There aren't many compact station wagons left on the market, so shoppers seeking out the Hyundai Elantra Touring should also take a look at some cleverly designed hatchbacks, too--or seek out some higher-priced iron.
The Kia Soul has its own cool character, and wagon-like room behind the rear seats, and it's now available with a stop-start system that improves gas mileage.
Both the Ford Focus and Subaru Impreza are new for 2012, and both come in hatchback body styles that could solve the carrying conundrum as well as the Elantra Touring; the Focus is more entertaining to drive, while the Impreza has standard all-wheel drive.
Finally, if you're able to spend a little more, the VW Jetta SportWagen has a base price of just under $20,000, and has a very agreeable interior and lovely handling.
Get FREE Dealer Quotes
|2012 Hyundai Elantra TouringBrowse Used Listings||2012 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings||2012 Kia SoulBrowse Used Listings||2012 Subaru ImprezaBrowse Used Listings||2012 Toyota MatrixBrowse Used Listings||2012 Volkswagen Jetta SportwagenBrowse Used Listings|
|23 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||26 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||23 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy||23 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas Flat 4||Gas I4||Gas I5|
|Small Station Wagon||Compact||Small Station Wagon||Compact Cars||Small Station Wagon||Small Station Wagons|
|4-Door Wagon Manual GLS||4-Door Sedan S||5-Door Wagon Manual Base||4-Door Manual 2.0i||5-Door Wagon Manual L FWD (SE)||4-Door Manual S|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Wagon||4 Door Sedan||5 Door Wagon||Sedan||5 Door Wagon||4 Door|