By Steve & Tamami Laser; with Nahoko Osuka reporting from Japan
Honda’s N-BOX is so popular in Japan that sales have topped more than 1 million units since launching in 2011. Now comes word from Honda that the N-BOX will undergo a full model change this fall.
While Honda’s brief press release and single teaser photo (above) don’t specify an exact launch date, we do know that the biennial Tokyo Motor Show is slated for late October so it’s very likely that we’ll see it there. (Watch for our stories and videos from the show.)
The tiny N-BOX is a big success for Honda. It’s been the top-selling mini-vehicle (also known as “Kei Car”) in Japan for two years in a row (2015 and 2016). It also held this title for 2012 and 2013.
In this photo, your faithful editor stands next to a current generation N-BOX parked in Kyoto. By American car standards, the N-BOX appears narrow yet it’s fairly tall giving it a boxy look. Overall length is quite short and the wheels are pushed out to the corners.
The dimensions of the N-BOX aren’t likely to change. Kei Car exterior specs are limited to 11.2 feet (3.4m) in overall length, 4.9 feet (1.48m) wide and a generous 6.6 feet (2m) high. Kei cars are affordable city runabouts, easy to park, and hold lots of stuff.
Since the engine size is limited to 660cc and passenger capacity is reserved for four, these specs won’t change either. Instead, we expect fresh styling to help the N-BOX retain its top-selling status.
Another benefit of the square exterior is a cavernous cabin, shown in these current generation N-BOX photos from Honda. Second-row seat cushions fold up and the seats slide on tracks in the floor for added versatiliy.
All N-BOX models use a Continuously Variable Transmission with the shifter mounted on the dash. Sporty steering-wheel paddle shifters are available on some models.
Honda expanded the lineup two years ago by introducing the N-BOX/ (pronounced N-BOX Slash) shown above. With “coupe-like” styling, this model has swing-out rear side doors with hidden door handles, instead of the sliding doors on the regular N-BOX.
N-BOX Slash offers trendy themes. “Trekking Style” is the name of an interior color package (above) introduced late last year.
N-BOX customers in Japan can select from normally aspirated and turbocharged DOHC 3-cylinder 660cc engines, front or four-wheel drive and a wide array of options, packages and accessories.
Honda says it will post more news about the new N-BOX on a special page in its consumer website in Japan. The page can be accessed here.
News source and photos (as noted) from Honda Motor Co. Ltd. Features and specifications apply to models sold in Japan. All information, including launch timing, is subject to change without notice by the automaker.
Story and photos (as noted) © 2107 CarNichiWa.com