Currently reading: The best coupés that can carry a bike: used buying guide
Fitting a bike in a car isn't always easy, but here are just a few stylish, sensibly priced options

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.

It would, of course, be super-silly not to pay some close attention to a Vauxhall Astra GTC. I rather like the idea of a 2.0 CDTi SRi, and a 2012 example with just over 50,000 miles is £7000. There are a fair few around.

What about an Audi A5 with folding rear seats? Surely, that would do it. You will pay about the same money as the Astra, but it will be a car from 2007 or so, a 2.0 Multitronic. There should also be a shout for the Volkswagen Scirocco, and the £7000 start point brings into play a 2009 2.0 TDI with a stiff 100k mileage.

Obviously, the solution is a superestate like an Audi S-something, or just a flipping bike rack. 


Read our review

Car review
Citroën C4
The Citroën C4 range comprises three diesel and three petrol engines, plus three trim levels

It's an admirable family hatchback, but there is an abundance of superior rivals that makes the C4 feel a little outclassed

Join the debate

Add a comment…
whalley 17 June 2016

Biking + Driving

Just to be clear, a great (but expensive) mountain bike can really deliver performance, robustness, reliability and the peace of mind which gives you the confidence to attempt anything you think you can do miles from anywhere - because you know the bike can. That's why people buy them. It's the same reason people buy a Porsche rather than a Nissan. I know posers buy both but hopefully readers here know better.

Of course being willing to do this does not mean I'm willing to stand on street corners ripping up fivers or waste fuel when I don't need to. I don't see why one would imply the other.

What many have highlighted here though is the worry about being out with a bike and keeping it secure if you aren't standing next to it. On the car in any form is risky, even in it is risky but the issue is how few nice cars one can actually get one (or two) bikes into them when the designers optimise them for other activities. We don't all play golf.

lamcote 16 June 2016

4k bike!

You paid 4 grand for a bike and you're concerned about 15% worse fuel economy!!!!
The Colonel 17 June 2016

lamcote wrote: You paid 4

lamcote wrote:

You paid 4 grand for a bike and you're concerned about 15% worse fuel economy!!!!

Perhaps a £4k bike is affordable through not wasting money unnecessarily?

That notwithstanding fuel economy was only one reason cited by whalley.

The Colonel 16 June 2016

Wheels off, and no small

Wheels off, and no small amount of protective covering, I can get my bike into my Z4 (E89), a sort of coupé, along with my kit bag for tris.

Two bikes into a TT (8J) works too, with the front passenger seat still free for a human, and only requires front wheels removing.