By on April 23, 2015

Honda Step WGN 01

Honda revealed the fifth-gen Step WGN for the Japanese market Thursday, which not only features a new flexible tailgate, but the same engine planned for the 2016 Civic.

The main draw for the seven-passenger Step WGN is the “Waku Waku” tailgate, which can be lifted up in most circumstances, or can be opened from the side via the tailgate’s sub-door. The sub-door has three levels of opening angles, allowing greater ease of access to cargo for occupants when the kei van is parked in a tight space, such as a shopping center or home garage. Third-row passengers can also use the door to exit without opening the full tailgate when the door is paired with the third-row 60-40 Magic Seat.

Under the hood is the 1.5-liter direct-injection VTEC turbo set to provide power for the 2016 Civic. Horsepower and torque figures were not mentioned at this time, but Honda claims output is “equivalent to that of a 2.4-litre engine even while driving with multiple passengers and on hilly roads.” Power is directed to the front or all four corners via CVT.

[Photo credit: Honda]

Honda Step WGN Gallery

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20 Comments on “Fifth-Gen Honda Step WGN Debuts With New 2016 Civic Engine, Tailgate System...”

  • avatar

    I’m not normally the “they should import this!” guy, but …

    This thing seems like it’d sell really well here, especially as a taxi.

    • 0 avatar
      The Heisenberg Cartel

      And if they made a panel version of it they could jump into the fray against the Transit Connect MK2 and the NV200. I see three-row TConnects all over the place here (North Bay Area), far more than one would expect.

  • avatar

    Incredible interior packaging is a Honda hallmark, and this is no exception. I have to say though, this is definitely a better fit for narrow urban driving than covering vast windblown interstates of the US. Can you imagine driving this thing with any sort of crosswind? Interior design looks great, if only they could bring that to the Civic (but with traditional tach and speedo). I miss the angular “80s Japan” look that fortunately Toyota seems to be bringing back, if the Sienna is any indication.

    I’m still very skeptical about direct injected turbocharged motors, one hopes that Honda, as an engine builder first and foremost, got things right in regards to keeping the valves clean.

    Edit: this would never pass our 5mph bumper standards with the rear end as it sits. That looks VERY expensive to repair in the event of a rear fender bender!

  • avatar

    Did Fozzie Bear design the tailgate system?

  • avatar

    Without scale or windows, looks like a spruced-up 1950s Austin moving van. Blimpish. As is, a mini Airporter van.

    “equivalent to that of a 2.4-litre engine even while driving with multiple passengers and on hilly roads.” What do multiple passengers and hilly roads have to do with engine output?

    But with a mere 148hp and 150 lb-ft of torque, any 2.4l extant has at least 25 hp and 25 lb-ft of torque on this, so marketing hyperbole once again comes to the fore.

    • 0 avatar

      A full car on hilly roads is where you need full power.

      That said, I learned to drive on hilly roads in 3300lb vehicles with around 110hp. That’s enough power to live in the Appalachians and visit the rockies, provided you’re willing to use the whole engine and not afraid of a little noise coming out from under the hood. My Sienna (269HP @ 4400lbs) has far more power than I require, which is one of the many practically-minded luxuries it provides.

      The van in this article would be less luxurious than our Sienna, but it’s well suited for our needs. If it were cheaper and more efficient than our Sienna, my wife would probably buy one. She likes CVTs and practicality.

      P.S. She really wanted a Mazda 5 until she saw the price and MPG numbers, and so we settled on a big van — with the same numbers.

  • avatar

    I’m intrigued. I’m actually going to soon be in the market for a minivan, and like none of options out there.

    They’re all too bloated and/or overpriced. The only things in my price range are a Caravan (terrible reliability) or the aged Mazda 5. I’m still considering a 5, but it’s just a few inches too small and down a seat belt…

    If it was imported and priced right, I’d definitely give it a look.

    • 0 avatar

      Minivans are one of the few classes of vehicles that haven’t gained much weight in the last decade and a half.

      I know it surprised me when I looked it up, but they really haven’t put on much weight since 99/00: at most a 100-200lbs (or 3%) for the Oddy, Sienna and Caravan, or much less than their sedan counterparts have.

      It’s true that there aren’t many smaller three-row MPVs (a la the original Magic Wagon) in North America, but I don’t think we’d buy them if they did exist. Even in Canada, Chevy gave up on the Orlando and Mazda on the 5, while the Rondo is holding on by the skin of it’s teeth.

    • 0 avatar

      Two frequently overlooked choices it the minivan space are the Tranit Connect Wagon and the passenger version of the Nissan NV-200.

      They seem to be special order around here, and they lack some of the fancy seat folding options that I’ve become accustomed to in our Sienna, but they look cheap, practical, and commercial grade. The Sienna/Oddysey/T&C are more luxurious, but if you think they’re bloated, then these less luxurious comwercial minivans are worth a look.

      I drove a cargo version of the 1st generation (in the USA) Transit Connect and found that it drove pretty much like my 1998 Ranger, except that it was an automatic. Nothing objectionable about it. I haven’t driven the newer Transit Connect or the NV-200 yet, but I can’t imagine that they would me much different – everything you need to get the job done, but tame enough that your employee won’t wreck it.

      I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of ENV-200 in the US. We’re a minivan family and a two car family, so a no frills electric minivan would be a perfect compliment to our relatively luxurious and highwayworthy Sienna. I’m close to being able to pull the trigger on a Leaf, though.

  • avatar

    FWIW it’s a couple classes too big for a kei van.
    These small vans are popular over there the way CUVs are in the US. One thing they don’t seem to do, especially with the subcompact-based ones is add noise insulation along with the big box out back, ’cause riding in the back of these things over ~70kph is deafening.

  • avatar

    I like it! Not considering the CVT and with a dab more of exterior design and more talent in the interior design, I’d be happy to take it home.

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