Re: Are you saying the mini revamp was a success?
In the 1970s families - i.e. the people in them - were smaller. I never felt my dad's minis (saloon and Countryman) to be small or lacking in space. Then people got fat. Amusingly, my current car, a leased VW Tiguan, has front seats so wide - to accommodate contemporary fat bastards, I assume - that they're uncomfortable for my relatively slim self and diminutive wife.
As for merging with vans: that makes a lot of sense. Take a look at how a Skoda Yeti is laid out. Perfect for the swag we all carry about these days. And, with added ground clearance to deal with the state of the North London Alps, a.k.a. 'roads'.