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A compact van is a type of van characterized by a flat front design, mechanicals based on a compact car, an engine placed either at the rear or between and behind the front seats and were roughly the same size as the VW Bus. Popular in the United States during the early 1960s, they were replaced by full-size vans at the end of the decade. These large vans used body-on-frame construction and featured front engines under a short hood.
The flat-front configuration is also used for Japanese vans, and the format remains popular in Japan and Southeast Asia to this day. Those that comply with Kei car regulations are known as microvans. They were also later supplemented by minivans. In these markets the compact vans often survive as combined commercial passenger and goods vehicles. Due to their resemblance to a loaf of bread they are colloquially known as "bread cars".
Compact vans in media
- Dodge A100
- First generation Ford E-Series
- General Motors van, the original Chevy van and Greenbrier
- Toyota HiAce
- Nissan Caravan
- Daihatsu Hijet
Japanese Nissan Caravan Police vehicle, October, 2005
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