New estate car for biking

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  • New estate car for biking
  • Mazda 6…………..I’ve had 2 of them. Big boot with no lip, drives like a sports car and well styled. I’m now getting 48mpg from the latest 2 litre PETROL. The only thing it lacks is a German badge.

    Premier Icon cr500dom
    Subscriber

    535D tourer here, I have been rescued before by the mrs, while out on the road bike.
    Front wheel off it went in the boot without dropping seats, but did overhang the seats slightly

    We still had the kiddies car seats in and a “phil and teds” double buggy in the boot at the time too 😀

    A mate has a Late golf estate, that will take a complete bike in laid flat with the seats down.
    2 Inside with seats dropped and front wheels out is really quick
    (Upside down, in backwards and bungied to the seat latches either side)

    I`m probably looking for either a 3 or 5 series touring to replace my Trafic now :o(

    v10 S6 sounds nice 😀
    v10 M5 tourings are sub 20K now too 8)

    craigxxl
    Member

    I have a Mondeo MK3 and it’s been great. Reliable, masses of space and a good car to drive. It’s getting old and I have been looking at other cars to replace it with. All the VAG cars I have driven; A6, Passat and Superb, whilst ticking all the boxes have been no better in performance or abililty. I can’t say the interior was any better as they all quite dull as is the drive which seems disconnected in all of them. Only the A6 Allroad felt like I would like to get in it and just drive.
    The cars that ticked all the boxes and were fun to drive were a BMW 5 series, Volvo V70 and XC70, new Mondeo and Jaguar XF Sportbrake. The 5 series is still plain inside, the Mondeo feels cheaper inside but it is a much cheaper car. The Jag and Volvo’s are nice inside and great to drive but the XF is still too expensive second hand and out of the Volvo’s I’d take the XC70 with the state of our roads. It’s feels softer than the V70 but never puts a foot out of place.
    Whilst the Mondeo continues to get on with the job without any complaints or problems I’ll keep it. When it does need to go then it will be the XC70 or the XF Sportbrake if they come down in price. If money wasn’t an object I’d have the XF Sportbrake in a heart beat.

    stumpy01
    Member

    I keep looking at estate options for when the time comes to change. Realistically it’ll be a couple of years away yet, but I think the Leon ST and the Civic tourer will be top of the pile.

    The Civic now has a very efficient 1.6 diesel and has a very clever seating system. The seat bases fold up so you can have a very deep trench behind the front seats. You can easily get a bike in there with the wheels off, so don’t have to drop the rear seats at all.
    Or if you need/want to drop the seats, you pull the lever in the seat back and as it drops, the seat base automatically moves forward and down out of the way. You can put the seats down in about 10s.

    In my Ibiza, it’s a case of fold seat bases forward or remove them, drop seat backs, take out head rests while doing that…..it’s a pain so I tend to leave my seats down all the time.

    The new Leon has a lever in the boot area that drops the seats, so you can reach into the boot area and drop the seats in seconds. This looks pretty nifty. I don’t think it is available on the lower spec versions. The Civic has the edge for me, as the smaller engine will give me better economy on my long commute and it has got class leading boot space – I think it’s got a bigger load area than an A6 estate!

    Problem for me is I can’t afford a new car at the moment and both of these cars are literally just coming out, so I would have to buy new which I don’t want to do.
    So, I will be sitting tight for a couple of years and buying nearly new once I’ve got a bit more money together. I also wanna get my current car to 250k miles, which is less than a year away! Seems a shame not to!

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    Have an Octavia and isn’t great for getting bikes in, tend to forget it was based on the Golf floorpan. Certainly if bikes inside are a factor when we change it I’d be looking to step up to Mondeo, A6, 5 series or E class kind of size. Good value second hand but tight in multi storey car parks!

    Why is it important to get the bike inside? It’s much more convenient on the roof or a towbar rack isn’t it? I have both on my Superb and use the roof bars for me and one mate and the rear rack for more passengers bikes if I need it. Doesn’t putting them inside just filth up your car after a ride and scratch your bikes if more than one?

    Is it the security issue?

    Premier Icon benp1
    Subscriber

    E61 5 series estate here, I stick my bikes on the roof for sheer practicality and ease

    Front wheel off the car takes a bike easily with the seats down (XL size 29er), could lob in a couple more no problem. CBA with all the mud and dirt palava though

    No boot lip which is very good, plus glass hatch so can drop stuff in when the boot is FULLY loaded still and you don’t have everything falling out (can’t overstate how much I use this)

    The problem is its RWD and there are side panels to make it look neat (storage behind). It means its not as wide as a FWD car. For example I can’t get golf clubs in across the boot without taking my driver out, that was no problem in my Peugeot 307 (although they wouldn’t fit in an A3 as that also had side panels)

    The A4 and C class are comparable to a 3 series, not a 5 series, they’re in different categories.

    Keep thinking about some sort of kombi style van, like a T5 kombi, but the ‘thrill’ bit puts me off. Had a T5 up my arse the other day after nipping in front of him after some lights, one big constant radius corner later and could barely see them… That sort of made up my mind (so I was looking at Spex B Subaru legacies on pistonheads, look a bit dull though)

    mossj88
    Member

    I’ve got a Mondeo ST220 which I can’t fault, mind you my budget was £3k which got me 60,000 miles, 10 years old (but immaculate).

    stumpy01
    Member

    droppinneutron – Member
    Why is it important to get the bike inside? It’s much more convenient on the roof or a towbar rack isn’t it? I have both on my Superb and use the roof bars for me and one mate and the rear rack for more passengers bikes if I need it. Doesn’t putting them inside just filth up your car after a ride and scratch your bikes if more than one?

    Is it the security issue?

    For me, it would be the fact that I wouldn’t want to leave the roof bars on permanently, given that I do 400 miles/week commute and I reckon the economy hit would be noticeable.
    Taking them on and off every week is a pain. I have roof bars for my Ibiza and gave up with them when they were going on and off once a week.

    Similarly for a towbar rack – this assumes you have a towbar fitted for a start. Then if you do, there is the faff of putting it on and taking it off every time you want to put the bike on.

    I also noticed when I was using the roof bars all the time that bits of the bike that had never shown any corrosion were really starting to look tatty; I think due to being hit by wind/rain salt/grit at 70mph.

    But, you are right – there is the issue of the inside of the car getting a bit crappy. This is why I am loathe to replace my 11 year old car with an expensive new one. Currently, anything from bikes to stuff for the tip gets slung in the back with just an old duvet cover to protect the carpets. Give it a quick hoover every 6 months and carry on. With a new car, I’d want waterproof tarpaulin on every surface that might come into contact with my bike and it would end up getting cleaned every weekend!

    quintet100
    Member

    Hi
    Thought I would put my penneth forward,
    I’ve had an e class great boot space very smooth car but boat like,
    I’ve had a 530 d touring better to drive than e class good boot,
    Not had the others.
    I now have a mitsubishi outlander
    Great spec, 4wd, cheap tax, economical, 7seats if needed, split boot lid so you can get changed sitting down, front wheel out I’ve had 4 bikes in the back.
    Slept in the back during mountain mayhem.
    Wish I had bought one years ago before wasting money going through the others.

    For me, it would be the fact that I wouldn’t want to leave the roof bars on permanently, given that I do 400 miles/week commute and I reckon the economy hit would be noticeable.
    Taking them on and off every week is a pain. I have roof bars for my Ibiza and gave up with them when they were going on and off once a week.

    I leave mine on but I use those thule ones you just tighten on by hand-takes less than two minutes to install/remove if you want to. Bet it’s a load more faff dismantling filthy bikes, folding down seats, removing kids seats, trying not to damage car interior and then putting all back together-plus the boots free for your stuff.

    My Tow bar mount is a pain though -I have the old fashioned thule one that doesn’t tilt, weighs a ton and needs careful packing of bikes to prevent fork lower destruction, but it serves a purpose. The new ones are great I just can’t afford/justify a new one at the minute.

    Big vote for the superb though-massive boot, incredible leg room in the back, greenline model so very economical (4 tanks of fuel for alp trip: 2000 miles, 5 bikes, four blokes and 8 days worth of gear). I couldn’t care less about performance and ‘handling’ it’s a bloody estate car it does 90 in cruise on the motorway and gets up hills. Plus I think it’s quite handsome, in its own way

    cheers_drive
    Member

    Stumpy
    I now have a A3 Sportback with roof rails and use roof mounted carrier. Before I had an Octavia and put the bikes in the boot.
    If you remove / fit the carrier and roof bars as one (easy to to with one carrier attached, harder if 2=) it takes about the same amount of time to unload the bikes from the boot / sort out the interior as it does fit the roof bars and carrier. With the bonus of freeing up space and keeping the inside clean.

    Larger estates are generally better value than smaller ones secondhand – Can get a better spec A6 for the same price as a A4 for example.

    granny
    Member

    I’ve got a Legacy. Massive boot, especially with rear seats down. Being kids-free helps on that front! It’s easily taken 2 bikes (front wheel off) and 4 sets of skis and kit. Reliable enough car to run, but cars aren’t exactly my area of technical expertise.

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Maybe I’m getting old but I’m looking at big estates to replace the SMax and I really think the usual German offerings are boring to look at, dire interiors and not particularly nice to drive. I find myself favouring the humble Mondy. A nicer drive than the Audi and BMW equivalents, nicer interior and just better thought out and more practical, and so much better value for money. Even build quality is comparable to the German cars these days. I’d love the jag XF sportbrake as mentioned before, but they’re a bit beyond the budget right now. The Mazda 6 might be the dark horse. They’re based on the Mondy so will drive well and are a bit different. I’ve always liked the Legacy, but always perceived them to be pricy to run. However I might delay my decision as I’m quite enjoying being car loan free right now. The SMax might have to stay a while.

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    I find myself favouring the humble Mondy. A nicer drive than the Audi and BMW equivalents,

    Not in my experience. Driven the current and last versions of all 3 cars, Mondeo, 3 Series, 5 Series, A4 and A6. That’s not to say the Mondeo is a bad drive – it’s very good, or bad value – again it’s not.

    typer
    Member

    2009 A4 Avant here, you’ll easily get two bikes in the back but lying on their sides. I wanted some sort of floor mounted mount for the fork but the bike is too tall even with the wheel off as the roofline is pretty low. Very comfortable car but not the most exciting to drive. I had a 2007 3 door civic before this and with the rear seats down you could get two bikes in there standing upright with the front wheels off as the seats folded completely flat. The boot was cavernous with the seats down, more useable space than the A4.

    ScoobysM8
    Member

    Skoda Superb is huge and you get a lot of car for the money. For 20K you will get a 1yr old one with full everything. Suits us because we have three teenage kids and the legroom in the back is amazing.

    It’s not the most involving car to drive – my 10 yr old Mondeo handles better – but it’s no worse than a Passat and not much worse than an A4 really.

    Had an 06 Audi A4 and now I have a C180.
    Both very similar but the Merc has an easier boot to get the bike in, if I’m honest I think that there are bigger estates out there that would be cheaper. Both are comfortable on long journeys.. The Audi was a 2 litre TDI and the Merc is C180 kompressor petrol. Audi is more economical combine urban and extra urban but the Merc is going to give you a good return on long journeys but not so good in urban driving.

    Premier Icon benp1
    Subscriber

    I leave my thule bars on all the time, haven’t noticed any significant change in mpg (I have wingbars)

    Fitting the bike rack is quick, noticeable difference to mpg when I leave that on

    The Mazda 6 might be the dark horse. They’re based on the Mondy.

    Not the latest version…………

    hammyuk
    Member

    I’ve gone over to the Maxi Life and enjoying it.
    Slowed down, getting great economy, bike inside complete and still 4 seats available.
    Just added the OE spec full load liner at £100 and its wipe clean.
    3 bikes will go in with wheels off and give 5 seats.
    2 bikes with wheels off sideways and SEVEN seats 😉
    As for racks? In the process of selling my A3 Sportback after 6yrs.
    will take 2 bikes seats down inside, as many as you can fit on racks outside.
    Thule bars fit in minutes, towbar meant a 2 bike hang on fitted in literally seconds, a 4 bike mottez in 60 seconds.
    It all depends on what you ACTUALLY want/need when you finally are honest with yourself.
    I didn’t want to not have something I could “drive” so went through a 330D Touring whilst the ex had the A3 as well.
    The Traffic LWB crew took 6 bikes, 6 guys and kit all over but again has ended up surplus to requirements.
    Besides – if I want to go fast I can just choose whether I want to play with 450, 998 or 1394CC ………..

    big_n_daft
    Member

    I’m in the hunt for an estate now: max £9k, needs to cope with winters and steep hills. Will be doing a fair number of business miles so needs to be 45mpg+

    looked at a Subaru Legacy/ Outback, liked it but the clutch is heavy and so may be one to miss

    Honda Accord, have older one, reliable, winter tyres make them OK but dull

    odd A6 about but pricey and high mileage

    any additional thoughts?

    I just sold an Alfa Romeo 159 TI Sportwagen.
    It was a great fun and fast car but still perfect for slinging bikes in.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    You definitely will not get a bike in stood up in an A4, you can’t even do that in an A6 (I had one), insufficient height. Lying down is OK. I prefer Audi to BMW for build quality and technology and for grip, I had a Quattro. That being said the BMW drives better in terms of twisty roads. Both are fantastic on motorways at speed.

    Happy hunting

    Premier Icon isto
    Subscriber

    I’m also not sure why you would want to put bikes in an estate. That’s where the people and dogs go.

    I have a new Octavia estate. Was going to get a Superb but the new Octavia is a fair bit bigger than the old one. Huge amount of legroom and big boot so is really competing with class above. It is also pretty new design whereas the superb is about to be replaced. Drives better than my old sline A4 as well.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    @isto, I’m not sure why you’d put your valuable mountain bike outside to be blasted by a 70mph jetwash to water and grit ?

    boblo
    Member

    Volvo xc70 or v70 if you don’t want 4×4. Bit soulless but effective in a washing machine sort of way… Massive inside and good value.

    jimjam
    Member

    isto

    I’m also not sure why you would want to put bikes in an estate. That’s where the people and dogs go.

    Because you might be going for a ride on your own. Or meeting friends at the trail. Because throwing it in the car is much quicker than attaching a towbar rack or putting it on the roof rack. Because a bike in the back wont have an impact on mpg the way one on the roof will. Because if you want to drive in a spirited manner on a B road a bike in the car won’t be a worry like one one on the roof or one on the rack. If you stop for food etc the bike is locked in the car, not adorning the roof like a big expensive thief beacon. Need I go on?

    globalti
    Member

    Absolutely agreed; people who drive around in big specious empty cars with bikes displayed on the roof or boot like trophies are asking for theft, loss, damage or a salt spray bath. Inside is more secure and quicker, especially if just nipping out for a quick ride.

    Do you really want your neighbours to see a BMW on your drive? I wouldn’t!

    Audi A4 is NOT a spacious car, it’s called a “compact executive” for a reason.

    Passat or Superb are big enough for a bike to lie flat in the back with the seats folded, it just rolls in on its side. You can stack 2 or 3 if you put a blanket between them and if you remove the wheels you can hide 2 road bikes inside the boot with the blind pulled to hide them. We have even had 2 kids + 2 adults + 4 bikes in the Passat estate.

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    @isto, I’m not sure why you’d put your valuable mountain bike outside to be blasted by a 70mph jetwash to water and grit ?

    The water and grit I’ve been riding through for a few hours does infinitely more damage than the wash it gets on the roof should it be raining on the way home.

    looked at a Subaru Legacy/ Outback, liked it but the clutch is heavy and so may be one to miss

    I have an ’04 Legacy. Have you tried one? The clutch isn’t that bad, in fact, driving most other cars feels like they’re toys – the controls feel too light!

    Legacy’s are nice cars, prefer mine to a colleague’s ’61 plate 5 series.

    Premier Icon dudeofdoom
    Subscriber

    I’m wih the why put bikes inside crew 🙂

    its just a bike – only thing it wont like outside is those height restriction things…ooops.

    Cars are a funny thing – what you think is practical may not be and what you think is impracticable may well be…

    Had a Freelander for Dogs and Mud – they hated it, I hated it –
    switched to an Mitsubishi evo- they loved it and so did I.

    Got a Smart car now with Rack easy to take me ,bike and dogs anywhere.
    (more space in it than my boxster and a nicer bikerack)

    jimjam
    Member

    cp

    I have an ’04 Legacy. Have you tried one? The clutch isn’t that bad, in fact, driving most other cars feels like they’re toys – the controls feel too light!

    Legacy’s are nice cars, prefer mine to a colleague’s ’61 plate 5 series.

    I’d agree with that, although I will admit that the clutch on my GTB is heavy for sitting in traffic. All the controls are nicely weighted for driving. An auto would be a viable option. Huge boot, much faster than the equivalent 2wd germanic estates in the real world and totally unbeatable in snow and ice. Economical they are not though.

    You might see 30-35mpg from a 3.0spec B or Outback on a long run. Life’s too short for dull cars though. Smiles per gallon’s where it’s at.

    Premier Icon isto
    Subscriber

    @jambalaya, it is a bike…..it will cope…..just like the car does. Security reasons like the OP has stated I can understand. But worrying about the bike getting wet and dirty seems a bit odd.

    MPG is fair enough, but if you are driving a newish car doing 60Mpg I would guess that it is not as big an issue as when using a less economical car doing 30Mpg.

    jimjam

    Because throwing it in the car is much quicker than attaching a towbar rack or putting it on the roof rack

    It takes no time at all to secure the bike to the roof, especially with 591’s. I would say the difference (if any) is minimal.

    As the OP says he is putting his bike in the car so he can head straight to the trails so for him it definitely makes sense.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    @isto, I appreciate it’s a preference, it’s not just the bike getting dirty it’s the “blasting” effect of the speed. I don’t pressure wash the bikes either, bucket and sponge/low pressure hose.

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    Because throwing it in the car is much quicker than attaching a towbar rack or putting it on the roof rack

    I find putting it on my roof racks – Thule 591’s – faster and way more convenient than putting it in the car.

    Because a bike in the back wont have an impact on mpg the way one on the roof will

    Marginal difference in mine. Type of journey has WAY more impact.

    Because if you want to drive in a spirited manner on a B road a bike in the car won’t be a worry like one one on the roof or one on the rack

    Less likely to get damaged on the roof IME – bike slides around in the back of the car, stuff falls onto bike that you had to pack around it. The wheel you had to take off falls over and puts a big scratch in something or bends a disc rotor. Your mates bike goes on top of yours, they slide around and get damaged. Yes you could pack them well, but that takes time.

    If you stop for food etc the bike is locked in the car, not adorning the roof like a big expensive thief beacon

    Mine lock to the roof rack. Always try and park the car where I can see it whether the bikes are in or on it.

    I was cynical of roof racks for many years, and was always a ‘bike in the back’ person. Then packing mates and/or missus’ bike in the back with camping kit hacked me off, so got roof racks and never looked back. All my pre-conceptions were shattered.

    jimjam
    Member

    isto
    It takes no time at all to secure the bike to the roof, especially with 591’s. I would say the difference (if any) is minimal.

    cp
    I find putting it on my roof racks – Thule 591’s – faster and way more convenient than putting it in the car.

    Put bike in boot, close boot. Done. I’ve used roof racks. If you believe it’s quicker to put a bike on a roof rack, and lock it on a roof rack, than it does to place the (complete) bike in the boot then you are deluded.

    Marginal difference in mine. Type of journey has WAY more impact.

    Two bikes on the roof can half mpg. A bike in the car will not.

    Less likely to get damaged on the roof IME – bike slides around in the back of the car, stuff falls onto bike that you had to pack around it. The wheel you had to take off falls over and puts a big scratch in something or bends a disc rotor. Your mates bike goes on top of yours, they slide around and get damaged. Yes you could pack them well, but that takes time.

    I don’t have to take the wheel off my bike to put it in the boot. Stuff I had to pack around it? helmet and camelbak? Yeah that’ll destroy it. If I am giving a mate a lift I’ll throw in a tarp between the two bikes. A friends Demo (on a thule roof rack) slid down till it was sitting at 90 degrees…very nearly endued up bouncing down the motorway. He may have secured it incorrectly, or it might have worked its way lose as he was driving aggressively. Either way, that can’t happen when the bike is in the car.

    Mine lock to the roof rack. Always try and park the car where I can see it whether the bikes are in or on it.

    You go to the toilet or turn your back and this happens

    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Yu4vEsD9WA[/video]

    Roof racks work, and are very useful, but if someone owns an estate car and they are going for a ride on their own, and they don’t mind putting the bike in the car then you can’t argue against it.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    cp – Member

    Mine lock to the roof rack.

    Yeah, well kinda. The amount of security is basically zero, it’ll take a thief longer to undo the wheel straps than to defeat the lock. They’ll probably get it off your roof faster than you do. It might stop a totally clueless opportunist though.

    Course, bike in the boot isn’t always very secure either, depends a bit on the car and whether or not you can easily open the bootlid without the key, or get the bike out of other doors.

    Putting mine in the boot is definitely faster than putting it on the roof, I mean, it couldn’t possibly not be. Open boot, put bike in, close boot. But I’ve the luxury of leaving the back seats permanently down and an old carpet in the back which takes away pretty much all of the downsides. I do own a set of nice Thule racks but I’ve not used them for years.

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    I meant when I leave them, a lock goes round the bikes and rack.

    Premier Icon isto
    Subscriber

    jimjam

    Put bike in boot, close boot. Done. I’ve used roof racks. If you believe it’s quicker to put a bike on a roof rack, and lock it on a roof rack, than it does to place the (complete) bike in the boot then you are deluded.

    A bike rack definitely works out quicker for me as I would have to remove a baby seat, put the seats down and then cover the boot. I concede that if you have a bike specific car such as Northwind where the seats are permanently down and some carpet covering the seats then it would be quicker. I still think I am not delusional in assuming that for the majority of users who do not have this luxury the difference is minimal.

    Two bikes on the roof can half mpg.

    As I stated before this may have an effect of around 10mpg at a guesstimate. This only halves the mpg if your car does 20mpg. If it does 60mpg then you are still getting 50mpg. If you are that worried about mpg then you shouldn’t be driving a car that does 20mpg.

    robinlaidlaw
    Member

    It depends on you circumstances I guess but my bikes and rack are in the basement at the back of the house, access to which is by walking all the way round the back of ours and our neighbours gardens. No problem when you take your bike out as you just ride it round to the car but to put the bike on the rack I need to do that then walk back round or through the house, get the rack carry it round and fit it single handed without damaging the car and then put the bike on. I’ve definitely got the seats folded and the bike in by the time I’ve done that, in fact I’m five minutes up the road most likely.
    Leaving the rack on is a no-go for me both for appearance and economy reasons and wind noise.

    Also:

    You might see 30-35mpg from a 3.0spec B or Outback on a long run.

    😀
    Absolutely no chance, certainly not with an Auto, which the Outbacks all are. Over 7000 miles actually measuring the consumption on my 3.0 Rn Outback it has averaged 20.72 mpg. Best full tank has been 25.42mpg. It’s never even shown over 30 average on the car computer on a long trip. That’s fine, it’s what I expected but don’t be fooled by what Subaru claim for the official figures. On the plus side it’s quite a bit quicker than they claim too, so it could be worse.

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