Civic or Fit?

We are going to buy either a new Civic or a new Fit. We go on several very long (2000 mile+) car trips per year. On one of those trips, we’d be hauling a 16’ 6" 65 lb kayak and a 12’ 35 lb kayak, plus maybe some bikes, and a car full of camping gear.

Will we be comfortable & happy in a Fit, or is that just asking too much of the poor bugger? We really like the Fit, but we don’t want to be sorry we bought it.

“we’d be hauling a 16’ 6” 65 lb kayak and a 12’ 35 lb kayak, plus maybe some bikes, and a car full of camping gear".
In a Fit? ROTFL.

That much stuff would be a lot for even a mid size SUV! Nothing fills up a vehicle more then a bunch of camping gear

Neither the Civic or the Fit is large enough for all that stuff. The best small vehiccle I can think of is the Scion B, a big square box on wheels. It will hold most of your stuff, and has a flat roof for the kayaks. You can put a rear bumper bike rack on to hold the 2 bikes. That leaves the inside free for passengers and cargo. Make sure you have avery sturdy roof rack.

Hmm… kayaks on the roof, bikes on the back, camping stuff in the trunk and back seat… you might be able to get away with doing that in a Civic. 100 lbs for the kayaks, 30 lbs for the rack and paddles, 60 lbs for the bikes and rack… what’s the GVWR of that Civic, again?

Fit feels like a washboard after about 200 miles. Not sure if you have taken one very far but I have had the (dis)pleasure of riding in one loaded with total of 3 skiers and equipment and its not pleasant.

The car will handle your equipment fine with a Thule/Yakima rack and likely external waterproof camping bag. My BIL/SIL both took a Forester cross country in similar fashion with two dogs in addition.

No, we’ve done this in a 1992 Honda Accord – hardly an SUV!

No, we’ve done this in a 1992 Honda Accord – hardly an SUV! There are only two of us… not even a dog… plus we camp “light” compared to some campers we’ve seen!

Based on what we saw of the cargo space of the Civic, we wouldn’t have any trouble getting our camping gear packed. I doubt the bikes would be a problem either. The main concern would be the kayaks.

If you are comparing a four door Civic to the Fit (also four doors), The Civic definitely has more room. Plus, the fact that you are hauling bicycles makes me vote for the Civic because it has a trunk on which you can strap a bike rack. It isn’t as easy to strap a bike rack on the back of a hatchback without it getting in the way of the kayaks. If you can afford the additional cost of the Civic, get it. The Fit is really an enrty-level economy car.

If you are comparing a two-door Civic to the Fit, interior space is about the same. Keep in mind, though, that the trunk is easier for mounting the bike rack. So in this case I would still vote for the Civic.

I have a hitch attached to fit a bike rack; the hatch is definitely not strong enough for a rack. I would not load all that stuff on the Fit. The newer Civic is larger than the older ones and is probably what you need.

Your camping gear must be compact. I always had problems fitting ours in a full size car.

Agree; the hitch based bike rack is the way to go. All that bumping around on a long trip will wreck your trunk lid if you put a rack on that.

The bike rack I use hasn’t harmed my trunk lid at all, and without the additional cost of a trailer hitch. peahayes, just make sure the bike rack you get is one of the nicer ones that have lots of padding and make sure you don’t overload it. Any bicycle store will have an assortment to choose from so you can find one that fits your car well and won’t do any damage. If you were going to put on a trailer hitch anyway (which would be crazy on either of these cars), I would agree with winarth and Docnick. However, it isn’t worth the added expense if you are only going to do it for a bike rack. Bike racks have come a long way in design and the newest ones available are perfectly safe.

Are these inflatable kayaks? If not, I would be concerned about the effects of wind blast on something that large strapped onto a roof rack and with a lot of weight in the rear to boot.

The trouble with hitch-mounted racks is that they put the weight farther behind the rear axle. That could be more of a problem than with a hatch-mounted rack. Without going into detail, it would depend on how the car is loaded otherwise.

They’re not inflatable. The question might be – is the new Civic similar to a '92 Accord? Because I’ve done all this in a '92 Accord. If they are similar enough, I’d think the Civic could do what the old Accord did. Do you agree?

So far we’ve been able to pack everything we needed for camping in our '92 Accord.

I will definitely check out a bike rack w/ lots of padding. I would tend to agree that a hitch based bike rack is overkill. But I can also ask at the bike shop.

If it were me, I would get a small four cylinder pickup. Put on a Cap, and a plumbing rack, so the Kayaks can easily, and securely go on the roof. The bikes and camping gear can go in the cap. The truck will also be tough enough to take off road to the good campsites

Interesting idea, but one thing I like about a passenger car is that I can load my 65 lb sea kayak only by slipping one end into one of the cradles and then muscling it in the rest of the way. I’m not strong enough to reliably lift that much weight & bulk above my head. This is even more true after a long paddle!