One thing that has always baffled me about the Japanese car market is the sheer number of models available from each maker – many of them seemingly competing with each other.
Since it's Honda Month, I thought it would be interesting to go through and take a look at the vast amount of compact hatchbacks, vans, and wagons that Honda has offered in Japan over recent years.
The Accord Wagon is a good place to start. Compared to a lot of the cars in this story this one's a pretty simple concept – a wagon version of the Accord sedan. Of course in Japan the wagon version was nearly as popular, if not more popular than the four-door.
As you can see from this rear shot, the later model Accord Wagons had a similar look to the same year Odyssey. It also looks damn good dropped on set of Model 5's!
Since its release in 2001, the Honda Fit has consistently been one of the best selling cars in Japan. It's also caught on big in the rest of the world.
With its popularity comes a huge following in both the tuning and dress up markets. Whether its stripped out for the circuit or plush and loaded with ICE, the Fit is huge in Japan.
Also occupying the compact space are older models like Honda Capa.
The Capa was later replaced by the unique looking seven-seat Mobilio.
In 2008 Honda replaced the Mobilio with the Freed – essentially a taller stretched out version of the Fit with sliding doors.
Here we have the Honda Stream introduced in 2001 and based off the Civic platform.
And the second gen Stream. You guys having any trouble keeping track of these models yet?
If that's not enough choices for you, there's always the Honda Airwave – another MPV based on the Fit.
Or maybe the Honda Edix is more your style? You won't find it dealers though, this model was discontinued in 2009.
In the late '90s and early '00s Honda also sold the SMX, a shortened version of the Step Wagon that shares parts the CRV.
It's three-door layout gives it a pretty smooth look on the driver's side.
With the popularity of hybrid cars in the Japanese market over the last couple years, the Honda Insight is another model that can be thrown into the mix.
Moving on to minivans – the original Honda Odyssey minivan was a rather groundbreaking vehicle, based on the Accord platform but with but with the passenger space and cargo capabilities of a van. It was hit in both Japan and the United States.
While the USDM and JDM first gen Odysseys were the same, the models were split for the second generation. Japan got an upgraded version of the original, seen here in dressed-up form.
America meanwhile got a bigger V6-powered Odyssey. This model was also sold in Japan as the Honda LaGreat although it proved to be a bit large for that market.
I don't think the third generation JDM Odyssey needs much of an introduction. It's without a doubt one of the coolest looking vans ever produced.
Both the third and fourth generation Odysseys are incredibly popular with customizers in Japan. It's vehicles like this that keep "minivan" from being a bad word.
One of my personal favorites in Honda's line up is the Step Wagon. The Step Wagon has been around since 1996 and its high roofline gives it a more traditional van look.
The newer models are a little less boxy but still have plenty of character. Just look at this one!
If you are looking for something a little more plush, you can step up to the Honda Elysion. This is Honda's minivan flagship that competes with the Toyota Alphard and Nissan Elgrand.
It might not sell as well as some of Hondas smaller vans, but the Elysion has still found its place among the dress up community.
Wow, that was a lot to cover and that doesn't even include Honda's kei cars!
So basically what we've learned here is that if you live in Japan and are looking for a practical Honda you won't find a lack of options.
Photos found on Minkara