What is the Best Car for Carrying Bikes Inside?

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What is the Best Car for Carrying Bikes Inside?

It’s almost summertime and the weather outside is just about perfect. You’ve decided you want to start using your bike on a more regular basis, but you’re not quite sure how to bring it places conveniently.

After all, putting your bike on the roof of your car doesn’t sit well with you, nor does keeping it on a rear bike carrier or stashing in a parking lot. Would your bike stay safer in the car?

Yes, your bike is safer in the car than outside of it. Not only do you prevent bike theft this way, but it’s protected from the elements as well.

The following cars and SUVs can store your bike in the backseat or the trunk:

  • Honda Element
  • Ford Focus ST
  • Toyota Prius
  • Tesla Model S
  • Honda Fit
  • Volkswagen Golf GTI
  • Nissan Cube
  • Volkswagen Jetta Wagon
  • Mazda3
  • Ford Escape

In this article, we’ll talk more about each of the 10 vehicles on this list, explaining the configurations you can use to get your bike inside each.

For instance, sometimes you can squeeze your bike in if you take a single wheel off (often the front wheel). Other times, the vehicle has a large enough trunk or rear that you can put your bike in there.

Let’s get started.

  1. Honda Element

    Although they’re no longer manufactured, if you’re looking for a used car to keep your bike inside, then get a Honda Element. These compact crossover SUVs were manufactured between 2003 and 2011. They have a wider, boxier shape as well as a two-toned paint job that adds to their uniqueness.

    The vehicle has five doors, so you can fit your bike in several ways. One Reddit user shows such a configuration. You open the Element from the back, probably push some rear seats down, and roll your bike right in. This gives you room to bring one other person with you, who would sit in the front passenger seat.

    While the bike the Reddit user fits in the Element was quite large (it’s possibly a motorcycle), we like to think you could get at least two standard-sized bikes in there if they’re somewhat smaller.

  2. Ford Focus ST

    Ford began producing the Focus compact car in 1998. Years later, by 2005, the Focus ST came onto the scene. The originals featured a turbocharged engine with five cylinders that could achieve speeds of up to 152 miles per hour.

    You can get a more recent Focus ST to reap its bike-friendly benefits. One user on BikeForums.net has a 2017 Ford Focus ST. They say their vehicle has rear seats you can push all the way down.

    This gives you room to put your bike in through the back of the vehicle. You may have to take off the front wheel of your bike to make it fit depending on the size of your bicycle. You also get cargo space and roof rack capabilities for transporting more than one bike in the Focus ST. We think that’s pretty handy.

  3. Toyota Prius

    Although you wouldn’t think it from looking at this compact car at first glance, the Toyota Prius has room for bikes. First entering production in 1997, you can still buy new Priuses today. The third generation of vehicles, the XW30, is a favorite among bike owners.

    This model, produced between 2009 and 2015, can stash up to two bikes in the back according to some Prius owners.

    Oh, and did we mention you don’t even have to take the front wheels off your bike to get it inside? How’s that for cargo space? You could even squeeze some gear and equipment back there, too, but that does require removing the front wheels.

    If you’re riding alone, then you can always keep the gear up there. No front-wheel disassembly required!

  4. Tesla Model S

    If you don’t mind going the electric car route, then you might want to consider a Tesla Model S to carry your bike(s). This liftback vehicle has five doors, making it ideal for housing your bicycle and taking it out whenever you get the itch to ride. The Model S first entered the market in 2012 and is still made today.

    Since it has an electric motor and not the standard vehicle engine you’re used to, there’s more cargo room in a Tesla. You shouldn’t have any trouble getting at least two bikes in through the rear seats. Of course, that would depend on the size of the bicycles in question. If you bring only one, then you can probably keep all your equipment in the back as well.

  5. Honda Fit

    Another bike-friendly Honda, the Fit, aka the Honda Jazz, can keep your bike safe and sound. This hatchback with five doors first hit the market back in 2001. You can still get new Fits today if you’re so inclined.

    Newer models have Ultra Seats, a type of seating configuration you can customize your way thanks to the positioning of the rear suspension and fuel tank.

    With Ultra Seats, you can choose from such seating options as the Refresh lounge seating, Tall, Long, Utility, and Normal. Bike owners will probably use the Utility option the most. It makes use of the Fit’s 60:40 rear split seats. You can compact these to increase your cargo space and keep your bikes in the back.

  6. Volkswagen Golf GTI

    Since 1974, the Volkswagen Golf has become a vehicular staple for many. Two years after it was first sold, Volkswagen unveiled the Golf GTI. At the time, it had an engine that could reach speeds of 110 miles per hour.

    This vehicle also goes by the name Volkswagen Rabbit. Today’s GTIs in the seventh generation have even more horsepower, but we’re not really here to talk about that. What about space for a bicycle or two?

    These sizable compacts should fit a few bikes for almost any model you pick. The Volkswagen Golf GTI has a wide rear that’s perfect for just that. Make sure you get a hatchback with five doors instead of three doors, though. This way, you can finagle your bike in easier and wrestle with it less when you want to take it out.

  7. Nissan Cube

    Another compact little car that looks like it has no room for stowing your bike but will amaze you is the Nissan Cube. This mini multi-purpose vehicle started production in the United States in 2009 and had a short run that lasted until 2011. You can still get a used one these days, and you should consider doing so.

    The third generation of Cubes had more curves instead of harsh edges. Nissan also increased the vehicle’s size, as it could now fit five passengers. With a side-hinge tailgate, you can swing the doors out rather than open them up. That gives you easier access to your bike than you may have available with the other cars on this list.

  8. Volkswagen Jetta Wagon

    Yet another great Volkswagen pick, the Jetta Wagon isn’t quite a Jetta, nor is it exactly a standard Volkswagen offering, either. Instead, it combines the best of both worlds for a long, lean, hatchback-like vehicle. No longer made, some models of the Jetta Wagon had 33 cubic feet or 930 liters of cargo volume.

    If you’re wondering if you can get at least a single bike in there, you know the answer. Most definitely. Would you have to take the front wheel off? Possibly. That’s not the end of the world, though.

  9. Mazda3

    The Mazda3, likely named such because it entered production in 2003, will also impress. We recommend going with the hatchback version of this vehicle, as it has five doors and offers more space. The sedan has only three doors.

    You can get a brand-new Mazda3 or a used one. The older models have a much wider rear that should give you all the space you need for at least two bikes, possibly even more.

    Once the Mazda3 underwent some renovations, the manufacturer redesigned the rear to have a more streamlined shape. You shouldn’t sacrifice much in terms of space, though.

  10. Ford Escape

    Our last pick also comes from Ford. It’s their beloved Escape. This compact crossover SUV first appeared in 2001. Ford still makes them today. That said, bike enthusiasts online recommend going with one of the older models, like a 2001 car. Not only should that save you some money, but you get plenty of space, too.

    The newer models have a sleeker look if you’re interested in one of those. The fourth generation, which started rolling out this year, has a longer and wider profile. That means you shouldn’t have much of an issue squeezing in a bike or two in the spacious rear of the new Ford Escape.

Conclusion

Whether for the sake of safety, protection from the elements, or even convenience, you want to keep your bike inside your car as you transport it.

With the 10 great vehicles we shared in this list, you’ll find that’s possible. Some can even stash more than one bike without having to remove the front tire! Talk about convenience on the go.

Good luck with your search.

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