The Mugen Honda N-Van lives at the confluence of cool, cute, fun, practical and versatile. And I want to live there too.
The Honda N-Van, which you’ll have to translate the company’s Japanese website to get the full download on, is a kei car and a master of efficiency in space utilization. It’s also a master of regular efficiency: you can order it with any engine you like, as long as it’s no bigger than 0.66-liters.
It has only been around for about a year, though Honda’s “N-” range has been out for most of the 2010s, denoting the company’s smallest vehicles.
There are actually two power options for the N-Van, and the one you want is the turbocharged version rated to 63 horsepower and about 77 lb-ft of torque. You can pair that with a six-speed manual and all-wheel-drive in a Honda’s cubic car here.
The official build-and-price is a little difficult to navigate if you don’t read Japanese, but still fun to play with. There I learned that the higher spec N-Vans list at about $14,300. The yellow paint option is around $300.
But the real fun begins when you get to Mugen’s tuner parts catalog for this thing, which is extensive! The aftermarket upgrades available don’t seem to do anything drastic or particularly garish to the N-Van, which is fine, because it really just needs a few accents to bring out its personality.
You will probably not be surprised to learn that the N-Van is not available for sale in the U.S., sadly, which is why I can gush all over it without having to worry that somebody will actually call me out and make me buy one.
But if you did want something similar in America, I guess you would have to get an old Scion xB or maybe a Honda Element. Neither of which are quite the same thing. So for now I guess we can just enjoy a few pictures and the idea of a compact performance van from afar.