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Best cars

Top 10 best cars for cyclists and bikes

Cycling is a popular hobby, but a suitable vehicle for transporting your equipment makes life far easier. Here are 10 of the best cars for cyclists and bikes

Land Rover Discovery with roof-mounted bike

Aside from grand pianos, there are few items more awkward to load into a car than bicycles. Wrangling the wheels, saddle and pedals of a bike (or two) into a configuration that’ll allow you to close the boot and accommodate passengers can provoke frustration at best, or chipped paintwork, damaged trim and oily upholstery at worst.

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Carmakers know this, though, and many come with roof rails or external racks, and some even have integrated bike racks as part of their design. Flexible seating layouts can also make life easier for cyclists. Many of these features and accessories allow you to carry multiple bikes and passengers at the same time, negating the need for you to choose between your hobby and giving your friends a lift.

The cars with the biggest bootsTop 10 cars with the biggest boots

Most of the cars we feature can be fitted with third-party bike racks, but we’ve concentrated on official manufacturer rails and racks to ensure compatibility. We’ve only included a couple of full-size SUVs in this list, not because they’re inherently bad cars for cyclists, but because the typically high roof of an SUV means you’ll have to use a ladder if you want to load a bike onto the top rack easily.

We have, however, tried to think outside the box with our selections. Not all cyclists want a big estate car or a commodious MPV, for example, so we’ve featured electric and hybrid cars, and even superminis in our picks alongside more obvious choices.

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So, if you’re a keen cyclist after the perfect car to take your bike or bikes on a cycling holiday, or just want to venture out to experience some of the UK’s excellent bike trails, read on for our rundown of the 10 best cars for cyclists and bikes available in the UK today.

Land Rover Discovery SUV review

Land Rover Discovery SUV
Carbuyer rating

4.2 out of 5

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If any car is going to be suitable for slinging mountain bikes in or on top of, it’s the hugely practical Land Rover Discovery. Fold down all the rear seats and you’ll fit one or two in the back with their front wheels removed, but the alternative is to specify some dedicated official Land Rover accessories. There are tow-bar mounted carriers available that can carry two or three bikes with a total weight of 40kg or 51kg depending on which you choose, or – if you have a stepladder handy – there’s the choice of roof-mounted fork or wheel-mounted carriers (to be used in conjunction with roof rails and cross rails, both sold separately).

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Capacity for two bikes on the roof, three on the tailgate and about two in the boot means your Land Rover Discovery could easily deal with even the most ambitious cycling holiday – and if you don’t fancy pedalling up a hill, chances are the Discovery could do the hard work for you, both on and off-road.

Skoda Superb Estate (2015-2023) review

Best Used Estate Car: Skoda Superb Estate
Carbuyer rating

4.8 out of 5

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The Skoda Superb Estate features frequently in our top 10 lists, and with good reason: it’s immensely practical, comfortable, well-equipped, decent to drive and reasonably priced. It’s also popular with cyclists thanks to its huge boot. With the rear seats folded, this should easily accommodate two bikes with their front wheels removed. If you’d rather not risk getting the Superb’s interior dirty, a set of roof rails and a bike rack are available from Skoda, and will also let you pretend you’re a support vehicle for the Tour de France – an event that Skoda has sponsored and supplied cars for on many occasions.

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If you prefer mountain biking to road racing, meanwhile, ticking the four-wheel-drive option box adds expense and reduces fuel economy slightly, but means the car should get you where you need to go when the call of the wild beckons. Choose the 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine if you don’t cover many miles each year, or any of the 2.0-litre diesel if relaxed cruising and economy are your priorities. There’s also the plug-in hybrid model if you cover city miles on weekdays, but need lots of range for weekend activities a long way from home.

Dacia Jogger review - the best-value seven-seater

Best Family Car: Dacia Jogger
Carbuyer rating

3.7 out of 5

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MPVs are designed to carry as much stuff as possible, and among the most practical is the Dacia Jogger. Not only is it a seven-seater, but the third row of seats are removable and weigh only 10kg each, so they’re easy to lift out when you need the space for bulky items such as bike equipment. With the third row removed and the middle row folded, the Jogger offers a van-like 2,085-litre boot.

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What’s more, the Jogger comes with an integrated roof rack system – simply rotate the roof bars to their horizontal position – so you can easily put bikes on the roof if you need the space inside. The Jogger even looks fit for purpose with its chunky wheel arches, while it’s the cheapest car here by some margin. Think of all the cycling holidays you could go on with the money you’ve saved!

Mercedes E-Class Estate review

Facelifted Mercedes E-Class estate driving
Carbuyer rating

4.6 out of 5

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The Mercedes E-Class Estate is a long-term favourite of those that want luxury and space. Granted, it’s still got a smaller boot than the Skoda Superb Estate, despite costing considerably more. However, pay the price and you’ll be getting a luxurious, quiet and swift estate car. While the E-Class Estate loses out to the Superb Estate on ultimate carrying capacity by 20 litres, it still has a vast boot that’ll accommodate a couple of bikes with their front wheels removed and the rear seats folded.

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A tow-bar-mounted rack is another option for up to three bikes, while up to two can be carried on the E-Class’ roof using rails and bike carriers. If you choose this last option, the bikes’ total weight mustn’t exceed 100kg, but this shouldn’t be an issue unless you’re transporting electric bikes. The E 220 d diesel engine offers excellent economy and brisk performance, while standard Sport trim has plenty of bells and whistles. Go for the sporty-looking AMG Line if you’d rather, but you may be better off selecting individual options from Mercedes’ generously appointed options list.

Honda Jazz hatchback review

honda jazz ex style
Carbuyer rating

4.1 out of 5

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The Honda Jazz has always managed to pack a lot of space and practicality into a surprisingly small package, and the latest generation car is no exception. Its compact stature makes nipping around town and parking nice and easy, while 304 litres of boot space means that it will happily take on a decent amount of luggage for those longer journeys, expanding to 1,205 litres with the seats folded. The Jazz has a party piece though: ‘Magic Seats’. These seats are designed to fold up or fold entirely flat, making for a tall space behind the front seats that’s perfect for your bike. 

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If you like to lead a particularly outdoorsy lifestyle, then the new Jazz Crosstar brings more rugged styling and even the option of water-repellent interior materials. Honda’s strong reputation for reliability and a claimed fuel economy of well over 50mpg for both cars should make for a drama-free and inexpensive ownership experience too.

Toyota Hilux pickup review

Toyota Hilux
Carbuyer rating

3.7 out of 5

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A pickup truck is worth considering if you regularly take bikes out. It’s not the most economical form of transport, sure, but a pickup such as the Toyota Hilux earns its place on this list for its versatility. One or more bikes will easily fit in the load bed, either right-way-up with the wheel turned or removed, or upside down with the wheels pointing up; the Hilux has lots of lashing points to secure your bike.

Alternatively, if you have several bikes to carry you could buy a tailgate pad and hang the front wheels over the Hilux’s fold-down tailgate. Bike racks can also be fitted on the Hilux’s optional load bed and hardtop covers. The Hilux will be particularly appealing to mountain bikers; its four-wheel-drive system will get you to the most inaccessible bike trails, although high demand and limited supply means it is worth speaking to your local dealer about how long you’ll have to wait if you order one.

Ford Galaxy review

Ford Galaxy MPV
Carbuyer rating

3.4 out of 5

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With decent handling, a vast interior and the ability to seat seven, the Ford Galaxy has a lot going for it. As long as you’re happy having a large MPV, it also offers near-limitless flexibility for carrying bikes. With all five rear seats folded, you should be able to fit two bikes complete with wheels. If, on the other hand, you need to carry more than one passenger, the boot is vast in five-seat configuration and should easily swallow a pair of cycles, albeit with their wheels removed.

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A tow-bar-mounted three-bike carrier is available, and even fully loaded, will tilt out of the way at the press of a pedal when you need to open the boot. You’ll need to purchase a towbar if you want this option, though. Roof rails and bike carriers can also be purchased.

Skoda Kodiaq review – the practical pick

Best Large Family Car: Skoda Kodiaq
Carbuyer rating

4.5 out of 5

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The Kodiaq slots into the Skoda range for car buyers who want the space of a Superb, but with a higher driving position and extra ground clearance. It’s available as a five or seven-seater and sports a vast range of features to make your life that little bit easier. These range from the £90 optional handles to drop the second row of seats without having to reach inside or walk around to each side of the car; to the standard removable boot light torch, umbrellas inside the front doors and an ice scraper behind the fuel filler cap.

The Kodiaq is great to drive on-road, but still capable if you need to venture further afield. Although there’s no boot lip, a relatively high boot floor is a minor black mark.

Vauxhall Corsa review - the best Corsa yet

Vauxhall Corsa facelift
Carbuyer rating

4.1 out of 5

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You might be surprised to see the Vauxhall Corsa on this list - it is indeed the smallest car on it - but it’s here for a very good reason. Among the range of accessories that are offered with the Corsa is a roof base carrier that has been designed to fit the full range of Thule roof carriers, including bike racks, meaning that you can easily transport your bikes without any intrusion on precious interior space. 

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Having this bespoke part should also make for an easy and secure fit. If you’re more of an urban cyclist then having this smaller car to go with it will likely be a great option, however the Corsa may not suit if you like off-roading.

MG5 EV estate review

2022 MG5 EV - front 1
Carbuyer rating

4.1 out of 5

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The MG 5 may not be the most exciting car on this list but it is the only fully electric one – although there are plenty of other practical electric cars. But when it comes to value for money, MG’s estate is a very hard car to beat. A 250-mile range, a 61.1kWh battery that can be charged to 80% in around 35 minutes and a 464-litre boot all make for an electric car that is perfectly usable every day. Fold the seats down and a long, spacious 1,456 litre boot is available. This is an option you might want to take advantage of when driving further afield – externally mounted bikes cause drag that will reduce an EVs range quite significantly. 

The MG 5 is one of the cheapest electric vehicles currently available in the UK. A seven-year/80,000-mile warranty means that there shouldn’t be too many nasty surprises down the line either.

10 best cars for cyclists and bikes

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