History of Honda Stepwgn Spada e:HEV
The Honda Stepwgn is a minivan produced by Honda since 1996 that was designed with a taller cabin, unlike the Odyssey and Stream. The first generation of the Stepwgn was introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1995 as the F-MX.
The first generation was based on the Civic, with the engine mounted under the driver’s seat. It was equipped with a sliding door on the passenger side, which allowed easier entry. The vehicle design reduced the use of steel panels and parts.
Based on the design of the first generation, the second-generation Stepwgn debuted in April 2001. Its design was aimed at families with children while retaining the sliding doors on one side of the vehicle.
There were also four different seating arrangements, namely play, food, sleep and cargo modes. The second generation Stepwgn was powered by a Honda 2.0-litre Honda K engine DOHC i-VTEC engine, which produced 160 PS and improved both driving performance and fuel economy.
In May 2005, Honda introduced the third generation Stepwgn with a much more aerodynamic design that, unlike previous generations, featured sliding doors on both sides. With this, Honda wanted to compete with other minivans such as the Nissan Serena and the Toyota Noah.
Although the platform retained the Civic-based design, the overall length was also shortened, with a thin plastic fuel tank providing a low floor. It was available with a double wishbone suspension with a FF axle or a de-Dion suspension.
The fourth generation Stepwgn was a complete redesign of the model range with an increase in height and length, although the width remained the same compared to previous generations. There were seven trim levels, including one returning model – the Stepwgn Spada. In October 2009, the model range was expanded to include the Stepwgn Spada as a special vehicle.
The fifth generation Stepwgn, introduced in April 2015, features a functional interior and an innovative tailgate mechanism called the Waku Waku Gate. This innovative feature is unique in that the rear doors function as either a wide, upward-opening tailgate or a side-opening side door. It has been used to easily exit the third row of seats and stow small cargo without folding them down.
The sixth-generation Stepwgn, launched in January 2022, is available in three models: Air, Spada and Spada Premium Line. However, the Waku Waku Gate mechanism has been dropped for this generation in favour of a conventional automatic tailgate release.