In all serious, it's what you might call a "light cruiser", isn't it? It's designed for short haul trips.
Yes to the first, not necessarily to the second. Cruisers, be they heavy or light, are supposed to be able to operate independently or form the core of a task force. Voyager and its ilk may be "light" but that just indicates they should be sent alone on missions requiring a ship capable of getting the job done by itself but not require an even larger cruiser.
Voyager's size was about the most potentially interesting aspect of that show's premise; it makes a nice change from the top captain in the baddest ship. Also, it was less embarassing when a small ship limps away from getting its butt kicked in the opening salvo than when that was always happening to the NextGen crew.