Need suggestion for vehicle to carry tandem
We normally transport our tandem on top of 1998 Toyota Sienna using a tandem topper rack.
It has 210,000 miles on it and is consuming a lot of oil so it may die soon.
Lately I have been putting the tandem inside by sliding it sideways on top of a piece of hardboard on top the folded down seats.
This is much easier than putting it on top which can be problematic when my back problems flare up, also avoids the wind noise and reduced mpg with it on top.
I could take out two seats and put a fork mount inside which would be better, but removing the seats is a PIA and also not great for my back.
We have been looking for a vehicle to replace the Sienna and test drove:
Hyundai Santa Fe
The Subaru appeals to us the most, but we would not be able to fit the tandem inside. It rides somewhat rougher than our Sienna but gets about 5 mpg better.
The main problem I have with the Outback is the seats are not very comfortable compared to the Sienna (My back problems again).
I like the better mpg of Outback for commuting and trips where we won't be carrying the tandem.
My understanding is that putting the tandem on top would reduce mpg drastically so carrying the tandem on the Outback would be no better than the Sienna and possiby worse.
A new Outback is going cost $25,500 and I can a slightly used Sienna for around $21,000.
I have a Toyota Camry XLE (GREAT CAR) that I normally drive to work.
We only use the Sienna for carrying the bikes and other stuff. My wife normally takes the train to work but drives during the winter to avoid the sick people on the train.
I am thinking another Sienna makes more sense. The Outback appeals to me for the MPG, cool factor and something different. It has AWD but living in San Diego we would rarely need it.
The newer Sienna has the rear seats that fold down into the floor, so it would be much easier to switch bwteen carrying the tandem or passengers.