[NYCkayaker] Cars good for carrying kayaks

Alan Mapes alanmapes@gmail.com
Wed Jan 30 14:45:58 EST 2013

Hi Alexandra,

I'd suggest two more cars to look at - both small wagons with great
mileage. One is the Prius V, the wagon version of the Prius. It has more
room inside and a longer roof line, so I suspect you could get more
separation on the roof rack bars.

I bought before the V came out, and have a VW Jetta Sportwagen diesel
(TDI). I love the car - it's very refined and sporty with lots of power.
That said, it's a little quirky in some ways. The power has a 1 sec. turbo
lag, but then it flies. We get 33 mpg on fast highway driving with two sea
kayaks up top. Overall average with no boats in around 39, and we often get
around 42 on a trip. The roof has nice rails where I attach Thule racks and
they have something like 42" of spread. The roof is low, so boat loading is
nice. The leg room is great in front, but a bit tight for tall people in
the back seat (I'm 6'3"). It's roomy in back for gear, and I like a lift
gate to sit under and change when it's raining.

Diesel is more costly than gas, but the extra mileage makes up for it
compared to my old Subaru. I miss the all-wheel drive once in a while. I
had an older Outback that was more boat-friendly than the current model
(the new models are higher and have a crappy rack).

I would also check out the new Ford models. I'm not sure if the new Escape
or C-Max hybrid is set up well for kayaks, but they would be worth a look.

Have fun shopping, and let us know what you decide.

Cheers, Alan Mapes
Delmar, NY

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