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Best Trunk-Mount 3-Bike Rack for 2018 Mazda 3 Hatchback

Question:

We need a rear hatch bike rack for our Mazda 3 hatchback, 2018. 3 or 4 bikes.

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Expert Reply:

Hatch-mount bike carriers for your 2018 Mazda 3 Hatchback are available in 2-bike and 3-bike capacities. No 4-bike trunk racks are made since they would simply be too heavy for a car's sheet metal trunk or hatch.

If you can get by with a 3-bike capacity then the rack I recommend is the Thule OutWay 3, part # TH56BV. This USA-made carrier is among the best trunk racks made. It features molded nylon construction that is strong yet lightweight; built-in locks are included for the rack itself and for your loaded bikes; it uses adjustable arms for a good fit on most bike frames and the highest grade of cushioned cradles to gently support your bikes; and it mounts using only 2 strong steel cables instead of 4-6 flimsy nylon straps of the other carriers that can fray and tear.

If you find you need to carry a 4th bike then you will need to install a hitch and use a hitch-mount rack that will have the higher bike and overall weight capacities you need. Hitch racks offer several advantages. They put the entire rack/bike weight load on the car's frame which is its strongest part; they make no contact with the car's painted surfaces; and they allow you to retain use of a rear wiper which cannot be used with a hatch rack.

Hitch racks require a hitch, naturally, and I recommend the 2-inch EcoHitch # 306-X7305 because once installed it will be mostly hidden from view except for the receiver tube. This USA-made hitch bolts on (no drilling needed) using the included hardware packet.

For a quality 4-bike hitch rack that won't break the bank I suggest the Thule Hitching Post Pro # TH934XTR which tilts for easier vehicle access, as shown in the linked video. I also recommend adding the anti-rattle lock # THSTL2 which will help protect your bike rack investment.

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