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Old 11-08-13, 04:18 PM   #1
feijai
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The only C-segment hatchbacks which fit my Bike Friday Tikit

We had to buy a new car recently and wanted a c-segment 4-door hatchback. We needed a car whose hatch was tall enough that we could fit my Tikit, or our ginormous twin stroller, while the hatch was *covered* so people don't peek in while it's parked on the street and decide to get sticky fingers.

Hatches which do not fit the bike (nor the stroller): Ford C-Max, Toyota Prius, Prius V, or Prius C, Honda Fit, Mini Cooper Clubman, Volvo C30, Ford Focus.

C-segment 4-door hatches we didn't try, for various reasons: Lexus CT Hybrid, Nissan Leaf, Subaru Impreza.

Hatches which fit the bike (and stroller). Obviously not at the same time. Toyota Matrix (but it's been discontinued), Chevy Volt (easily fits but I couldn't test with the cover), and the big winner: 2014 Mazda 3. Which we bought.
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Old 11-08-13, 10:21 PM   #2
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Is that behind the 2nd row of seats, or with the 2nd row folded?

Lou
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Old 11-08-13, 10:24 PM   #3
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Interesting. For many years I've concluded that bikes and cars don't mix. I had a big honking Trooper for years and bikes still were a hassle. That was one of the reasons I wanted a folder. So, what do I end up with? A BF NWT (does NOT fold small) and a Golf - a struggle even with the seat folded forward.

At any rate, good info on the Mazta. I had planned on taking my folder next time I went car shopping too. Also planned on checking out the Tikit next time I went folder shopping (really impressed with BF build quality and design).
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Old 11-09-13, 04:52 PM   #4
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It's behind the second row of seats (unfolded), with the hatch cover on top so people can't peek in and see what's being stored there. Actually, I'm not sure what we tested was the C30 -- we tested that one in Italy.
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Old 11-09-13, 07:12 PM   #5
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Interesting. A neighbor has a Mazda 3 - need to check just how much room there is behind that back seat. Not going to sell our 2007 Yaris anytime soon, though. Got 41.3 MPG on the 165 mile drive out here to Ocean Shores today.

When we do have bikes back there (two Bike Fridays) I do cover them up so no one is tempted.

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Old 11-09-13, 08:59 PM   #6
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Also got to hang out around a Tesla Model S today. Though I did not have my bike with me, it appears from the deep back floor that the tikit MIGHT be able to fit in the rear hatch covered while standing up.

I can't speak to any Mazda 3 except the new 2014 model, which is a complete and total redesign from the ground up.

My old Mazda Protege5 easily swallowed the Tikit. But manufacturers have been significantly shrinking hatchback hatches over the last decade.
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Old 11-17-13, 07:14 PM   #7
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Congrats on the new car. I had an original 2004 Mazda 3S(4dr hatch), that was a great car. Handled like a sportscar, lots of room inside and averaged 31mpg on a cross country move(doing 80, with the back completely loaded up). It was a very classy, upscale-looking small car. The second generation got the swoopy looking lines and looked a bit cartoonish. I guess they were going for younger buyers..... This 2014 version looks fantastic; kind of what you'd expect a compact hatch from Audi or BMW to look like; mature lines and upper market look. Did you go with the 2.0 or 2.5? I think when they come out with the Mazdaspeed3 version, it'll be one of the best hot-hatchbacks on the market.
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Old 11-17-13, 08:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by feijai View Post
We had to buy a new car recently and wanted a c-segment 4-door hatchback. We needed a car whose hatch was tall enough that we could fit my Tikit, or our ginormous twin stroller, while the hatch was *covered* so people don't peek in while it's parked on the street and decide to get sticky fingers.

Hatches which do not fit the bike (nor the stroller): Ford C-Max, Toyota Prius, Prius V, or Prius C, Honda Fit, Mini Cooper Clubman, Volvo C30, Ford Focus.

C-segment 4-door hatches we didn't try, for various reasons: Lexus CT Hybrid, Nissan Leaf, Subaru Impreza.

Hatches which fit the bike (and stroller). Obviously not at the same time. Toyota Matrix (but it's been discontinued), Chevy Volt (easily fits but I couldn't test with the cover), and the big winner: 2014 Mazda 3. Which we bought.
feijal - Why restrict yourself to a specific car category rather than consider individual models? And if you are going to focus on a category, why exclude some from contention? The reason I ask is because my wife and I were thinking "hatchback" (didn't know that that was a c-segment) and were leaning toward Impreza or Honda fit. We ended up getting a 2014 Subaru Forester which is a better match for our needs. It is still quite small, tho bigger than some hatches, gets better mileage than many hatches, and will fit your cargo with ease. Not saying that this is the car for you, but wonder why the focus on a category when models can be so different within and between categories.
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Old 11-17-13, 10:53 PM   #9
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What is a C-segment?
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Old 11-19-13, 06:25 PM   #10
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What is a C-segment?
"C-segment" is an international term referring to the size of car generally considered "compact" in the USA (Civic, Corolla, Focus, Cobalt, Mazda3, Sentra). B-segments generally equate to subcompacts (Fit, Yaris, Sonic, Mazda2, Versa/Note), D-segment refers to ~midsize (Accord, Camry, Malibu, Fusion, Mazda6, Altima), and so on.

How big IS the folded Tikit? I'm a little surprised because I can get my Swift (20" wheels, not a very compact fold) in the back of my Elantra Touring without too much difficulty, as long as I quick-remove the handlebar/stem (Wed am EDIT: checked it this morning - didn't even need to remove the handelbar/riser, just the seatpost/saddle). The Touring's cargo floor is a hair shy of 36" long front-to-back, which is only slightly longer than most of the other C-segments: Prius is about 34", Insight is 33", Mazda3 is 33", Focus is 33", Impreza is 31". Most B-segments are under 30", with the Fit at 28" long. Funny the Mazda3 worked and the Focus didn't (same floor fore-aft dimension, same chassis) but maybe the angle of the seatback or the hatch made a difference.

FWIW, if I were buying a car in that class today I would also go for the Mazda3, in part because of the large cargo space (and also mileage - the mpg of the mazda3 at the time of my last purchase was below my minimum acceptable limit, as was - and is - the Forester's).

Last edited by GlowBoy; 11-20-13 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Re-checked how the Swift fits in the Touring
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Old 11-20-13, 10:31 AM   #11
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Yes, the Mazda 3 is a great car - I like it a lot, it just wasn't quite right for us. I guess my point is that I'm still not sure that the term c-segment is that helpful and seems arbitrarily limiting.

I have no idea what category my Forester would be but comparing it to the Mazda 3 just mentioned - they have virtually an identical footprint (same width but Forester is 1/2" longer) but the Forester has almost twice the cargo capacity (and plenty of room for folders even with the rear seat up and concealing cover in place, per OP's requirement), can pull a trailer (those two characteristics allow me to get rid of an old VW camper for errands and hauling - anybody want to buy one?), much better visibility, a tighter turning radius (good for me in urban Seattle) 4-wheel drive (good for me during ski season and occasional shoulder season trips over the Cascades), better reliability, better safety rating, lower cost to insure. Although it can't match the gas mileage of the Mazda 3, it is rated better than an Elantra Touring and I'm getting about 30 mpg overall and I believe that my total ownership costs will be less than with the Mazda 3. While gas mileage is very important to me I do not have a make or break threshold and consider other factors in my decision.

So, again, to anyone looking for a "small on the outside" new vehicle that will inconspicuously hide a folder, it may be worthwhile to not be constrained by industry category terms and make the effort to look at the specifics of various models. It was for me.
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Old 11-20-13, 11:02 AM   #12
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Final word on the Forester - I promise. I have no association with any dealer, the mfg., etc - just a happy owner. But I did tons of research and it was nowhere near the radar in the beginning, perhaps because I had absolutely no interest in an SUV and I guess that's the category it falls into, a small SUV but I thought it was little station wagon or hatchback.

FWIW - it was recently judged by Consumer Reports to be the most reliable vehicle, selected by Motor Trend as SUV of the Year, The Car Connection awarded it the Best 2014 Car to Buy, and was the best performing car at the time it was tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety so apparently I am not the only one to like it.

Check it out if you're in the market for a small vehicle, but obviously it is not the car for everyone.
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Old 11-20-13, 02:50 PM   #13
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I complete agree that the Forester is a great car. I have rented Foresters on several occasions, and have always liked the vehicle for exactly the reasons you mentioned: drives great, has tons of cargo space yet has a small footprint and a tight turning radius, perfect for (in my case) urban Portland. Although I have no need for AWD (I use proper winter tires, and a native Minnesotan I know exactly what I'm doing on snow and ice) it always seemed like the perfect compromise between the too-big-and-parks-like-an-RV that is the Outback (of which I've owned two) and the juuuust-not-quite-bit-enough-for-my family Impreza. Except for one thing: fuel economy. At the time when I bought my current car, the Forester was a full 3mpg lower than the Elantra Touring (in which I've averaged 36mpg), a difference I find significant. I see that they've now finally improved the fuel economy on the redesigned 2014 Forester, although most of that appears to be due to how the EPA cycle favors CVTs, since the manual transmission model is still slightly lower than the Touring.

As a three-time Subaru owner, I also have nothing but raves for their build quality. They are hands-down the best-built cars I've owned, and this is coming from some who has also owned SIX Hondas. When we sold our '96 Outback with 165k on it, there were absolutely no squeaks and rattles, and the same with our prior '90 Legacy that was absolutely flawless when it was stolen (only in the Northwest!) with 205k on the odometer.

Besides fuel economy, one of the reasons I've avoided Subarus the last few years has been the inability to avoid their 2.5L engines, which (until this latest generation coming on board) had a fundamentally flawed open-deck design that led to massive numbers of head-gasket failures once the engines got to be 6-8 years old. You can see this pattern in the current Consumer Reports ratings, and it's been true ever since the mid-2000s when their post-'97 2.5s started getting old enough for the pattern to show itself. You don't care about this if you're buying a new Subaru: the newest Outback and Forester use a newer 2.5L that doesn't have the flaw, and the 2013-14 Impreza finally has a sensibly smaller engine. But others reading this who might be looking at used Subarus would be cautioned to avoid pre-2014 Foresters, pre-2013 Imprezas and pre-2010 Outbacks, all of which had the flawed 2.5L in most of their trim lines going way back to the late '90s.

By the way, if you're up in the price range of the Forester you might was well also look at the Mazda CX-5, which is much like the Forester in that it's technically classified as an SUV, yet is in sort of that middle space where it's just barely an SUV and is really more of a tall wagon. Unlike the Forester, for those of us willing to forgo AWD the CX-5 is also available in 2WD with substantially better mpg than the Forester, especially in manual transmission form. Everyone I know who owns or has driven the CX-5 absolutely raves about it. Definitely worth a look.

Last edited by GlowBoy; 11-20-13 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 11-23-13, 12:13 PM   #14
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feijal - Why restrict yourself to a specific car category rather than consider individual models? And if you are going to focus on a category, why exclude some from contention The reason I ask is because my wife and I were thinking "hatchback" (didn't know that that was a c-segment) and were leaning toward Impreza or Honda fit. We ended up getting a 2014 Subaru Forester which is a better match for our needs.
We wanted hatchbacks or wagons but specifically didn't want SUVs, urban utility vehicles, or minivans, and didn't want smaller than a C-segment. In the US the only remaining cars (outside of C-segment) are the Outback and the VW SportWagon.

We looked at the VW SportWagon but decided against it. We didn't consider any Subarus: the gas mileage is poor across the brand, and that mattered to us. We had other reasons to not consider one or two other cars. I only mentioned it to make it clear we hadn't tested them so I couldn't say if the Tikit fit in them or not.

Last edited by feijai; 11-23-13 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 11-23-13, 12:35 PM   #15
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The Touring's cargo floor is a hair shy of 36" long front-to-back, which is only slightly longer than most of the other C-segments: Prius is about 34", Insight is 33", Mazda3 is 33", Focus is 33", Impreza is 31".
The issue usually isn't depth. It's height. Most modern hatches are shallow when the hatch space is covered.

Due to the battery, the Prius's space is so shallow as to be a joke.

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Funny the Mazda3 worked and the Focus didn't (same floor fore-aft dimension, same chassis)
Ford divorced from Mazda three years ago. The 2014 Mazda3 is a brand new car that has no relationship with the Focus at all. (It is an amazing car by the way -- easily the best in its segment this year).
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Old 11-26-13, 01:15 PM   #16
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The issue usually isn't depth. It's height. Most modern hatches are shallow when the hatch space is covered.
OK, got it. My thinking was limited by being used to my Swift, which folds quite thin, and wouldn't have a height issue with any car, not even the Prius. The Tikit must be a "thicker" fold.

Although depth (i.e., fore-aft length) must have been the constraint with the Honda Fit, right? The cargo floor is quite low on that car and the cargo space is quite tall.

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The 2014 Mazda3 is a brand new car that has no relationship with the Focus at all.
Right. I was thinking of the prev-gen Mazda3/ Focus (which were the same platform) as well as the latest CX-5/Escape (which I understand to have been the final shared platform released by Ford and Mazda).
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