The first Stepwgn single-box model was released in 1996 and immediately gained high popularity, largely due to Honda’s flexible pricing policy and large flat-floor interior. The simple design with no frills had a positive effect on the overall image of the car. One of the components of popularity is an unusual look and modest personality. The main technical feature of the model was the use of front-wheel drive with a front-mounted engine, while competitors (Toyota TownAce Noah or Mazda Bongo Friendee) either had a wheelbase or a rear-wheel drive transmission scheme. The power unit for the first generation Stepwgn was offered only one: a 2.0-liter “four” model B20B.
The Honda Stepwgn is equipped with two hinged doors + a passenger sliding door + rear "gates". The salon is equipped with 8 seats in three rows. There are two options for using the middle row of seats, while the version with rotating seats allows passengers to be facing each other. In addition, there is a modification with 5 seats in 2 rows. The car has many convenient places for storage, including different volume compartments, trays and pockets, cup holders, etc. In January 1998, an exclusive tourist equipment was released - a camping car with a tent in a retractable roof (you can get into it through the hatch) and a number of accessories for outdoor enthusiasts. Stepwgn is equipped with only a 2-liter inline 4-cylinder DOHC engine of the B20B series, similar to that installed on the Honda CR-V model, however its power and torque characteristics were slightly reduced. The power unit of machines produced in 1996-1999 produces a maximum of 125 horsepower (at 5500 rpm) and a torque of 181 Nm (at 4200 rpm). This engine is one of the most common "Honda" units and has proven itself in terms of reliability. It combines with a 4-speed automatic transmission. The drive can be front or full. Honda Stepwgn cannot boast of outstanding dynamic performance, but they are quite worthy for a family minivan. As for fuel consumption, it is about 5.6-6 liters per 100 km in the 60 km / h mode, and in the 10/15 mode the manufacturer indicated 8.9-9.4 l / 100 km or 10.6-11. 2 kilometers on one liter of gasoline. The volume of the fuel tank is 60-65 liters.
As already mentioned, a considerable success of the Honda Stepwgn model was provided by the front-wheel drive layout and a completely new chassis with independent suspensions front and rear. On the front axle are MacPherson struts, on the rear are double wishbones. The car was equipped with power steering, disc brakes front and rear. Body dimensions: length 4605 mm, width 1695 mm, height 1830-1845 mm. The wheelbase is 2800 mm, and the turning radius is 5.6 m. The dimensions of the internal space look pretty good: the dimensions of the cabin are 2730 x 1575 x 1335 (L x W x H). When the two rear rows are folded, the minivan has a very large cargo compartment, however, even with all three rows of seats in the back, there is still enough space for luggage.
Of the first generation Honda Stepwgn safety systems will offer three-point seat belts, side stiffeners. Two airbags (for driver and passenger) and an ABS system were offered as an option in the initial period of production, but since August 1997 they have become the standard for all specifications of the minivan.
This car has achieved great success in the market due to its family focus. Sophisticated transformation schemes for the seats can accommodate a lot of everything, and there will still be space. A huge plus - the ability to spread the seats in a flat bed, which will appreciate lovers of car travel. The disadvantages of the Honda Stepwgn RF1 / 2 are windage, body corrosion, insufficiently warm interior with one stove, weak rear suspension, low ground clearance. In 1999, the design of the front of the body changed slightly, the driving characteristics and operational qualities of the model improved.