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A panel van (or panelvan) is a form of solid (rigid-bodied, non-articulated) van, smaller than a lorry or truck, without rear side windows. In some national usages it is distinct from a purpose-designed van in that it is based on the chassis of a family car design.
In places[where?] where they are distinct from a "van", they have less cargo space but better agility and maneuverability, making them particularly suited for cities with narrow streets and/or heavy traffic.
Every major European car manufacturer has a panel van in their line-up; these models used to be modified versions of existing passenger cars, such as the Citroën Visa-based Citroën C15 or the SEAT Ibiza-based SEAT Inca. This format was pioneered from the 1950s by the Citroën 2CV Fourgonnette and the Morris Minor. However, since the introduction of the Citroën Berlingo in 1996, it has become common for these vehicles to have a specific styling and structure, even if they may share chassis, powertrain or other components with passenger cars of the same brand. Examples of this new wave of panel vans are the Renault Kangoo (1997), the Fiat Doblò (2001), Opel Combo (2001), Ford Transit Connect (2003) or the Volkswagen Caddy (2004). They are also purpose-designed to be utilitarian base model MPVs / people carriers, for a range of such vehicles.
- GoAutoMedia. "Vans". GoAuto. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
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