Let's say you want a minivan, but you want to make people wonder "What the hell is this thing?" I think it's safe to say that, Stepwgn is the prefect car for the job. Hell, i'm still not understand how to spell the car correctly. Was it Stepwagen or Stepwagon?
Anyway, the Stepwgn is designed for Japanese market for a family that want a small minivan like a oddysey (JDM Oddysey has a low and sleek roofline), but demands taller body. So the Stepwgn was born. The Stepwgn name was a tribute to old honda called Honda Life Stepwagon. I think they put a bit typo in the name, so they write it Stepwgn and think "Oh, fuck it. Let's stick to that name and hope it sells"
Every JDM minivan has a fancy feature, right? This one is no different. For example, it has a huge sunroof called the "Moon Roof". This is because the seats can do full recline and become a huge bed, so you can have a se, uh... i.. i mean gaze at moon just like this picture from the brochure:
That looks fun!
Anyway, the Stepwgn also comes with a CVT with simulated 7-speed gearbox. It's like a CVT, but there's a "Manual" mode that let you change gear using paddleshift. But the problem is, the manual mode is akward, it feels wrong. Why?
Because this. It's only has 150hp 2litre Honda engine. And that engine is slow, simply because it's designed for economy. Seriously, if you set the CVT on full auto and turn the Engine "Eco Mode" on, the car won't rev past 2500rpm, no matter how hard you try. And oh, one day, when something get wonky, that's the only thing you'll see. So working on a fix inside there is going to be a nightmare. The only upside was this car in my short drive got a nice 33mpg average.
There's also quite a space in the back, and because it's a minivan, it'll baby very nicely. And it's really, really comfortable. Especially since it's fully recline. Although that means this car handles like a tall land yacht.
At this point, you might wonder "How much i should pay for this weirdness?" Well, it cost 57.5k USD here in Indonesia. Or about 2.5k less than a miata or 7.5k less than a Prius or Camry, and i think that's quite a value, just in case you want to drive a really different minivan from other soccermom. I like this thing.
*Altough i think if i had that money to spend on a minivan, i'll import myself a Toyota Caldina, that's for sure.