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Small SUV and Crossovers that can fit clubs


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#1 displayname

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:21 PM

I'm in the market for a new car, and just starting the process of narrowing down cars.  I'm looking for a midsize SUV/Crossover.  I'd like something something bigger, but I really would like to stay under $30K, so I'm kinda stuck in that small/midsize range.

I've made a list of cars to look at, but if there are any options people know don't fit clubs well, that alone could be a deal breaker.  

Examples of the type of vehicles I'm considering: Forester, CRV, Rav 4, Edge, Escape, Equinox, etc etc.  It's a long list these days, but you get the idea.  

Thanks for the help everyone!


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#2 Doc Mcstuffins

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:38 PM

Why not the Nissan Juke? :swoon:  I kid I kid. :taunt: How bout something like a Subaru WRX? Super fun to drive, room for clubs, descent on gas, and awd.
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#3 Jungle

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:04 PM

I currently have a 2013 Jeep Patriot and it fits my golfing stuff just fine. It may not have as much technology packed into as some of the more modern offerings from Ford, Honda, and Mazda but it has bluetooth, USB port, and a standalone 110v outlet so I am more than content with it. However, it will probably be one of the cheapest offerings compared to most of the models you listed. I would say it should at least warrant a walk around.

#4 Falang_Golfer

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 03:29 PM

Test drive a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.  Decent room, good features, built in Georgia.  One thing lacking is a back up camera unless you get a high end one.   Just came out last year.  Also Rav or Outback or maybe used explorer.
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#5 Aimee

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:20 PM

I had a RAV4 for a while, the back seats fold down flat so you can fit a ton of stuff. Had 3 of us in the car once, so folded down one of the back seats, was able to fit 3 bags and 2 folded up push carts. It has more of a car-like feel than some other SUV's, rides pretty well (the Sport option has 6 cyl engine and it was surprisingly fast, too). Not too bad on gas.

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#6 displayname

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:46 PM

Thanks for all the input everyone! Everything mentioned except the WRX.  Just not really looking for a car you know.  As I test drive I think some cars will weed themselves out for being to car like.  I'm a fan of the big SUV floaty feeling. I know that style is going to the way side, but hopefully some of them still feel like that.  

Also very glad to hear the Patriot fits everything.  The boxy look, no nonsense layout, and price tag caught my eye!

#7 highergr0und

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 05:37 PM

Does it have to be brand new?  Even so, 30k gets you into some of the bigger ones.  You could get into something like a Pilot or a Highlander for 30k with a decent deal.  I think I paid about 33 for my wife's Pilot with Navigation, leather, power everything, etc, just not 4 wheel drive because we don't need it in the south.  The Toyota dealer was giving us pretty much the same deal if we went with the Highlander, but the Pilot gave more room overall.  The Highlander is a bit more refined though, probably has more of that floaty feeling.

If you want optioned out, you'll probably need to stay in the smaller range.  I would kick the equinox out right away.  The new Escapes are pretty nice.  The Forresters are nice too, but they're definitely a crossover.  They last forever.  I also like Subaru since it's one of the few brands left that offer a manual transmission option.  I like those new XVs.

#8 displayname

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 05:50 PM

 highergr0und, on 23 April 2013 - 05:37 PM, said:

Does it have to be brand new?  Even so, 30k gets you into some of the bigger ones.  You could get into something like a Pilot or a Highlander for 30k with a decent deal.  I think I paid about 33 for my wife's Pilot with Navigation, leather, power everything, etc, just not 4 wheel drive because we don't need it in the south.  The Toyota dealer was giving us pretty much the same deal if we went with the Highlander, but the Pilot gave more room overall.  The Highlander is a bit more refined though, probably has more of that floaty feeling.

If you want optioned out, you'll probably need to stay in the smaller range.  I would kick the equinox out right away.  The new Escapes are pretty nice.  The Forresters are nice too, but they're definitely a crossover.  They last forever.  I also like Subaru since it's one of the few brands left that offer a manual transmission option.  I like those new XVs.

Thanks for the input! New isn't required, but I've been leaning towards new.  Once I pick the model I'll compare lightly used vs new pricing.  I just don't want another car with 60K already on it.  The Highlander is sneaking onto the test drive list even though it's on my higher end.  

I say under 30, but really I mean a hard line on that 30.  I'd prefer to stay mid $20's, but I also know I'm buying this car for a long time because I hate the process of getting a new car. Not looking for optioned out though.  I have leather now, and not looking to get it again. Nav - I have a phone. You get the point.  Power window, automatic, maybe a roof rack and/or sunroof.  I just don't want to run my cash flow to low with this, student loans, life, etc.  No point in a nicer car if it cuts into my golf budget right ;)

#9 Imp

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:15 PM

I have a Subaru Crosstrek XV Premium. 30mpg, AWD, and it's a Subaru. :)

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#10 OrangeCrush

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:25 PM

My now exwife has a 2011 Equinox,  I like the truck but it will NOT fit 4 bags,  the wheel wells are too narrow.  You have to place a board across them and have the bags sit higher.

We had a 09 CRV before that and same thing...good for 1-2 bags max.  What about the Nissan Murano?  I was just looking online for used ones earlier today and I can find 30-35k mile ones for mid $20's.  I really do not want a SUV but as my kids are getting bigger,  I might need something roomier for them.  I have a 2007 Subaru Legacy,  the next gen body style is much roomier so I could look at that too.

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#11 displayname

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 11:35 PM

I started test drives tonight, so I thought I'd turn this into a running thread of ones that will fit clubs vs. ones that wont.

Tonight I drove the the VW Tiguan, Mazda CX 5, and Honda CRV. The CRV is the only one that would fit clubs easily without removing any from the bag or taking the seat down.  The bag did have to go in at an angle though, but it was impressive for how small the car looks. Tiguan couldn't fit an empty bag without putting the seats down.  It has about the same storage as a Mini.

#12 Falang_Golfer

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 05:33 AM

If you took your bag with you to the dealers that's awesome.  Most companies have 3D golf "bags" they use to figure out trunk space when designing the car but styling can overrule things.  Caddy was always very insistent at least four bags fit but sometimes it's like a jenga puzzle to do it.
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#13 esketores

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 06:36 AM

Subaru. Had one, went elsewhere, will be going back.
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#14 displayname

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 08:03 AM

 Falang_Golfer, on 24 April 2013 - 05:33 AM, said:

If you took your bag with you to the dealers that's awesome.  Most companies have 3D golf "bags" they use to figure out trunk space when designing the car but styling can overrule things.  Caddy was always very insistent at least four bags fit but sometimes it's like a jenga puzzle to do it.

I just happened to have left my bag in the car from the weekend, and he pulled the test drive car within 15 feet of where I parked, so I asked if I could just slide it in to see.  I was reassuring to see that MY actual bag fit without even needing to take out the driver or alignment sticks.

#15 bmc1979

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:30 AM

We own a 2010 equinox and like OrangeCrush said,the design of the back end is not the best for clubs. The wheel wells encroach on the cargo area, and although my clubs fit they have to sit at an angle. Never tried to get 4 full set in but i think it could be tight


#16 Golfinwill

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:43 AM

I always bring my clubs when looking for a car. That is a always the deal breaker!

#17 Imp

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:53 AM

WHen I used to race, I used to bring my helmet to test-fit. :lol:

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#18 SilverBullets

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 10:18 AM

 displayname, on 23 April 2013 - 11:35 PM, said:

I started test drives tonight, so I thought I'd turn this into a running thread of ones that will fit clubs vs. ones that wont.

Tonight I drove the the VW Tiguan, Mazda CX 5, and Honda CRV. The CRV is the only one that would fit clubs easily without removing any from the bag or taking the seat down.  The bag did have to go in at an angle though, but it was impressive for how small the car looks. Tiguan couldn't fit an empty bag without putting the seats down.  It has about the same storage as a Mini.

The Tiguan also rides horribly.  VAG cars tends to ride fairly stiff unless you have a Toureg or passat.
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#19 Jim Clark

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 11:38 AM

Our Lexus RX can fit 4 golf bags (walking size), 4 clothing bags, and 4 guys if packed right. But it's out of your price range. The Toyota Highlander can also hold a lot of gear and people (even more than the Lexus), but I think that's also out of your price range. Have you considered a minivan? I'm totally serious. They haul tons of people and stuff and I'd bet there are good options in your price range. Just don't try to pick up any chicks in one.

#20 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 11:39 AM

Personally I would go with a year old (or possibly even a left over new one)Ford Escape. THey're going to get you the best fuel milage in small SUV's (outside of the CRV, but will cost less), ride well, and have a good warranty. You should be able to buy a low mileage one for somewhere in the low 20's.

I'm acutally a used car dealer so we've had many of these to compare, and what I've found is right now Ford is making a really good product for the money. I'm a firm believer in Honda/Toyota, but you have to pay for the reputation those makes have earned.

Thats what I'm steering my daughter towards when she's done with college next month.

Edited by deadsolid...shank, 24 April 2013 - 11:43 AM.

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#21 toomanydimples

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 12:12 PM

 displayname, on 23 April 2013 - 04:46 PM, said:

Thanks for all the input everyone! Everything mentioned except the WRX.  Just not really looking for a car you know.  As I test drive I think some cars will weed themselves out for being to car like.  I'm a fan of the big SUV floaty feeling. I know that style is going to the way side, but hopefully some of them still feel like that.  

Also very glad to hear the Patriot fits everything.  The boxy look, no nonsense layout, and price tag caught my eye!

My 2010 Subaru Forester can fit 3 big cart bags and a standbag with all four golfers comfortably without removing clubs. Sub-30K and pretty good on gas. I got the base model, so no turbo unfortunately which was the biggest adjustment I had to make from my MY05 STi = (

#22 Golfinwill

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 12:26 PM

 toomanydimples, on 24 April 2013 - 12:12 PM, said:

 displayname, on 23 April 2013 - 04:46 PM, said:

Thanks for all the input everyone! Everything mentioned except the WRX.  Just not really looking for a car you know.  As I test drive I think some cars will weed themselves out for being to car like.  I'm a fan of the big SUV floaty feeling. I know that style is going to the way side, but hopefully some of them still feel like that.  

Also very glad to hear the Patriot fits everything.  The boxy look, no nonsense layout, and price tag caught my eye!

My 2010 Subaru Forester can fit 3 big cart bags and a standbag with all four golfers comfortably without removing clubs. Sub-30K and pretty good on gas. I got the base model, so no turbo unfortunately which was the biggest adjustment I had to make from my MY05 STi = (

Any reason you need a SUV? If not, it opens up a ton of different options like suggested with the Forester. You could look into wagons. Those hold a lot and will typically be much better as fuel goes. i.e. Forester, Jetta, Audi a4..

Just a suggestion.

#23 OrangeCrush

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 01:03 PM

 bmc1979, on 24 April 2013 - 09:30 AM, said:

We own a 2010 equinox and like OrangeCrush said,the design of the back end is not the best for clubs. The wheel wells encroach on the cargo area, and although my clubs fit they have to sit at an angle. Never tried to get 4 full set in but i think it could be tight

I was thinking that you could build a small platform that fit right over the wheel wells,  have 2x8(or 2x10) standing up for support running front to back hugging the wells.  You could store shoes underneath and 4 bags will fit on top.  Have a handle so you can pull it in/out easily.  I really like the truck and was thinking how I could make it work for me.
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#24 displayname

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 05:15 PM

 deadsolid...shank, on 24 April 2013 - 11:39 AM, said:

Personally I would go with a year old (or possibly even a left over new one)Ford Escape. THey're going to get you the best fuel milage in small SUV's (outside of the CRV, but will cost less), ride well, and have a good warranty. You should be able to buy a low mileage one for somewhere in the low 20's.

I'm acutally a used car dealer so we've had many of these to compare, and what I've found is right now Ford is making a really good product for the money. I'm a firm believer in Honda/Toyota, but you have to pay for the reputation those makes have earned.

Thats what I'm steering my daughter towards when she's done with college next month.

I hadn't thought about trying to find a left over 2012 Escape.  I liked that body style, and it would be VERY close to the old Explorer I have and love now.  Thanks for the advice! I'll add it to the list.

#25 displayname

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 05:31 PM

 Golfinwill, on 24 April 2013 - 12:26 PM, said:

 toomanydimples, on 24 April 2013 - 12:12 PM, said:

 displayname, on 23 April 2013 - 04:46 PM, said:

Thanks for all the input everyone! Everything mentioned except the WRX.  Just not really looking for a car you know.  As I test drive I think some cars will weed themselves out for being to car like.  I'm a fan of the big SUV floaty feeling. I know that style is going to the way side, but hopefully some of them still feel like that.  

Also very glad to hear the Patriot fits everything.  The boxy look, no nonsense layout, and price tag caught my eye!

My 2010 Subaru Forester can fit 3 big cart bags and a standbag with all four golfers comfortably without removing clubs. Sub-30K and pretty good on gas. I got the base model, so no turbo unfortunately which was the biggest adjustment I had to make from my MY05 STi = (

Any reason you need a SUV? If not, it opens up a ton of different options like suggested with the Forester. You could look into wagons. Those hold a lot and will typically be much better as fuel goes. i.e. Forester, Jetta, Audi a4..

Just a suggestion.

Need, no.  Want, yes.  The Forester is on the list because it is a little bigger crossover type vehicle.

I honestly wish I could just keep the old Explorer, but it's hitting the point where it's becoming a bit of a money pit to keep it running.  And I break down the price points and MPG, it just makes more sense to get something new at this point.  I've made a list of every lower cost small/mid/crossover SUV and I'm test driving everything to find what has the most SUV feel without giving up to much on the MPG and size.  I know I'll be taking a cut somewhere, so I'm trying to be objective about it.

The Xterra checks all the boxes, and I've driven several previous models.  The issue is, will I be kicking myself in 3, 5, 8 years as gas keeps going up?  To be fully objective, I always ask myself if a car that is big will be that much cooler/better if/when gas jumps to $6+ or even $8-10 a gallon.  Given how long I tend to keep a car, whatever I buy will undoubtedly hit some if not all of those price points.


#26 sandite

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 06:26 AM

I have a 2011 equinox and took three golfers to a tournament in it yesterday.  We were able to fit three carry bags in it and could have fit one more.  They went in diagonal.

#27 displayname

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 12:50 PM

Got to drive a few more cars last night including the Rav4.  This was the first car that the clubs easily fit parallel to the rear lift gate! It also was a very impressive vehicle overall.  I'm going to continue with test drives, but the bar has been set.

#28 Flying Dutchman

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 03:29 PM

Mazda CX-9! Impressive engine, drives like a sports car (well... sorta) and fits several bags accross. Very reliable and low maintenance. Four friends (no kidding!) ended up with a CX-9 as well after they drove around in ours.

#29 displayname

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 12:55 PM

CX 9 is a little more then I'm hoping to spend, and the CX 5 was just not very impressive all around.

#30 SterlingArcher

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:26 PM

I'd take a look at the Nissan Rogue.  I love mine, you can get a couple of bags in the trunk easily.


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