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  1. #1
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    Car that will fit bike with both wheels on or front off under $12k

    I'm looking for a car that I can fit my 29er in with both wheels on preferably or the front off. used under $12k. probably won't buy anything with over 70k miles. I'm leaning towards a mazda 3 hatchback, something that handles well and gets 25+ mpg on the hwy are important. I also like the dodge magnum, it would probably fit the bike with both wheels, doesn't get too good on gas though.

  2. #2
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    If you are looking for something that handles well you should probably run from Dodge (generally speaking). Take a good look at Subaru Impreza hatchbacks and their Outback and Forester lineup from previous years. The Mazda is a great choice, not sure if the bike will fit with both wheels on though. I'm guessing it will.

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    Take a look at a Toyota Tacoma....you are likely going to need a pickup if you don't want to at least remove the front wheel. My Subaru XV Crosstrek(same interior size as an Impreza hatch) fits my Stumpy FSR 29er large frame with the front wheel off with no issues at all.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tech420 View Post
    Take a look at a Toyota Tacoma....you are likely going to need a pickup if you don't want to at least remove the front wheel. My Subaru XV Crosstrek(same interior size as an Impreza hatch) fits my Stumpy FSR 29er large frame with the front wheel off with no issues at all.
    Yeah I agree with Tech. If you drop both seats, you may be able to fit a 26'er in most of these cars with both wheels on. 29...well that's kind of pushing it. You may be looking at pickup or SUV territory if that's the case. I would expect you could fit one into an outback, but any outback built after 2010 is a bit...well boring.

  5. #5
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    A used Honda Crosstour. Prolly a bit north of 12k; dunno. I have a 2010 and have zero complaints. 4WD works great too... on my last trip into 15+ inches of snow I did better than 2 Subaru's


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    I've had a couple Mazda 3's and first off they are great little cars. I don't recall how well my 29er fit in the back but you will definitely have to take the front wheel off at least, maybe both wheels. Best option with a 3 is a rack of some sort. I had a roof rack on mine. I miss that car but it wasn't big enough for kids

    Last edited by Jazn_84; 01-17-2013 at 10:13 AM.

  7. #7
    cbw
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    I have a mazda 3 hatchback with a roof rack setup. Before the roof rack I would just fit them in the back. 2 29ers plus camping gear for a weekend trip was pushing it but it all fit.

    You will need to take the front wheels off to get them to fit though.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by edubfromktown View Post
    A used Honda Crosstour. Prolly a bit north of 12k; dunno. I have a 2010 and have zero complaints. 4WD works great too... on my last trip into 15+ inches of snow I did better than 2 Subaru's

    The crosstour is one of the only cars I've ever seen that can rival the outback design ideology. The only other is from the likes of volvo. How do you like it overall?

  9. #9
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    Just about any car, sedan or hatchback (naturally, not a small two seater sports car with no back seat), can fit a 29er with both wheels off, as long as you're willing to put the back seat down flat... heck, even with the back seat up. Heck, my '02 A4 has a pretty small back seat and I got a bike back there once with both wheels off on a moving blanket. I wouldn't want to make a habit of it, but in a pinch...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt Bringer View Post
    The crosstour is one of the only cars I've ever seen that can rival the outback design ideology. The only other is from the likes of volvo. How do you like it overall?
    I bought a 2010 at the end of the model year (my first new car purchase everrrrr) and have zero complaints. I get ~29 MPG on the highway (combined is ~22), it is the quietest car Honda has manufactured (dunno if the 2013 Accord or other models come close but maybe), the hatch opens all the way in my garage, fits two 29er's inside (second one I take the front wheel off for easier navigation and less scratch potential).

    Fitting bikes completely inside was one of my top requirements. You have to get up close to the glass to see a bike in there. Most folks don't believe it fits in there. I have a Kuat rack with built-in security lock but I don't trust any locks for more than a few minutes or when the car is in full view. I have a tarp that I can put down for coming back from mudfest rides if needed.

    Some people hate it but the vast majority give me on the road or want to ask a bunch of questions about it when it is parked. They make a 4 banger now though the 6 cyl. is fine by me.

  11. #11
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    crosstour is nice, cheapest one I found was 17k though. too bad Honda holds its value so well, lol

  12. #12
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    Honda Fit. Needs front wheel off. Gets close to 40MPG. If I didn't ski, this would be my pick. (Need AWD for my life style).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by stremf View Post
    Honda Fit. Needs front wheel off. Gets close to 40MPG. If I didn't ski, this would be my pick. (Need AWD for my life style).
    I'm not to wild about the honda fit looks. believe it gets 33 mpg hwy.


    Quote Originally Posted by cbw View Post
    I have a mazda 3 hatchback with a roof rack setup. Before the roof rack I would just fit them in the back. 2 29ers plus camping gear for a weekend trip was pushing it but it all fit.

    You will need to take the front wheels off to get them to fit though.
    I heard you can fit a 29er in with both wheels on with the passenger seat forward, true or no?

  14. #14
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    If you want to leave both wheels on then put it on the roof.

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    I can fit 2 bikes (one 26, one 29) in the back of my 2 door VW rabbit (2007), if I take the front wheels off. If you drop the seat post on both, you can have them both standing up right on one side, and load the other side of the car with bags. I've done many trips like that.

    Back seats down, of course.

    It's a cavernous little bastard, that car. probably even more, if you get the 4 door. You can get a used rabbit/golf for under 12 easy. Go MkV or MkVI (2006-current).

  16. #16
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    Scion XB fits my 29er with both wheels on, passenger side seat moved slightly forward

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    My old pontiac vibe aka toyota matrix worked really well for that. Could easily fit my 29er in the back with the front wheel on. It also has two tracks in the floor for attaching things which I used to mount fork mounts too which made it really nice for hauling two bikes in the back with the front wheels off. Without using the fork mounts you could probably shove 3 or 4 bike in there. Plus the the back area is plastic which made cleaning easy.

    My jetta wagon also works the same and is a bit longer which makes the 29er fit a bit better but it is carpeted and nicer so I just put the bikes on the roof all the time now. It also gets around 40mpg thanks to the diesel engine .

  18. #18
    cbw
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe3 View Post
    I'm not to wild about the honda fit looks. believe it gets 33 mpg hwy.




    I heard you can fit a 29er in with both wheels on with the passenger seat forward, true or no?
    You may be able to squeeze it. This intrigues me. I'll try tomorrow for ya.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbw View Post
    You may be able to squeeze it. This intrigues me. I'll try tomorrow for ya.
    thanks, post a photo if possible. mazda 3 hatch is still on the top of my list.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe3 View Post
    thanks, post a photo if possible. mazda 3 hatch is still on the top of my list.
    As it should be. Anyone seriously considering a mazda 3 should also consider a subaru impreza hatch. They are direct competitors for a good reason.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt Bringer View Post
    As it should be. Anyone seriously considering a mazda 3 should also consider a subaru impreza hatch. They are direct competitors for a good reason.
    I've only found 2 for sale within 200 miles under $14k

  22. #22
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    Well that is just bad luck. They do hold their value incredibly well compared to many other companies. It's part of the reason there are so few on sale used (go figure right?) as well as their lofty used pricing. They also usually run forever. I would guess the Mazda would run for a pretty damn long time too, I've heard good things.

  23. #23
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    I have an Audi allroad (the original A6 based car, not the new A4 based one) and it can fit a lot of stuff in the back with the seats folded down. However, fitting my size large 29er with both wheels on is still tight, and only works if the fork is rigid or short travel. Height of a 29er front end and the narrow width of most cars is the issue here, however the 29er does make full use of the length of the allroad as well. For a short car like the Mazda 3 I don't see any way you could keep both tires on, but with front wheel off should be able to fit two bikes easy.

    I also have a 2 bike hitch rack, and had a 3 bike roof rack before that, but for long weekend trips having the bikes inside is nice for security and fuel savings (if using roof rack, hitch rack not so much).

    Here is the allroad packed with two 26" DH bikes, front wheels off, and camping gear for a weekend...





    You can buy almost any allroad like mine for under $12k these days, and while in some ways it is a great car, it can be very troublesome and cost a lot to fix if you don't DIY, and gets an average of 17-18 mpg. Plus they are 10+ years old.
    Last edited by JustMtnB44; 01-20-2013 at 07:23 AM.

  24. #24
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    Mazda 3 owner here, sedan version. I can fit two bikes in the back seat with all the wheels taken off, both 26ers though, so I don't know how your 29er would fit. I squeeze them in by flipping the frames upside down so that they're laying on the saddle/handlebars, one from each side of the car.

  25. #25
    cbw
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    Well forgive me for 1. messy car. 2. lazy effort of getting it in.

    Here's my mazda 3 hatch. Passenger seat forward. Large 29er. First picture is the gap left for the bike to move forward. I just didn't want to empty out all my junk aka clean my car. Second picture shows how far in I got it. Third picture my roof rack setup which I am super happy with.

    So I can say if you have a clean car you can fit a 29" mtb in the back of the mazda 3 with both wheels on with the passenger seat pushed forward.

    I went without a rack for about 6 months before getting a roof rack setup and I would always take the front wheel off and the bikes slide in with ease.

    But honestly just taking 5 minutes to try to see if it would fit just made me realize how happy I am with the roof rack.




  26. #26
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    I can fit my 26'er in the back of my 07 Volvo XC70 just fine with both wheels on. If the XC its a little spendy for ya, the V70 is the same thing, just not AWD. I get a little over 23mpg combined with mine, and its great in the snow and VERY comfy.

    And Fyi, I had a Fit loaner last week, and got 36mpg combined. Highway was just under 40. It drove great and was surprisingly roomy inside, plus fun to drive...like a go kart.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbw View Post
    Well forgive me for 1. messy car. 2. lazy effort of getting it in.

    Here's my mazda 3 hatch. Passenger seat forward. Large 29er. First picture is the gap left for the bike to move forward. I just didn't want to empty out all my junk aka clean my car. Second picture shows how far in I got it. Third picture my roof rack setup which I am super happy with.

    So I can say if you have a clean car you can fit a 29" mtb in the back of the mazda 3 with both wheels on with the passenger seat pushed forward.

    I went without a rack for about 6 months before getting a roof rack setup and I would always take the front wheel off and the bikes slide in with ease.

    But honestly just taking 5 minutes to try to see if it would fit just made me realize how happy I am with the roof rack.
    thanks!

  28. #28
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    I've been looking at the audi A3, they have 50 cubic feet with the rear seats down, vs the mazda 3 hatch's 30. the audi probably costs more to repair though.

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    I am curious as to why you are against removing the rear wheel and why a rack won't work for your needs...

    With that being said, anything short of a full size suv or mini van and you are going to be so cramped in there you won't be able to have anyone else in the car with you. I personally wouldn never carry any of my bikes in my car simply because it is annoying and cumbersome... Its so easy to add a rack and so simple to mount and dissmount that I wouldn't be able to justify getting my interior all dirty after every ride. What happens if you just rode in the mud? lay down a ton of towels? Just my 2 cents... flame on...

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyeRey521 View Post
    I am curious as to why you are against removing the rear wheel and why a rack won't work for your needs...

    With that being said, anything short of a full size suv or mini van and you are going to be so cramped in there you won't be able to have anyone else in the car with you. I personally wouldn never carry any of my bikes in my car simply because it is annoying and cumbersome... Its so easy to add a rack and so simple to mount and dissmount that I wouldn't be able to justify getting my interior all dirty after every ride. What happens if you just rode in the mud? lay down a ton of towels? Just my 2 cents... flame on...
    Its too much hassle removing the rear wheel, my dropouts are funky and have to adjust my brake caliper. racks have some downsides, a roof rack reduces mpg. a hitch rack and the bike getting rear ended would suck, carbon fiber isn't cheap, lol. its easy to lay down a plastic tarp in there to protect the interior. I'd probably get around to buying a rack eventually because they are easy.

  31. #31
    gran jefe
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    it probably doesn't fit your sense of aesthetics, but an Element will easily take a 29" bike with the front tire off. it rolls right in and you can use a fork mount to hold it upright.

    i do like the Maza3 a lot... also, i know it is shaped like a loaf of bread, but think about test-driving a Fit to see if it meets your fun requirement.

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    2nd generation Toyota RAV4 (2002-2005 ish) The back seats for that version are completely removeable and you're left with essentially a big box on wheels. Unbelievable capacity for such a small vehicle. Here's mine with two 650b-wheeled bikes (with both wheels on) and two weeks worth of camping gear in:


  33. #33
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    Honda Element will outperform all of the above hands down. You can roll four 29ers in it no problem.

    Is it luxury, no, is it quiet, no will it get 30 mpg, no but it's cheap, made well, will last forever and with good tires (225 width or bigger) will out handle nearly any vehicle in its class including expensive stuff !

    At the very least, go look at one and bring your bike.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    2nd generation Toyota RAV4 (2002-2005 ish) The back seats for that version are completely removeable and you're left with essentially a big box on wheels. Unbelievable capacity for such a small vehicle. Here's mine with two 650b-wheeled bikes (with both wheels on) and two weeks worth of camping gear in:

    I must admit....THAT is impressive. Didn't know Rav4s had that much room inside

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by danaco View Post
    Honda Element will outperform all of the above hands down. You can roll four 29ers in it no problem.

    Is it luxury, no, is it quiet, no will it get 30 mpg, no but it's cheap, made well, will last forever and with good tires (225 width or bigger) will out handle nearly any vehicle in its class including expensive stuff !

    At the very least, go look at one and bring your bike.
    The Element is a great hauler for sure. But the mileage is not great, styling is a love/hate thing, and the road and wind noise at highway speeds is quite bad. I drove one when I was shopping and the RAV4 was quieter, drove and rode nicer, and got better mileage. It doesn't have quite as much cargo room but the removable backseats make it close.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Pirate View Post
    I must admit....THAT is impressive. Didn't know Rav4s had that much room inside
    It's too bad they did away with the removable rear seats in the redesign. That really made it a versatile vehicle. It was a great little hauler. We could even fit the tandem in with the front wheel removed...

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by danaco View Post
    Honda Element will outperform all of the above hands down. You can roll four 29ers in it no problem.

    Is it luxury, no, is it quiet, no will it get 30 mpg, no but it's cheap, made well, will last forever and with good tires (225 width or bigger) will out handle nearly any vehicle in its class including expensive stuff !

    At the very least, go look at one and bring your bike.
    A bunch of my riding cronies own & swear by Elements (one has the hose-off interior axxion which is kina cool hehehe).

    Quiet and near 30 MPG were high on my list so that's why I opted for Crosstour.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    it probably doesn't fit your sense of aesthetics, but an Element will easily take a 29" bike with the front tire off. it rolls right in and you can use a fork mount to hold it upright.

    i do like the Maza3 a lot... also, i know it is shaped like a loaf of bread, but think about test-driving a Fit to see if it meets your fun requirement.

    The Fit is a hoot to drive-a real go-cart. Low and quick. The turn circles' so tight you can see yourself coming in the rear view mirror...

  39. #39
    gran jefe
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    That is what I would expect. Especially compared to my Element, which turns tight, but is not go-kart-ish.

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    3 bikes, 3 riders in Ford Escape

    The third seat can be folded down to eliminate the rear passenger and fit a 4th bike. Maybe also a 5th. All bikes are positioned upright, fastened onto quick-release mount and not touching anything. In fact, all bikes don't even need their seats lowered.


  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    That is what I would expect. Especially compared to my Element, which turns tight, but is not go-kart-ish.
    I have tio disagree with "not go-kart-ish" at least what i consider that to mean. you put fat tires on them and they are truly impressive handling wise. they will scare you before they'll actually let go ! Not sure what happens then....

    The Element is in a class by it's self. if you need it's specific attributes nothing will match it for it's size and cost. unforunately, it has some annoyances that can not be overcome.

    My wife wants an Element that gets 40mpg and is quiet and comfortable ! Now that's humor from a not particulary funny person

  42. #42
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by danaco View Post
    My wife wants an Element that gets 40mpg and is quiet and comfortable ! Now that's humor from a not particulary funny person
    When you find it, let me know!

  43. #43
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    My wife wants an Element that gets 40mpg and is quiet and comfortable

    A more aerodynamic Element with a hybrid drivetrain would be pretty sweet.

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