The first generation of Honda Step Wagon appeared in 1995. It was publicly shown at the Tokyo Motor Show. Mass production began a year later. That is when the vast majority of Japanese cars competing with Step Wagon had a similar type of engine called "a cabover type". In order to cut costs, Honda's engineers have based Step Wagon's engine on Civic's engine. Another steps Honda took to decrease the cost of production of Step Wagon was a special design that decreased the use of expensive parts, such as steel panels, and an installation of cheap but quality transmission and only one engine. These measures allowed Honda to sell Step Wagon at low prices ranging from ¥1,548,000 ($24,2700) to ¥2,368,000 ($37,1100).
Differentiating feature of this car was its sliding door that was on the passenger side. It gave passengers an easier way to enter the car. It also had other features that made the use of car very convenient. Some of them included standardized SRS airbags, not to mention standardized ABS.
In 2001, Honda has released the second generation of Step Wagon. Though it was similar to the first generation, it did have some significant differences.
The main difference was a family-oriented design. Honda went out of its way to make sure that the second generation of Step Wagon appealed to families with children. This meant that the passenger sliding door from the previous generation was kept in order to improve accessibility. However, a number of new convenience features were added.
New convenience features included four different modes of seating arrangements. One of these modes was called "cargo mode". It allowed to fold flat one of the seat rows. Another one was called "play mode". It allowed people to sit opposite each other. The other two modes were called "sleep mode" and "food mode".
The other three generations of Honda Step Wagon were released in 2005, 2009, and 2015. The fifth generation of Step Wagon features an innovative tailgate mechanism and the all-new direct injection Turbo engine. It is still in production.