Mini MPV is a car classification used in some countries to describe superminis or subcompacts which have taller build and often with a flexible interior layout, fitting below the compact MPV and large MPV/Minivan classifications. MPV stands for multi-purpose vehicle, although the full name is rarely used. The term Leisure Activity Vehicle (LAV) is sometimes used for van based MPVs, but this marketing term is largely ignored by the press, normally using the term MPV.
The term started to be used in the late 1990s when the market place for MPVs grew in diversity, with the Daily Telegraph referring to mini-MPV in 2000, but using it to refer to models now often classified as compact MPVs.
Definition of a mini MPV
A mini MPV is generally based on a supermini platform, sharing interiors, engines and specifications with their supermini derivative. Mini MPVs are generally the same length as a supermini, but with a taller body. Euro NCAP do not differentiate between mini and compact MPVs, classing them all as small MPVs.
Leisure activity vehicle
A leisure activity vehicle is a marketing definition of a small van sold as a MPV, generally related to a supermini or subcompact car, with two or three seat rows, and a large, tall car boot and tailgate. The Renault Kangoo is an example of a van-based MPV marketed as a LAV. They have become popular in Europe in the 1990s as a cheaper alternative to car-based MPVs. An early example of the category was the Matra Rancho introduced in 1977 based on a Simca pick-up.
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