Using Instamotor’s search functionality, we narrowed down the choices to take into account utility, gas mileage, ruggedness, or open air cruising and narrowed them down into what we think are great cars for multiple active lifestyles. Parameters included 100,000 miles or under, $25,000 or less and 1990 to present to come up with averages for pricing.
Volkswagen Beetle- Bubbly in stature and instantly recognizable, the Beetle is the quintessential California car for year-round sunshine. The German engineered people mover relies on a sporty chassis, iconic looks and peaky motors that still offer consistent fuel economy that can range from 20-41 mpg depending on your driving style and engine choice. Some years have been known to have small reliability issues, but just make sure you do your due diligence when picking the right one. They’re even offered in convertible form, which is the obvious choice, right?
Utility Average: 5- 27 cubic feet (depending on model)
Fuel Economy: 20-41 mpg
Price Range: $3,650- $18,475
Mini Cooper - Developed and engineered in Munich by BMW Group (Mini is owned by BMW), the Cooper is another modern remake of a classic automobile superstar. Small, practical and easy to park, the Mini has classic British cool mixed with modern amenities and smooth automatic and manual transmission options. You could also splurge for the Cooper S, Countryman, Paceman, Convertible or the über fast John Cooper Works edition, which means either increases in sunshine, utility, four-wheel drive or horsepower. They all offer a fun factor that increases the smiles per mile.
Utility Average: 6- 38 cubic feet (depending on model)
Fuel Economy: 23-48 mpg (depending on motor choice)
Price Range: $7,900 - $21,000
Jeep Wrangler - For almost 75 years, the basic layout of the Jeep has not changed. A utilitarian 4x4, the Wrangler can be had in two and four-door versions with an uncanny ability to tackle most of Earth’s terrain. From mountains to Mavericks, simple styling matched with almost a century of upgrades and tinkering, the Jeep is reliable, cool and capable. Because of the Wrangler’s long lineage—and time spent in the automotive market—it means there are aftermarket options available for whatever your activity of choice: surfing, snowboarding, fishing, off-roading, canoeing, or wherever your sense of exploration takes you.
Utility Average: 12.8- 70.6 cubic feet (depending on model)
Fuel Economy: 16-21 mpg
Price Range: $9,850 - $19,500
Toyota Tacoma - What is essentially the grandson to Marty McFly’s awesome Toyota SR5 pickup from Back to the Future, the Tacoma is as simple and small as pickups come, but offers more bang-for-your-buck than most sport utility vehicles. With an available six-foot bed, you can toss most anything into the rear of the Tacoma and not worry about damaging the interior. It’s simple, Spartan and will haul more than a 1,000-pounds of all the stuff you bring back from your adventures.
Utility: 43.4 cubic feet (in bed)
Fuel Economy - 16-21
Price Average - $17,839
Currently the full-time Editorial Director and Content Manager for RxSpeed.com, & contributing writer for Scout.com. He also loves photography, videography, his Shiba Inu Mia and driving sports cars.