2020 Honda N-WGN Custom Preview – Next Generation Offers 3-Cylinder Turbo and AWD

By Steve & Tamami Laser

With more than 2.3 million sales of Honda’s N-Series in Japan, you’re likely to spot these popular mini-vehicles (also called Kei cars) wherever you go. Following the introduction of the second-generation N-BOX and all-new N-VAN, Honda is launching a completely revamped N-WGN at its dealers across Japan.

The N-WGN and N-WGN Custom gain all-new styling inside and out with a sleeker (yet still boxy, of course) look compared to the previous models. Honda is rolling out a new advertising campaign for the N-WGN launch with the tagline, “New Simple!” that segues with the new model’s product development.

While the N-WGN features a retro look with “friendly face” round headlights and a simple grille, the N-WGN Custom has a more “cool face” with square LED lights, a multi-faceted grille that reflects the look of textured goods like jewelry, and clear-lens taillights (above).

A wide array of parts and accessories for the new N-WGN are available from Honda Access in Japan. Customers can dress up and personalize their rides with “Simple Relax,” “Casual Relax,” and “Custom Style” (above) themes. Full body kits include unique grilles, fascias, emblems, mirror caps, garnishes and Modulo wheels.

The N-WGN interior features a brown and ivory color scheme while the Custom is finished with black and titanium-looking garnishes. Storage spaces for smaller items are located throughout the cabin, including a tray under the rear seats and pockets on the backs of the front seats.

A tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel is standard for the first time in a Honda mini-vehicle. The N-WGN sports a traditional instrument panel behind the steering wheel unlike the N-BOX that has the meter cluster on top of the dash.

High-tech multimedia systems are available through Honda Access including a Gathers Internavi system with 8-inch touchscreen, Drive T@lker that corresponds to destination search using a smartphone app, and Apple CarPlay™. Windshield-mounted Gathers drive recorder with timekeeping recording function and a navigation-linked ETC 2.0 in-vehicle unit are also offered.

Standard Honda Sensing™ driver-assistive features include Collision Mitigation Braking System with bicycle and nighttime pedestrian detection (a mini-vehicle segment first), Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, Traffic Sign Recognition, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist, and Auto High Beams. A Parking Sensor System (a Honda mini-vehicle first), plus an electric parking brake with automatic brake hold are also included.

N-WGN powertrains are shared with the new generation N-BOX. Customers can opt for a 660cc DOHC naturally aspirated 3-cylinder engine rated at 43kW (58PS) @ 7,300 rpm and 65N-m (6.6 kgf-m) of torque @ 4,000 rpm, or a turbocharged version with 47kw (64PS) @ 6,000 rpm and 104 N-m (10.6 kgf-m) @ 2,600 rpm. A Continuously Variable Transmission and front-wheel drive is standard while all-wheel-drive is optional.

N-WGN models have small footprints, yet they’re remarkably roomy inside. Placing the gas tank under the front seats creates a low, flat floor with easy entry. The lowered cargo floor can accommodate taller items, while a standard horizontal cargo board can be configured for convenient two-level storage.

Honda’s sales target for the new N-WGN is 7,000 units per month in Japan.

Note: Features and specifications for Japanese market models are subject to change without notice.

News sources and photos courtesy of Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and Honda Access Corp.

Story (commentary) © 2019 CarNichiwa.com