Small Minivans to Displace Sedans

It wasn't long ago that full-sized minivans made short work of mom's station wagon. Now, a widening fleet of small minivans could dispatch dad's sedan to the crusher. New one-box, or "monospace" vehicles, like the new Mazda5 and Scion xB, which offer more space and versatility than the sedan's four-doors-plus-trunk design, are predicted to be the next major automotive direction in the US. Much like the hatchback craze of the 70s and 80s, this trend is emanating from Europe, where cars like the Renault Sc nic and new VW Golf Plus are but two of the type, which cater to those with "active lifestyles." That buzz phrase, outwardly represented in ad media by roof-strapped bikes and kayaks, would be equally well represented by kids, pets and IKEA furniture, according to industry watchers. [Update: Our nitpicky friend Andre points out that the xB is "manifestly two-box," a salient point to be sure. We'd imagine AW mentioned the most square of Scions merely to illustrate the concept of "monospace" design to Americans, who have few other examples of such small, utility-oriented vehicles (like the new Mazda5) at hand. But thanks, A.]

Small sedans under the gun: Automakers anticipating shift in U.S. market to more versatile vehicles [AutoWeek]

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