Honda has revealed the second generation of its bijou N-WGN, which will go on sale in its home market of Japan on August 9. While the original was more of a cookie cutter kei car, this one leans harder on its boxy body style with a clean, minimalist design.
The pared-back styling has created more substantial-looking surfaces that enhance the feeling of solidity, while the round headlights flanking the rather retro grille give the car a friendlier face. Moving to the rear of the car, the slim vertical tail lights, integrated into the shape of the tailgate, add to the modern look.
As is the case with most kei cars, the Custom model gets sportier front and rear bumpers and more ornate grille and LED head- and tail lights. The variant also receives a black interior with titanium-look trim, rather than the standard brown and ivory colour scheme.
Inside, the N-WGN continues its clean aesthetic, with a horizontal dashboard design that provides plenty of storage space and USB ports within easy reach. There’s even a tray hidden away under the rear seats for yet more room for your odds and ends. For the first time in a Honda kei car, a tilt- and telescopic-adjusting steering wheel is fitted as standard, as is an electronic parking brake with auto brake hold.
The new N-WGN is based on the even taller and boxier N-Box, featuring a low floor and Honda’s novel central fuel tank positioning – first seen on the Jazz – that free up more space for occupants. Entry and egress is aided by the lowering of the side sills and the optimisation of the seat height to minimise waist movement when stepping in or out.
Meanwhile, the boot floor and sill have been lowered to make it easier to load heavier cargo, while an included cargo board enables the luggage area to be split into upper and lower portions. The board also creates a flat load bay with the rear seats folded, and it can also be stowed on the backs of the rear seats to enable the fitment of taller items.
Safety-wise, the N-WGN comes with the Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance features as standard, including a Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) that now incorporates bicycle (a first for a kei car, Honda says) and nighttime pedestrian detection.
Other items include Pedestrian Collision Mitigation Steering, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow, Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), traffic sign recognition and auto high beam. Then there are the features that are common in Japan, such as a Lead Car Departure Notification System and a False Start Prevention that also protects against pedal misapplication in reverse.
As per regulations, the N-WGN continues to be powered by a 658 cc petrol three-cylinder. The naturally-aspirated version makes 58 hp at 7,300 rpm and 65 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm, while the turbocharged mill churns out 64 hp at 6,000 rpm and 104 Nm at 2,600 rpm. The engine is paired to a CVT with an option of front- or all-wheel drive, with a claimed fuel efficiency of up to 23.2 km per litre on the WLTP cycle.
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