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Revealed earlier this year, the 2015 Honda StepWGN has now gone on sale in its home market of Japan. The fifth-generation van is aimed squarely at the likes of the Nissan Serena and Toyota Noah, Voxy and Esquire. In typical Japanese fashion, the StepWGN features quirky, box-like styling and is offered in three trim levels, B, G and G EX. Two sportier Spada trims are also offered – Spada and Spada Cool Spirit.

Aside from its flexible interior layout, an all-new 1.5 litre turbocharged four-cylinder VTEC engine under the bonnet makes this the first Honda model to be equipped with the aforementioned mill – reports have indicated that the next recipient could be the tenth-gen Civic. Total power output for the new engine is rated at 150 PS at 5,500 rpm and 203 Nm of torque between 1,600 and 5,000 rpm.

A sole choice of a CVT gearbox is offered with power being transferred to the front wheels – an all-wheel drive system is offered as an option. All this adds up to a JC08 cycle-verified fuel consumption figure of just 17 km/l, the lead figure in its class, according to Honda.

Elsewhere, the 2015 Honda StepWGN features the trademark “Waku Waku” rear tailgate/doors. Apart from functioning as a regular tailgate, the “Waku Waku” layout boasts a sub-door that opens to the side. Paired with the third-row Magic Seat option with 60:40 split folding function, the sub-door allows for rear passengers to access the last row with greater convenience.

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Said Magic Seat layout can even be stored under the floor for situations where a larger cargo area is required. The rest of the “Northern European-inspired” interior boasts a plethora of cubby holes and storage spaces while the “people-friendly” colour scheme and materials employed ensure a laid-back atmosphere.

On the safety front, the StepWGN features the Honda Sensing safety umbrella – a driver-assistance platform that includes pedestrian detection and collision prevention among other functions. Aside from that, a front passenger airbag that stays inflated for longer periods is presented alongside a Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system, Hill-Start Assist and Emergency Stop Signal. The latter warns vehicles behind of an emergency stop.

Prices for the 2015 Honda StepWGN begin at 2,288,000 yen (RM69,030) for the base B-spec FWD model while the range-topping Spada Cool Spirit with AWD goes for 3,081,400 yen (RM92,967).