New Honda N-VAN Ready to Work in Japan – Mini Size with Maxi Cargo Space

By Steve & Tamami Laser

Honda has sold more than 1.3 million units of its popular N-BOX series models in Japan since the original was launched more than six years ago. Thinking outside (and inside) the box, the new N-VAN joins the mini-vehicle lineup this week as it goes on sale at Honda dealers in Japan.

N-VAN +Style Fun model shown above with genuine Honda Accessories from Honda Access.

While the N-BOX and its siblings, including the N-BOX+ and “coupe-like” N-BOX Slash appeal to families and younger buyers, the new N-VAN targets the commercial and business market. This segment is not new for Honda as the automaker offered the Acty and Vamos work vans for many years.

N-VAN is based on the second-generation N-BOX that made its debut last fall. In addition to unique styling and the availability of raised roof models, the B-pillar on the passenger (left) side has been removed to make loading and unloading cargo easier. Honda says the design also opens up possibilities to use the van as a mobile storefront.

The N-VAN employs a “door-in-pillar” design for the front passenger and left-side sliding door. With the doors closed, Honda says passive safety performance is “equivalent to body construction with pillars.”

In addition to the platform’s low floor with the fuel tank mounted beneath the front seats, the N-VAN’s seat design maximizes space utilization inside the cabin. A “dive-down” mechanism for the front passenger’s seat and rear seats results in ample space from the dashboard to the tailgate for transporting long items.

Under the hood, the 660cc DOHC naturally aspirated and turbocharged “Earth Dreams” 3-cylinder engines have been optimized to generate higher torque at lower speeds to handle heavy loads. Customers can select a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) or 6-speed manual gearbox along with front- or available 4-wheel drive.

N-VAN +Style Cool model (above) with genuine Honda Accessories from Honda Access.

Like the N-BOX, the N-VAN is equipped with the Honda Sensing suite of safety features including Collision Mitigating Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control (models with CVT), Lane Keeping Assist, False Backward Start Prevention, and Traffic Sign recognition.

Customers can select from a wide array of genuine Honda accessories from Honda Access to enhance loading, functionality and personalization. Items include cargo curtain partitions, multi-board raised load floor, utility hooks, external power-input kit, LED work lights, seat covers, tray tables, and exterior dress-up features like wood or metal-tone decals and bumper garnishes.

An 8-inch Honda Access Gathers premium inter-navi system is available with high-grade speakers, plus a rear camera system with three driver-selectable views. Windshield-mounted Gathers drive recorder with timekeeping recording function and navigation-linked ETC 2.0 in-vehicle unit are also on the list.

N-VAN (above) ghost view shows various genuine Honda Accessories from Honda Access, along with customer-supplied goods and tools.

Honda’s sales plan for the new N-VAN in Japan is 3,000 units per month.

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

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

Story (commentary) © 2018