Mini MPV is a car classification used 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.1 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 2000,2 but using it to refer to models now often classified as compact MPVs.3
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.4
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.8 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.
- "Our pick: Top 10 used mini-MPVs". Auto Trader. 3 August 2010. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- "A family van in 4x4 clothing". Daily Telegraph. 5 December 2000. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Chapman, Giles (17 May 2003). "The Space Race". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Small MPV". Euro NCAP.
- "FIAT QUBO MPV REVIEW". What Car?. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "Geneva 2012: the rise of the mini-MPV". Top Gear. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "Maruti Ertiga preview". Autocar India. 26 December 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "The comfort-rich leisure activity vehicle". Renault. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
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