How do you transport a bike or three in a way that is safe, secure and easy to unload? The best way depends on what sort of car you have, how many bikes you want to carry and how often.
There are five main options: - in-car storage - two-bar bike racks - roof racks - strap-on racks and - floor mounts for utes. For the sake of security and for people who just won’t buy a rack, there’s a choice of vehicle that can fit a bike or two. As a (part-time) cyclist, here’s my favourite five.
I’ve ignored van derivatives because I don’t want to drive a van. My selections will carry two people, two bikes and do it within a locked cabin. Some disassembly - removing the front wheel - may be required.
TOYOTA PRIUS V
Carsguide likes people-movers for their ability to carry not only people but combinations of passengers and cargo. This longer version of the Prius hybrid can seat seven or carry a clutch of bikes. The wagon is also easy to drive, economical and affordable. Performance is modest, as is fuel consumption.
Price: from $35,990
Luggage: 200L (all seats up), 505L (five seats), 1905L (two seats)
Vehicle length: 4.6m
Exceptional cabin room for a compact SUV, which is why this and not the more fun to drive Mazda’s CX-5 was a 2012 Car of the Year finalist. New diesel model is the one to watch.
Price: from $27,490
Vehicle length: 4.5m
SKODA OCTAVIA WAGON
New Octavia gets a pretty face and even better refinement; flexibility. Well priced and the economy is excellent. A left-field choice is Skoda’s Roomster. Yes, we know what it looks like but it’s a unique compact people/bike-mover.
Price: from $23,040
Vehicle length: 4.7m
Yes, you can have a city and bike-friendly car. Unlike most of its rivals, the baby of this selection has a versatile interior and the "magic seats" allow the rear pews to be split, flipped and folded. Two bikes can be fitted upright, with the front wheels removed. Not bad for a car that fits in the tiniest parking spaces.
Price: from $15,990
Vehicle length: 3.9m
The SUV’s bland, almost bulbous styling fits seven seats and the potential for hauling lots of cargo. The flexible folding seats are perfect for loading bicycles. Again, the diesel is the pick.
Price: From $27,640
Vehicle length: 4.7m