By Steve & Tamami Laser
Honda is celebrating a major milestone in Japan by selling more than 2.5 million units of the popular N Series models. With the addition of the N-VAN commercial vehicle to the lineup last year, the N Series now offers something for everyone.
Honda’s new generation mini vehicle (also called Kei car) was launched in Dec. 2011 with the N-BOX. Sales took off the following year with more than 210,000 vehicles finding homes across Japan. Through Nov. 2019, N-BOX sales total an amazing 1,697,210 units, making it Honda’s top-selling mini vehicle.
N-BOX received a major model change two years ago, riding on a new platform and wrapped with all new, yet unmistakable, styling. The goal was to set new standards in the class with new powertrains, increased comfort inside, and a suite of Honda SENSING™ safety features.
Powertrain choices include a 660cc DOHC naturally aspirated 3-cylinder engine that puts out 43kW (58PS) and 65N-m of torque, plus a turbocharged version. Both are teamed with a CVT and offer a choice of front or four-wheel drive.
N-BOX sales figures include a variant dubbed “N/” (pronounced N-BOX Slash), that joined the lineup in 2014. Targeting younger buyers, N/ has “coupe-like” styling (above) with an upswept beltline and hidden rear side door handles.
While this gives it a cool appearance, the real surprise is inside, where styling themes include “California Diner” (our favorite, above), “Street Rod,” and “Hawaii Glide.”
In second place in the N Series sales department is the N-WGN. Launched in 2013, and updated this summer with all-new styling (above) and features, Honda has sold more than 500,000 N-WGN models in six years.
N-ONE, which is inspired by Honda’s original N models, joined the contemporary N Series lineup in late 2012. Honda celebrated the 50th anniversary of its N360 minicar in Japan (above left) with the N-ONE “SS Neo Classic Racer Package” (above right). With more than 244,000 units sold, N-ONE is a common sight in Japan where a variety of differently themed trims and color combos are offered.
Honda has sold more than 67,000 units of the new N-VAN (above) since its launch last year. This model targets commercial and business users with unique features including a raised roof and the removal of the B-pillar on the passenger side, to make loading and unloading easier.
The seat design maximizes space inside the N-VAN’s cabin. A dive-down mechanism for the front passenger’s seat and rear seats delivers a load floor that stretches from the dashboard to the tailgate.
Note: Features and specifications for Japanese market models are subject to change without notice
News source and photos courtesy of Honda Motor Co. Ltd.
Story (commentary) © 2019 CarNichiWa.com