What 'vehicle' to buy?

Stumpy

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#1
I've seen a couple of related threads on the forums but for fear of hijacking them, I thought I'd start my own...

I'm looking to buy a vehicle that I can fit my bike (Medium 27.5 2018 Levo) in WITHOUT removing the wheels AND having the bike STANDING UP.

The obvious answer is a van but I'm limited to automatics and finding one at a sensible price is like finding rocking horse shit.... So I've started looking at MPV's and there is lot's more choice and they offer me other options of use than just moving my bike from A to B.

Can anyone recommend something, preferably from first-hand experience?

If not, let me have your front wheel removed options (but with the bike standing up)
 

stiv674

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#2
I've seen a couple of related threads on the forums but for fear of hijacking them, I thought I'd start my own...

I'm looking to buy a vehicle that I can fit my bike (Medium 27.5 2018 Levo) in WITHOUT removing the wheels AND having the bike STANDING UP.

The obvious answer is a van but I'm limited to automatics and finding one at a sensible price is like finding rocking horse shit.... So I've started looking at MPV's and there is lot's more choice and they offer me other options of use than just moving my bike from A to B.

Can anyone recommend something, preferably from first-hand experience?

If not, let me have your front wheel removed options (but with the bike standing up)
Do you have an approximate budget in mind?

I have a 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander, because of the way the rear seats fold down I can only get my bike in by removing the front wheel.
 

More-read-than-ride

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#3
I've seen a couple of related threads on the forums but for fear of hijacking them, I thought I'd start my own...

I'm looking to buy a vehicle that I can fit my bike (Medium 27.5 2018 Levo) in WITHOUT removing the wheels AND having the bike STANDING UP.

The obvious answer is a van but I'm limited to automatics and finding one at a sensible price is like finding rocking horse shit.... So I've started looking at MPV's and there is lot's more choice and they offer me other options of use than just moving my bike from A to B.

Can anyone recommend something, preferably from first-hand experience?

If not, let me have your front wheel removed options (but with the bike standing up)
I have a friend whose only criteria for buying a car is that a bike can fit in standing up and that it is easy to park. He has a VW Touran that he is extremely happy with. It is also very good value and quality as an everyday car. My friend places the bike diagonally and at least his fits without removing the wheel.
 
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Kangr

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#4
I have a Chrysler voyager automatic, and it can fit bikes in upright without taking wheels off. there is a trick to it though as you have to take the bike in through the side doors (wheel them in backwards) else the curve of the roof gets in the way through the boot.
 

Kangr

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#6
One of the better vehicles I have had for fitting the bike in was a Nissan Largo Highway star.
Looks a bit like a bongo but second row of seats can rotate to 90 degrees from normal, this enables you to slide a bike in from the back and it fits in behind the now rotated bench seat. wheels in very easy and you don't even need to secure it as the bench seat keeps it in position.
that car was also a automatic.
On biking weekends aways the bench seat sideways makes a long single bed (there are another row of seats behind that fold down, so I would fold one down to add to the length of the bench seat to make the bed longer) and you can still stow the bike behind the bench seat.
 

R120

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#7
Is this taking the place of your other car, or something you are buying mainly to go biking?

I have tested pretty much every van out there over the last few months. In terms of Autos there are quite a few options.

Both the Ford Transit and Transit connect now come in Auto options, you can get a crew cab version of both, but the full fat Transit is a better option if looking at five seats as the accommodation is much better for passengers.

I am not a fan of the VW Transporter or Caddy as I dont get on with the driving positions, but both can be had in auto.

The other vans that have really impressed me are the latest Peugeot/Citroen offerings - the transit sized van is actually based off an suv platform, so drives a lot better than rivals when unloaded, since most vans are designed around working best when loaded up. They are also very well specced.

All of these come in MPV variants.
 
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Doomanic

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#8
Assuming you are looking at second hand vans, the Vivaro can be had with a slush box, as can Mercedes Vitos. The Merc has tin worm issues and the Vivaro is, well, a Renault with a Vauxhall badge.
 
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#9
I've got my 2nd Transporter, a T6 DSG, fits any bike in, drives like a car, won't fall to bits in a couple of years like a Transit or Sprinter, and keeps its value amazingly well at trade in time
 

Doomanic

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#11
Transit Custom I think.
 

highpeakrider

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#13
I don’t kike saying this but in the Honda jazz the seats used to tilt backwards so you could fit a bike across the car.

Very much an old persons car driven at 20mph below the speed limit.
 

R120

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#14

Russell

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#16
I have recently been looking to solve the same problem. I don't like vans because they are all slow, rust in no time, very basic interior and expensive for what they are (especially VW). I've been looking at jap import MPV,s. From what I gather from the interweb, the Toyota Alphard is the best in 2 or 4 wheel drive with surprisingly high powered engines. I myself like the look of the Nissan elgrand and Toyota grand hiace because I would like to be able to carry a Mx bike. I have yet to measure up either but I think they are the biggest of the import MPV,s.
 

Dawnrazor

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#18
Just to clarify - the M sport transit is a twin turbo and rapid. It has full leather and all the gizmos you’d expect in a car. It drives like a car but with a better viewpoint. Mine is a long wheelbase and I have a row of seats behind the driver 2 x sliding side doors and then can get 4 bikes in my bikestow rack in the rear. It is a special edition transit but still cheaper than a VW. Comes with full body kit and OZ alloys. Worth a look if you’re in the market.
 

stiv674

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#19
I have recently been looking to solve the same problem. I don't like vans because they are all slow, rust in no time, very basic interior and expensive for what they are (especially VW). I've been looking at jap import MPV,s. From what I gather from the interweb, the Toyota Alphard is the best in 2 or 4 wheel drive with surprisingly high powered engines. I myself like the look of the Nissan elgrand and Toyota grand hiace because I would like to be able to carry a Mx bike. I have yet to measure up either but I think they are the biggest of the import MPV,s.
Have you looked at the new Transit Custom and Peugeot Expert? Both can be had with 170 and 180 BHP engines respectively.

I guess it depends on how fast you want it to be I guess...
 

R120

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#20
Nice - one of my Sparkies has got an MS-RT Connect
 

Russell

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#21
It depends on what your looking at spending. The Jap mpv imports are £5000-£8000. The sporty euro vans are no doubt £15,000+ and the transit will be rotten out at 8-10 years old.
 

R120

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#22
My experience of Transits is they are the most bulletproof and take the most abuse - I work in construction and the only van we will get if its going to get proper use is a Transit. They have so many little details that make them that little bit better, and the driver cockpit is by far the most sorted in terms of cupholders, charging points etc, storage and comfort.

The Vivaro is the worst by far in terms of comfort and cabin features, but they drive alright and can take abuse.

My experience of Transporters is that they dont stand up to abuse, especially the interiors. But that's not so relevant for lugging bikes around.
 

Stumpy

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#23
Thanks all for the replies, in response add to add a bit more detail...

Do you have an approximate budget in mind?
Yes, should have said, I’d like to think I could get something suitable for around £5k (or less)

I have a friend whose only criteria for buying a car is that a bike can fit in standing up and that it is easy to park. He has a VW Touran that he is extremely happy with. It is also very good value and quality as an everyday car. My friend places the bike diagonally and at least his fits without removing the wheel.
Thanks, there’s plenty of those in my ideal budget range, I’d dismissed it as being not high enough floor to ceiling, I’ll take a closer look

I have a Chrysler voyager automatic, and it can fit bikes in upright without taking wheels off
That’s more my style, I wonder how pick you could pick up a well looked after older one? Autotrader here I come...

My buddy has a Ford transit in navy blue not the plain white. Bike just rolls in.
Thanks, I’ve looked at the Ford vans and for the money I want to spend they’ve all done hard mileage or look like a skip

One of the better vehicles I have had for fitting the bike in was a Nissan Largo Highway star.
Thanks again, I’ll need to google it as we don’t have this model in the UK?

Is this taking the place of your other car, or something you are buying mainly to go biking?
Good question and one reason for the frugal budget, the ‘vehicle’ will be in addition to the his and hers we already have, the other reason is that after buying the bike, a new shed for it to live in, more tools, kit, upgrades Etc. Etc. (You ALL know what I mean) I may need to find somewhere else to live if I go over £5k for the new wheels (she said, “can’’t you get something for a grand” 😳

Thanks for all the advice on the vans - been there, even done the man thing and spec’d up a brand new one with all the toys I could have on it - if only I was a bachelor....

Assuming you are looking at second hand vans, the Vivaro can be had with a slush box, as can Mercedes Vitos. The Merc has tin worm issues and the Vivaro is, well, a Renault with a Vauxhall badge.
Thanks, same story as the fords really, all shitters at my budget..

I've got my 2nd Transporter, a T6 DSG, fits any bike in, drives like a car, won't fall to bits in a couple of years like a Transit or Sprinter, and keeps its value amazingly well at trade in time
Would love one!

I don’t kike saying this but in the Honda jazz the seats used to tilt backwards so you could fit a bike across the car.

Very much an old persons car driven at 20mph below the speed limit.
Thanks but no thanks - I still think I’m far too young for a Jazz (even though I’m not...)

I have recently been looking to solve the same problem. I don't like vans because they are all slow, rust in no time, very basic interior and expensive for what they are (especially VW). I've been looking at jap import MPV,s. From what I gather from the interweb, the Toyota Alphard is the best in 2 or 4 wheel drive with surprisingly high powered engines. I myself like the look of the Nissan elgrand and Toyota grand hiace because I would like to be able to carry a Mx bike. I have yet to measure up either but I think they are the biggest of the import MPV,s.
Best shout so far, I’ve been looking at the Japanese imports too - Nissan and Toyota due a number of variants and you can pick them up low mileage with service history (for what it’s worth) well inside my budget - the majority are fully loaded too. Trouble is all the ones I’ve seen are 100’s of miles away - which is a long way to go to find out its doesn’t meet my criteria (hence the post to learn from someone else’s experience. However, I can see myself ending up with something like this 👍🏻

Just to clarify - the M sport transit is a twin turbo and rapid. It has full leather and all the gizmos you’d expect in a car. It drives like a car but with a better viewpoint. Mine is a long wheelbase and I have a row of seats behind the driver 2 x sliding side doors and then can get 4 bikes in my bikestow rack in the rear. It is a special edition transit but still cheaper than a VW. Comes with full body kit and OZ alloys. Worth a look if you’re in the market.
Sooo tempting! STOP IT!

It depends on what your looking at spending. The Jap mpv imports are £5000-£8000. The sporty euro vans are no doubt £15,000+ and the transit will be rotten out at 8-10 years old.
More good advice and in-line with my research too


Keep them coming lads!
 

R120

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#25

Doomanic

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#26

Doomanic

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#27
Stu, now don't take this suggestion as taking the piss, but I was looking at one of these the other day, as its fits a few bikes, is auto, and has a ramp to load em! Seriously check this one out, 35k on the clock! :cool:

RENAULT KANGOO DISABLED CONVERSION 1.6 Authentique 5dr Auto disabled conversion 2008
Them and Berlingos are oft touted on STW as the bike transport of choice but I'm skeptical; what is the length of the load bed in that thing?

If my 5 Series was taller it would be long enough to get a bike in upright with the seats down and the front wheel off and it's fecking hooooge in comparison to that French wobblebox.
 

R120

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#28
I had an E39 5 series estate for a while as my skip run car for want of a better description, that I picked up off eBay for about 1k, and I could get my bike in flat with the seats down and not taking anything off.
 
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#29
@Stumpy Have you considered a VW Caddy? Smaller than the Transporter, loads of space (especially in the LWB Maxi version), and is available as a DSG auto. There's also the Life versions which have rear glass and seats for passengers (they're popular for wheelchair conversions with the rear ramp, and they often come up on the used market). I bought one of these to put my road bikes in (LWB Life not WAV), and it's perfect for that. They would fit easily upright with all wheels attached, but I remove the front wheels to use the Minoura Vergo TF2 bike rack.

I ended up selling my car and using it as my daily drive.

caddy0082-jpg.11721


caddy0083-jpg.11722
 
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R120

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#30
I looked at the new Berlingo van, which I really liked, top end model is auto and has all the toys. Some bike you can get in straight in on the diagonal, but would be touch and go on a xl slack bike - the LWB you can easily fit multiple bikes.

The main issue with the SWB vans is the bulkhead, so its actually easier to get a bike into a Berlingo MPV than its is the SWB vans the bulkhead eats up space.
 

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