Island Car?

I live on a smallish island where parking spaces and roads are small and gas is almost $5 a gallon. I am retired and am looking for the smallest vehicle that can carry 4 sets of golf clubs (about 50" in length and 12" round) and 4 adults and get respectable mileage in mixed driving. I don’t have access to all makes, but would like to hear all opinions and options.

I wonder if the new Toyota Prius C or the Honda Insight might do the job?

4 sets of clubs might be a problem in those. A Scion xB (latest version) would be a bit bigger, not as high mpgs. Or a Prius V (the new larger model) would be even bigger and much better mpgs. However, hybrids are only good for year round use. Will it be used year round?

Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix. I don’t think any thing but a wagon type will do the trick. Prius C is quite small. Pre 2006 Fwd Rav would be ideal. If the golf bags are carry bags, less room is needed. But, if they are large cart bags or you are including carts, forget it, you’ll need a small SUV or Van.

Thanks, it would be used year 'round but we have to assume all the bags would be larger cart bags. Carts are not the norm here, typically the courses are so large and are in demand, that they require you use a gas/electric golf cart.

do they allow GEMs? If your climate is mild (no winter) a g4 might fit the bill. It’s meant mainly as a street legal golf cart. 4 seater, 4 sets of clubs.

If you need something more substantial, the prius should be able to fit all 4 sets of clubs - we have one at work and I can get a LOT in there.

Thanks, Maui’s winter is about a low of 75f, so other than rain, not an issue. Smart cars do exist here along with Leaf’s but power hook-up’s are a BIG issue. Prius sounds intriguing but I never considered them for hauling the baggage AND passengers. Always thought I would need to drop the back seats, which I can do with my Neon, but then the max is 3 bags/3 adults.

Mazda 5, Subaru Forester or Outback

I would look at a Honda Fit. It’s extremely compact, can fit 4 adults, and was designed with enough cargo volume to carry a surfboard inside…with the rear seats down, obviously.

No subcompact, though, is going to carry 4 adults plus 4 sets of clubs. I’d suggest putting a small trailer hitch on the back, and then getting a hitch- mounted cargo carrier, possibly one that folds up, for carrying your clubs. That will allow you to get the smallest car possible, yet carry quite a large amount of cargo on the carrier.

Even better, here’s a hitch-mounted golf club carrier. You might be able to fit 2 sets of clubs inside the car, and 2 on this carrier, or you may be able to find a 4-set carrier…or just get a standard cargo carrier and modify it to carry all 4 sets of clubs.

I am going to go outside the box and suggest a UTV - like a Bad Boy buggy or a Ranger by Polaris. You can get these that are street legal. They come in four a seater model with a box that will hold the golf clubs. These can be bought new for $8000 -$18000. The Bad Boy buggy’s are electric.

Let me include one or two of these for the roof top. I like a carrier on a hitch as suggested as well. With these two considerations, ANY compact car with seating for four and good economy is well within your reach. I am a big fan of small clamshell travel trailers as well which can be pulled by ANYTHING…

What about a Subaru Baja? You can get them stateside for less than $15,000. It will seat 4 and the short bed should be perfect for 4 sets of clubs; hand carts included. EPA estimates are 20 MPG city and 26 MPG highway. Paying less than half the cost of a new car can also pay for a lot of gas.

I’m with you on that oldbodyman. There are a great many farm buggies that would seem to fill the bill.

You might try a golf forum instead, as most their will have carried bags in their cars. I know only the car half of the equation. Even full-sized cars are not 50 inches between the wheelwells, so you will need something with some length even to load bags diagonally. Some small cars that would carry one or two bags would not hold four. You may need a small SUV/crossover or a wagonish car, at a minimum. The suggestion of the Scion xB (being discontinued soon) is an excellent one. For the price and overall size, nothing has more space for longish objects. It’s reliable, has a comfortable rear seat, and has big doors, so entry and exit are easy. The VW Jetta wagon might also do, if you want something nicer, but it’s not as reliable, on average. Also available as a diesel, at added expense. Hyundai makes the Elantra Touring, another compact wagon with decent space. The Hyundai is a bit plain inside, like the Scion, but inexpensive and well made. Moving up a size in price and size puts you into SUV land, where there are many reasonable choices, such as the RAV4, CR-V, Mazda CX5, Ford Escape (the brand new one is a beauty, though it may not be at your dealer yet) and many others. If the clubs fit in one of these, they likely will the others, too. For something more carlike in height, there is the Toyota Venza, essentially a nice Camry wagon.

Since the island you’re on is small, I don’t think mileage is that much of a factor. I would just buy something used, possibly an older smallish vehicle or crossover SUV, and make sure you adhere to the severe maintenance schedule if you plan on keeping it for a while, since it will likely never get any highway runs. If you live in a climate that will accommodate it, I second the opinion of the person that suggested a golf cart or UTV.

I just don’t see the point of buying something new or pricey for your purposes.

Check what the car rental companies are selling…They HATE shipping cars back to the mainland to sell them…

If you could find something with a roof rack, a few sets of clubs could go up there.

The new Hyundai Accent will fit the bill for very little money. Get the hatchback and you will have room for 4 adults and their clubs. Since you live on a small island, the lack of long distance cruising comfort will not be a problem.

We’ve lived on two islands – Oahu and the Azores – and here are some considerations.

1.) What do the locals drive? On an isolated island you’ll want a car with readily-available parts and service.
2.) What does your mechanic think? If the island doesn’t have good mechanics, buy something simple.
3.) What are local drivers like? If you are in a place like the Azores where medical emergency service was poor and alcohol was plentiful, think twice about getting a golf cart or really small car (after dark it seemed like the minimum BAC was .08). On the other hand, when we were on Oahu, traffic was heavy and slow so small cars were ideal.
4.) What is the local environment like? For example, if you have really high humidity, be careful about leather interiors (we knew one local whose car had a black interior, and it “magically” become moldy-white after six months in a closed garage).
5.) If you go electric, how reliable is the power? On the Azores we had plenty of wonderful dark night skies without any light pollution – or electricity.

Good luck on your choice and enjoy your (hopefully) great fortune.