Families in search of the best affordable compact wagons, or those generally priced under $25,000, have several choices in today’s marketplace. Automakers have been expanding their product offerings by adding wagon models to their sedan and coupe lineup. Cheap compact wagons are no exception.

Check out these top picks for Best Affordable Compact Wagons:

  • Hyundai Elantra TouringIf it’s room inside you want, and you’re shopping compact wagons, take a good look at the 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring. Available in GLS and SE trim, starting manufacturers suggested retail prices (MSRPs) begin at $15,995 and $18,995. Boasting 65.3 cubic feet of cargo space, Elantra Touring has more room inside than Toyota Matrix or Mazda3 and more maximum cargo space (rear seats folded down) than crossover vehicles like Nissan Murano and Hummer H3. Hyundai also provides a 10-year/100,000 mile warranty, considered the best in America. Motor Trend remarks: “This is a sleek, nicely-sized package. Given that the Passat Wagon offers only a few extra cubic feet of cargo room, one has to wonder if the SportWagen will cannibalize some of its larger sibling’s sales. For sure, this new Jetta should cannibalize some of its crossover competition. Why roll from up high when you can swing low?”
  • Volkswagen Jetta SportWagenLong known for its upscale offerings at attractive prices, the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen gives consumers a liberal dose of fun-to-drive performance, cargo volume that comes close to that of SUVs, and superb engine choices – including turbodiesel options. MSRPs begin at $19,510 (base S), $23,240 (SE), and $24,615 (TDI). Popular Mechanics, commenting on the 2009 model, says: “Volkswagen has found a way to deliver impressive German-style performance at an affordable price. Close your eyes (although we don’t recommend it at speed) and there’s that unmistakable, rock-solid feel you get in competitive models from Ingolstadt, Munich or Stuttgart, but for much less money. You really have to turn around to realize you’re in a station wagon.”
  • Mini ClubmanUtilizing a stretched wheelbase from the Mini, the Mini Clubman, which debuted in the model year, provides more interior and cargo room than its sibling while still providing the same sprightly driving performance Mini owners have come to love. Not much has changed in the 2010 models, which include base, S, and John Cooper Works, although cruise is now standard across the board. The backseat is still cramped for adults and the interior controls are a bit confusing, but Clubman does have its fans. It’s also one of the few affordable brands that has lots of customization options. Edmunds says “…Clubman transcends its ills with oodles of personality and driver engagement…Regardless of which Clubman you choose, prepare to have fun.” MSRPs start at $20,450 (base), $24,050 (S), and $31,000 (John Cooper Works).

As long as you’re considering cheap compact wagons, you should also take a look at the Dodge Caliber, Chrysler PT Cruiser, and Chevrolet HHR. All have starting MSRPs in the low $18,000 range.

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