Which car to replace Xterra?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Which car to replace Xterra?

    I need to replace my 2006 Xterra soon. I LOVE that I can take my front wheel off, put the bike inside on a fork mount with half the seats folded down and go. Everything is secure and it's easy.

    So I'm looking for another car that I can do the same with.
    Requirements: Bike fits inside with front wheel off, standing up, in a fork mount (truck bed) carrier.
    Don't want to adjust the saddle height
    No Minivans

    The only car I have seen is a Wrangler Unlimited but getting into and out of it with a softtop might be challenging. What are your suggestions.

  2. #2
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    Depends on the bike sizing but i would look into the subaru forester.

    I am a subaru mechanic at a dealership and would say you cant go wrong, unless your about the cool factor...

    plus the AWD is great for getting to and from any trail and subaru builds a vehicle that holds its value and is super safe.


    That being said i have owned many subarus including a 16'. I got tired of the vehicle payment and bought an 04' ranger fx4 pickup w/ cash and have been super happy !

  3. #3
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    Used Ridgeline with a topper. Probably get your bike in the back seat with the seats folded as well.

  4. #4
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    I know this is a mountain bike forum and all but I'd never pick me next vehicle around what's best to transport my bike.

    That might just be me though..

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    This isn't the only requirement, but it is a requirement.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ...Mark... View Post
    I know this is a mountain bike forum and all but I'd never pick me next vehicle around what's best to transport my bike.

    That might just be me though..
    Cool story.


    It all depends on what you need out of a vehicle. If you transport a bike 24 times a month (3 x a week, load unload), you will want a simple and non-destructive solution. Just like having kids....If you transport a few of them around and plan on having more you don't want a honda fit. I guess it could work, but it would be a major pita.

    I like my crv/Sienna cuz they work well with hitch rack (open tailgate with bikes mounted) I can transport our two kids and dog, and can mount a cargo carrier for long trips. Did I consider all the activities I would be doing when we purchased these vehicles, ur [email protected] right!!

  7. #7
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    Another Xterra? They stopped making them in '15, if you have to go new, maybe you can find a leftover. Or save a few bucks and get one 2 or 3 years old and let someone else take depreciation hit.

    Or you could get a hard top Wrangler. I didn't check your location, but if you have winter weather you'd prob want that anyway.
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  8. #8
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    Maybe a truck? Look at the new Chevrolet Colorado, it's a smaller tuck but still more than enough room for hauling bikes and other gear. If you don't like having an open bed, you could put a cap on it, and you'd be able to store your bike upright without taking off the wheel.


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ...Mark... View Post
    I know this is a mountain bike forum and all but I'd never pick me next vehicle around what's best to transport my bike.

    That might just be me though..
    Mountain bikers have been considering bike transportation in car buying decisions since very early in mountain biking's history. Most riders have to drive some distance to reach the trailhead.

    I do drive a Honda Fit. I can carry bikes inside it. I used to have bike carriers on my roof rack, but the vehicle is a touch tall to make that convenient/comfortable. My next vehicle purchase will require capability for a 2" hitch receiver for bike carrier duties. But also some cargo capacity for camping. I don't need as much space for kids, but I do need space for dogs.

    All of those things are considerations for vehicle purchases. Along with the traditional things like reliability, fuel economy, interior comforts, and so on. A vehicle is a tool, like any other. Failure to consider all of the ways I intend to use it is kinda dumb.

  10. #10
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    the only new non van vehicle I could find that a bike might fit in with the front wheel off is the Jeep Renagde.. Other than full sized SUVs.. and most of them the seats do not go down enough to put a bike in. I ended up buying a second used Honda Element for carrying bikes.

  11. #11
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    I'm a car enthusiast first and formost where you are a cycling enthusiast. It's all good. Different strokes.

    As for a suggestion I gotta agree with the guy that said the Colorado. That's what I plan on replacing my Silverado extended cable with. It's gotta be the turbo diesel though. 31mpg highway, 7,700 lbs towing, 370 ft/lbs, big but not huge like a half ton.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ...Mark... View Post
    I know this is a mountain bike forum and all but I'd never pick me next vehicle around what's best to transport my bike.

    That might just be me though..
    I can't really think of anything else I consider in selecting a vehicle. What is a car used for? Getting me and my bike to a trail. What else? Who cares, any car will get me to work or grocery shopping as well as any other.

  13. #13
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    As a long-time Wrangler owner, I'm trying to understand why a soft top makes vehicle entry more challenging? You know they have doors, right?
    For the record, you would have no issues fitting a bike in a JKU (4 door) with the rear seat(s) folded down. I was actually able to fit a bike inside my JK/2 door, though I've since switched to using a hitch mounted rack (1UPUSA) on my current JKU.

    I caution you to take an extended test ride before buying a current model Wrangler. While their "ride" on road is light years ahead of the earlier model CJ, YJ, and TJ, it is still a purpose built vehicle focused on offroad capability. The very reasons it is unmatched in offroad situations is also what leaves many "soccer moms" less than enthusiastic about the on-road handling, once the new-car novelty wears off.


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  14. #14
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    Is it harder to get the bike in or out of the back with the softop? Figured the zippers might be a pain in the neck

  15. #15
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    Actually, it is a *little* harder, because of the zippers. (versus the hinged rear window of the factory hard top.) But certainly not enough that it would prevent me from buying a Jeep.

    Have you ruled out the idea of a hardtop? The new hardtops are nice in that they have "Freedom Panels"; removeable roof panels above the driver and passenger. Allows for simultaneous open air experience and use of the factory hardtop.


    Edited to Add: If you buy used, make sure to get a 2012 or newer. It'll have the 3.6 vs the 3.8. The 3.8 was a dog, especially in the 4 doors.
    Considering the high resale on used Wranglers and the better interest rates when buying new, it's hard to make an argument for buying a Wrangler that is only a year or two old.

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    Last edited by Coal-Cracker; 03-03-2016 at 05:02 AM.

  16. #16
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    No, haven't ruled anything out. Just trying to figure out what would work for what I would like to do.

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    4 runner or Jeep grand should do it for you. Jeep will be cheaper but toyota more reliable. Or you can get whatever you want and get a bike rack.

    I've been throwing my bikes in the back of my old Jeep grand for more than a decade. Finally got a used sportworks rack and LOVE IT. So much easier, downside would be lack of security, although if someone wanted my bike breaking a window and unlocking a door would be just as fast as cutting a lock. But bikes inside are much less obvious. Other concern is getting rear ended. Bikes die 1st, not a good thought but better than the alternative.

    The least concerning & most fuel efficient setup I had was a Yakima rack on the roof of my Jetta. Everything on top, easy and fast, much better mileage than the Jeep. Downside was low hanging stuff, and a 20% drop in fuel economy with bikes on, 5% drop with rack on.

  18. #18
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    I park in a garage and take my bike car a lot of places so keeping it inside is the best option for me. I've had a car with a roofrack and it was fine, I would just rather it be inside where it's more secure.

  19. #19
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    Seeing as we have two Honda Elements I don't know if I will be replacing one of them, or just keep repairing them.

    But if I do buy a new vehicle it will probably be a Chevy Colorado or Toyota Tacoma quad cab. I would take the front tires off and put the bikes in the bed with a locking roll top so no one could see the bikes.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ...Mark... View Post
    I know this is a mountain bike forum and all but I'd never pick me next vehicle around what's best to transport my bike.

    That might just be me though..
    Funny, it was the main basis of my last few car purchases. Ironically, if I didn't like to travel and ride, I could probably make a serious go at being car free. I'm 2 miles from work, 2 miles from the grocery store. 90% of the miles I drive, I'm hauling a bike or two. Different strokes I reckon.

    Quote Originally Posted by campergf23 View Post
    Maybe a truck? Look at the new Chevrolet Colorado, it's a smaller tuck but still more than enough room for hauling bikes and other gear. If you don't like having an open bed, you could put a cap on it, and you'd be able to store your bike upright without taking off the wheel.
    Yep, see my "New bike Hauler," thread--my 2015 Canyon with a cap is a near-perfect bike hauler. Also gave seriously consideration to a Ford Transit Connect but couldn't live with the spartan interior and lack of A/4-WD. If I only wanted to haul one bike and didn't mind taking the wheel off, I'd for sure be looking at a Subaru Forester.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by campergf23 View Post
    Maybe a truck? Look at the new Chevrolet Colorado, it's a smaller tuck but still more than enough room for hauling bikes and other gear. If you don't like having an open bed, you could put a cap on it, and you'd be able to store your bike upright without taking off the wheel.


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    + Eleventy billion to this guy. I too bought a GMC Canyon coz I simply need something that fits within my lifestyle, mtbking and snowboarding. This is my first truck and I simply love it. Capabilities are endless and rides/drives like a car. Go test drive one or both of the GM Twins, Colorado/Canyon and see what the fuzz is all about. Watch the YouTube vid and join the club

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPq5oJJHTwE

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burger View Post
    I need to replace my 2006 Xterra soon. I LOVE that I can take my front wheel off, put the bike inside on a fork mount with half the seats folded down and go. Everything is secure and it's easy.

    So I'm looking for another car that I can do the same with.
    Requirements: Bike fits inside with front wheel off, standing up, in a fork mount (truck bed) carrier.
    Don't want to adjust the saddle height
    No Minivans

    The only car I have seen is a Wrangler Unlimited but getting into and out of it with a softtop might be challenging. What are your suggestions.
    I just got a 2006 Pathfinder with 68k on the clock. So far it is as perfect as I could have hoped for in a new to me vehicle. You can find some reasonable deals on them and not fork out even half (hell I paid about a third!) of what you will for a new Colorado!

    Plenty of space inside (a bit more than your Xterra) and similar everything else. My 4wd model got 21mpg on a 350 mile mtb trip a couple weeks ago in and around the NC mountains. Can haul 4 riders/gear very comfortably.

    Good luck man!

  23. #23
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    I'm on 4runner number three

    2 3rd gens and now a 4th gen. Easily fit a bike in any of them with the front wheel (15mm) off attached to a thule 15mm fork mount screwed to a piece of plywood. I also use a cable lock attached to an anchor mount for added protection.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Which car to replace Xterra?-06-4runner.jpg  


  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burger View Post
    I need to replace my 2006 Xterra soon. I LOVE that I can take my front wheel off, put the bike inside on a fork mount with half the seats folded down and go. Everything is secure and it's easy.

    So I'm looking for another car that I can do the same with.
    Requirements: Bike fits inside with front wheel off, standing up, in a fork mount (truck bed) carrier.
    Don't want to adjust the saddle height
    No Minivans

    The only car I have seen is a Wrangler Unlimited but getting into and out of it with a softtop might be challenging. What are your suggestions.
    Since you already enjoy the Nissan (I have a '10 O/R X), maybe consider a Frontier? you can get great deals on them and the tried-and-true 4.0 engine can be had with a real transmission or an auto if you want. 4WD, crew or extended cab, long or short bed, far more options than the new Tacoma (which I like but almost $40K).
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makarmtb View Post
    Depends on the bike sizing but i would look into the subaru forester.

    I am a subaru mechanic at a dealership and would say you cant go wrong, unless your about the cool factor...

    plus the AWD is great for getting to and from any trail and subaru builds a vehicle that holds its value and is super safe.


    That being said i have owned many subarus including a 16'. I got tired of the vehicle payment and bought an 04' ranger fx4 pickup w/ cash and have been super happy !
    Subarus are hard to be from just about any angle. Whether it's purchase price, fuel costs, or off road ability.

    Dunno if a Forester is big enough in the back to fit an upright bike, but it deserves a solid look just based on what it can do and the costs involved.

    I have a Crosstrek and get 25mpg on 300+mi roadtrips at 75mph with two bikes on a hitch mount, 27mpg with one bike in the hatch. Foresters are supposed to get slightly lower mileage, but it would still a significant improvement over anything like an Xterra. They also have much better suspension, so that the time you spend on-road or off are quieter and more comfortable.

  26. #26
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    FJ Cruiser!
    And I've seen bikes mounted with the front wheel off in the back.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Which car to replace Xterra?-img_0029.jpg  


  27. #27
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    I got a hell of a deal on a 2002 Buick Rendezvous. Fits 3 bikes inside with 3 people & gear.

    Great stereo, too. Too bad it was hit with the ugly stick.

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  28. #28
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    Another vote for Subaru with a bike rack of some sort. I'm a volunteer firefighter and have seen some Subarus involved in some pretty nasty crashes...some where people in the other vehicle died. The passengers of the Subarus have received minor if any injuries. Of course not to say people don't crash and get hurt or die while driving a Subaru. Of course they do. But what I've personally seen...they hold up extremely well.

    I also have a friend who is a Subaru mechanic and he says that they don't have too many repairs coming into the dealership. A lot of routine maintenance stuff and things like sensors and stuff...but not major repairs.

    Fuel mileage is ok. My XV got around 25mpg with a roof rack. My Outback I have now gets closer to 20mpg with a roof rack but it also has a 3.6l 6 cylinder motor rather than the much more common 4 banger.

    Looks...well...except for the WRX (Crosstrek isn't too bad either)...it's definitely not Subaru's strong suit...but whatever. I'll take safety and dependability over looks especially since I also haul my family in my OB.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    I got a hell of a deal on a 2002 Buick Rendezvous. Fits 3 bikes inside with 3 people & gear.

    Great stereo, too. Too bad it was hit with the ugly stick.

    My son's '02 LaSabre has that same engine. 155K and going strong.

  30. #30
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    I 2nd an FJ. Bike will easily fit, rubber floors too.

    My 1st

    And my current


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  31. #31
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    Honda CRV would fit your requirements. My mom went from an 04 Xterra to a CRV and there is a bit more room in the back than the Xterra so bikes fit better, plus it gets amazing mileage, rides better and the CVT transmission is great.

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