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Registered User
(8/10/00 3:11:13 pm)
Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs
I am searching for a new car (or a used one) and would like some input. What cars fit a big cello case easily. Are trucks with a "3rd door" good for cellists? What about 4 door sedans? What do other's drive that fits a cello in the back seat without the "cram" factor? you know, rearranging the case, tilting it here and there so one can close the door. Also, any cars or type to avoid?

Curently, i drive an Infiniti J30, but the back seat just barely fits the length of my cello and I have one of those big curvy Standard American cases. Any thoughts?

Registered User
(8/10/00 3:44:30 pm)
Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs
I have a Subaru Forester and the case fits in just about every possible location- front seat standing up, back seat standing up or lying down, cargo space crosswise or with the seats folded down, sticking through into the passenger space (seats fold independently and it easily holds two cellos this way.) I have a Winter hard case which might be smaller, so I'd suggest whatever car you look at, take the cello case and try it out.

Registered User
(8/10/00 3:49:07 pm)
Toyota Corrolla
I just got a toyota corrolla and love it (it gets great gas milage). My cello fits across the back seat or in the trunk. I don't have a hard case, so I don't know if that would make the difference!


Registered User
(8/10/00 4:07:49 pm)
Re: Toyota Corrolla
I have a Ford Escort wagon that works great. I can lay down either of the back seats and slide my cello in easily. It gets great mileage, (this is good as we live about 30 miles from the city where I play most of my gigs) but I heard a rumor that Ford is discontinuing them....but I think any wagon that you can lay down the back seat works well. Personally, I just want a car that is easy to get my cello in and out of, and one that runs well. I don't want to have to worry that it is going to break down on the road!
Good luck in your search!

Registered User
(8/10/00 4:43:12 pm)
Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs
My Dodge Stratus is great. My cello fits in the front seat, the back seat crosswise or upright, plus the back seat folds down and you can fit two celli in the trunk this way. My case is like yours. The old ('90) Mercury Topaz used to fit my cello in the trunk, but the new Ford cars' trunks are too narrow.

My Dodge has been great to drive, and I've put close to 12,000 miles on it this year already driving to teach and perform.

sarah schenkman
Registered User
(8/10/00 5:22:41 pm)
You can fit a whole string quartet with instruments in a Toyota Camry. Cello fits in back seat or in trunk in pretty much any cello case.

Laura Wichers
Registered User
(8/10/00 5:28:27 pm)
Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs
I know Weber cases fit in Olds Eighty-eights, Olds Cutlass, and Olds Alero (can you tell we're Olds people?).

The only thing I'd be terribly concerned with is the 2dr vs. 4dr issue. If you plan on putting your cello across the back seat but have a 2dr car, it will be cumbersome.


Kent McDonald 
Registered User
(8/10/00 5:34:02 pm)
4 cellos and cellists fit in a 94 Ford Explorer
It has Firestone ATX tires too!! We tried it at a recent Cello festival in Brian Head.
Kent Mc

Eric Benning
Registered User
(8/10/00 5:54:22 pm)
Putting instruments in trunks.
Just an aside to this topic. Please don't put your instruments in trunks of cars or SUVs if you can at all help it. The trunks are designed as "Crumple Zones" to help absorb impacts, even low speed impacts, in order to buffer the occupants. In other words, the trunk is designed to be a big shock absorber for you, so if you want your instrument to be part of that system.....
Best regards,
Eric Benning

Registered User
(8/10/00 6:09:33 pm)
Watch Out for Trunks
On long trips, do not place the cello in the trunk of the car. The trunk builds up heat that can damage the cello. Also, get a mylar blanket (they come in small packets at camping/outdoor stores). Place it over the cello case in the car and it will reflect the sun, which otherwise would also heat up the cello and possibly do damage.

Steve Drake
Registered User
(8/10/00 6:17:03 pm)
Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs
My favorite has always been a volvo 740 I had for many years. You could get the cello in anywhere easily in that one. My volvo 850 was almost as good, but the cello wouldn't fit in the trunk, but I hardly ever did that anyway. Dodge intrepids are great - gigantic trunks and back seats. Right now I've got an old honda accord which is really lousy for the cello - it doesn't really fit well anywhere, but at least it's paid for!

How about a chrysler pt cruiser?

My MP3's
My Cello Homepage

Registered User
(8/10/00 6:26:08 pm)
Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs
I once got 5 cellos in my chevy corsica..... 1 in the front passenger seat, 2 in the back seat, and 2(the least expensive two that is) in the trunk. My father has a Toyota 4runner, and surprisingly enough, a cello case will NOT fit across the back seat without being propped up at an angle. the back is also not wide enough, or long enough, so even back there my cello is cramped. so, anyways I have no excuse to borrow the truck for cello transportation because it actually fits better in my car :(

Registered User
(8/10/00 7:26:10 pm)

Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs
I put my cello (Weber case) in the front seat of my '96 VW GTI. Works just fine. I love that car...


Registered User
(8/10/00 10:28:16 pm)
Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs
I drive a two-door Olds Calais. It's falling apart, but my cello fits comfortably in the back seat. never tried putting it in the passenger seat. Probably because the passenger-side outside door handle is broken, and you have to open it from the inside. just too much trouble. :) Yep, the two-door is definitely a hassle when it comes to putting the cello in, but i'd rather drive a two-door than a four-door.

~ aaron ~

Registered User
(8/11/00 1:40:09 am)
Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs
Ok ... just last february I went shopping for an new car/SUV ... and I raised alot of salesmens
eyebrows ... I took along my empty hard case ... and wouldn't even test drive the car unless the
cello case fit nicely ... so
Fits on the back seat of 1996-1998 chevy cavalier (many many rentals)
the back seat of a 93 civic was a bit short for the hard case (had to be on its side
and angled) ... the 1999 seemed better but I wasn't willing to slam the door (note
that for both of these cars the back seat moved down to allow access to the trunk
the cello fits great that way ... put it in from the back seat not the trunk though).
fits in a 1999 corrolla
doesn't fit in a 1999 rav 4 unless you put down the back seats and load it from
the back (on an angle)
does fit in a Kia sportage (with back seats up ... forgot to try the back seat
of that one ... but it is wider than the next car so it probably fits ... note that
the 1999 Kia sportage sales brochure featured the testimonial of a cellist)
does fit in a 1999 Suzuki Vitara (or Grand vitara) in the back with the back seat
down or across the back seats ... (a bit of an angle required with the hard case).
Did fit in the back of a hyundai elantra ...

your milage may vary

worst case ... if you have a hard case it also fits quite nicely diagonally accross the
back of a 1990 suzuki sidekick convertable but you do have to move the passenger
seat way up ... (this was my old car in toronto) ... the other person I saw with a
sidekick (actually a tracker) and a cello had a passenger and the top 5-6" of
the cello were hanging out the back of the truck (beside the tire).

If you don't have a hard case to tote around ... take a tape measure ..
close the back door of the car and measure from the most encroaching part of the
door to the most encroaching part of the other door ... if it is bigger than your
case you should be ok.

Paula (who now has a 1999 suzuki vitara)

Registered User
(8/11/00 7:24:27 am)
Re: Anybody have a VW Beetle?
Wonder if they fit. It took a while, but the new Beetle has grown on me, and I'm considering it for my next car (which won't be for some time).

For now I have an Escort sedan, and Emma fits nicely in the passenger's seat (she likes to see where she's going). But when I have to, she also lies down in the back seat in her hard case.

Andrew Victor
Registered User
(8/11/00 10:02:12 am)
Re: Toyota Corrolla
I bought a cello bag two years ago, just so I could fit the cello across the back seat of my 1983 Corolla wagon (when my wife had the minivan --or when I had some cello carrying to do at my destination and didn't want to haul the weight of a big box).

But just this January I bought a new (Asian made, for my new Chinese cello) light-weight, fiberglass case (moderate cost ~$350) with wheels, that just barely fits across the Corolla back seat as well. The best of all possible worlds!


Registered User
(8/11/00 3:46:01 pm)
Dodge caravans
Anybody have a newer Dodge caravan with two sliding doors? My parents have a '95 with only one sliding door. The cello fits perfectly in that space next to the sliding door. I'm wondering if there's that much room in the new ones with 2 sliding doors. Any comments would be great, as that will probably be my next car after the Stratus, since I will have a baby along with a cello to cart around come December, and I want more children.

To alleviate some concern that I seem to have started with my last post on this topic, please don't berate me for putting my cello in the trunk. I almost never do that, especially with the heat in Utah at this time of year, and certainly don't recommend it to you. But I remember a memorable few months having to take a bass player to orchestra rehearsal with me and the bass claimed the back seat with the neck out the window. The cello had no other place to go but the trunk. I will never do that again. (Chauffeur bassists, that is!) Now that summer is over, I have no more occasion to take anyone else and their cello in my car. Thank goodness. The back seat is my favorite place for mine, then I don't worry about air bags either. They really are like our babies aren't they?!

I have now declared that none of my children will play the string bass or the harp. One of my cello students actually has a brother and sister who play bass and harp respectively and they can actually fit all 3 instruments in their Chevy Astro van along with Mom's violin!

Registered User
(8/11/00 5:31:38 pm)
Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs
Thanks for all the feedback!! The new car is a Ford Explorer!!! Goodbye Infiniti J30!!

What a great group of people here--this really helped. Thanks agasin, Corey

Betsy C 
Registered User
(8/14/00 4:52:31 am)
Question for Ron
Ron, I actually went a purchased that mylar blanket this weekend. The label says: "Reflects heat back to body", so I am a little worried about using it. Hopefully, I bought the right thing! It feels like mylar (no description on the label) and it looks like a shiny, aluminum type of color. Will it actually keep heat/sun away from the cello if you place it over the cello? Please elaborate a little. I dropped my cello off at my luthier last week and it was a lot warmer that I liked it to be after being in my trunk with the A.C. cranked up to high. I pick my cello up this week and would like to not have that happen again! Thanks.

Registered User
(8/14/00 11:57:19 am)
Mylar Blanket
Sounds like the right one to me. It's primary use is in camping - when someone is injured and they need protection in the cold. The mylar doesn't create heat, it just helps the body from losing heat. However, it also will reflect sun and likewise can be used for this purpose. It's meant to be used with the cello in the car, not the trunk. I've used it on several long trips without any adverse results.

          Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs-Cellospieler-(31)-8/10/00 3:11:13 pm  
               Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs-ruthann 8/15/00 12:26:00 pm  
               Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs-Cellospieler 8/11/00 5:31:38 pm  
               Dodge caravans-KDS 8/11/00 3:46:01 pm  
               Re: Anybody have a VW Beetle?-JanJan  8/11/00 7:24:27 am  
               Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs-MaryK  8/10/00 7:26:10 pm  
                    VWGTI-lblake  8/14/00 6:50:21 pm  
                         Re: VWGTI-MaryK  8/14/00 9:21:12 pm  
                              Audi A4-BA 8/15/00 11:52:25 pm  
                                   Re: Audi A4-MaryK  8/16/00 2:10:30 am  
                                        Re: Audi A4-BA 8/18/00 1:43:00 am  
               Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs-42 8/10/00 6:26:08 pm  
               Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs-Steve Drake 8/10/00 6:17:03 pm  
               Putting instruments in trunks.-Eric Benning 8/10/00 5:54:22 pm  
                    Watch Out for Trunks-RonH 8/10/00 6:09:33 pm  
                         Question for Ron-Betsy C  8/14/00 4:52:31 am  
                              shiney side out-jekerry 8/14/00 12:21:54 pm  
                                   Re: shiney side out-lblake  8/14/00 6:59:07 pm  
                                        Re: shiney side out-matthias24  8/15/00 5:19:09 pm  
                                             Re: shiney side out-lblake  8/17/00 6:17:39 am  
                              Mylar Blanket-RonH 8/14/00 11:57:19 am  
               4 cellos and cellists fit in a 94 Ford Explorer-Kent McDonald  8/10/00 5:34:02 pm  
               Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs-Laura Wichers 8/10/00 5:28:27 pm  
                    Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs-matthias24  8/10/00 10:28:16 pm  
                         Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs-phesketh 8/11/00 1:40:09 am  
               Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs-KDS 8/10/00 4:43:12 pm  
                    cars -sarah schenkman 8/10/00 5:22:41 pm  
               Toyota Corrolla-jekerry 8/10/00 3:49:07 pm  
                    Re: Toyota Corrolla-Andrew Victor 8/11/00 10:02:12 am  
                    Re: Toyota Corrolla-mcello 8/10/00 4:07:49 pm  
               Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs-Bobbie  8/10/00 3:44:30 pm  
                    Re: Cars, trucks and cello friendly SUVs-me4cello 8/17/00 3:39:23 am  
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