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  1. #1
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    Best new small AWD SUV for taking a bike standing up w/front wheel removed

    I'm looking for a new small AWD SUV that can take a bike standing up w/front wheel removed. I want to be able to sleep in the back of the car next to the bike, so it does me no good to know that it's easy to put the bike lying on its side, because then there won't be any room for me to sleep next to the bike. Reason to get a new AWD car is that my wife will be driving it a lot in the winter and I want something rock-solid and reliable.

    Honda Element would have been perfect for this, but of course they're not made anymore.

    Appreciate any ideas you have.

    Thanks,

    Nick

  2. #2
    Senior Member Edonis13's Avatar
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    i guess it would depend on the height of your seat. i cant fit my bike in my xterra without dropping the seatpost (58cm frame, 34.5" cycling inseam) even though i fashioned a fork mount that attaches to the tie down rails in the back.



    Last edited by Edonis13; 11-19-14 at 08:38 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member RogueRadio's Avatar
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    Sport Utility Vehicle | Toyota RAV4 2015 Crossover SUV

    RAV4 is pretty good. You might need to lower your seat but it should work the way you want it to
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    Volvo V70R or S60R, 4 door with 300hp.

  5. #5
    Senior Member fstshrk's Avatar
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    Our 2013 Honda CRV takes two bikes in exactly the same way you described without needing to drop the saddle down.

    Great little SUV, a bit slow on the freeway mostly due to the pathetic 5 speed automatic transmission. Honda will eventually replace it with a 6 or 7 speed auto I hope.
    Unfortunately, it will more than likely get a droning CVT.
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  6. #6
    L-I-V-I-N dtrain's Avatar
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    I drive an older MDX, but neither it nor an Element are 'small' in my book. Maybe CRV or newer RDX? Mazda CX-5 is nice on the MPG, but a little underpowered.
    "The older you do get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin', man, L-I-V-I-N." - Wooderson

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  7. #7
    Senior Member thisisbenji's Avatar
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    If it was me I'd go with either a Subaru Forester XT or Ford Escape 2.0l.

    I have a 2014 Ford Escape and can fit my road bike standing up no problem. I do have to lower the seat on my 29er though.

    I wanted to like the CRV, but I couldn't get over that anemic power plant that Honda puts in that thing. It was as slow as a turtle when I test drove it. Same with the Rav4.

    Here's a couple of photos, one with my girlfriends 26" and my 29" mtb in the back.





    I also added this nice roof box, helps with fitting all of our extra crap. Only hurt the mileage by maybe 1 MPG.

    Last edited by thisisbenji; 11-21-14 at 06:45 AM.

  8. #8
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fstshrk View Post
    Our 2013 Honda CRV takes two bikes in exactly the same way you described without needing to drop the saddle down.

    Great little SUV, a bit slow on the freeway mostly due to the pathetic 5 speed automatic transmission. Honda will eventually replace it with a 6 or 7 speed auto I hope.
    Unfortunately, it will more than likely get a droning CVT.
    As much as I like the CVT in principle, I hate it in execution for its drone like quality.
    The 2015 CR-V sadly went to CVT....so I would look for a used one. To me a CVT ruins an otherwise good vehicle and for that reason alone I wouldn't buy one:
    2015 Honda CR-V First Drive - KickingTires
    Last edited by Campag4life; 11-21-14 at 08:07 AM.

  9. #9
    Flyin' under the radar RNAV's Avatar
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    You might want to take a look at the VW Tiguan. My wife and I both have VW Jetta Sportwagen TDIs and have been extremely impressed with the quality that VW is putting out. My wife's next vehicle will almost certainly be a VW Tiguan.
    Lee

  10. #10
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RNAV View Post
    You might want to take a look at the VW Tiguan. My wife and I both have VW Jetta Sportwagen TDIs and have been extremely impressed with the quality that VW is putting out. My wife's next vehicle will almost certainly be a VW Tiguan.
    Well then VW has turned over a new leaf. Last 15 years VW has ranked near the bottom of quality. Replacement parts are also very expensive out of warranty.

  11. #11
    Bridge Burner RollCNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    As much as I like the CVT in principle, I hate it in execution for its drone like quality.
    The 2015 CR-V sadly went to CVT....so I would look for a used one. To me a CVT ruins an otherwise good vehicle and for that reason alone I wouldn't buy one:
    2015 Honda CR-V First Drive - KickingTires
    Just on the CVT topic, I recently bought a 2013 Honda Insight with the CVT, and I have always been a manual transmission guy. I have been nothing but impressed with it, and coupled with the regenerative braking, and paddle shifters to force limit the CVT range, it is actually quite a fun set up for a 98-hp rig. The 47 mpg helps too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man in Black
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    Well then VW has turned over a new leaf. Last 15 years VW has ranked near the bottom of quality. Replacement parts are also very expensive out of warranty.
    Plus VW nickels and dimes you to death on options. Unlike Honda/Acura that just equip the car the way I want it, VW advertises a low price on a nearly stripped version and then robs you blind for the features to load it up. Very poor value proposition compared to Honda.
    Robert

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  13. #13
    Wait up!!!! Hammondc's Avatar
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    Subaru Outback.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    As much as I like the CVT in principle, I hate it in execution for its drone like quality.
    The 2015 CR-V sadly went to CVT....so I would look for a used one. To me a CVT ruins an otherwise good vehicle and for that reason alone I wouldn't buy one:
    2015 Honda CR-V First Drive - KickingTires
    Subaru does a good job with CVT's. They're basically standard on everything now. They're programmed to be a little less droney by letting the revs fluctuate more than many CVTs. It also eliminates the rubber bandy feeling.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebulls View Post
    I'm looking for ... Thanks,

    Nick
    Thanks for all the comments so far. I bit the bullet and went and tried to fit my bike into some cars, yesterday.

    RAV4 was a "Go" -- the fit was tight but I could stand my bike up (front wheel removed) either facing forward or backward.

    Forester and Outback were a "No Go" -- the ceiling height is just too low.

    CR-V was a "Go" -- easy fit, facing either direction.

    Still looking ... though at the moment CR-V seems most likely ...

  16. #16
    Senior Member thisisbenji's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebulls View Post
    Thanks for all the comments so far. I bit the bullet and went and tried to fit my bike into some cars, yesterday.

    RAV4 was a "Go" -- the fit was tight but I could stand my bike up (front wheel removed) either facing forward or backward.

    Forester and Outback were a "No Go" -- the ceiling height is just too low.

    CR-V was a "Go" -- easy fit, facing either direction.

    Still looking ... though at the moment CR-V seems most likely ...
    Yeah... but the Rav4 and CRV are lacking in the motor department.

    Did you check out the Ford?

  17. #17
    L-I-V-I-N dtrain's Avatar
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    I hear it's cool to drive a Lincoln now. Wooderson drove sales way up.
    Last edited by dtrain; 11-21-14 at 01:35 PM.
    "The older you do get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin', man, L-I-V-I-N." - Wooderson

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  18. #18
    Senior Member thisisbenji's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtrain View Post
    I hear it's cool to drive a Lincoln now. Wooderson drove sales way up.



    Can't say I wouldn't drive it. Can't say I can afford it either.

  19. #19
    Senior Member gc3's Avatar
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    Do you want a nice car or simply the most cost efficient bike hauler? I just got this BMW X3 (x35i 300 hp version), and two road bikes will fit in standing up, front wheel off, seatpost lowered (but then I needed to do both those things with the larger Honda Pilot that the BMW replaced). It ain't the most value for the money, but it certainly is a blast to drive. If I was going for most efficient and effective, it would have been the Subaru. No big deal to lower the seatpost, even with Di2 electronics inside.



    Last edited by gc3; 11-21-14 at 01:52 PM.
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  20. #20
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    I drive a truck, but the wife has a 2013 Cadillac SRX with AWD and it fits both bikes in the bake without any problems. The amount of room that thing has in the back is amazing.

    Attached Images Attached Images

  21. #21
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Very nice gc3. Looks like you got it. All you hoped for?

    Quote Originally Posted by gc3 View Post
    Do you want a nice car or simply the most cost efficient bike hauler? I just got this BMW X3 (x35i 300 hp version), and two road bikes will fit in standing up, front wheel off, seatpost lowered (but then I needed to do both those things with the larger Honda Pilot that the BMW replaced). It ain't the most value for the money, but it certainly is a blast to drive. If I was going for most efficient and effective, it would have been the Subaru. No big deal to lower the seatpost, even with Di2 electronics inside.




  22. #22
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    I find it curious that you can fit the bike into RAV4/CR-V. My bike, set to 30" inseam, is about 3" too tall (without the front wheel) to fit into the new Forester. And Forester is taller than either RAV4 or CR-V(externally). All three SUVs have compact spares under the trunk floor. There must be some small differences in internal design, like, maybe, less (no) padding between the spare and the trunk floor, that leave more room in the CR-V. Also, are you sure you were looking at AWD versions? It's quite possible that AWD requires additional hardware that raises the trunk floor.

    Keep in mind that RAV4 and CR-V have low ground clearance (barely higher than Camry/Accord), so their offroad potential is extremely limited and even thick snow could be a problem.

  23. #23
    Senior Member gc3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    Very nice gc3. Looks like you got it. All you hoped for?
    It is a great ride...the X3 accelerates and handles like a buttoned-down rocket when you put it in Sport mode....will cruise all day averaging 28+ mpg in Eco Pro mode....build is rock-solid, at least in this brand-new condition, without a squeak or groan so far. I'm impressed, but then this is my first BMW after a long, long time driving Japanese cars.
    "I tried being reasonable, I didn‘t like it."

    "I understand. I just don't care"

  24. #24
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc3 View Post
    It is a great ride...the X3 accelerates and handles like a buttoned-down rocket when you put it in Sport mode....will cruise all day averaging 28+ mpg in Eco Pro mode....build is rock-solid, at least in this brand-new condition, without a squeak or groan so far. I'm impressed, but then this is my first BMW after a long, long time driving Japanese cars.
    Its sweet. I like the styling which should stand the test of time. Thing I like best about BMW's are the seats. They make fantastic seats...or their suppliers do with their oversight.
    Enjoy!

  25. #25
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post

    Keep in mind that RAV4 and CR-V have low ground clearance (barely higher than Camry/Accord), so their offroad potential is extremely limited and even thick snow could be a problem.
    I drive an older JEEP Cherokee and also have a Nissan Sentra... both are excellent in the snow but when it gets deep and nasty the JEEP rules but it does come with a mileage penalty.

    My mother in law has an older model Ford Escape (FWD) and has been nothing but pleased with it although the reviews tend to be mixed, I found it to be a very nice vehicle to drive and the cited 27mpg / hwy appears to be fairly accurate. As she lives in a place that can get 300 inches of snow there is also a full sized Dodge pickup with four wheel drive in the garage for when things gets really nasty.

    She does plan to trade in her FWD Escape for a vehicle with AWD capability and think the Honda CRV AWD would be a nice move up in quality for her and she does not carry as much stuff as we tend to do. My 23 year old JEEP gets comparable mileage to the Escape if I keep my foot out of it and it has a lot more off road and towing capability as it is a truck and not a crossover.

    If the older Escape suits your lifestyle it might be something to look at... the depreciation you take on new vehicles is quite severe and I prefer the look of the older Escape and think it might have a little more interior space.

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