Bicycles. Yes, I know this is a magazine about motors, but there are times when it is important to be able to squeeze difficult objects into those motors.
In my experience, nothing is more difficult than a pushbike of the non-folding variety. Even taking the bike’s wheels off doesn’t seem to help much at all, but imagine trying to find an interesting automatic coupé that can take a bike inside. That’s just what I’ve been doing. So any thoughts of £1000 worth of Renault Kangoo can be dismissed right now.
The obvious place is to start with the fairly generous four to five-seat coupés. I find myself looking at BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz CLKs, but that seems so very obvious. So let’s go a bit weird and take a look at the Citroën C4, which, I think, is distinctive and, in VTR+ trim, guarantees a bit of excitement. The prices aren’t outrageous, either, because I came across a 2007 1.6 HDi with a reasonable 90,000 miles at £1800. There’s a hatch-like rear end, which may even mean that both wheels can stay on the bike, although I wouldn’t want to bank on that.
The French have form when it comes to compact coupés, and that brings us to the passed-away Renault Mégane. It has a suitably big rear end, like all the Méganes, and it would be interesting to see if a bike would actually fit. You can pick up tidy one-owner examples for not too much. Well, from under £4000, which delivers an unwanted 2.0-litre petrol in Privilege trim and an even less desirable automatic form. That might help when the handlebars are hooked around the centre console. It’s certainly worth a go.
I was briefly distracted by 2004 and 2005 BMW 645s with some impressively high mileages at around £5000. The boot is big, but not that big. Access to the rear of larger four-door BMWs lets you get a ‘racer’ (1970s term for a drophandlebar five or 10-speed) in the back. I don’t really want to damage a 645.