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There's a whole class of small minivans over in Europe that we miss out on here in the US. Ford's got the great new S-Max, and Volkswagen's working on bringing a new version of its Sharan to market.
AutoExpress managaed to nab a new Sharan, due by the end of 2008, with one of its long lenses. These people movers are a smaller alternative for folks who need flexibility and utility coupled with an easy-driving, carlike demeanor. They'd slot nicely into the strata of the US marketplace under the ever-larger minivans we have on offer now. VW's got some catching up to the S-Max to do with their new Sharan.

For the current version of the MPV, VW and Ford teamed up to produce the Galaxy and Sharan models together in Portugal. By resting on its laurels, Volkswagen has been left in the dust while everyone else updated and refined their MPV offerings. Ford, for its part, has since brought out the S-Max and a new version of the Galaxy. Underpinning the Sharan is an adaptation of the Passat platform, and the MPV offers the same powertrain options as the Passat, as well.

[Source: AutoExpress]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      ¿A full seven-seater 4,80 meter long Ford S-Max or a 4,70 meter Renault Espace or Peugeot 807 is a "small minivan"? What the hell!!! These models are called "large MPVs" because they are "large". In this segment fall the Citroën C8, Ford Galaxy, Seal Alhambra, Mitsubishi Grandis, Chrysler Voyager, Hyundai Trajet and Kia Carnival.

      "Compact MPVs" are... compact? They are beetween 4,20 and 4,60 meters long, around the same as small family cars/compacts: Renault Scénic, Citroën C4 Picasso, Opel Zafira, Ford C-Max, Volkswagen Golf Plus and Touran, Seat Altea, Honda FR-V, Toyota Corolla Verso...

      Finally, "mini MPVs" are similar in size to superminis/subcompacts, or between 3,80 and 4,10 meters long: Fiat Idea, Opel Meriva, Renault Modus, Nissan Note, Lancia Musa, Hyundai Matrix. These are small indeed, but the others aren't.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I wonder if it will be as slow as the Eurovan
      • 8 Years Ago
      The old Sharan is bigger than the S-Max, and was a joint project with Ford...Ford's sister van was the Galaxy.
      • 8 Years Ago
      thats got to be one of the ugliest things I've ever seen.

      VW continuing down the UGLY hill!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why can't we in the US get something cool like the Transporter Sportline? http://www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk/newtransportershowroom/index.php?action=transporter.modelSportline
      with the new TDI?
      far jr
      • 8 Years Ago
      Denton...Although that is a problem with some individuals, your stereotypical claim seems to have little to do with the reasoning behind the changes (The full sized variants in all the vehicles catagories I listed are still avaliable). I'm guessing that one-upmanship had a hand in it. "Now the new Tacoma has more power than Ford Ranger" drew more consumers to a brand than "The new 30 MPG Tacoma bests it's competitors but barely has the power to get out of it's own way."
      A bigger Civic is easier to make into a safer Civic. But why is a Civiv now the size of an old Accord? Why not introduce a new Honda large sedan and leave the Accord and Civic alone?
      far jr
      • 8 Years Ago
      These small vans are likely more like the original Chryler minivans (size wise) than the Chryslers, Odyssey, and Sienna. Everything in America seems to grow bigger with age. No more can we buy a mini truck. Only Mazda offers a true minivan (I think). Versa, Yaris, and Fit were introduced because Sentra, Corolla, and Civic have grown to gargantuan dimensions relative to thier predecessors. WHY???
      • 8 Years Ago
      Not even a contender against the S-Max. This looks just as an extended VW Fox.

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