Automotive

Honda's new Step WGN opens door to better rear access

Honda's new Step WGN opens doo...
The design combines a wide top-hinged tailgate with a sub-door that opens sideways for passenger access
The design combines a wide top-hinged tailgate with a sub-door that opens sideways for passenger access
View 12 Images
The rear tailgate opens to provide full access to the rear for loading cargo
1/12
The rear tailgate opens to provide full access to the rear for loading cargo
For passenger access, the center hinged door opens to provide walk-in access
2/12
For passenger access, the center hinged door opens to provide walk-in access
The door has three angles of opening depending on your entry requirments
3/12
The door has three angles of opening depending on your entry requirments
When open in tailgate mode, your are aware of just how large and heavy it is
4/12
When open in tailgate mode, your are aware of just how large and heavy it is
The Waku Waku Gate fits very well into the design of the rear as you are not always aware of its dual function
5/12
The Waku Waku Gate fits very well into the design of the rear as you are not always aware of its dual function
Honda regards the new tailgate design as a step up in rear passenger access
6/12
Honda regards the new tailgate design as a step up in rear passenger access
Honda's two-in-one Waku Waku gate
7/12
Honda's two-in-one Waku Waku gate
Honda's two-in-one Waku Waku Gate
8/12
Honda's two-in-one Waku Waku Gate
Honda's two-in-one Waku Waku Gate
9/12
Honda's two-in-one Waku Waku Gate
The 5th generation Step WGN has a newly-developed 1.5-liter direct injection VTEC TURBO engine
10/12
The 5th generation Step WGN has a newly-developed 1.5-liter direct injection VTEC TURBO engine
The rear seats are of Honda`s "Magic Seat" 60-40 split design that fold into the floor when not in use
11/12
The rear seats are of Honda`s "Magic Seat" 60-40 split design that fold into the floor when not in use
The design combines a wide top-hinged tailgate with a sub-door that opens sideways for passenger access
12/12
The design combines a wide top-hinged tailgate with a sub-door that opens sideways for passenger access
View gallery - 12 images

Honda`s 5th generation Step WGN minivan features a clever new rear door design that sees a side-opening door placed within the tailgate, giving back seat passengers easy access as well as providing full access for rear loading.

Depending on which part of the world you're from you may know them as minivans, people carriers or MPVs. Whatever you call them, vehicles designed to carry 7 to 8 people share a common hierarchy that runs from 1st class front to the decidedly 3rd class rear seats. Not only are these rear seats often cramped, but access is an exercise in flexibility and diplomatic negotiation.

With this in mind Honda decided to create the Waku Waku (exciting) gate, which rearmost passengers their own personal access and egress. The design combines a wide top-hinged tailgate with a sub-door that is hinged down the center of the tailgate and opens sideways for passenger access.

The rearseats are of Honda`s "Magic Seat" 60-40 split design that fold into the floor when notin use. This means there is direct access to therear two seats.

We found that operation of both elements of the Waku Waku gate to be simple, and while you do notice it looks much heavier and bulkier than normal tailgates, the heavy-duty gas struts do their job nicely.

At the other end of the 5th generation Step WGN there's a newly-developed 1.5-liter direct injection VTEC TURBO engine that delivers fuel economy of 17 km/liter (40 mpg). The minivan also features a suite of driver-assist and active safety features including pedestrian detection, an Emergency Stop Signal system that warns following vehicles of a sudden stop, and a new front passenger airbag system designed to hold internal pressure for a longer.

At the moment the new Step WGN isonly available in Japan, and it should be noted that the Waku Waku gate is currently only convenientfor right-hand drive (left side of the road) markets. For left-hand drive Honda will have to produce a mirrored version, to reallyget the benefits of this new design.

Source Honda.

View gallery - 12 images
2 comments
VadimR
A 40mpg minivan! How awesome is that. Honda please bring this state side. My 20mpg Town & Country wants to be replaced.
Germano Pecoraro
The Japanese designers have already shown with the Toyota Yaris Verso 2002 to have excellent skills in the design of vehicles are convertible. Honda this project proves the rule. Good!