The new Dodge Journey is a crossover with an available third-row seat and more storage options than you can count, and it's priced almost exactly in the same range as the VW Jetta wagon.
The Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Corolla Matrix are essentially twins underneath the skin, and though they're smaller than the Jetta, they have decent carrying capacity and an enviable reputation for reliability.
The Chrysler PT Cruiser's been around for a long time, which means it can be had cheaply―and it's probably the cutest vehicle in this bunch.
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|2009 Volkswagen Jetta SportwagenBrowse Used Listings||2009 Toyota CorollaBrowse Used Listings||2008 Chrysler PT CruiserBrowse Used Listings|
|20 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I5||Gas I4||Gas I4|
|4-Door Manual S PZEV||4-Door Sedan Manual (Natl)||4-Door Wagon|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door||4 Door Sedan||Small Station Wagon|
|Manual||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD|