Honda lifted the embargo on its updated NBOX+, a sister-model of its bestselling NBOX minivehicle that passed our feared “from the backseat” test drive with flying colors.
While the regulation NBOX supplies space for my knees and excited moonlighting driver Martin, the new NBOX+ delivers amazing versatility. It can double as a cargo hauler, a recreational vehicle, even as a double bed.
Limited by Japanese law to its small size of 11.2 by 4.9 ft, Honda rearranged the inside of its most successful kei. The tank was moved to the center, making space for a sloped floor and an attachable aluminum ramp.
Prices for the NBOX+ start at 1,350,000 yen ($17,000).
Sales of minivehicles had been in a downtrend after a peak in 2006. This year, kei cars turned the corner sharply in Japan. Nearly 1.2 million keis were sold in Japan in the first half of 2012, for a market share of 37 percent. Carmakers project sales of 2 million for the whole year, The Nikkei [sub] says.
Stay tuned for a “from the back bed” test drive when I am back in Japan. Driver Martin can watch.