I live in Mid Wales, and to have a 4 x 4 is required in the Winter, but I also have a small car, and I select car depending on where I am going, the Honda Jazz does not have the ground clearance for some places I go. But the Kia Sorento has a better turning circle to the Honda so it is not always small is better.
However for many years I have driven a GoCar which was a Renault Kangoo van converter into an ambulance to carry my mother in her wheel chair, and we had many problems parking where my mother could get out of the car, she liked to travel in the front, but that mean the passenger door needed to be wide open, but even when travelling in the back, we had problems, and in places where the designers should have known better, Wrexham hospital some daft twit had put planters between disabled car park and path, so wheel chairs had to be loaded and unloaded into the road, if the disabled car park was full the main car park had no ramps to get onto the pavement so forced to wheel her down the road.
The same with shop car parks, bollards so could not reverse in and open back door, had to unload into the traffic, having the end of each row reserved for the disabled would allow disabled use without needing extra space, but they are also handy for large vehicles and as said stop smaller vehicles being able to see when the way is clear.
Even had one car park in Shrewsbury where I could drive in but not out due to hight restriction on out only, and had to leave through the in route. I did not need to park close with mother, just needed extra room, and I think the same applies to semi-commercial vehicles, it is so easy to direct the semi-commercial like my Kia to bays further from the shop, if on holiday towing the caravan I have no option, but would normally use the small car for shopping, but when there were no disabled spaces I have used mother and child, I clearly was my mothers child even if in my 60's since mother was in a wheel chair it was very clear why I was using the space, but had young mothers complaining.
But the regulations do have a reverse problem, they stipulate in the main 1.8 meters wide normal and 2.7 meters wide for disabled, and as a result the markings are often placed to those sizes even when to get into the space 1.8 meters is not really enough. My Kia is 1.863 meters wide, so if the bay is correct width I need to use the area in next door bay, Honda Jazz is 1.694 so those 1.8 meter bays are tight. Even the Vauxhall Agila is 1.68 meters wide. And very few cars that narrow.