[Thorough commentary! ]What is the appeal of “light vans” and “middle class size vans” that are popular as bases for van-dwelling cars? ?? | MOBY [モビー]

MOBY introduces articles by writers who are actually enjoying van-dwelling and camper vans from the WEB magazine DRIMO, which distributes information on outdoor activities and car trips such as camping, van-dwelling, van life, etc., including camper van information. To do. * The following article content is quoted / referenced from DRIMO.


I wrote an article that a van, which is a freight car called number 4 or number 1, is the best base for a van-dwelling car.

The classification number on the license plate is the car classified in the 400s and 100s.

Among them, ordinary size Toyota Hiace and Nissan Caravan that are not wide or super longMiddle-sized vans and light vansThe former uses the 4 number small registered vehicle frame, and the latter uses the light vehicle standard as much as possible.A car that seems to have been made in pursuit of rationality to the ultimateis.

Of course, its rationality is fully demonstrated as a work vehicle, and both types are indispensable in Japan today, but it is also very attractive as a base vehicle for van-dwelling specification vehicles and is popular. Is also divided into two.

And I think that there are many people who are thinking of making a van-dwelling specification car by themselves and are very worried about which type to choose, a middle-sized van or a light van.

Before getting into the main subject

Before getting into the main subject, I would like to decline.

There used to be a brother named Homey in the Nissan caravan, which is almost the same car but is sold at Prince dealers even in the same Nissan.

As an aside, since this was not a word that could be spoken in public in Okinawa, there is an anecdote that caravans were also sold at Prince stores in Okinawa.

Similarly, Toyota Hiace has a brother car named Regius Ace due to the difference in dealer line, and in fact, a considerable number of people who think that it is Hiace may be Regius Ace, but in reality they are all Hiace. Often called. And it seems that this name will be unified to Hiace eventually.

In addition, there are OEM cars such as Mazda Bongo Brownie and Isuzu Como in both Hiace and Caravan.

Daihatsu’s Hijet has trucks and vans, officially light trucks are Hijet trucks, vans are Hijet Cargo, and there is also a different kind of Hijet deck van. And there’s a car named Atrai, which is a passenger car version of the Hijet Cargo.

Suzuki’s Every passenger car version has a different official name from the Every Wagon.

However, in the case of a mini car, the maximum number of passengers is 4, so the basics are the same, and the passenger car version (the number is 5 instead of 4) can be rephrased as a high-grade version. It feels like it’s not a mistake.

Also, like the Hiace Caravan, there are many OEM cars such as Sambar Clipper in these two models.

There are various names like this,Currently, the middle-sized vans that can be bought with new cars have only two models, the Hiace made by Toyota and the caravan made by Nissan, regardless of the name.(Toyota’s Dyna Root Van, which looks very strange, is a car that is not for general users, so I’m sorry but I exclude it)There are only two rear-wheel drive or 4WD light vans based on it, the Hijet Cargo made by Daihatsu and the Every made by Suzuki.(Honda’s N-VAN is FF or FF-based 4WD).

Even if the official name is different, it is messy and troublesome, so from here on, I will omit the difference in name etc. and proceed with the story with Hiace Caravan Hijet Every.

Ultimate rationality

As mentioned at the beginning, both of these two categoriesA car that pursues the ultimate rationalityTherefore, it has become an indispensable existence in Japan today, but I would like to sort out what the “ultimate rationality” is and explore its appeal.

External dimensions of Hiace caravan

First, about the outer dimensions of the Hiace and caravan.

The Hiace caravan also has a super long wide body high roof that is registered as 1 number, and these are also popular as base vehicles for van cons that are registered as 8 numbers (special purpose vehicles with classification number 800).

However, the outer dimensions of the so-called normal-sized Hiace and caravan, which are most commonly seen, areBoth have a total length of 4,695 mm and a total width of 1,695 mm, which is exactly the same.and,Even if there is a difference in overall height, the range from 1,980 mm to 1,990 mm and the degree of errorIt is no exaggeration to say that they are exactly the same size.

This figure is derived from “size regulation of small vehicles (classification number 400 or 600 in the case of freight vehicles): total length 4.7 m or less, total width 1.7 m or less, total height 2.0 m or less”.

In all directionsExpanded size within the standard of small carsIt is.

Even if it looks big, even in this age when the Corolla, which was synonymous with small passenger cars, became wide and became a regular passenger car with 3 number registration, ordinary Hiace and caravan still remain. It remains a small car.

If it exceeds this size, it will be a regular freight car registered with number 1, but if it becomes number 1, the highway fee will be treated as a medium-sized car that is higher than passenger cars and cars with number 4, and the insurance fee will also be high. There is a demerit of.

In addition, there are ferries that divide the fare according to the total length of the car body, but depending on the shipping company, there are ferries that divide by this classification number and the fare differs greatly between the 4th number and the 1st number, so there is a disadvantage to the 1st number. Not a few.

There is also the idea that Japan has settled down to this 4 number size because the road is narrow, but in the past, 5 numbers were overwhelmingly large for Japanese passenger cars, but only the difference between the 5 and 3 classification numbers is the 3 number. Since passenger cars are no longer at a special disadvantage, passenger cars with a width of more than 1.7 m have become a very common size, and that is not a big problem.

In light of the circumstances of passenger cars, I think that the size of the Hiace caravan that fits in the 4th number is a result of prioritizing the economic convenience of the user over the convenience that suits the environment.

In other words, without this Japan-specific restriction, it is highly possible that the Hiace caravan will have a different size and style, and I wouldn’t expect it to be a little wider, but this frame will disappear. Like a passenger car, it may become unreasonably large and difficult to use.

This restriction is also a stop to prevent enormous growth, which may be a good thing in a sense.

Hiace caravan style and size

And the body style is both the current 200 series Hiace and NV350 caravan.Design that is as close to a square as possibleis.

It looks like a completely different design to those who are interested or insisted on it, but it looks so similar that it is indistinguishable to those who are not very interested (of course it is totally different to me, but this is the general public. It seems to be recognition).

If you pursue efficiency to the utmost, it will be similar in design.

It’s basically the same style structurally. It is a cab-over style with the cabin over the power train (engine transmission), and the front wheels are also under the front seats.

This is the most efficient in terms of plane composition, or if it has the same outer dimensionsStructure that can secure the longest luggage compartment lengthis.

According to the figures in the catalog, the maximum width of the luggage compartment is 1,520 mm (* the DX of Hiace is 1,545 mm), the maximum height is 1,320 mm for Hiace, 1,325 mm for the caravan, and the length of the luggage compartment when the second seat is folded is Hiace. The caravan is about 3m and the caravan is 3,05m, but there is no doubt that the later NV350 caravan was made with the dimensions of the 200 series Hiace in mind. You can think that it is almost the same. And, in both cases, there is a space of 1.8m or more in length that a person of normal height can sleep well behind it even when the second seat is put out.

This layout may have a wide foot in the driver’s seat, but it is disadvantageous in terms of collision safety from the front. Of course, it has cleared the current safety standards, but it may not be possible to continue if the rules change in the future. Given that the rules will not be loosened, I think it would be impossible to expand the internal dimensions any further if the vehicle had an internal combustion engine with the same external dimensions.

These two models were born under the shackles of 4 numbers.Crystal of manufacturer’s ingenuity and effortIt is no exaggeration to say that it is a car.

In fact, driving is easy

People who aren’t familiar with this style may be shunned by the difficulty of driving, but to be clear, that’s a big mistake.Hiace caravanA car that is very easy to drive because it is square and has a good view and it is easy to grasp the feeling of a vehicle.It is.

Back cameras have become widespread these days, so you don’t have to worry about backing up, and there are even those with a device that allows you to see your car from a more amazing bird’s eye.

At least the windshield is big slanted and I think it’s a lot easier to drive than a car that could have an athletic meet on the dashboard.

In addition, it seems that there are both models of passenger car minivans that fit in the 5th number size and models that are oversized and become the 3rd number.

These types seem to be smaller than the 4 number Hiace caravan, and in fact, the length and width are about the same as the Hiace caravan, or even larger.

It’s just an image that I think it’s smaller than the 4 number Hiace caravan and easy to handle. However, the size of the room is incomparably superior to the Hiace caravan.

Unless there are other reasons, it is a mistake not to choose the Hiace caravan because it seems to be more difficult to drive than a passenger car minivan.

How about Hijet Every N-VAN?

The size of most mini vehicles, not just the Hijet Every, with a few exceptions, is made to the full specifications of mini vehicles in length and width, apart from the height.

Structurally, both Hijet and Every are efficient cab overs,The front wheels are in front of the front seatsHowever, it is different from the Hiace caravan.

By the way, the front wheels in front of the front seats may be mistaken for a semi-cab over, but the power train (engine transmission) is in front and sticks out into the cabin, so the power train. The Hijet Every, which is almost under the front seat, is a cab over instead of a semi cab over.

The layout with this front wheel in front of the power train and seats can lengthen the wheelbase of a short overall length light vehicle,It also has a slight advantage in terms of collision safety from the front.(Although light trucks such as Carry and Hijet trucks whose front wheels are under the front seats also clear collision safety).

again,Benefits of good weight balanceIt may not be as good as the discontinued Acty / Vamos rear midship layout, but it should also contribute to mobility.

However, due to the wheel house of the front wheels, my feet became narrow and I couldn’t help it.The accelerator pedal tends to be offset toward the center.Can be said to be the only disadvantage.

The size behind the front seats (the size of the luggage compartment) may differ depending on the grade and cargo / passenger, but the figures in the catalog show that when the back seats are folded.Every luggage has a maximum floor length of 1,955 mm, a maximum luggage compartment height of 1,240 mm, and a maximum luggage compartment width of 1,380 mm.AndHijet is 1,950 mm, 1,235 mm, 1,375 mmIt has become.

It’s almost like the difference between a caravan and a Hiace, and it can be said that they are almost the same.

However, the numbers that the maximum floor length of the luggage compartment is 1,950 mm and 1,955 mm are amazing.

The NV200 Vanette, which has a total length of 4,400 mm and is registered as a small cargo, has a length of 1,900 mm from the partition pipe behind the front seat to the back door, 1,830 mm from the folded back seat to the back, and a total length of 4,045 m. Although it is mm, the floor length behind the folded back seat is 1,760 mm.

Although it is not comparable in width,The floor length of the luggage compartment of the Hijet Every is superior to that of a small car van that is one class larger.It is.

In addition, Honda’s N-VAN, which is disadvantageous in terms of the length behind the front seat due to FF, folds the rear seat and passenger seat under the floor except for the driver’s seat and flattens the floor.A floor length of up to 2,635 mm is secured, and taking advantage of being FF, the indoor height is 1,365 mm.It’s a great car that is higher than the Hiace caravan.

I really admire the efforts of these light vans.

With regard to driving performance, the performance of light vehicles has improved and it is no longer always possible to say so, but in general, light vans are disadvantageous for long-distance and long-time driving compared to large vehicles.But on the contraryAdvantageous because it is smallThere are many scenes that I feel.

I don’t know by mistakeYou can afford when you get into a narrow roadIs different.

Navi There are times when I guide a very narrow road, so I may not trust it, and when I was running thinking that it would be okay because the national road in the 400s is a national road, I was running in a forest road or a rural village from the middle There are times when I wonder if I’ve lost my way.

In many fishing villages, the formation of the village itself is mainly based on the movement using the sea, and the roads in the village are usually narrow (although the situation in Hokkaido is a little different). If you try to get closer to the coast and enter the road in a village by the sea, you may encounter terrible things.

In such a case, the small size of a mini car is still appreciated. This is because at least light tigers can pass on roads where cars can pass.

And while the parking space is the smallest as a car, there is a space where you can sleep comfortably inside. When staying in the car, it may be advantageous to be inconspicuous, especially in the countryside.

Thinking this way, the light vanThe best car to travel in unknown placesIt can also be said.

Maintenance costs, high-speed charges, and fuel efficiency are usually better than those of higher class vans, which is a big advantage, but I think these are the biggest advantages of light vans.

So which one is better after all

The NV200 Vanette and Townace are actually smaller than the Hiace caravan and have a small turn, unlike the minivan with a passenger car number that is smaller than the Hiace caravan.

It seems that it is easier to drive long distances, long hours, and high speeds than light cars, but it feels halfway compared to the 4 number Hiace caravan and light van that pursued rationality within each standard. It is undeniable to do.

Also, although the light van has a space to sleep comfortably, the room and comfort of the Hiace caravan are no match for it.

In fact, I feel that I can continue to travel comfortably forever with my own caravan. Since the amount of luggage that can be loaded is also different, even if you have a lot of luggage such as a work trip, a light van is not comparable.

However, for some reason I am attracted to the minimal atmosphere, and as I mentioned in the previous item, I think that there are trips that can only be done with a light van, especially in Japan, so it is hard to throw away the light van. I can’t put on the instep.

A light van for a trip that focuses on the micro rather than a macro, a Hiace or a caravan if you choose a comfortable and practical one, anyway?

There were two, so every time I wanted to go somewhere, I was wondering whether to go with a caravan or Vamos.

Writer: Satan Kasahara

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