Many kayakers like their cars the same way they like their boats. Long and low. After a long day of paddling not everyone looks forward to lifting their wet kayak high overhead to secure to an SUV with tired arms, or struggling on top of a step ladder. And not everyone wants to pay the gas bill a long kayak trip in a pickup can cost. Are there some cheap cars for sale that share a middle ground?
Hatchbacks and Wagons Preferred for Kayaks
With the diversity of roof carriers available, or the addition of a ball hitch and a low open trailer, any car can be turned as a means of a day on the water. However anything a car can do, a hatchback or wagon does better, be it just give you more roof to work with or easier access to more gear. Let's look at some of the options 2012 wagons offer:
Audi A3 $27,270 - 30/42 MPG - 56" tall
Long and very low the Audi A3 offers great highway mileage with plenty of storage all with a touch of luxury. And although the A3 also comes with an AWD option, it also comes with a steeper price then most at north of $27,000.
Nissan Cube $14,980 - 27/31 MPG - 65.0" tall
Sexy? No. Fuel efficient? Not exactly. While the Cube may not be the top choice on this list, it does have some interesting points worth your consideration. Namely its big flat roof and low price combined with its big boxy interior which makes putting on or removing a wetsuit much less painful.
With a short roof, the Impreza is really no better than any other sedan when it comes to toting a kayak and with its squat rear end you'll see some hover hang. But where the Impreza steps away is its AWD. Not only is it best in class for fuel economy but it is one of the few AWD new cars under 20 000. An economy choice for a solo trip to anywhere.
Subaru Outback $23,295 - 22/29 MPG - 65.7" tall
A campground favorite, the Outback may not have quite the fuel economy of the Impreza and may cost a bit more but it does have a longer more mount friendly roof, more cargo room, and extra ground clearance all with the same AWD options everyone loves.
Toyota Prius V $26,550 - 44/40 MPG - 62.0" tall
The Prius V is one of the best options for fuel economy when it comes to long trips that need a bunch of stuff and still lets you throw a kayak or two up top. Although a bit higher on the price side as one of the few non cars under 25000 on our list it's worth a look if your road trips are true iron-man events.
Maybe the best all around car to haul kayaks to whatever your destination, the SportWagen offers great price, among the best in class highway fuel economy, and tons of storage space for those long trips along with a nice long and not to tall roof. The only shortfall is a lack of an AWD option if your launch site is a bit off the beaten path.