Honda’s Odyssey minivan now has to compete with another Honda minivan, as the Step WGN was introduced this week. The boxy van has limited info available for it, but we can show it to you and fill you in on some of its specs. But first, this will be available only in Japan, and maybe in Hong Kong. Right now, Honda has no plans to have it compete with the Odyssey minivan here.
How is the Honda minivan for Japan but not form the US?
There is a large market for various types of vans in Japan. While the Odyssey sells well here, the minivan market in the US is shrinking. Honda consistently sold well over 100,000 Odyssey vans a year in the US. But even that has fallen to under that number the last three years.
So obviously, Honda doesn’t see the need for a second van here. But the Step WGN van has done well in Japan standing between the JDM Odyssey minivan and small N-Box. It will even come in three separate models for broad appeal. The base is the Air, then Spada, and Spada Premium at the top trim.
Honda now has the Odyssey, Step WGN, and N-Box minivan
As with many other models, Honda went for a slightly larger footprint. It is longer, wider, and taller than its predecessor. For buyers looking for a smaller van, Honda sells the tiny N-Box van. This was the best-selling vehicle in Japan in 2019, selling over 250,000. So as you can tell vans are very popular in Japan.
Visually, the Air trim has rectangular headlights, a smaller grille, and only minimal chrome. The Spada and Spada Premium add more to the exterior. There is more chrome, the grille is larger, it features a tailgate spoiler, and the front apron is unique.
What’s the Waku Waku Gate?
One feature not being carried over is the Waku Waku Gate. This was a three-way tailgate with asymmetrical doors. They could be swung out separately, or together like a typical liftgate.
Inside, there is a large floating screen in the center stack. Digital instruments dominate the driver’s side, with a glovebox and shelf below for the passenger side. The design mimics that of Hondas like the HR-V and Civic.
For the second row, there are two captain’s chairs. For owners with kids, these seats can be moved front-to-back and also side-to-side. This gets the kiddos closer to mom up in the front if needed. They also recline flat, as do the third-row seats to make a bed.
The Step WGN minivan gets both hybrid and non-hybrid power
According to Motor 1, there will be both hybrid and non-hybrid versions. But apart from that, there is little else known about the powertrain. The hybrid version will feature the Honda e-HEV drive system, with a push-button gear selection. The non-hybrid uses a lever for gear swapping.
In some ways, this is a longer and larger version of the Honda Element sold here from 2002 to 2011. It consistently sold around 50,000 Elements a year before tailing off to about 14,000 the last two years available. If that is any gauge then Honda may want to save its resources for something that might sell better here.