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Satanic Watch Winder
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to replace my Acura, but want something that I can put my bike in as opposed to on. I also don't want to give up 31 MPG highway or much comfort and quiet. The Honda Fit seems workable, but IMO, it comes up about 30 HP short and I don't see it as a long distance vehicle. I'd also like to try something American. Besides mini-vans, SUV's and trucks, what works for you?
 

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A wheelist
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11,324 Posts
I have an Acura (and 4 Accords before it) and my bike fits in its trunk - with wheels off of course. I'm sure lots of car trunks will take a bike.
 

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Satanic Watch Winder
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mike T. said:
I have an Acura (and 4 Accords before it) and my bike fits in its trunk - with wheels off of course. I'm sure lots of car trunks will take a bike.
Thanks, but I have a CL coupe. Small trunk and no fold down rear seat.
 

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BMW 3 Series Wagon

I have one and it holds a bike and other stuff really well. When you're not hauling bikes, you have a nice little sports car to zip around in. It is amazing how much stuff fits in one of these cars!
 

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A wheelist
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Is the trunk that much smaller than my TL-S? I don't have a folding seat either. I didn't fold the Accords' seats.
 

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Satanic Watch Winder
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
TL-S, fun. My wheel wells come within a foot of the rear of the trunk. I also ride a 57cm, C to C, frame if that makes any difference. But, you're right, it would probably fit into my wife's Accord 4 door.
 

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Low rep power
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Mazda 3
 

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saf-t said:
That's what I was going to say, too. We were negotiating on a Mazda 3 the year they came out (2004?) when I spotted an unsold '03 Protege5 in the back of the lot and we bought that instead. But before we made an offer on the 3, I made sure my 64cm Atlantis would fit inside. You do have to take off the wheels, but how hard is that?
Fun to drive, too. Just this month or last, Car and Driver called the 3 the answer for people who can't quite afford a BMW.
 

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Anything with a hatchback is going to work well for this purpose. I can fit my bike in the back of my VW GTI (seats folded down of course) without removing the front wheel. If you've got the coin, go look at the VW R32 or an Audi A3. The R32 is going to be more fun to drive though.
 

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Adventure Seeker
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5,115 Posts
Nissan makes a very nice car nowadays. I've always been a Honda person until I drove the '06 Altima. I'm a convert! You have the Rogue and Murano.
 

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BMW or Audi

I've been sniffing around for something similar myself lately. Car dealers seem pretty eager to cut deals these days.

I don't know what your price range or wish list for the car are but I've been looking at Audi wagons (A3, A4, A6) and BMW wagons (328 and 535). I can lay 1, maybe 2, bikes on their sides with the rear seat folded down in all of those. In most of them I don't even have to remove the front wheel. I can put a mover's padded blanket on top of one bike before laying the other on top of that.

Ditto on the hatchbacks. I had a Mercedes C230 2-door hatchback a while ago. When I folded the rear seat down I could fit two bikes back there without removing their wheels.
 

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trying to HTFU...
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just sold my '04 Mazda3, could fit two, maybe three bikes w/out front wheels and
the back seats flipped down. currently driving an '09 Jetta TDI sedan(wagon wasn't
out when i bought last summer) - massive trunk, rear seats flip down too, easily
two or three bikes, bags, etc. in NY we'd call it, "...a four stiff trunk..." if you know
what i mean. getting 37+mpg on my notoriously mixed commute on LAs 101 freeway.

the padded moving blankets are the most worthwhile investment you can make
for transporting bikes, as they also hide your gear well from prying eyes.
 

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I didn't even own a cat..
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I'd go with a VW Rabbit GTi. The turbo gives you great power but still 31mpg. I'd also look at a Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix. They are versatile and not too bad in looks. What about a Honda Element? Ugly as can be but I love the utilitarian aspect as well as being able to hose down the interior when dirty.
 

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Mazda 3 5 door is great for bikes

Just dont buy the Speed version if you live in an area that gets really cold in the winter.

I had a one of the nicer Mazda 3 5 doors w/ auto when I had a long commute in heavy traffic. After 3 years and a job change I traded it in for the Speed3. At first the Speed is a lot of fun, but then the stiff suspension starts to get old and the suspension really sucks in the winter. It has poly-urethane bushings that, when its colder than 15 degrees, make the car sound like its going fall apart. At first I thought I had a bad shock or something was broken, but a search on a Mazda forum explained the problem.
 

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Beetpull DeLite
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I have an '06 Altima as well, with the 4-cyl. I get 31-34 mpg on the highway and average 28 overall. On trips I can fit two bikes and a full amount of luggage inside the car with the seats folded down.

I chose it over the Mazda3 - which I could have gotten for much cheaper - because the Nissan was larger, I fit better, I found it more comfortable, and it was much quieter.
 

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flakey said:
Just dont buy the Speed version if you live in an area that gets really cold in the winter.

I had a one of the nicer Mazda 3 5 doors w/ auto when I had a long commute in heavy traffic. After 3 years and a job change I traded it in for the Speed3. At first the Speed is a lot of fun, but then the stiff suspension starts to get old and the suspension really sucks in the winter. It has poly-urethane bushings that, when its colder than 15 degrees, make the car sound like its going fall apart. At first I thought I had a bad shock or something was broken, but a search on a Mazda forum explained the problem.

No, it doesn't have poly bushings. They are rubber like everyone else's. It just has really poorly made shocks. The seal friction is too high and there is not enough damping, especially rebound. So you get the bizarre combination of a rough ride on small bumps, bottoming on large ones, and a sort of floaty feel at high speed unless the pavement is smooth. Once the seals wear a bit the effective damping pretty much goes away. The shocks are a major flaw with an otherwise good car.

My Mazdaspeed coilovers are in the mail right now. I knew before I bought the car that I was going to have to replace the shocks. The only other car I was interested in was the STI, and when I was buying they had a recall and stop-sale on all their cars because the engines were blowing up. And the MS3 was a lot cheaper.

Other than the shocks, the MS3 is a good car. Plenty of room for bikes with just the front wheel off, and very sporty. Probably too sporty for a lot of people but my commute is mostly twisty back road and I enjoy it.
 

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wholesale right now is 50 cents on the dollar for a 1-2 year old high end german car. I know because I just sold my 2008 S6 with 15k miles. don't ask what I got instead. my point is that you can great an amazing deal right now on a used car.
 

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Poseur
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1,408 Posts
My wife has a Subaru 2007 Forester and I just recently got a 2009 Outback. The Forester was nice but I like the Outback better. Fold down the rear seat and the bike fits just fine, with the front wheel off of course.
 
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