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Comparing Similar Swagman, Thule, and Kuat Bike Racks for a 2005 Toyota Prius

Question:

Im looking for a hitch bike rack for my 2005 Prius. I prefer a tray rack, Thule has the new T2 Pro XT and Kuat has some nice tray racks. I read your recommendations for a Swagman. How does Swagman compare to the Thule and Kuat? Would the Thule or Kuat work for my car with ground clearance, etc?

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Expert Reply:

Since the trailer hitch that I recommend for your 2005 Toyota Prius is the Draw-Tite SportFrame Receiver # 24808 I will go ahead and base the bike racks off of this hitch which has 11-1/2 inches of ground clearance and 2 inches from the center of the hitch pin hole to the edge of the bumper.

The Swagman bike racks, like the Semi 2.0 # S64686, are good quality bike racks that are made to get the job done. They can have a lot of the same features as higher end racks, like bike and hitch locks, folding and tilting, but they are made of steel and don't look as sleek as Thule and Kuat options. Very solid bike racks, but without all of the bells and whistles.

The Thule T2 Pro XTR series, part # TH23JV, is made out of solid steel as well, but offers a few more features that make it easier to use, plus it has a very nice finished look. The tilting feature is a lot more accessible since it is moved to the front of the bike rack as opposed to where the shank is, plus the anti-rattle and hitch pin lock are integrated. This means that you will not have to keep track of tools or a hitch pin when you are storing your bike rack.

The Aluminum Kuat NV 2.0, part # NV12B for Metallic Black and part # NV12G for Gunmetal Gray, is currently the only Kuat bike rack that comes with a built in bike repair stand. This is a great accessory for when you are out and about and need to work on your bike (part # TDSNVG can be used for at-home repairs). The other thing that sets this bike rack apart from the Thule T2 Pro XT is that the tilting and folding feature can be conveniently activated with your foot while you hold on to the bike rack, allowing you to remain standing.

All 3 of these bike rack options are confirmed to fit on your Prius since it only requires 2 inches of clearance at the rear. Since your Prius will have just under a foot of clearance as well, any of these racks will work well. They are all great options to carry a bike, it just depends on what features you are looking for and what you would like out of a bike rack.

I have attached some review videos for you to check out as well.

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Jon G

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