Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen | $22,000
The Jetta SportWagen is actually based on the previous-generation Jetta sedan — and that’s a good thing. For starters, the current Jetta sedan has a larger cabin but doesn’t feel as luxurious inside. Plus, its rear rudimentary torsion-beam suspension can’t compare to the SportWagon’s sophisticated independent rear suspension. Add to that an available TDI turbodiesel engine and cargo space that rivals that of smaller SUVs, and the Jetta SportWagon is a winner for the price.
Audi A4 Avant | $40,000
On the inside, you’ll find ample legroom, separate load-through hatches for skis and snowboards, and a large panoramic sunroof perfect for taking dates to Lookout Point. The wagon, which is tons of fun in the twisties, also comes with Audi’s fabled Quattro all-wheel drive, a turbocharged inline-4 power plant, and 18-inch wheels.