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Thread: Travel vehicles besides trucks and truck based suvs

  1. #1
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    Travel vehicles besides trucks and truck based suvs

    What are some of you using for vehicles? Last time I looked at SUV's, finding ones with a long enough roofline for a big container or interior to carry a our long boards and my long skis. They were few and far between. Ford flex fit the best then.

  2. #2
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    how timely - for 12 years I have been driving a Saturn LW300 (Station Wagon) and have loved it. really a euro Opel (also GM), it's been awesome and today happens to be the day I am selling it. 170K and I am nervous about the bills going forward so I am selling it. anyway, i like cars (station wagons) as opposed to SUV for a number of reasons and am considering a VW. aside from VW there are not many wagons out there that interest me. okay, benz, bmw, volvo and audi all make great wagons, but............$
    Davekempmeister

  3. #3
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    Got my first prius in "05, 53mpg in the summer 50mpg in the winter, it's a station wagon, the 202cm board fit's in nicely, alongside two or three other normal boards.
    Jut got an 11 prius (0%) and it's getting 59mpg going into spring, traded the "06 highlander hybrid for it, 32mpg isn't as nice as 59mpg,IMHO.
    Love my pod of prii
    Put studs on a front wheel drive and point and click.

  4. #4
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    '05 Outback, I can fit boards up to about 195 inside as long (with the very end resting on the center armrest, 200 cm would get in the way). In order to do a long roof rack, had to replace the standard roof bars with a Yakima set-up... otherwise the lift gat won't go all the way up.

  5. #5
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    I second Davekempmeister.

    I have a AWD station wagon with a rooftop carrier and is very versatile than my wife's AWD SUV/Crossover. It serves me perfect for snowboarding, biking, golfing. If it was SUV, I would have hard time to put my bike (MTB Steel XL) up on the roof.

    If you need a lot of clearance for snow/offroad, I recommend outback (pre-2010) or volvo xc70.

  6. #6
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    Used to have an 2005 Outback XT, now I have a 2011 Volvo Xc70 3.2 AWD (It won over a Subaru Outback (barely), BMW 328 Touring (due to an obnoxious sales rep), Grand Cherokee, Ford Flex and a V6 Cayenne). I prefer the Xc70 as its rear seat is 40/20/40 as opposed to the 60/40 for the Subaru. With the Volvo, you can just drop down the center and lay the boards there and still have room for 2 rear passengers. With the Subaru, you have to drop one side which only give you room for one rear passenger (unless US version is different). Used the same Thule box on both.

    The interior of the Volvo is better finished than the Subaru but it's more expensive. Better gas mileage with the Subaru (2011 and newer). Volvo is more family friendly if you have 2 kids.
    Last edited by crote123; March 26th, 2012 at 04:55 AM.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, my OB is an XT too. Can comfortably get my 29er FS (not a light bike in other words) on top even if parked on uneven ground. I'll probably have it for a while... 7 years old and just cracked 54k miles yesterday. Yeah, I don't drive much, which is probably why I don't mind the crappy gas mileage so much.

  8. #8
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    If you are not looking for 4wd, Honda Odyssey might fit your bill. Long roofline, big interior, not as physically imposing as those large SUVs (new models are pretty low). I remember using the car for furniture removal, I carried my bed and it was no problem. Comparable to Ford Flex minus 4wd drivetrain, a bit better mpg.

    Another ok cars are Chevy Vectra/Opel Insignia station wagons, can store up to 180cm diagonally otherwise front passenger seat might get cramped. Good mpg.

  9. #9
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    I ordered my BMW 5 series with the skibag option. It works well with 3 pairs of skis-essentially, the backseat center console has a recessed bag attachment that creates a pouch continuous with the trunk-I've gotten my 183 cm skate skis in with lots of room to spare. How it works for multiple snowboards I can't tell.
    Come to the darkside, we have cookies

  10. #10
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    Toyota Sienna minivan. Hauls an amazing amount of stuff, and our ski box holds my 200 cm Tanker no problem without hanging over the window or interfering with the hatch.

  11. #11
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    I am driving a 2002 VW Jetta 4 cylinder that's on its last legs- I'm hoping it can hold on until the end of 2013, after which I will be buying a used Toyota RAV 4.

    With ski and snowboards well packed and padded in rolling Dakine bags, we can comfortably take 4 people and their multiple board sets of gear anywhere in the West- and I have the 225,000 kms of mileage to prove it....
    A carver's haiku-

    My board's a scalpel,
    To carve deep ruts in the snow,
    Is my destiny.

  12. #12
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    I have a 2011 Toyota Sienna and a 2006 Subaru STI. The Subaru is ok for 2 people, but I have to remove the rear seatback (5 bolts total, plus an awkward-to-get-out plastic trim piece with 4 clips) to get my boards in. It sucks, I just leave the seat out for the winter. A small number of these cars have a pass-through rear seat option, I think it might be a Canadian-only option.

    The Sienna is simply massive in comparison. You only have to slide the 2nd row seats a little forward from the most-rearward position to fit a couple 180 cm boards diagonally in the back. You could very comfortably take yourself, 4 others, and all their gear to a resort. If you're willing to install a roof box for the boards, it would fit 7 pretty easily. But it's pretty easy to get stuck as it has an open front diff - you'll spin one tire while the other is stationary. I haven't been stuck yet, but got close in a blizzard on a quiet gravel road. It wouldn't even have been a concern in a 4WD/AWD vehicle.

    Fuel economy on the highway at 70 mph is about the same between these two. Which is highly depressing considering the size/weight difference and that the STI needs the pricey 91 or 94 octane.
    Last edited by corey_dyck; March 26th, 2012 at 09:10 AM.

  13. #13
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    I have a 2002 Subaru Forester that I bought expressly for the purpose of snowboarding this year, and it works really well. I spent a lot of time hemming and hawing about whether to get an outback or the Forester and settled on the forester for a few key reasons: Much improved rear visibility and roominess, slightly shorter for for urban parking (since I live in an urban area). Although the rear cargo area is somewhat smaller than the Outback, I can fit my 186 in the back no problem, though I tend to put it on the roof rack to make things simpler. I'm sure the boxier shape gets less gas mileage but that was not a huge concern for me. I put a scanguage on it and It seems like I get anywhere from 22mpg to 30mpg as long as I'm not going all that fast. Once you get past 80mph the MPG goes to hell very quickly, but between 65 & 72 it is reasonable when you consider the boxy shape, AWD and roof rack. I like that it was extremely inexpensive, fairly easy to maintain and seems to run like a champ despite being an older car.

    Despite the general lack of snowfall this year, I did have several opportunities to drive it through some unplowed, twisty-turny up-and-down country roads this winter and it handles it like a champ (with dedicated snow tires of course). Good clearance + AWD + Blizzak's = happy in the snow .
    -queequeg

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by corey_dyck View Post
    If you're willing to install a roof box for the boards, it would fit 7 pretty easily.
    Not really when you consider all the other luggage - if everyone has a boot bag plus a regular bag that's 14 bags to fit in behind the rear seats, pretty tight. Plus the 3rd row seats aren't nearly as comfy unless they've changed a lot since ours (2006 model).

    As far as the fwd/awd thing - a good set of snow tires works wonders, awd is nice but not necessary. It's never been an issue for us. The Toyota has been a dead reliable, comfortable long distance workhorse for us. We took it to the east coast a few summers ago - 12,000 km in 28 days towing a tent trailer. The only problem was losing a bolt that fastens the engine rock guard, replaced no charge by a friendly dealer in Bathurst.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the replys. I figured their was lots of imports that are wagons. I'm going to have to go shopping with a tape measure.
    Going to keep the 8.1L 2500hd, but should get something else. I like minivans but i'm not married and have no kids.
    Trying to find a used flex with a roof rack is hard.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by queequeg View Post
    Despite the general lack of snowfall this year, I did have several opportunities to drive it through some unplowed, twisty-turny up-and-down country roads this winter and it handles it like a champ.

    Yeah you did.

  17. #17
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    Slightly related but not quite on-topic: If you're thinking about roof-racks at all I can't say enough good things about my Thule 92726 Universal Pull Top carrier. Once unlocked you can slide the rack off the top of the car such that there is no need to lean over your car to load and unload boards from the rack. It's very cool. I can easily fit six alpine boards on it (three rows of two boards sandwitched base to base. Great rack.

    http://www.thule.com/en-US/US/Produc...rsal-Pull-Top#
    -queequeg

  18. #18
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    ER.

    Two used flex's at the ford dealer in Vanderhoof

    g

  19. #19
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    Dodge Journey R/T AWD.
    BFG light truck commercial tires on steel wheels.
    Pretty good snow rig. Towing my sled on a one place trailer 800 lbs all up. I'm sure you could get a good used one at a local dealer.
    www.noboard.ca

    Haikus are easy
    But sometimes they don't make sense
    Refrigerator

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T View Post
    '05 Outback, I can fit boards up to about 195 inside as long (with the very end resting on the center armrest, 200 cm would get in the way). In order to do a long roof rack, had to replace the standard roof bars with a Yakima set-up... otherwise the lift gat won't go all the way up.
    So length of factory rack or lack of one isn't a big deal. I guesss. that's good they look like crap on flex. this way they can come off.

  21. #21
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    the problem is the height, or lack thereof, of the factory bars. the liftgate is poorly designed, clearance-wise.

  22. #22
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    99 4matic wagon

    My Benz loves the snow. 20 city/20-27 highway. carries all and in style. 13 years old/150,000 miles and still getting compliments
    "The older I get, the better I was" Old Guys Rule...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by energyrail View Post
    What are some of you using for vehicles? Last time I looked at SUV's, finding ones with a long enough roofline for a big container or interior to carry a our long boards and my long skis. They were few and far between. Ford flex fit the best then.
    You said it, "Ford Flex," Limited with Ecoboost and AWD of course. Oh yeah, tuned too! Mine is a 5000lbs, sub-13 second car now, about 425hp at the crank, 320hp at the wheels. With tons of room, even I can sit behind me in it. Check out www.ecoboostownerforums.com for some info on the Flex, SHO, F150 and others with the Ecoboost motor.
    Ben (the tall one)

  24. #24
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    World's fastest box of crackers

    Quote Originally Posted by fishrising View Post
    You said it, "Ford Flex," Limited with Ecoboost and AWD of course. Oh yeah, tuned too! Mine is a 5000lbs, sub-13 second car now, about 425hp at the crank, 320hp at the wheels. With tons of room, even I can sit behind me in it. Check out www.ecoboostownerforums.com for some info on the Flex, SHO, F150 and others with the Ecoboost motor.
    I'm surprised it's so heavy, but that's impressive. Twin-turbo sleeper..

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingCrimson View Post
    I'm surprised it's so heavy, but that's impressive. Twin-turbo sleeper..
    4825lb curb weight, add me in at 230lbs and voila, over 5000lbs. And boy do people look surprised when their "performance" vehicles get smoked...by a huge square station wagon, brick, limo looking hearse...
    Ben (the tall one)

  26. #26
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    Ben what are you getting for mps? This is on our list for my wifes replacement in 2-3 years.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffV View Post
    Ben what are you getting for mps? This is on our list for my wifes replacement in 2-3 years.
    If you drive nice and are running the stock tune, with the Ecoboost motor and AWD, realistically about 16 around town, 22 on the highway. Driving with an aggressive tune loaded, and "enjoying it," it drops to around 14 around town and maybe 19 on the highway. But to drive a 4 door huge station wagon that outperforms most sports cars and luxury performance cars/suvs you see on a daily basis out there is a blast and is totally worth the drop in MPGs.

    Not sure what the naturally aspirated Flex gets for mileage though.

    I actually despised the Flex when we shopped, but one dealer made me sit in one (almost forcibly), a loaded Limited with Ecoboost (and AWD), so I sat, and fell in love with the inside. Then I drove it, we signed for it an hour later. This is coming from a 6'7" guy who has only bought full size SUVs or mid-size or larger P/Us in the past as my daily drivers. I'm still not a huge fan of the external "look," but everything else about it makes me love it. It does real well in the snow too. Only thing missing for me was the ground clearance for hunting and fishing, but I solved that by buying my wife a 4dr Wrangler.
    Ben (the tall one)

  28. #28
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    BMW X5 with a 4.4 V-8. Hauls a lot in comfort and speed when you need it.

    I do miss the GMC Suburban sometimes.
    Al

    A Professional Amateur Golfer

  29. #29
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    So i passed an edge today, it had a ski box on it. Quite a long one overhanging the window. I didn't think this was a good idea, with the distance from the cross bar creates a great deal of leverage.
    I imagine the wind would more likely be able to rip it off the car. Has anyone ever done this or seen it done.
    What are some other brands of ski carriers besides yakima and thule. I have seen a few that are long and tapered. but with square corners.

  30. #30
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    anybody running a jetta wagon?

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