When I lived in Houston I met a guy with a rear entry van. It was a full-size Ford and he opted to put the lift in the rear for several reasons.
1. It kept him from being hemmed in by people parking too close on the side.
2. (Similar to the first) His two-car garage could not have his van and his wife's car both inside and allow the lift to work. He had to extend the back of the garage to allow him to pull in far enough to operate the lift with the garage door closed.
3. He said putting the lift on the side would have prevented him from having a wheelchair tie-down on the passenger side to use when he was not driving.
I tried to see if he was still in Houston and would maybe like to give his opinion, but there is no longer anyone by that name there. I don't know if he is alive or dead.
Rear-entry vans can only be utilized for those who are passangers and not drivers. There are some downfalls...being that the tailgate and ramp are both manual, and you can only have access to the backseat. The two backseats can be taken out for more space. I have moslty seen rear-entry vans used by families that have younger children in chairs.
I have one from Freedom Motors. A Dodge 2001 Grand Caravan. Had it ten years I drive it myself. I transfer from my W/C to a transfer/driving seat that pivots to the driving position. It has an automatic ramp and auto rear door/hatch.
The only downside is you can't carry more than two passengers so the backseat/bench is a waste. Plus can't parallel park.
Other than that I love mine. No parking issues and don't have to use a handicapped parking spot