriousness, what about buying a small cheap van as a second vehicle? You could have something more fun for the daily commute etc...

    this is what we did as both cars would not fit bikes in....
  • weescottweescott Posts: 453
    Ford C-Max. 3 DH bikes, 3 people and kit for a week inside. 8)
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    It's surprising how much difference there is between cars. I've got a mk1.5 Focus Estate, and with the seats down I can just throw a bike in with both wheels on, no bother. 2 with a little more care. With one wheel off, I run out of bikes before I run out of space. But then I hired an Avensis estate, which is a bigger car but the boot's tiny by comparison- it's got a big lip, it's got wheel arches that intrude for miles, it's not as long, and the floor's high.

    If it's to be a car, I'd say Focus or Mondeo, they just make sense. I swear you could park a Mondeo in the back of a Mondeo, they are vast :lol:

    But otherwise... Once you've had an estate with no boot lip, it's just unavoidably incredibly obvious that all estates should be like that. Easier to load stuff, and you can sit in the back, lovely.

    Low floor and high roof- most stuff you put in a car isn't tall but handlebars are wide, and if you're packing a lot of stuff you'll probably want to tilt them too. Also watch for wheel arches/intruding bodywork. Volvo V40's incredible for this, the boot space is so narrow. All the VAG estates seem to suffer from it (Passat we had really made bad use of the space)

    I'm after either a higher spec Mondeo, or a Galaxy/Alhambra/Sharan next. But the Focus estate is really amazingly big inside. PS Ford Focus for sale ;)
    Uncompromising extremist
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