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There’s this joke that a few of us shared about the Freed, and how it got its name. Apparently, with 7 people inside, passengers often screamed the name of the car every time they got out of it.

17 Sep 2009

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Oh but we kid. 7-people 1-point-something-litre vehicles are common these days, mostly in the form of the Toyota Avanza, Voxy, Daihatsu Terios-7 and so on. But it’s worth noting that some of these cars often have uninteresting dynamics on the road, as well as less-than-desirable build quality.

You can’t blame them though. Some were in classic 4x4 fashion, body-on-frame devices made for people who want “bang for buck” more than “bang-on through apex.”

There’s also the decidedly pointless Honda Airwave – a 5-seater ballooned to look like something that seats 1000. And for our markets like ours, Honda needed to plan things very thoroughly before bringing the Freed through the gates of PSA.

The Freed is short for Freedom, as is the way things go when the Japanese put a name tag on products. The one we’re getting through Honda’s official distributor might be built in the archipelago, but at origin, its design and engineering are far better than any other 7-seater in this segment.

Replacing the outgoing Mobilio, the new platform is based on the current Jazz, and can be configured to offer six, seven or eight seats. It’s an ingenious idea aimed aggressively at the Asian market.

Take Indonesia for example, where vehicles with seven or more seats in Indonesia are subject to the least amount of vehicle-tax. No surprise that the Freed, like Proton’s Exora, has also found its way into being locally produced for that Indonesian market, with huge sales expected in the long term.

Design, comfort

Positioned above the Jazz and below the Civic, the Freed is unmistakably MPV-like. But its sharp nose and raised shoulders show good disposition from most angles. It’s a surprisingly photogenic vehicle, and that’s plenty of praise from MPV-despising me.

Perhaps “stretched” is an understatement. Its wheelbase is a whopping 40mm more than the current Civic. At 2,740mm, it’s 240mm longer than the Jazz, while overall width and track remains paired to its hatchback sibling (1,700mm and 1,478mm respectively.) To shed some “perspective,” it's a huge 210mm taller than a Jazz, and even taller than a CR-V!

Electronic sliding doors, both left and right, will probably be the car’s focus, and perhaps will be a strong selling point over rivals such as the Toyota Sienta and the Nissan Cube.

They seem to have gotten the driving position just about right, as we didn’t feel awkwardly high or uncomfortable like in the Airwave, or even in smaller cars such as the Perodua Myvi/Daihatsu Sirion. It wasn’t low to the point where shorties would complain either.
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Car Information

This model is no longer being sold by local distributors

Price

: -

Engine Type

:

4-cylinders in-line 16-valves

Engine Cap

:

1497cc

Horsepower

:

88kW (118 bhp) / 6600 rpm

Torque

:

146 Nm / 4800 rpm

Transmission

:

5-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

-

Top Speed

:

-

Fuel consumption

:

13.6 km/L

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