All-New Step WGN MPV Debuts Honda’s New 148HP 1.5L VTEC Turbo Engine

Honda has unveiled the all-new Step WGN MPV in Japan ahead of its introduction on April 24 at dealerships across the country.

Powered by an all-new 1.5-liter direct injection VTEC Turbo engine, the fifth-generation Step WGN features a functional cabin space which Honda says is similar to “a living room at home,” as well as an innovative tailgate mechanism named Waku Waku Gate (“Waku Waku” meaning “exciting” in Japanese).

The big news for Honda fans outside Japan is obviously the 1.5-liter direct-injected VTEC Turbo four-cylinder engine, which is part of an all-new family of powertrains.

The engine produces 150PS (148hp) at 5,500 rpm and 203Nm (150lb-ft) of torque between 1,600 rpm and 5,000 rpm. Combined fuel consumption is rated at 17 km/l (5.9 l/100 km or 40 mpg US) according to Japan’s JC08 cycle. That’s not bad for a six-seat MPV and part of the credit goes to a new CVT developed specifically for the 1.5-liter VTEC Turbo engine. The Step WGN is offered with both front- and all-wheel drive.

Honda says the new Step WGN features the largest cabin space in its class, while the Waku Waku Gate is a unique proposition in the segment. The rear doors function either as a wide tailgate that opens up or as a sub-door that opens to the side. When combined with the third-row Magic Seat system with a 60-40 split that can be split and stored under the floor, the side-opening door enables third-row passengers to get in and out of the car without opening the entire tailgate, also making it easier to load and unload cargo.

The Step WGN is also equipped with the radar-based Honda Sensing, the brand’s range of driver-assistive systems that includes pedestrians detection and collision prevention, among other features. Standard active safety equipment includes Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), a Hill-Start Assist function as well as the Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) system that warns vehicles following behind of a sudden stop.

The Honda Step WGN is priced from 2,288,000 yen – that’s about $19,060 at the current exchange rates.

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  • rnc

    Not bad for a peoplecarier and 120% better than anything else with sliding doors in Europe. But I could bet a house that Honda will not sell this in Europe – it is too practical and straightforward buy for families. They prefer the challenge of selling odd cars which make sense only if you had quality issues with more attractive competitor cars.

  • Craig

    The 1.8 litre that most Civics have now makes 143 hp @ 6500 RPM and 129 lb/ft of torque @ 4300 RPM. The new Turbo 1.5 makes 5 more hp @ 1000 less RPM and 21 lb/ft more torque @ 1600 to 5000 RPM. So I assume the torque is going to do the talking. Does this mean that this new engine will not be a typical high-revving Honda engine?

    • RDS Alphard

      Judged by the photo , it show 6500-rpm redline on tachometer .

      • Craig

        By ‘high-revving Honda’ I meant that with this new Turbo engine – it seems as though it will no longer be necessary to rev the engine to near its red-line to get most of its power. Especially now that maximum torque comes on at a low 1600 RPM.

        • RDS Alphard

          More realistic for real life . 😛

  • TheHake

    This van is a VERY typical Tokyo cruiser! There are HEAPS of vans over there that look like this.

  • TOMSON

    How cool is that?`If I had let´s say 10 children, I´d definetly go for this funky box, if it was available here…nice!

  • smartacus

    148HP and 150lb/ft of torque is indefensibly miserable for a 1.5 with VTEC, with direct-injection and with turbocharging
    *even Hyundai’s non-turbo 1.8 is making that much HP for a couple of years now.

    • Obsequious_Lickspittle

      If it is torquey for city driving then that will be all it will need. This isn’t a power race in these type of vehicles.

  • Boudou

    That tailgate is genius. it opens as a door and up like a normal tailgate.

  • Six_Tymes

    HONDA PLEASE bring this to the US. and if you do DON’T down grade it. this would sell like crazy here. I know I would buy one.

    My wife just said “what they don’t sell it here? is Honda crazy”

  • Ilbirs

    Seeing this minivan, it reminds me about how bloated are the cars of today, even outside North America. With a length of 4.69 m and 1.69 m wide, Honda of Japan made a vehicle that can carry up to 8 people comfortably, including this very practical tailgate, and lots of internal arrangements. Watching the video you can even see that these two measurements didn’t change from previous model.
    Is that impossible to build cars that don’t grow outside every new generation?