Compact MPV

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A compact MPV is a car classification used in Europe to describe multi-purpose vehicle versions of small family cars (sometimes also referred to as "compact cars"), fitting between the mini MPV and large MPV sub-segments. In Japan, the term "space wagon" is sometimes used to refer to this type of vehicle.

The first vehicle to be described by that term was the Renault Scénic, which was voted European Car of the Year on its launch in 1996. Some later models include the Opel/Vauxhall Zafira, Citroën Xsara Picasso, Ford Focus C-MAX, SEAT Altea, Volkswagen Touran, Citroën C4 Picasso, Peugeot 5008 and Fiat Multipla. From 2010 the first six-seater electric MPV, the Optimal Energy Joule, will be available.

Most compact MPVs have better "flexibility" than other body styles: for example, seats may be individually folded or even removed. Due to the multi-purpose architecture, the bonnet is shorter and the passengers sit more upright than in regular cars, providing for a roomier interior. Parking, can however be a lot harder than with any two- or three-box car because the driver cannot see the end of the bonnet.

Compact MPVs remain predominantly a European phenomenon, although they are also built and sold in many Latin American and Asian markets. Some compact MPVs are currently available in the United States and Canada, including the Mazda5, Chrysler PT Cruiser, and Kia Rondo.

Number of seats

Compact MPVs can be classified by their number of seats. Some...
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