Japanese Car of the Day: 2015 Honda N/

「N」シリーズ5機種の累計販売が100万台を突破, is what it says at the Honda website.

2015 Honda N box (Image from Honda Japan)
2015 Honda N/ (Image from Honda Japan)

You can find a nice review here. And there is a more general description of the Kei-car phenomenon here along with some more thoughts on the N/. Autoblog writes: “Technical details remain scarce, but power likely comes from the same 600cc three-cylinder engine – turbocharged or not, driving the front wheels or all four – as the rest of the N series, which already includes the N-One, N-Box, N-Box+ and N-WGN. Feel free to read the original Japanese or Google-translated press releases below, just don’t expect it or any of its stablemates to show up in a North American showroom any time soon.”

It would be fascinating to see some European interpretations of the Kei car rules. I would enjoy a Citroen version as pared down as a 2CV or a Peugeot version with a surprising ride. How would Fiat manage this format? There are several mainstream makers in the EU who have cars not too far off these dimensions and for whom attempting this would not be a stretch. As it stands, the Japanese have honed this format to a fine art but, alas, the Kei-car´s time may be drawing to a close as recent news from Japan is to the effect that the rules are being relaxed.

Yet more wonders from Japan. That is a fantastic cloth and a bench seat to boot. With an armrest.
Yet more wonders from Japan. That is a fantastic cloth and a bench seat to boot. With an armrest.

Apart from being of interest in automotive terms, the Kei car shows how strict rules in design seem to encourage creativity. I find these cars much more engaging that a lot of other vehicles that are much less confined by rules and price.

Incidentally, the interior of this version of the N-box shows how much more open to colours and fabrics the Japanese seem to be.


Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

5 thoughts on “Japanese Car of the Day: 2015 Honda N/”

  1. I take it you are not fond of Kei-car style? I like their anti-car ness. I am also known to be a fan of Toyota´s Raum vehicle. I really wish they sold these over here. They seem more honest than the space potatoes of the B-class with their huge footprints and tiny interiors.

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