Recommended Hitch And Platform-Style Bike Carrier For 2014 Mazda 3 Hatchback

Question:

I want to be absolutely sure that a trailer hitch for my 2014 Mazda 3 hatchback can handle the weight of a Thule 917XTR T2 platform hitch bike rack 1.25 with two adult bikes on it. What would be the best hitch to buy from you? And do you know if the Mazda can handle the rack with bikes on it? Mazda recommends no towing with the Mazda 3 but not sure if the bike rack is ok. Thank you

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Expert Reply:

Many times car manufacturers recommend no towing due to the stress on the transmission and engine, but carrying a hitch mounted accessory is acceptable. You will want to check with your owner's manual or with you dealership to find the hitch tongue weight capacity for your 2014 Mazda 3 Hatchback.

Many times hitches have a tongue weight capacity higher than the vehicle tongue weight capacity so you want to make sure you do not exceed the lower rated component.

The hitch I recommend is the Draw-Tite Trailer Hitch, part # 24914. This is a Class l hitch and has a 1-1/4 inch receiver opening.

The Thule T2 Platform-Style 2 Bike Carrier, part # TH9045, you referenced weighs about 54 lbs, and measures 3-1/2 inches from the center of the hitch pin hole to the closest part of the carrier when folded up. This may prove to be a bit closer than you want to be to the rear of your Mazda 3. I have attached an installation video of this carrier on a 2012 Mazda 3 you can check out.

For a lighter option I recommend the Kuat Sherpa 2.0 Aluminum Platform-Style 2 Bike Carrier, part # SH12G. This carrier weighs approximately 32 lbs and has the hitch lock, and cable included. The distance from the hitch pin hole to the carrier when folded up is 9 inches.

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Jeffrey L

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