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I'm in the market for a new vehicle and I need something that will fit 2 car seats and I can haul a couple bikes with a hitch rack. I also do a lot of very short trips for work so a turbo vehicle isn't ideal. My top contenders are a new Tundra 5.7 or F150 5.0. We also have a Sienna for the main family hauler. In the back of my mind I have started to wonder about getting a cheap vehicle that is mainly a commuter for work that I can put a hitch bike rack on and I can fit the car seats in a pinch (they are barely in my car). The goal with this scenario would be to get a sports car as a 3rd vehicle a few years later. So, what cheap vehicles would you consider for a hitch rack and enough space for 2 car seats in the 2nd row? I'm also 6'4" so that rules out some smaller options.
 

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Kia Soul if you can drive a stick they start around 16K
 

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Sorry.....Tundra and commuter just don't do together. At 12 mpg....it is just not worth it.
 

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Modern turbo cars do not use oil lubed turbos, so you'll be fine for short trips. However, your criteria and choices of a large truck are confusing. I'd vote Honda Fit.
 

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Hyundai Elantra...38 MPG when you drive the speed limit. I could easily fit my bike in the back when I laid my rear seats down. I had a hitch installed at U-Haul for about $225 and bought a 2-bike hitch rack at REI. It worked great.

I had the 2013 model and actually bought it specifically for a commuter car but used it on bike trips where there were no more than two of us going. I have a truck for larger groups or longer trips. IMO, the Hyundai was the best vehicle I've ever owned, all things considered. Even the base model at $18K was loaded with AC, heated seats, XM radio, Blutetooth and power everything (but seats). Mileage was great and it never had a hiccup of any kind.
 

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You'd be surprised how well a Honda Fit could work. I've been driving one for 3 years as my bike hauler/commuter and it never stops surprising people how much it can carry. Six foot people fit in the back seat no problem. I hauled two other riders to a trail three hours away comfortably with three bikes on my roof rack and still got 27mpg. I even put a kitchen stove right in the back of it. The only problem I have with it is that it is really low on power. Mine is a manual transmission though, so it's better
 

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Sorry.....Tundra and commuter just don't do together. At 12 mpg....it is just not worth it.
tundra gets around 16 in the city and as high as 21 on the highway.

I love my crewmax tundra. I have a bed extender and then throw the bikes over the extender. Tons of room in the back for 3 car seats (that is what I have)

8236966627_d0a2b467ef.jpg

Alternately a sprinter van would be awesome, and over time you could convert it for camping. Totally empty the diesel gets about 26mpg. Loaded it obviously drops.

A tundra or a sprinter arent the cheapest so Im not sure why the tundra is on your list.

Any compact car with a hitch and a hitch rack would do it.
 

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SS Pusher Man
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tundra gets around 16 in the city and as high as 21 on the highway.

I love my crewmax tundra. I have a bed extender and then throw the bikes over the extender. Tons of room in the back for 3 car seats (that is what I have)

View attachment 1001778

Alternately a sprinter van would be awesome, and over time you could convert it for camping. Totally empty the diesel gets about 26mpg. Loaded it obviously drops.

A tundra or a sprinter arent the cheapest so Im not sure why the tundra is on your list.

Any compact car with a hitch and a hitch rack would do it.
OP Also asked for cheapest vehicle.....$40k+ is not so cheap.

I was pricing them out recently....but the low MPG and high price kinda steered me elsewhere.
 

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Considering what your top 2 contenders are, you have a different definition of cheap, lol.

VW Golf TDI or TDI sportwagen... Only if child seats are front facing, forget it if rear facing ones you'd be too tall. 6sp MT would be kinda sporty and good enough mpgs.
 

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Modern turbo cars do not use oil lubed turbos, so you'll be fine for short trips. However, your criteria and choices of a large truck are confusing. I'd vote Honda Fit.
Agree with this post. The OP's 'criteria' are confusing. Also, I'm on my 3rd turbo vehicle, they've all been great.

That said, my (twin turbo) F150 ecoboost has been a great vehicle. I'm averaging just under 18 mpg lifetime so far, and that includes several thousand miles towing a travel trailer getting 10 mpg. It has a huge back seat with a ton of leg room, so great for car seats. And you don't even need a hitch rack, as the bikes go over the gate.

The F150 isn't cheap or very economical, so not sure if it fits what the OP wants. But for comparison, my 'green' Subaru Outback only averaged 22 mpg over its lifetime (with no towing!), so the F150 isn't that much worse.
 

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...I have started to wonder about getting a cheap vehicle that is mainly a commuter for work that I can put a hitch bike rack on and I can fit the car seats in a pinch (they are barely in my car).
Not sure what stage of car seat you're at, but I'm having fun with my Fiesta ST. Fiestas should be okay with most forward-facing seats. There are probably also some deals coming up on 2015 Focus' since they get a new body for 2016. I never used to be a Ford guy, but we have two in the house now.

 

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Discussion Starter #12
sorry about my confusing post. On one hand I'm considering a truck for a do it all vehicle (family hauler, bike hauler, comfort, usefulness of a truck). On the other hand I'm considering a cheap commuter car that I can throw a hitch on for bikes and I can fit forward facing car seats in on the off chance I have the kids in that car. In the 2nd scenario the goal would be to get a sports car in addition to the cheap commuter. This post was to ask for cheap cars. That being said I'm strongly leaning towards the truck and not getting a sports car and cheap car. Anyway, keep the ideas coming :)
 

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sorry about my confusing post. On one hand I'm considering a truck for a do it all vehicle (family hauler, bike hauler, comfort, usefulness of a truck). On the other hand I'm considering a cheap commuter car that I can throw a hitch on for bikes and I can fit forward facing car seats in on the off chance I have the kids in that car. In the 2nd scenario the goal would be to get a sports car in addition to the cheap commuter. This post was to ask for cheap cars. That being said I'm strongly leaning towards the truck and not getting a sports car and cheap car. Anyway, keep the ideas coming :)
Why does it have to be BRAND NEW? Any reason not to go used? I just got rid of a car I was making payments on and I have to say it feels amazing. I don't know why I ever financed a car to begin with. Now I have a camper van and a motorcycle, both with bike racks. The moto gets 50+ mpg, the van hardly ever moves. Obviously with a family your needs are different, but since you already have a minivan, why not get something reeeally cheap and that way if your needs change in a year or two you won't be out 10 grand?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Why does it have to be BRAND NEW? Any reason not to go used? I just got rid of a car I was making payments on and I have to say it feels amazing. I don't know why I ever financed a car to begin with. Now I have a camper van and a motorcycle, both with bike racks. The moto gets 50+ mpg, the van hardly ever moves. Obviously with a family your needs are different, but since you already have a minivan, why not get something reeeally cheap and that way if your needs change in a year or two you won't be out 10 grand?
I've considered this and I'm looking daily, but the problem is I don't know what I should get. The search continues :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I decided on a 2015 Ford F150 crewmax with the 5.5' bed. It wasn't the cheapest, but decided against the cheap car plus sports car route. The truck should be good for kids, camping, biking, exploring, going to the mountains in the snow etc.
 

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They're not new but you can find clean low mileage ones still out there, check out the Honda Elements (4x4 if you need it), TONS of room, 22 mpg, bikes can fit inside if you need to, I've had 3 full bikes standing inside before. I use a roof mount which requires a two step ladder, I don't like the hitch type racks because they block your tail lights/blinkers and the wheel ground clearance can be tight when fully loaded.

Not sure how many kids you have but the Element only has seating for four
 

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I'm in the market for a new vehicle and I need something that will fit 2 car seats and I can haul a couple bikes with a hitch rack. I also do a lot of very short trips for work so a turbo vehicle isn't ideal. My top contenders are a new Tundra 5.7 or F150 5.0. We also have a Sienna for the main family hauler. In the back of my mind I have started to wonder about getting a cheap vehicle that is mainly a commuter for work that I can put a hitch bike rack on and I can fit the car seats in a pinch (they are barely in my car). The goal with this scenario would be to get a sports car as a 3rd vehicle a few years later. So, what cheap vehicles would you consider for a hitch rack and enough space for 2 car seats in the 2nd row? I'm also 6'4" so that rules out some smaller options.
Neither of these come anywhere close to cheap... Not cheap to buy, not cheap to put fuel in. Confused...
 

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Neither of these come anywhere close to cheap... Not cheap to buy, not cheap to put fuel in. Confused...
My Crosstrek is the cheapest I've found, with considerations for mtbr and the outdoors adventurer. With IMBA discount, 22k after accessories taxes and registration.

Enough ground clearance for forest service roads.
AWD to get through them even on muddy days.
Aftermarket option for through the bumper hitch, leaves plenty of ground clearance for bike carriers.
Got 33mpg on my 120mile trip last weekend WITH two hardtails on the hitch carrier.
And comes with roof rails on the base version, many of the eco crossovers require bumping upto the limited trim for such.
 
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