The letters RS carry a lot of clout for a lot of different automakers, conjuring dreams of hardcore Porsches and turbocharged hot hatches. However, we’re not sure we’d place this one near the top of that list. But as far as minivans go, it’s one tempting piece of forbidden fruit.
What you’re looking at is the new Jade RS that Honda’s rolled out in its home market back in Japan. The minivan was first introduced in 2013 and facelifted in 2016, but now it’s been made to look and feel sportier.
Essentially a larger version of the Civic, the Jade typically comes with six seats distributed across three rows, under a relatively low roofline that we’d likely think of more as a wagon than a minivan. Whatever you want to call it, the new Jade RS reverts to a more traditional five-seat configuration, in apparent response to demand.
Honda’s packed the Jade RS with a long list of advanced driver-assistance systems as part of the Honda Sensing suite, and is offering it in this new shade of “Premium Crystal” orange you see here (exclusive to the RS model), with a black roof for contrast.
Instead of the hybrid powertrain (or the atmospheric 1.8-liter four with which it launched), the RS packs a 1.5-liter turbo four, rated at 148 horsepower and 150 lb-ft (203 Nm) of torque, mated to seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
It’s set to reach dealers in Japan this May. But unless you live in one of a handful of Asian markets where the Jade is offered, you’ll have a hard time getting your hands on one.