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  1. #1
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    Wagon or small SUV - Bike and carseat in the back?

    I am looking for a wagon or small SUV that will fit a bike in the back with only half of the back seat folded down. I need one rear seat spot for my son. Does anyone know of a vehicle that can fit the rear tire of a 29er or fatbike through one side of the rear seat? I know I will have to take off the front tire and I am fine with that. Right now I am looking at Elements, but just want to make sure there isn't anything else out there that I should be looking at. I need to be able to put the bike in the car in the winter since they use crazy amounts of nasty salt on the roads here.
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  2. #2
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    I assume you mean with the bike standing, right? Because otherwise, part of the bike will wrap around the upright seat and into your son's area.

    Based on that, you'll need a tallish wagon. I know for a fact that the Mazda5, Element will work- but mayyybe things like the Honda CRV, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4 will work. Without measuring my 06 CRV, I'm pretty darn sure it would work, with seatpost off/down. Some cars you might have to insert the bike standing but at an angle, so your son may have to use the smaller of the two seats if the seat is 60/40
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  3. #3
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    I don't care if the bike is standing or flat. I would rather not have to mess with the seatpost though. The Element can hold the bike vertical, but any other vehicle it would probably have to lay down. I just don't know if there is a vehicle where the wider portion of a split rear seat is ~29" wide to fit the rear tire in there.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tedsti View Post
    I don't care if the bike is standing or flat. I would rather not have to mess with the seatpost though. The Element can hold the bike vertical, but any other vehicle it would probably have to lay down. I just don't know if there is a vehicle where the wider portion of a split rear seat is ~29" wide to fit the rear tire in there.
    Ted,

    Element is a good choice. One other possibility might be an Xterra. Also currently in the market and most of the small SUVs I've checked out are a little short keeping the bike upright in the vehicle.

    Good luck whit what ever you get.

  5. #5
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    this is easily done in a.Honda Fit...my wife was "thrilled"

  6. #6
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    A long or tall bike won't fit cleanly inside an Element.
    I have one and with my Mach5 with 150mm fork, it's hard to slide the front in without a lot of fiddling around. And then the tailgate won't close without working it in.

  7. #7
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    The fit and rav4 should do it easily without lowering the seat. Possibly the pontiac vibe/toyota matrix and mazda cx5 as well.
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  8. #8
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    My 29er fit standing up front wheel removed in my Pontiac vibe. You could lay it flat with the front wheel still on and it would fit but you had to lay down both back seats. I haven't put my 29er in the back of my VW jetta wagon yet but the VW is bigger and a 26er had no problems fitting standing up with the front wheel removed. The vibe/matrix have tracks in the back for mounting things like fork mounts which was really handy and is all plastic which made cleaning easy.

    Had an old dodge caravan before the vibe. That thing rocked for hauling bikes and people. Could easily put three bikes and people in it and could probably have done four of each but never needed too.

  9. #9
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    I have an 05 CRV. But no baby seat, however when I need to I can put my 29er's inside the vehicle (with the front tire removed, front end in first) while leaving the other seat in the upright position so yes a child seat would be possible. I also find the Element very attractive as a bike carrier, however after talking to multiply owners I decided that it was not the right vehicle for me. My CRV gets 25-27 mpg, the Element on the other hand I have been advised only gets 20 mpg. I like the extra fuel mileage.
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  10. #10
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    Not sure what your mpg requirements are, but I love my 4 door Tacoma that fits 2 car seats in the back and ton of cargo in the bed. A 4 door truck is pretty versatile. But not great mpg.

  11. #11
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    Re: Wagon or small SUV - Bike and carseat in the back?

    I can fit a toddler seat and two bikes standing up in the back of my JKU. But the jeep might be a tad bigger than what your looking for.

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  12. #12
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    I am looking for something that will get at least 20mpg combined so that is ruling out most of the bigger SUVs and pick-ups. I have a 4 door Dodge Dakota now that has been good for hauling stuff, I am just getting tired of the 14mpg in town and 16mpg on the highway.

    I will have to bring my bikes to the dealers. I am surprised that Duderidesab said he can get a bike in the back of a Fit with one seat up. The Mazda5 is looking interesting but sounds like they have some issues. The CRV or RAV4 would be nice if I can make them work. The Element is my first choice, but the mpg is not the best (much better than what I get now) and the ~2010ish ones are still prices pretty high.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tedsti View Post
    I am looking for something that will get at least 20mpg combined so that is ruling out most of the bigger SUVs and pick-ups. I have a 4 door Dodge Dakota now that has been good for hauling stuff, I am just getting tired of the 14mpg in town and 16mpg on the highway.

    I will have to bring my bikes to the dealers. I am surprised that Duderidesab said he can get a bike in the back of a Fit with one seat up. The Mazda5 is looking interesting but sounds like they have some issues. The CRV or RAV4 would be nice if I can make them work. The Element is my first choice, but the mpg is not the best (much better than what I get now) and the ~2010ish ones are still prices pretty high.
    I also have a Dodge Dakota Extended (2000) cab and average 17 mpg so it sits a lot. Great for taking trash to dump and walking the dog (she fits in a cage in the back, 90 pound Siberian Husky). I also live in Tennessee so I have to have a truck, but I prefer the CRV (2005) for bike hauling. I usually hang the bike on my 1UPUSA bike rack and skip the inside situation (due to dirt) but at least with the CRV I have the option.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tedsti View Post
    I am looking for something that will get at least 20mpg combined so that is ruling out most of the bigger SUVs and pick-ups. I have a 4 door Dodge Dakota now that has been good for hauling stuff, I am just getting tired of the 14mpg in town and 16mpg on the highway.

    I will have to bring my bikes to the dealers. I am surprised that Duderidesab said he can get a bike in the back of a Fit with one seat up. The Mazda5 is looking interesting but sounds like they have some issues. The CRV or RAV4 would be nice if I can make them work. The Element is my first choice, but the mpg is not the best (much better than what I get now) and the ~2010ish ones are still prices pretty high.
    yep, you can absolutely do this in a Fit. i did it with a medium specialized epic, I had a piece of wood with a fork block mounted to it which i mounted the fork to. the rear tire rests on the passenger seat back. 30+ mpg combined.

  15. #15
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    Only reason I got rid of the pontiac vibe for the 04 vw jetta wagon was I got an insane deal on the jetta and it is a TDI. If you want something that can do what you want and gets great mileage you can't do much better than a TDI passat/jetta wagon or maybe a golf, not sure a golf would be long enough. My 04 jetta is rated 33/44 and its an automatic, the manuals do even better. The problem is the TDIs are usually insanely priced.

  16. #16
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    2003 Forester will not fit a bike upright. You might be able to wedge it sideways enough to fit without the front wheel. I'll try to remember to fit it this way when I load it Friday. It should fit if the baby seat is on the left 1/3rd. I think the newer Foresters are larger inside. IMO, if you get a Forester, get the manual transmission. They are way underpowered with the automatics.

    At one time the Rav 4 had one of the tallest interiors of any SUV - big or little.

  17. #17
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    Have a 2011 Forester here and it will fit bikes standing up but you have to remove seat post and front wheel. Real wold mixed MPG about 25 (auto trans).

    I use a hitch rack (Saris Cycle On Pro) 90% of the time, does not seam to effect MPG much at all.

  18. #18
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    Don't forget the minivans. They will get the mileage you want, carry lots of people and stuff but are not the smallest things out there. I went from a pick-up to a minivan when the family started. Really nice to be able to fit bikes inside AND people at the same time. Four people and one size XL mountain bike inside is no problem at all.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallsilver1 View Post

    I use a hitch rack (Saris Cycle On Pro) 90% of the time, does not seam to effect MPG much at all.
    I have an Outback with a Thule hitch rack and I do notice a difference in mpg. I'm usually at 30 (highway, winter gas), but with the hitch rack, I'm at 27. So 10% loss.

    But it's better than stuffing a dirty bike in the car.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregon2wheels View Post
    2003 Forester will not fit a bike upright. You might be able to wedge it sideways enough to fit without the front wheel. I'll try to remember to fit it this way when I load it Friday. It should fit if the baby seat is on the left 1/3rd. I think the newer Foresters are larger inside. IMO, if you get a Forester, get the manual transmission. They are way underpowered with the automatics.

    At one time the Rav 4 had one of the tallest interiors of any SUV - big or little.
    I can confirm that you are able to load a bike on its side into a '03 Forester. Other cars I have done this with include '10 Forester, '12 Touareg, '95 Legacy, '05ish Explorer and others. It might take some dry runs to figure out which end to put in first but you should be able to put a bike with at least one wheel off in most any vehicle with a half or 2/3 folding bench.
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  21. #21
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    I use my 2009 passat in that configuration with one son on board. 60 part of seat down. two bikes together.

  22. #22
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    See my post here:

    Car that will fit bike with both wheels on or front off under $12k - Page 2

    Previous generation RAV4 would do what you want very handily. Anne and I used to haul the tandem that way--leave the driver-side rear seat in for her, move the front passenger seat forward and the tandem would fit diagonally with the front wheel removed. A single would easily fit that way too.

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