The second-generation Honda N-Box has received a facelift. The tiny N-Box is wildly popular in Japan, earning the title of most popular car in the country over five of the past six years since the introduction of the second generation.In our half-ton-pickup crazed country, the N-Box likely wouldn’t be very popular. That doesn’t stop us wanting one.
Spurred along by social media and by their own inherent charm, kei trucks and kei cars have drawn fans everywhere, even in the U.S.A. Sure, if you want a small truck you could buy a Ford Maverick or a Hyundai Santa Cruz, but that does nothing to diminish the appeal of the cheap, practical little kei trucks of Japan, like the Toyota Hiace, Honda Acty, or Daihatsu Hijet. That goes double for the Honda N-Box, a truly adorable little mini van.
The N-Box is popular in Japan. Like really popular. The second generation debuted to massive success in 2017, rising to claim the most sales of any car in Japan that year. According to Top Gear, the N-Box maintained that title through 2018 and 2019 as well. Sales data from Nippon.com shows that the N-Box held on to the throne in 2020 before losing out to the Toyota Yaris in 2021, and reclaiming the sales leader title in 2022. That means for five of the six years since the launch of the second generation, the N-Box has been Japan’s most popular vehicle.
The redesigned version gets a fresh front end with different faces depending on the chosen trim. The standard N-Box features a smaller grille, with circular headlights set into rectangular housings, while the N-Box Custom features a more distinct grille and rectangular running lights. We love the boxy look on all the trims, but the color-matched alloy wheels on the Fashion trim really sell the van for us.
In completely unsurprising (and seven-month-old) news, the three most popular vehicles sold in the United States last year were half-ton pickups. Quite a far cry away from 63-hp kei vans sold in Japan. The American populace just doesn’t seem all that interested in buying small economy vans. But we are, and we’d love to buy this facelifted N-Box. Preferably in Fjord Mist Pearl paint, with matching wheels.
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Associate News Editor
Jack Fitzgerald’s love for cars stems from his as yet unshakable addiction to Formula 1.
After a brief stint as a detailer for a local dealership group in college, he knew he needed a more permanent way to drive all the new cars he couldn’t afford and decided to pursue a career in auto writing. By hounding his college professors at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he was able to travel Wisconsin seeking out stories in the auto world before landing his dream job at Car and Driver. His new goal is to delay the inevitable demise of his 2010 Volkswagen Golf.