Cars And More: A Review Of The Honda StepWGN Spada


The Honda StepWGN is a van produced by the Honda Motor Company that is positioned against its other Japanese rivals e.g. Toyota Voxy/Noah, the Nissan Serena, Mitsubishi Delica and the Mazda Bongo the executive version which seems not to be too prominent on our roads anymore. All these vehicles are 8 seaters featuring double passenger sliding doors.

There have been 4 generations of the Honda StepWGN with the fourth generation being the latest model on Kenyan roads. The fourth-generation introduced from 2009 to 2015 featuring a 5-speed automatic CVT gearbox with a 2.0-litre engine. The StepWGN is available in seven trim levels: G, G L Package, L, Li, Spada S, Spada Z and Spada Zi.

The Honda StepWGN is an 8-seater though, to be honest, the back seats not the most comfortable especially in long journeys. I really love the dashboard design of the StepWGN though I must be biased as I am a Honda CRV owner and I like the Honda design outlook. I love the instrument cluster and position of the gear lever which is mounted on the dash to the left of the driver. As the hand brake is a pedal on the extreme left of the pedal cluster for the driver, it does leave quite a bit of adequate space for someone to pass between the front and middle seats.

So having driven the Honda StepWGN was quite a comfortable ride on a trip to Mombasa and back. On the co-drivers side, it does have a very neatly placed mirror on the inside of the car just ahead of the side mirror that does reduce the vehicle’s blind spot. Also, additionally, it has a snazzy feature called the Econ button which is a Honda vehicle feature. When you are in traffic the econ button will switch off the car then automatically ignite it once you press on the accelerator the car automatically comes back on and moves. This helps with the fuel economy and it could be a bit disconcerting if you are not used to it especially the first few times it kicks in.

Also, the climate control was quite good with a split between the front and rear meaning everyone was adequately breezed on the journey down south. The engine doesn’t actually feel like it was straining at all although on this particular trip we were only 5 adults in the van, but it did feel very adequate at all times.


  1. Very smooth engine with a CVT gearbox that makes gear changes super easy.
  2. Love the Honda I-VTEC (intelligent-VTEC) seen across a number of Honda vehicles which delivers very good power and a smooth ride.
  3. The space on the Honda StepWGN is very good and just spaces/cubby holes to stow away different items. Also, I love the fact that the third row of seats does fold all the way into the floor giving you a bigger boot.
  4. Not too common so it does stand out in the market as a different model of van.


  1. The assumption that you are an Uber driver off to pick passengers at different establishments including the Airports.
  2. Certain parts especially the vehicles body parts like doors and bumpers might be hard to find in the market.
  3. The CVT gearbox needs a skilled mechanic who knows how it works and how to maintain it.


In my very biased opinion, I would recommend the Honda StepWGN over its rivals the Toyota Noah/Voxy, Nissan Serena and the Mitsubishi Delica. I haven’t really interacted as much with the Mitsubishi Delica, but I do rate the Honda StepWGN better than the other 2. Also its less common but that might also be under the cons of the cars because finding spares might be more difficult in the Kenyan market when you consider that the Honda Dealer here hasn’t exactly reached out to provide genuine parts for the second-hand car market which is quite a huge market currently.

Current price in the market – 1,300,000 to around 1,450,000 for the 2013 model.

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Paul Karingithi is a Marketing Communications Guru living in Nairobi. He is a husband, father, golfer, traveller and occasionally writes about cars. Need to talk more on motoring, drop me an email at [email protected]