We are mailed a link by "VP" to a French video, Angles Morts
This is profound. Up until this moment we hadn't understood why anyone in Paris would pay the premium for a 4x4, even as a status symbol to keep up with your peers, when by doing so you sacrificed the ability to park in a busy city.
However this video shows that yes, the vehicle size may make mini parking spaces unusable, but the higher ground clearance of the machines makes it easier to get your car over the raised separation between road and bike lane, and so park in bike lanes -that are unreachable by "legacy" cars. It opens up more parking than ever before. Having a status vehicle that saves you 30 minutes of snow-chain work on your annual ski trip is an added bonus.
Similarly: SmartCars. By producing a car so small, so nimble, it has managed to get cars into those places that were forever forbidden to cars. By investing in small urban vehicles, Mercedes have freed our European cities' pavements from the tyranny of pedestrians!