Best cars for mountain bikers

Whether you’re looking to transport a mountain bike in the boot or on the roof, here are the cars that will get you to the best trails

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Jan 5, 2022

Even the best mountain bikers need some challenging enough terrain to get their teeth into, but getting to the perfect spot in the first place often requires another set of wheels to transport your bike.

The obvious choice is a bike rack you can attach to the roof or tow bar of your car, but there are other options too. Some of the best cars for carrying a bike are those that are big enough to carry the bike inside the boot. For this, though, you’ll want to take care to avoid making a mess of the interior, and may want to opt for something durable.

To save you lugging your mountain bike around at endless car viewings to see if it’ll fit, we’ve put together our list of eight cars we think are perfect for mountain biking. We’ve tried to keep them affordable so you have money left over to spend on your real pride and joy: your bike.

There’s a variety to choose from - something cheap to run with plenty of bike boot space, a tough off-roader to get deeper into nature and find the perfect trail for your bike, or a durable pick up you can hose down easily. Any of these could be the perfect car for a mountain biker like you.

Best cars for mountain biking

1. Ford Focus Estate

Used deals from £12,899
Monthly finance from £202*

Why spend a fortune on a fancy estate car with a posh badge when there's enough space in the back of a Ford Focus Estate to house a mountain bike without removing the wheels? The Focus Estate could be all the estate car you'll ever need and it's pretty decent value, too, if you go for a used one.

The wide boot opening reveals 575 litres of space, but fold the rear seats down and your mountain bike should slide into the cavernous space with ease. You'll have enough free space for your helmet and any other bike paraphernalia as well, and you can hide your dirty gear underneath the boot floor until you get home.

Although the standard Focus Estate is more than capable of fulfilling mountain bike duties, you might want to consider the rugged Active model. The raised ride height and wider track might come in handy when you’re heading for one of those hard-to-reach trails. Sat-nav is standard on Active trim, so you’ll be able to find your way home again at the end of the day - provided you can find your way back to the car, that is.


2. Vauxhall Mokka X

Vauxhall Mokka X front

Used deals from £8,895
Monthly finance from £152*

If you want to spend the least amount of money on a car, but you’re after some clever kit for transporting your mountain bike, the old Vauxhall Mokka X is worth a look. It might not be particularly exciting, but it’s one of the most affordable cars on the BuyaCar website, and with plenty of models to choose from you'll be spoilt for choice.

When new, the Mokka X could be ordered with an integrated 'FlexFix' bike carrier hidden away in the rear bumper, which was ideal for mountain bikers. If you find a Mokka with one of the adapters fitted, you can add a FlexFix carrier extension, which allows the transportation of two additional bikes.

It’s easy to fix and, best of all, the tiltable design allows the boot to be opened without removing the bikes. Note: the two-bike adapter can only be fitted to a Vauxhall Mokka X with a factory-fitted FlexFix carrier.


3. Skoda Superb Estate

Used deals from £12,495
Monthly finance from £223*

If you watched the Tour de France cycle race over recent years, it won’t have escaped your notice that Skoda is heavily involved in the event. The fleet of Skoda Superb Estate support vehicles is a familiar sight at the annual event.

In 2014, Skoda even launched a Superb Tour de France edition, complete with bespoke badges, an internal racking system and waterproof seat covers. But you don’t need the Tour de France edition for your mountain bike (although the seat covers might come in handy).

Fold the rear seats down and it’s possible to load a mountain bike into the back without removing the front wheel or lowering the saddle. Alternatively, a lockable bike carrier is available from Skoda for £110.


4. Toyota Corolla Touring Sports

Used deals from £16,695
Monthly finance from £282*

In 2019, Toyota teamed up with a well-known bicycle manufacturer to create the Corolla Trek. Based on the Corolla Touring Sports estate car, the Trek features a 20mm rise in ride height, protective body cladding, two-tone textile upholstery and bespoke badges. It certainly looks the part.

We’re not suggesting you buy the Trek version, but the Toyota Corolla Touring Sport is an excellent choice for mountain bikers. The 581-litre boot provides ample space for a mountain bike, or you can put a pair on the roof by using a bike rack.

We’d recommend the optional Essential Protection Pack, which comprises a plastic bumper protection plate, boot liner and full mud flaps set. The Essential Protection+ Pack adds a set of rubber floor mats and aluminium scuff plates.


5. Volvo XC60

Used deals from £18,995
Monthly finance from £274*

You wouldn’t throw yourself down a terrifying black run without some kind of protection. The same principle applies to the car you drive to the mountain bike trail, so you’re going to need something safe. This is where the Volvo XC60 comes in.

This is one of the safest SUVs you can buy, with a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating to its name. With scores of 98% and 95% for adult occupant protection and safety assist technologies, the XC60 is no less terrifying to drive than tackling a blue run on a Sunday morning.

There's a wide range of accessories available for the XC60 to tailor it for use as a transporter for your bike, including a roof-mounted bike carrier for one bike, or tow bar-mounted carriers for two or three bikes. Alternatively, you can order a tow bar cycle pack comprising a retractable tow bar, bike carrier, load compartment mat and front/rear mud flaps.


6. Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace

Volkswagen Tiguan

Used deals from £21,190
Monthly finance from £351*

The Allspace is the Volkswagen Tiguan for those who demand a little more space. Many buyers will choose the Allspace over the standard Tiguan for the seven-seat versatility, but that’s not what makes it suitable for mountain bikers.

It’s 215mm longer than the regular Volkswagen Tiguan, which means you can fit a mountain bike in the back. Simply fold the rear seats by using the levers in the boot, then the bike should slide in. If it’s a tight squeeze, you might need to slide the passenger seat forward.

An optional retractable tow bar is available if you want to carry the bike on the back. Press a button inside the cabin and the tow bar appears from underneath the car. Some models also allow you to open the electric tailgate by waving your foot under the boot.


7. Land Rover Discovery

Used deals from £24,598
Monthly finance from £430*

It’s hard to believe that the latest Land Rover Discovery has been on sale for so long given that it still looks so fresh. This is good news, because it means the highly practical and supremely capable SUV is becoming increasingly affordable. Take a look on the BuyaCar website and you might be surprised to discover that prices have dropped to around £30,000.

Predictably, few cars can rival the Discovery when it comes to venturing off the beaten track, so you’ll be able to access those remote and otherwise inaccessible mountain bike trails. On the way back, the standard-fit air suspension will smooth away the long journey home.

If the huge boot space isn’t enough, it’s possible to buy a range of accessories for your Discovery. From a tow bar carrier capable of carrying three bikes, to a choice of roof carriers, you’ll have your Discovery kitted out like a mountain bike support vehicle in no time at all.


8. Nissan Navara

Used deals from £15,948
Monthly finance from £270*

When you stop to think about it, a pick-up makes perfect sense for mountain bikers. These vehicles are built for the tough commercial vehicle market, so they should have little problem coping with a mountain bike or two.

Grab a Double Cab version of the Nissan Navara and you’ll enjoy a pick-up with a car-like cabin, the ability to haul 3.5 tonnes of weight, and a go-anywhere spirit to rival most SUVs. Then there’s the load space at the back, which can be configured in many different ways.

With a load cover on the rear bed it’s possible to mount a couple of bike carriers. Alternatively, you can stick a bike on the roof or on a three-bike carrier that’s attached to the tow bar. Few things look more ‘lifestyle’ than a Navara with a pair of mountain bikes on the back.


*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


Latest best cars & vans

  1. Most customisable cars

  2. Cars with suicide doors

  3. Best American cars