Mini MPV

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Citroen C3 Picasso (2013 facelift) (cropped).jpg
Citroën C3 Picasso, an example of a two-row mini MPV for the European market
2018 Toyota Avanza 1.3 G F653RM (20190622).jpg
Toyota Avanza, an example of a three-row mini MPV for the Asian market

Mini MPV— an abbreviation for mini multi-purpose vehicle— is a vehicle size class for the smallest size of minivans/MPVs. The mini MPV size class sits below the compact MPV size class [1] and the vehicles are often built on the platforms of B-segment hatchback models. By the European definition, the mini MPV commonly consists of cars with two rows of seats, while in Asia mini MPVs with three rows are common. Sliding doors are sometimes also fitted to mini MPVs. Mini MPV are also called tall-hatchback [2] or small MPV. [3] [4]




Mini MPVs are typically based on the platform of a B-segment (supermini/subcompact) hatchback, with a raised roof and five-door body. The raised roof allows for higher H-point seating and easy passenger access compared with traditional hatchbacks. Often the rear seats can recline, slide, tumble, fold flat or easily be removed, allowing users to reconfigure the rear passenger and cargo volumes for each journey. [5]

The segment was created as a result of the diversification of minivans in the late 1990s. An early usage of the term mini-MPV was in 2000, [6] although the vehicles referred to at the time would now be classified as compact MPVs. [7]

Writing for The Telegraph in 2004, noted automotive journalist James May wrote that mini-MPV's "are invariably based on an existing hatchback, but offer more headroom, extra 'oddments storage'... and perhaps a touch of sliding seat tomfoolery in the back.... what we are seeing with the mini-MPV is the re-invention of the hatchback, nothing more. It's a good idea, and long overdue, but that's all it is." [5]

In the late 2010s, the mini MPV segment has shrinked with many consumers opting to buy B-segment (subcompact) crossover SUVs that offers similar practicality with better design and capability. [8] [9] Many manufacturers chose to discontinue its models in favour of subcompact crossover SUVs. [10] In 2013, there are 13 models competing in the segment with total sales volume of 450,897 units, [11] to just four models with 93,720 sold in 2019. [12]

In terms of practicality and its basic form, this category often overlaps with the similar B-segment (subcompact) crossover SUV. [13] Several manufacturers has introduced a crossover SUV to replace mini MPVs in Europe due to the dwindling sales, the examples are the Citroën C3 Aircross which replaced the Citroën C3 Picasso and Opel Crossland X replacing the Opel Meriva. Both offered more headroom and legroom space compared to normal B-segment/subcompact hatchbacks. B-segment SUVs usually ride higher, feature a higher and longer bonnet, equipped with black plastic overfenders or body kits, and marketed as such. [14]


Mini MPVs (also called small MPV, sometimes also mixed or used interchangeably with compact MPV class) [15] apart from the cars matching the European definition could also include B-segment MPVs with three-row of seats with the length shorter than 4.2–4.3 metres (165.4–169.3 in). [16] It is also sometimes equipped with rear sliding doors. [17] [18] This category is common in Japan, Southeast Asia and India, where cars with a smaller footprint and large cabin space is preferred. [19]

North America

Although mini MPV presence in this region is small, several cars that matches the description of a European mini MPV is marketed in the region as another category, as the 'mini MPV' phrase is not commonly used by journalists, manufacturers and regulators. One of the example is the Kia Soul, which is prominently marketed as a subcompact crossover SUV or a subcompact hatchback. [25] [26] [2]


Market share


In 2018, sales of mini-MPVs in Europe represented 1% of the total market. [27] The top five selling mini-MPVs in Europe in 2018 were the Fiat 500L, Honda Fit/Jazz, Hyundai ix20, Kia Venga and Ford B-Max.

The sales trend for previous years is:

North America

In the United States, the mini-MPV category has included the Fiat 500L, with 30,000 sales from 2013–2017. [32]

In Canada, as of 2013, the market for mini-MPV's was not "large, and even the overarching minivan segment is gradually shrinking as the industry expands." [33]

Related Research Articles

Minivan Type of van designed for personal use

Minivan is an American car classification for vehicles designed to transport passengers in the rear seating row(s), with reconfigurable seats in two or three rows. The equivalent classification in Europe is the M-segment, more commonly known as an MPV or a people carrier / mover. Minivans often have a 'one-box' or 'two-box' body configuration, a higher roof, a flat floor, a sliding door for rear passengers, and high H-point seating.

Governments and private organizations have developed car classification schemes that are used for various purposes including regulation, description, and categorization of cars.

Crossover (automobile)

A crossover, crossover SUV (CSUV), or crossover utility vehicle (CUV) is a type of sport utility vehicle-like vehicle of unibody construction. Crossovers are often based on a platform shared with a passenger car. Compared to truck-based SUVs, they typically have better interior comfort, a more comfortable ride, superior fuel economy, and less off-road capability. Many crossovers lack all-wheel drive, which, in combination with their lesser off-road capability, challenges their definition as "sports utility vehicles". Furthermore, there are inconsistencies about whether some vehicles are considered crossovers or SUVs; therefore, the term "SUV" is often used as a catch-all for both crossovers and compact SUVs. Crossovers may be sometimes also classified as light trucks in some countries, even though they are smaller than their bigger counterparts.

Subcompact car American definition to indicate an automobile with a class size smaller than that of a compact car

Subcompact car is an American classification for cars which is broadly equivalent to the B-segment (Europe) or supermini classifications, and smaller than a compact car.

Mazda Verisa

The Mazda Verisa is a subcompact car based on the jointly engineered Mazda DY platform. It was launched by Mazda in 2004 and is only available in Japan. The Verisa can be considered either a 'tall hatchback' or a 'low mini MPV'. The relationship between the Mazda Verisa and the more popular Mazda Demio is similar to that of the Ford Fusion (Europe) and the Ford Fiesta. Its height of 1,530 mm (60.2 in) is similar to other Japanese boxy subcompact cars and lower than European mini MPVs like the Fiat Idea and Opel Meriva. The Verisa was previewed at the 2004 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as the Mazda MX Micro-Sport, although it was never sold there.

Ford Fusion (Europe)

The European Ford Fusion is a high roof, five-door, five-passenger, front-drive B-segment Mini MPV manufactured and marketed by Ford Europe from 2002 to 2012 across a single generation.

Compact MPV Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle

Compact MPV—an abbreviation for Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle—is a vehicle size class for the middle size of MPVs. The Compact MPV size class sits between the mini MPV and large MPV (minivan) size classes.

Car body configurations

The configuration of a car body is typically determined by the layout of the engine, passenger and luggage volumes, which can be shared or separately articulated. A key design feature are the car's roof supporting pillars, described from front to rear of the car as A-pillar, B-pillar, C-pillar or D-Pillar.

C-segment European car size classification

The C-segment is the third smallest of the European segments for passenger cars and is described as "medium cars". It is equivalent to the Euro NCAP "small family car" size class, and the compact car category in the United States.

The B-segment is the second smallest of the European segments for passenger cars, which is described as "small cars". It is equivalent to the subcompact category in the United States and the supermini category in Great Britain. The Euro NCAP vehicle class called “Supermini” also includes smaller A-segment cars.


The A-segment is a category in the passenger car classification system defined by the European Commission. It is used for city cars, the smallest category of passenger cars defined. In Europe the term city car is also used.


The D-segment is the third largest of the European segments for passenger cars, and is described as "large cars". It is equivalent to the Euro NCAP "large family car" size class, and the present-day definition of the mid-size car category used in North America. Compact executive cars are part of the D-segment size category.

JAC Motors

JAC Motors is a Chinese state-owned automobile and commercial vehicle manufacturer. The company is based in Hefei, Anhui Province, China.

Peugeot 3008

The Peugeot 3008 is a compact crossover SUV unveiled by French automaker Peugeot in May 2008, and presented for the first time to the public in Dubrovnik, Croatia. It was launched in April 2009.


M-segment is the European segments for passenger cars described as "multi purpose vehicles". It covers multi-purpose vehicles, minivans and cargo vans. The minivans often have removeable rear seating to provide flexibility for transporting passengers or cargo, while the cargo vans are primarily designed for transporting cargo and therefore do not have rear seats.

Zotye Auto

Zotye Auto is a privately owned Chinese automobile manufacturer based in Yongkang, Zhejiang, China. It is owned by Zotye Holding Group and was established in 2005.


Trumpchi is an automotive marque owned by the Chinese automaker GAC Group. It was launched in December 2010.

Opel Crossland Subcompact crossover SUV

The Opel Crossland is a subcompact crossover SUV, marketed as the Vauxhall Crossland X then the Vauxhall Crossland in the United Kingdom, officially unveiled to the media in January 2017. The car was officially shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2017 as the Opel Crossland X. It went on sale in the summer of 2017. At the same time, the Opel Meriva was discontinued, as demand for crossovers and SUVs in the B segment is continually growing at the expense of compact MPVs.

Kia Seltos

The Kia Seltos is a subcompact crossover SUV built by Kia Motors. Introduced in mid-2019, the Seltos fits between the Stonic and Sportage in Kia's global lineup.


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