Freed-om of ideas

Published on April 23rd, 2010

Honda Malaysia have carved a new niche in the local auto segment with the intorducton of the Honda Freed that has been christened a premium compact MPV.

Designed to cater to the young urban family, the Freed drives on its tagline of ‘4 Plus Ideas’ that paints it as primarily as a four-seater with a foldable third row that can accommodate another three passengers or be folded away to expand the cargo capacity.

“A MPV no longer serves only functional purposes. Car owners, especially young parents today expect a MPV of their choice to be a complete package of practicality, performance and style. The All-New Freed would suit them to a tee,” said Toru Takahashi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Honda Malaysia, during the launch.

brilliant-white

The Freed features some of the best-in-class specifications such as dual automatic sliding doors, a flat floor design and walk-through cabin that give it an edge in the urban segment.

For starters, the automatic sliding doors give 60cm entry width and are equipped with pinch detectors that will immediately stop sliding if there is an obstacle detected in the way. Furthermore, the doors can be opened by remote from the alarm control of the Freed.

Spaciousness is abundant in the Freed due to the flat-floor design and high roof line. This allows the walk-through cabin and easy access to any row of seats from any seating position.

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“In order to provide a stable ride as well as a comfortable cabin, we work on Honda’s fundamental idea of low flat floor with low center of gravity. Through this approach, we can achieve a compact size without compromising passenger’s comfort, regardless of where they sit. Furthermore, the walk through cabin allows passengers on the 2nd row of seats to move freely to the back row as well as the front row,” explained Isao Ando, Project Leader of the All-New Freed, Honda R&D Co. Ltd.

The term ‘idea’ in the tagline implicates practicality with respect to the third row of seats. With the third row seats down, the Freed transforms into a seven-seater whereas once the third row seats are folded up, cargo capacity increases and with the ability to load four golf bags or three pieces of large baggage in the rear. The low tailgate makes loading and unloading much easier as well.

Another Honda trademark is the ample storage spaces located in the cabin. A center tray, glove compartment, door pockets and seven cup holders in every nook and cranny ensure storage space for everything including the kitchen sink.

walkthrough-cabin-with-tiered-theatrical-seats

As the Freed is based on the City platform, it’s no surprise that motivation comes from the same power source as well. Although running on a slightly different map, power output from the 1.5-liter i-VTEC 16V SOHC is similar with [email protected],600rpm and 146Nm of twisty force at 4,800rpm.

Connecting the engine to the front wheels is a five-speed automatic with a drive-by-wire torque control system and shift hold with Grade Logic Control that comes in handy on corners and positive inclinations.

Once again, safety is paramount in any Honda vehicle and the Freed is no different. Notching up an impressive six-star rating in the JNCAP crash tests for driver and passengers due primarily to its G-Force Control Technology impact-energy dispersing body frame, the Freed also features the standard safety acronym of ABS, EBD and BA.

dual-layer-dashboard

Colour options for the Freed are limited to the three of Brilliant White, Polished Metal and Crystal Black while the optional Modulo kit of tailgate spoiler, door visor and fog light will certainly add some spice to an already vibrant looking vehicle.

If you’re thinking of getting your hands on the Freed, it will currently set you back RM112,980.00 (OTR w/insurance). If you’re eyeing the Modulo kit as well to spruce it up, be prepared to shell out an additional RM2,200 for the complete package that is also available individually.

The Freed has been available in Japan since 2008 and has received the Car of the Year ‘Best Value Award’ apart from notching sales of over 150,000 units thus far.

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In the local South East Asian markets, the Freed is experiencing positive response. The model available locally will be manufactured in Indonesia under Honda Prospect Motor and will adhere strictly to the Global Honda Quality Standard. Sales figures in Indonesia read in the region of 12,000 units so far while our northern neighbours Thailand are pushing approximately 400 units a month.

As for the local market, Honda Malaysia are optimistic in achieving their annual sales target of 1,600 units for this year which equates to about 130 units monthly.

For more information, please call 1800-88-2020 or visit www.honda.com.my or www.4plusideas.com.

text: Dinesh Appavu  pix: Dinesh Appavu & Honda Malaysia

Comments

  1. Posted by emt training on May 3rd, 2010, 13:06

    nice post. thanks.

  2. Posted by Eloy los varicose on November 23rd, 2011, 11:08

    I can subscribe to that idea so I’ve bookmarked the page on Digg under “Freed-om of ideas Traffic Magazine Online”. Keep up with the good stuff.

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