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Old 02-23-10, 06:51 AM   #1
mojojojo
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Soul or Fit - Best car for biker

I am ready to buy a car and am looking at inexpensive small cars with good mpg. I am down to the Kia Soul and the Honda Fit. I see advantages to both, but I ride bikes a lot and am a triathlete. What is the best car for the bike rider/triathlete?




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Old 02-23-10, 07:44 AM   #2
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For what this is worth I present Tandem bicycle inside a Honda Fit...







My wife has a new Nissan Rogue and we like it but it is a little larger/more expensive than the two vehicles you mentioned. Tandem fits inside it and I installed a hitch for my Saris rack on the rear. The CV Transmission is pretty cool too.
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Old 02-23-10, 08:45 AM   #3
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Considering a car for biking purposes too.

Was thinking about an Element. Saw pictures where up to two bikes can stand inside w/o sacrificing the passenger seat (for the times when cycling with another person).
Also depending on where you live, there is an 4WD option on the Element that has kind of sold me already.
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Old 02-23-10, 09:09 AM   #4
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I can't really say anything about the Kia Soul, because I haven't test drove or looked at one.

But, I do have a strong opinion on the Fit. I used to be a big Honda fan. My husband and I have owned several older models. I was EXTREMELY excited about the Fit coming out. I love mini-vans, I loved Hondas...a mini-mini-honda-van. Perfect! Except, it isn't. The build quality is much lower than older Hondas, the gas mileage isn't even that great. My husband and I shop around a lot for cars, because he is a car guy. And I can honestly say, that I wouldn't buy a brand new Fit. They are NOT worth the cost. If you can find a used one for a better price, then maybe I'd consider it.

But even then, have you thought about getting a used SVT Ford Focus? You can get one for around $5000 at the most. It is a hatch and it is a fun car to drive. Another car to consider is a used Scion XB. These things get killer gas mileage (35+ mpg) and there is TONS of room for bikes! A used Mazda3 hatch doesn't get great gas mileage or anything, but you can definitely fit a couple of bikes in the hatch and it is a nice road trip car...you can also find a used one for cheap and they are somewhat engaging to drive.

My biggest piece of advice is to buy slightly used and to test drive EVERYTHING. You get to know a lot of cars.

Now, if you are gonna buy new, and money is not an option...buy a Honda Element. It is pretty much the only Honda left that I would buy. There is plent of room for bikes and it has a cool tailgate hatch Even then...I wouldn't buy it new. New cars, in my opinion, are a complete waist of money.

Good luck!
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Old 02-23-10, 09:34 AM   #5
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Chevy Cobalt 5spd are rated at 37mpg highway, and get more in real life (my uncle gets 40 in good weather on the highway). If they have fold down rear seats, you can fit a bike in them. Or, do what I have done in my Neon, put a bike in the back seat, just take the front wheel off, and it will fit

I am thinking of a Cobalt myself. I have never had a new car, and I cold easily afford a new Cobalt 4dr right now with all the reabates. Just not sure if I want monthly payments and My Neon only has 85,000 miles.

Both cars you chose are TINY cars, I personally wouldnt own a car that small. My Neon is small on the outside, but at least it wasnt advertised for hamsters! It actually has some room inside.

You could get something like a Ford Ranger 4cyl, they are said to get around 25+mpg with 5spd. You can get a bed mounted bike rack for it and hold all sorts of bikes and gear. Trucks are great to have as you can haul a bunch of stuff. Which is probably better than a honda element... better looking, too.
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Old 02-23-10, 11:47 AM   #6
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I have a FIT - bought it with 8000 miles on it for $14,000. I'm 5'11", and have plenty of head & leg room, & my son is 6'4" and he finds it roomy, too. Fitting a road & a MTB in is no problem. I've put the passenger front & rear down, leaving room for a back-seat passenger, and fit my boy's kayak into the car. I get 37mpg (mostly highway). My only complaints are about those stupid tire pressure monitors which go on & off whenever they feel like it, and the fact that it uses a weird tire size.

I bought this car - 2008 model - this past March. I've put @ 45,000 miles on it with no other problems.
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Old 02-23-10, 11:52 AM   #7
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Wow, I did 42k miles in 4+ years

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Old 02-23-10, 12:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojojojo View Post
I am ready to buy a car and am looking at inexpensive small cars with good mpg. I am down to the Kia Soul and the Honda Fit. I see advantages to both, but I ride bikes a lot and am a triathlete. What is the best car for the bike rider/triathlete?




Try them both and take a bike with you. I have an inclination that one car is pretty much like any other but I put more miles on my Bike this year than my car. What I look for is warrantee and price for what I get. I believe the Soul has a better warrantee and I thought it was considerable less out the door. Last time I looked the Kia lists at $13,300.00 new and the Fit starts at $14,900.00 new. So get what works with your bike the best. In this economy getting the best deal would be my priority. Maybe that is why Kia sales are up .1 percent and Honda is down 5.0 percent this year. Bang for the buck as they say.
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Old 02-23-10, 01:05 PM   #9
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You can always go used cars. Opens up your options. Nothing speaks sensible outdoors save the earth than a Subaru Outback wagon. Opt for the turbo version but you would have to drop the "save the earth" claim. However my lord does it ever move!
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Old 02-23-10, 01:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
I believe the Soul has a better warrantee and I thought it was considerable less out the door. Last time I looked the Kia lists at $13,300.00 new and the Fit starts at $14,900.00 new. So get what works with your bike the best. In this economy getting the best deal would be my priority. Maybe that is why Kia sales are up .1 percent and Honda is down 5.0 percent this year. Bang for the buck as they say.
That is part of the reason I bought my Hyundai Elantra hatch in '05- for the money, you can't beat it, especially considering the warranty. It's still under warranty (5 yr/60k mi). Kia is owned by Hyundai. After driving the Elantra for a while, I have to say I'm impressed; "cheap" and "Korean" are far from synonymous anymore. Another benefit of Hyundai/Kia is they make their dealer service manuals online for consumers. They only work with IE (hey.... it's free), but if I need to know how to run a wire or fix something or whatever, I can readily find the info. If I were to buy a care tomorrow, the Soul would be at the top of my list.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 02-23-10, 06:19 PM   #11
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I personnally would get a soul if i would be to get a new car, that or a dodge caliber, they are spacious inside cvt tranny for the auto model is really smooth and they are pretty decent quality, theres even a awd model, got a quote for a brand new caliber last week (changing a 2008 lancer for that) came to around 20 800$ awd,auto,leather,sunroof. Equivalent car but used got for around 12 000$ txs in
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Old 02-23-10, 06:35 PM   #12
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I am happy with my Mazda3 hatchback. On the downside you can only fit one bike inside when you lie it on the side. On the other hand you get a lot for the money.
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Old 02-23-10, 07:00 PM   #13
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My bike transport (and breakdown support vehicle on races, occasionally) is an '86 Cherokee. I got a 4 bike hitch rack, a 4 bike Thule top rack and can accommodate 4 more with the front wheels off on the inside (upright.) These cars live forever with minimal TLC and you can offset the nasty mpg (I get 15 mixed, 20ish hwy) by the low purchase price, plus if you live in an area prone to snow and ice or floods, these guys have about 2 feet clearance from the bottom of the doors to the ground, a heavy duty 4WD system and lots of torque to get you going. I never got stuck with a Jeep even on 2 foot unplowed snow roads...
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Old 02-23-10, 07:58 PM   #14
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+1 on the Kia Soul. I was in the market for a new bike transporter that gets better gas mileage than my VW Eurovan. Spent a week test driving both subject cars and others aswell. In the end I decided I'm better off keeping my paid off vehicle which I still adore. If they would've given me a little more $$ for it, I would have Kia Soul in my driveway. It felt more refined than the Fit and was several thousands less with more options, plus I really liked the way it looked especially in the tan and black trim.
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Old 02-24-10, 05:07 PM   #15
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I got a Nissan Versa hatchback (used) mostly because I could easily put my bike in the back (laid down) without even taking off the front wheel --well I do ride a 15" frame. And it was also the least expensive 1 year old, still under warranty car I could find at the time. MPG about 30.

It has worked out fine so far, but on a trip with the bike, space for luggage is limited. Fortunately I travel light.

What would make a car good specifically for a triathlete?

Plenty of room, ease of loading equipment, comfortable for the drives to events, easy to clean interior, good MPG, ability to transport more than 1?

Definitely take your bike with you and try loading it in the cars you are considering. And make sure exterior racks fit easily and well.
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Old 02-25-10, 09:34 AM   #16
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another thing you might consider - how do the seats configure? I don't know about the Soul, but all the seats in the Fit fold flat (including driver's) for taking naps, and the back seats easily flip UP to put a bike in across the car. The Subaru suggestion - if you don't need AWD - they only get @27 mpg. I retired my 2000 outback with 327,000 miles on it - and ONLY because my son hit a tree (the deer survived, car didn't). If you need AWD, I'd say go with a Subie - any model will fit a few bikes, inside or on racks. I used to routinely truck 3 kids. 3 mtb bikes all over WV in a 95 Impreza sedan.
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