1972 Honda Life Step Van
This Step Van type variant, which shares the VA chassis code with the low-bodied Life Van, also uses the same 30 PS (22 kW) 356 cc, two-cylinder water-cooled engine as does the rest of the range.
At the time of introduction, its appearance was considered a novel approach, but it had some benefits in that the engine was installed up front and with front wheel drive.
The Step Van, while its loading space was shorter, it could offer certain interior space advantages such as a very low and flat floor that competing, rear-wheel drive vehicles couldn’t provide at the time.
It drew many influences from the DKW Schnellaster produced in Europe. Its appearance, while unique and not appreciated when new, is now the standard approach for current kei products from Japanese manufacturers.
The rear gate was of a clamshell style, divided horizontally.
The 605 kg (1,334 lb) Step Van, like the regular Life Van, could carry 300 kg (661 lb) with two occupants, down to 200 kg (441 lb) with the full complement of two more passengers.
The van was first sold on 20 September 1972 with production ending in 1974, at an introductory price of ¥376,000 for the standard Step Van and ¥403,000 for the Super DX version.
The Step Van series was only ever available with a four-speed manual transmission.
The price of the Standard model had crept up to ¥388,000 by the time of the introduction of the pickup version. A total of 17,165 vehicles were produced, for a total of less than half the projected 2,000 units per month.
It also can be found in the Gran Turismo 4 videogame, as the Honda Life StepVan.