The Stepwgn underwent a full model change. Aside from being equipped with a 1.5L turbocharged direct injection engine, it also adopted a user-friendly backdoor called the “Waku Waku Gate”.
Even though it is a turbocharged direct engine, I doubted that it could run with the weight of a minivan, considering the 1.5L, but unexpectedly, it has ample room for efficiency.
Compared to a naturally aspirated engine, the torque performance of a 2L engine outputs 2.4L on a low to mid-speed transition levels. I did not feel unsatisfied with its 1,700kg vehicle weight on both the front and rear parts.
It is particularly great when accelerating. If it is a naturally aspirated engine, you cannot feel that it is accelerating until the rotation rises up the moment you step on the accelerator. However, the turbo engine generates a powerful torque from low rotation level, thus you can accelerate it smoothly.
Its Waku Waku Gate, which can be opened upwards or sidewards, is remarkable. You can freely open or close this door, making you feel as if it’s a refrigerator or just some other common door. You can load and unload a small luggage even just by opening one part of it sidewards, and you can also get on and off this vehicle through it when the third row seats are kept under the floor.
And if you have huge luggage, you can open the whole tailgate upwards just like the usual. However, since this Stepwgn model has become taller and it is designed with the Waku Waku Gate, the backdoor has become heavier and the door handle was placed higher. It has become quite difficult for a woman with a smaller body to open and close the door.
This Stepwgn still adopts a packaging with low floor and low balance, but it has a taller overall height and an extended wheelbase. Because of this, the interior space has become wider.
Its interior height was increased by 30mm, and since it’s become higher overall, the tandem distance between the first and third rows was extended by 40mm, longer than the extended wheelbase. All seats guarantee a space where everyone can sit comfortably.
Aside from the third row seat called “magic seat,” it can also have multiple colors, thus increasing the user-friendliness of the Stepwgn.
This car has become more expensive. When you choose the standard G or EX and equip it with the Honda Sensing or car navigator options, its price would certainly exceed 3 million yen; it is worth noting that the Spada Cool Spirit costs more than half of 3 million yen.
â– 5 Star Rating
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Hiroshi Matsushita | Car Critic
Born in 1951 in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture. Former journalist for the car industry and editor of a car magazine, now a freelancer. Known for his strengths in economic discussions of cars and money, such as tax, insurance, and various expenses. Writes an online diary.
(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)