New Honda Stepwgn Spada

New Honda Stepwgn Launch: World’s first “Waku Waku Gate” born of the voices of 400 female drivers

Honda announced on April 23 that they will release the new model and the 5th generation of Stepwgn on April 24, 2015. It had a full improvement for the first time since 2009, and its engine was changed from 2L to 1.5L turbo engine.

It is a minivan and it uses a Waku Waku Gate (waku waku means exciting) where its backdoor can be opened to the side. Its regular price is around 2,230,000 to 2,800,000 yen, and its stylish high grade series, the Stepwgn Spada, is at around 2,720,000 to 3,080,000 yen.

Its noticeable function, the Waku Waku Gate, is not a flip-up backdoor, but you have to open it sidewards. It has a subdoor. The wide subdoor is structured with three levels, and it can be easily used when you load and unload your baggage, or get on and off the vehicle.

It is more convenient in narrow parking lots that do not have space for flip-up back doors, and it is a function made easy for female drivers with inadequate strength. It is also equipped with safety measures to assure that it won’t open while the car is running. Honda R&D Chief Developer and researcher Hitoshi Hakamada said that they conducted a survey focusing on 400 female drivers, and gathered responses such as the condition of the door usage when shopping; they decided to implement this new function as a result.

The embodiment of the function with the theme “easier and more gentle” was adequately appealing. Also, even though the weight of its back door became heavier by 10kg compared to the existing models with its subdoor, it was covered with a design that mainly raises its rigidity, and the increase of its weight was controlled, according to Hakamada.

(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)