Get whatever car you like and please, like so many are afflicted with, get out of the mindset that you need to include enclosed hauling capability. Just get a trailer hitch for your vehicle, tail light wiring is included by hitch installers and a lightweight trailer like this. For rain there is plastic sheeting to cover the load. There is no car that can’t pull this trailer. I have easily pulled mine with an old VW diesel, rated at about 51HP . You will need to add a green treat plywood floor and later if you want, sideguards made of 1 x 4 green treat wood.
I have hauled separately, of course, a 500 lb. motorcycle, a refrigerator held vertically, a king size mattress with box spring and a load of 18 foot 2 x 8 roof rafters. I seriously doubt that the roof rafters could be hauled with a pickup truck due to the length of the overhang.
A 2004/2005 GMC Envoy XUV has a retracting roof at the rear that allows you to haul tall items. It even has a tailgate. The cost is well below $13,000. They were only made those 2 years, and it might work for you. You can see photos here:
Why settle for an imitation (GMC Envoy XUV), when you can have the original?
From 1963-66 Studebaker made the extremely innovative Wagonaire, which featured a sliding roof over the cargo area. And, it has a genuine tailgate, which I would like i-mt to view, just so that he/she knows what a tailgate (rather than a liftgate) actually looks like.
With any luck, you can score one of these economical and practical Studes for less than $13k!
Take a look at one of these beauties:
And furthermore, the trailer as per my previous post has a low bed height, making it easier to load. Consider also carrying a lawn tractor. You never know what you might haul, for yourself or to help someone else.
I haven’t looked too far into them, but how about a Honda Element? Seems to me they’re like a big box. I have no idea what they’re going for. Hit a dealer and see if you like them - and if they’ll do the job. I’m sure the ride would be OK.
There’s also the PT Cruiser/HHT option. They’re both rather small-ish, so they may not be big enough. My parents have a PT and love it…personally, I can’t stand it. I think the rear seat is easy to remove and put in, if that would work. They carry a lot of crap back and forth from NH to FL so they can summer in the North, Winter in the South.