This is true at least in busy European cities like Paris.
In Helsinki, like in Paris, when a strip of road on the side is designated for parking, it's just that, a strip of road. Quite unlike in Singapore where each parking lot is marked clearly on the ground. This means that as long as your car fits in the lot, go ahead and park.
In this case, as long as the car fit and it did not disrupt traffic flow, park it.
Thus, small cars like the 2-person Smart or Mini are very popular. Large or long MPVs tend to be quite rare but I suspect finding lots in suburban or rural areas are less difficult. We also spotted a large Humvee with a Middle Eastern/Arabic licence plate parked outside a luxury hotel.
My mother-in-law saw the Smart car when she visited us this summer. She thought that this model wouldn't sell in Singapore where cars are a status symbol - the bigger the better.
But some families need an MPV since grandparents and children (and sometimes maids too) are huddled into one car.
We have a Mini - a seat for each of us. Just nice.