Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Really Mini Minivan.

Need minivan room but have extra-mini place to park it? There's a funky little Subaru van for you! I stumbled across this green one in the street the other day:
This particular version of the Subaru Sambar was produced between 1990 and 1998. What is amazing that such a small vehicle offered seating for up to seven passengers! You may not fit seven full-sized adults, mind you, but you could probably squeeze a bunch of kids in the rear benches.

It looks like quite a practical little van, with large hinged front doors, a sliding door on each side, and a swing-up rear hatch. With the engine under the rear compartment floor, the entire front of the vehicle is available for leg room, which looked rather impressive for something so small.

This model benefited from a large sunroof covering over half of the cockpit, which would certainly make it feel larger inside. After all, it IS under 3 meters (less than 10 feet) long... for comparison, not only is it shorter than the current Mini Cooper... it's also shorter than the original Mini! Yes, it's THAT small!

To go with the small size is the small engine... several versions existed over the years, typically putting out less than 60 hp. Suffice it to say that loading this Sambar up with mom and dad and the kids and grandma and the dog and a few suitcases would turn the vacation road-trip into a real adventure! Unless the destination is downhill from the starting point, I could see it being a long, slow sightseeing tour. Once again, that huge sunroof is a big plus!
While few would think of purchasing one of these to replace a seven-seater Dodge Grand Caravan, I think that choice is great. A van like this is certainly a welcome option to city-dwellers who need something affordable and economical that does not take up much space.

As if I didn't have a hard enough time trying to pick out another new toy... looks like the list just got a bit longer...


  1. Just checked, none to be found online for sale! I am going to have to search hard to find one of these I think!

  2. Saw another one of these on the weekend! It REALLY is tiny, has to be seen to appreciate how well-packaged it is... 7 seats in such a small vehicle is impressive!


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