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  1. #1
    Senior Member Bodeco's Avatar
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    Bike-minded auto purchase

    Hello all,

    I've been riding regularly for a year now and see no signs of letting up. Already on my second bike and 30 pounds lighter.

    I currently drive a Miata, which I love greatly. It's just not bike friendly at all. My rack prevents me from getting into the trunk, which cuts my already small amount of space in half. There's really only enough room for me, one bike, and my biking stuff. I've been tolerating the situation just because I love the car. However, I found out a couple of months ago that I am going to be a father! The Miata must go.

    I'm trying to decide what type of vehicle to get. A pickup truck is the obvious solution, but I wanted to get some feedback from you more experienced folk out there.

    I'd love to have a crew cab Nissan or Toyota truck, but what about a station wagon and a roof rack? An SUV with a hitch rack? Any thoughts or ideas will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Noobhead jiiiim's Avatar
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    Since you will have a child in the car, find something that is safe. I would get a Subaru wagon if I were you. It's manly enough to carry dad and his bike to trails yet feminate enough for soccer mom to pick up the kids at the game. AND with the roof rack, it's so sporty looking. Subaru's all wheel drive system is good for offroad and avoiding accidents.

  3. #3
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    I have an F150 and a 2004 CRV. We've switched to the CRV for bike transport due to gas prices. I mounted rwo fork-holders on a fitted board just behind the folded-up rear-seats and use a fitted vinyl cover to protect the carpet. I easily get two ATB's plus all the biking gear in there and still have lot's of room to pick-up groceries on the way home. My bike transportation gas-mileage went from 16 to nearly 27. The CRV is fun to drive and the 4WD comes in handy on the dirt roads and in snow and ice.

    I've read comments on the Element which is a little wider than the CRV and a lot taller inside that you can get two bikes in there and still leave half the rear seat in place.

    I prefer keeping the bikes inside though I'm equipped for both a rear rack and a roof-rack carrier which I use on occasion depending on what else I'm hauling/towing.

    Al

  4. #4
    Senior Member sparks_219's Avatar
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    You'd be surprised how well a bike can fit into most current sedan's trunks. I can put my bike into the rear of my Maxima with room to spare.

    Or hatch back can even accomendate two bikes INSIDE with the front wheel off. Either one will be more fuel efficient than a pick up. Something to consider when gas prices are so high.

  5. #5
    blithering idiot jhota's Avatar
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    i've got a 16-year old Civic Wagon with a fork mount installed in the back. works great. but you probably want something newer. i'd suggest a first generation Odyssey/Oasis or an Element. the Odyssey, unfortunately, is getting a bit long in the tooth. so my vote would be Element.

  6. #6
    '05 NUEser EJ123's Avatar
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    VW toureg

  7. #7
    nm+
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    Audi S4 wagon with a roof rack?
    Wagon's are a great way to good because they don't flip as easily as SUVs and have better performace and/or milage than most suv's/trucks.
    Breaking bike parts for more than 20 years
    Titus Racer-X AL/Trek 520 (Cracked)/Trek 930

  8. #8
    Senior Member DoYlE_RiD3r's Avatar
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    I would take a old GMC Savanna that you can buy for something like 3000 buck and just put the bike in it

  9. #9
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiiiim
    Since you will have a child in the car, find something that is safe. I would get a Subaru wagon if I were you. It's manly enough to carry dad and his bike to trails yet feminate enough for soccer mom to pick up the kids at the game. AND with the roof rack, it's so sporty looking. Subaru's all wheel drive system is good for offroad and avoiding accidents.
    Subaru makes two wagons you should look at, the Legacy and the Impreza. For both, make sure you get the 2.5 L turbocharged engine [2.5GT and WRX models respectively]. Lots of airbags, side-impact beams, childseat tie-down points, roof rack standard, and they're pretty fast. No worries about whether you'll be able to make a pass around that semi up ahead. You can tuck an amazing amount of stuff into the back of one, they don't roll, and the engines are really hard to kill. If you're short on cash, buy one used or on a leaseback and save $$$$. Check out http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/ for all the nitty-gritty.
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  10. #10
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nm+
    Audi S4 wagon with a roof rack?
    No, Audi RS4. They should have the wagon available for 2008 in the US. Probably $75k, 400+ HP [should be able to chip it and go to 500hp]. 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, 5 seconds on snow.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Curtis_Elwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe
    Subaru makes two wagons you should look at, the Legacy and the Impreza. For both, make sure you get the 2.5 L turbocharged engine [2.5GT and WRX models respectively]. Lots of airbags, side-impact beams, childseat tie-down points, roof rack standard, and they're pretty fast. No worries about whether you'll be able to make a pass around that semi up ahead. You can tuck an amazing amount of stuff into the back of one, they don't roll, and the engines are really hard to kill. If you're short on cash, buy one used or on a leaseback and save $$$$. Check out http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/ for all the nitty-gritty.
    Another vote for the Subaru wagon. I love my Outback Sport (based on the Impreza chasis with a stiffer, higher ride). Just wanted to correct a little something here. The turbo in the standard WRX is a 2.0 liter. The 2.5 liter in my OBS is the base for the 2.5 liter turbo in the larger wagons such as the Outback, Forester and WRX STI.

    A couple other things to keep in mind. The Forester and Impreza lines are made in Japan and have fewer mechanical issues than the other Subaru models based on the Legacy chasis. I think those are made in Alabama. I love my OBS, but the Forester is a car that you must look at. Very roomy and well-powered with the turbo. My OBS is great with the 165 hp 2.5, but the heavier Forester really comes alive with the turbo. My friend's Forester XT is an awesome car for 25k. I was able to pick up my OBS for under 20k which I think is pretty good considering it's AWD. Either way, look for something with a low roof. Even small SUV's suck to climb up on to load gear. Good luck.
    2006 Marin Pine Mountain FX

  12. #12
    nm+
    nm+ is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe
    No, Audi RS4. They should have the wagon available for 2008 in the US. Probably $75k, 400+ HP [should be able to chip it and go to 500hp]. 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, 5 seconds on snow.
    Its gonna be sedan only this gen in the USA (or so I hear).
    Which sucks.
    /He could buy a used RS6 wagon, there's like 50 in the US
    Also, in more realistic options, the SAAB 9-2x is a subie WRX with some STI bits with GM "we're going out of business" pricing.
    Also, if looking at used, consider a VW Passat B5 V6 or TDI model or Jetta TDI. The TDI's will give you insane milage while the 2.8L is bombproof.
    Subie's are another good option as is the Mazda6.
    Last edited by nm+; 07-17-06 at 08:40 PM.
    Breaking bike parts for more than 20 years
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  13. #13
    Noobhead jiiiim's Avatar
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    Get a schoolbus! Problems solved. LoL

  14. #14
    Senior Member valbowski1980's Avatar
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    Yet another vote for a Subaru wagon right here, just avoid the automatic gearbox. Also a SAAB hatch/wagon or a Volvo wagon would be good options as well. A SAAB 9000 Turbo like the one I have gets 29 mpg and can fit two bikes without a problem. No need for an overweight and inefficient SUV.

  15. #15
    \||||||/ ZachS's Avatar
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    ride your bike to the trail

  16. #16
    Fourth Degree Legend junkyard's Avatar
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    f-150 with a lift kit
    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    The caveat with a strap-on, of course, is you will have to get creative with a couple of lock cables and an anchor point

  17. #17
    Noobhead jiiiim's Avatar
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    get a helicopter
    instant lift back to the top of the mountain in a minute

  18. #18
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    Subaru's are absolute trash, the worst car i ever owned by far.. '98 outback wagon. Don't buy one if you plan to go beyond 40k miles with it.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Kids means a second row of seats. Get ones that fold down FLAT with the storage space in back. Then slide in the whole bike on its side. If it does not fit move on. If the rear seat folds down in two sections, use the small section for the kiddy seat, and drop the big one for the rear wheel of the bike, ideal.
    This space open

  20. #20
    Dai Baka! Brate's Avatar
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    wrx hatchback
    Vas Corp Por!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcoine
    Subaru's are absolute trash, the worst car i ever owned by far.. '98 outback wagon. Don't buy one if you plan to go beyond 40k miles with it.
    I can't speak about subaru's from 98, but i can tell you my 04 wrx STi has been nothing but reliable since i got the car. Also from what i've seen on the subie forums from other owners they have been ultra reliable also. Maybe your statement might have been true back in '98, but Subaru has since gone main stream and their quality and reliablity has increased significantly.

    Sorry for the ot, back on topic now:

    I say go for the Honda Fit, if you are lucky enough to find one in your area that is. It gets something like 43mpg and you fold down those back seats and you can fit 2 or more bikes in there.

  22. #22
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis_Elwood
    Another vote for the Subaru wagon. I love my Outback Sport (based on the Impreza chasis with a stiffer, higher ride). Just wanted to correct a little something here. The turbo in the standard WRX is a 2.0 liter. The 2.5 liter in my OBS is the base for the 2.5 liter turbo in the larger wagons such as the Outback, Forester and WRX STI.
    [OT]I'll correct you right back - the USDM 2006 WRX has a 2.5 L turbo, just like the 2005+ Legacy GT and the 2004+ WRX STi. The 2.5L engine in the Outback cannot be easily modified to use a turbo. It's cheaper [and more effective] to pull a turbo 2.0L or 2.5L out of a WRX. Also, the WRX STi is not available as a wagon in North America. The Outback does not come in a turbo, but you can get a 6 cyclinder that's rated for about 250hp. For the money, get the Forester or Legacy wagon with the turbo 2.5L. They're both lighter and faster than the Outback H6. Hi, my name is Pink Robe, and I am a Subaru nerd. [/OT]

    Just so this post has something to do with cycling, the Forester is awesome for biking and child-carrying, and the Legacy wagon is pretty nice too. My buddy has a Mazda 6, and he can fit two bikes in the back without taking off the front wheels. He's 6'4", so they're big bikes...
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  23. #23
    Mountain Bikes are Art
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    I am selling my 05 turbo Legacy wagon. It was a good car, but we have gone to a larger MDX SUV that holds 5 kids. Previously we had a 95 Legacy that was amazingly reliable. I don't think the more complex turbo will be as reliable as the 95, but it is a rocket. The auto tranny with the turbo works well, but a 5 speed would be my preference if i got another one. It is a little soft off the line with the turbo. When it kicks down in sport mode it feels like jet thrust though. ( I drive a 98 M3 as well, and power levels are comparable). Winter performance is what Subes are all about. The weight is low, and the AWD is lighter than other cars. There is a lot of engineering that went into weight reduction on a Sube. If practical is what you want, the base model is the way to go. Subaru base models are equipped in a way that meets the demands of most. Go Turbo if you insist on a car with extra thrust. Of course there are lot's of other great cars on the market.
    Bob S.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Breitling's Avatar
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    I've had four Saabs and they are my favorite cars. Two of them even came with pre-drilled holes for a roof rack.
    Get a Saab HO Turbo (like a 9-3 SE, Arc, Aero, or Viggen or a 9-5 SE or Aero) They handle awesomely (if that's a word) and are amazingly fun to drive.
    "Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live." -Mark Twain

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  25. #25
    The Wheel is Turning The Figment's Avatar
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    Subaru Ia great car, but is a car or station wagon what u need?? you mentioned a SUV but with fuel prices lately...Well I'm suprised that no one mentioned a Toyota 4Runner?? Yes they cost somewhat more than the competition new or used,but finding a more reliable set of wheels that your family can grow into,be used to haul anything,anywhere you would want to go Anytime,would be a tough one!And for those who are on some kind of budget,for a Vechile of its size and weight it gets resonable gas milage (They got bigger and heavyier over the years),are crazy reliable,and if you like older 4x4's the 84-89 modles can be had fer $2000-$5000

    I got my 89 for $3600,Has the 22re fuel injected 4-cyl,5-speed 4x4 mostly stock...473.189 miles at this point(She had 31,000 miles when I bought it in 91) Work done...Cyl Head-$900, brakes(Twice) $200,Clutch $1200 (Upgreded) Tires,gas,water,lubes...That's it in 15 1/2 years!! go look at one

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