Subaru a good starting point for adventure junkie

2010 Subaru Outback 3.6R

2010 Subaru Outback 3.6R (Credit: Subaru)

Q. What car should I buy to carry skiing and biking gear? I need a four-wheel-drive vehicle for skiing and snowshoeing. I want to be able to put skis inside. I also want to be able to put my bicycle inside without taking the wheel off. I am 5-foot-2 and can't have a vehicle with a high belt line because then I can't see.

A. Cars.com Editor Bill Jackson, a regular competitor in triathlons and bike races, suggests Subaru as a good starting point, with the Forester, Outback and Impreza-based Outback Sport as strong candidates from that brand. The Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 also are strong candidates. The RAV4 has a rear cargo door that swings open to the right instead of a liftgate. There?s also the Ford Flex, a roomy crossover that should have no trouble swallowing a bike whole. All of those vehicles are available with all-wheel drive (standard on the Subarus), and all should be low enough to the ground to make loading and unloading a bike manageable.

One other suggestion from our athletic editor is if friends or relatives own any of the above, see if they will let you put their vehicle to the test with your bike. If that's not the case, maybe a dealer will let you try on one of their vehicles in stock, though you should let them do the heavy lifting in case any dings result.

© 2011, Cars.com

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