2022 Honda Step WGN minivan is a sad reminder of what we're missing

Japanese automaker Honda has released a few details about its 2022 Step WGN minivan. The first-gen Step WGN debuted at the 1995 Tokyo Auto Show and featured Civic underpinnings, a single rear sliding door, and seating for eight occupants. However, the newest sixth-gen variant is longer, taller, and broader than its predecessors without altering its compact footprint.

Honda claims the new Step WGN "aims to complement each family's lifestyle by designing the exterior in a simple and clean manner." The new Step WGN arrives at Japanese dealerships in spring 2022 in three trim variants: Air, Spada, and Spada Premium Elite.

The base Air model features a slimmer front grille and rectangular headlamps, while higher trims get a more prominent grille design, chrome bodywork, and a rear spoiler.

Sadly, the magnificent "Waku Waku Gate" rear liftgate from the outgoing Step WGN is gone in favor of a more conventional, one-piece design. The previous three-way tailgate can swing sideways or open upwards in a single piece. It's a timeless piece of innovative design, but switching to a one-piece tailgate is almost certainly cheaper and easier to manufacture.

People in Japan don't buy a Step WGN to get noticed. Instead, they purchase it to bask in its gloriously roomy interior. There's tons of headroom no matter where you sit, and the second-row captain's chairs can move side to side and forward or backward. Honda claims this design allows parents in the front to reach quickly for their child or children in the back.

The Step WGN's minimalist dashboard features a floating touchscreen infotainment system, while the driver gets to stare at an all-digital instrument cluster. In addition, the second and third-row seats are reclinable to form a bed, perfect for the "van life" movement. Also, the seat covers are water and oil-resistant for effortless cleaning.

Honda has yet to unveil the powertrain options, but we reckon the 2022 Step WGN will come with a conventional gasoline-powered and hybrid powertrain. There is no all-electric Step WGN in the pipelines, but it would be cool to have an electric minivan with a built-in modular bed. As usual, the Honda Step WGN will only see the light of day in Japan and other parts of Southeast Asia, even if the flexibility and compact footprint it offers would seem to make it an idea addition to the US' shrinking array of city cars.