December 5, 2006

Cars You Can't Have, Vol. XXV: Honda Wagons

It's one of the most excruciating things about traveling outside the US: seeing all the awesome cars that never make it into the US market. Literally within 15 minutes of leaving the hotel, I saw four cars I've lusted after--in a family car way, anyway--and can't get. It hasn't let up.

There are too many to put in one post, so I'll be making a short [?] series, starting with Honda Wagons. Like the new Accord Wagon, for example:

honda_accord_wagon.jpg

The Airwave Wagon appears to be based on an Acura Integra, at least that's what they call the sedan version here. It's a little funky:

honda_airwave_wagon.jpg

The Stream is actually a 7-seater, somehow. It's about the size of the Mazda M5, so I guess it's possible [Actually, there's a whole category of small 7-seaters like that here; it seems like Toyota has about half a dozen different models.] The Stream definitely looks related to the new CR-V:

honda_stream.jpg

There was another one called the HR-V, which looked like a cross between a CR-V and a Saturn Ion, with a touch of Subaru Impreza thrown in. Weird, but it mostly worked. I'll dig up a picture somewhere. Otherwise, surf around the Honda Japan site and see what we're missing.

10 Comments

Don't forget the Edix, which is a nice little Mercedes B-class killer:
http://www.honda.co.jp/Edix/

If memory serves this car is what the Acura RDX is based off of.

The new (seemingly) Japan-only Mazda MPV with the 2.3L turbo is pretty nice too... a little more practical than the CX-7 and the new CX-9 which is rumoured to be the replacement for the MPV in North America.

Even better, try the Euro-spec Accord Wagon with a turbo diesel engine that goes quickly, burns cleanly, and gets MPG numbers that oftentimes surpass those of hybrids. Especially on hwy driving.

[totally agree. we posted about it a few months ago. -ed.]

That's my husband's biggest peeve! He's from Europe and grew up with hatchbacks and he hates the lack of station wagons here in the states. We have a Saturn wagon which has worked OK, but we would LOVE the other options not available here. No mini vans or SUVs for us urbanites. That Accord would be heaven!

These kill me. Everytime I see these awesome wagons, especially the 7 seaters, I want to shoot myself. I don't get why - WHY? - these haven't made it here. Want a 7-seater? Besides the mini-van, your choices are limited to the Mercedes R-series, Chrysler Pacifica (same car but not as Euro), certain SUVs (ugh), the new RAV (very small) and the Mazda 5 (no power). It's not like there aren't families with more than 2 children that don't want a mini-van.

Also go check out the Renault Scenic, Renault Espace, Renault Kangoo, Citroen Berlingo, VW Touran, Ford Focus C-Max. If I could get an Espace here, I'd get it in a heartbeat. alas.

Japanese love their mini vans and station wagons. Just for clarification, the Airwave is Civic-based--but so is the Integra mentioned above. I drive a funny little Honda mini van called an S-MX (http://www.honda.co.jp/auto-lineup/s_mx/2002/photo_lib/photo2.html), Oh, and you can see the now defunct HR-V here: http://www.honda.co.jp/familymeeting/hr-v/.

Apparently Ford is at least considering the idea of bringing the slick European S-Max to the United States:

http://www.leftlanenews.com/2006/12/06/report-ford-us-mulls-importing-european-models/

What's with the wagons? It's like the 80's all over again.

Check out the new mazda MPV.
I think it is quite handsome!
http://www.mpv.mazda.co.jp/

The Stream RSZ looks great: A wagon version of the Civic with sports suspension and six-speed manual transmission. If it got the mileage of the Civic sedan we get here in the States, it would be just about the perfect small wagon.

karl s: My problems with the Mazda 5 are unremarkable mileage and unknown crash test performance. Otherwise it looks great. It may not be a drag racer, but too many Americans expect their cars to be absurdly fast.

How many times have you read in Car and Driver, etc., that a 5,000 pound SUV is "slow" because it "only" accelerates from 0-60mph in 8.5 seconds?

War in the Middle East, people: War in the Middle East.

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