AUTO

Little luggers

The compact van segment is about to get big.

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Nissan NV200

Nissan introduced a compact cargo van at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show that's the latest entry in a fast-growing segement, as small business owners look to save money and expenses by switching to a van that better fits their needs than a full-size van.

The front-wheel NV200 goes on sale late this year powered by an efficient 2.0-liter four cylinder engine and packed with features like a 60/40 rear door to make curbside loading easier and a center console that can double as a filing cabinet.

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Ford Transit Connect

Ford practically invented the compact van segment when it started importing its Transit Connect from Turkey in 2010. The company sold over 31,000 of them last year, inspiring other automakers like Nissan to follow suit. The $22,860 hauler can carry as more cargo than a Chevrolet Suburban and gets 27 mpg on the highway. In 2011 it added an electric version to the lineup.

Read: Quick Spin: 2011 Ford Transit Connect Electric

Ford

Fiat Doblo

Ram Doblo

Not to be left out of the fun, small car specialist Fiat is going to start offering a version of its compact Doblo van in America under the Ram Truck brand starting next year. Details on the U.S. version have not been released, including the official name, but the company plans to sell 190,000 of them by the end of the decade.

See all the cars from the 2012 Chicago Auto Show

Fiat

Little luggers

The compact van segment is about to get big.

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