If you are a car lover, you may think of becoming the proud owner of a Honda Freed. The Honda Freed has been manufactured since 2008 but has somewhat gone without being seen in any market. That’s amazing given its strong credentials that usually appeal to the masses here. It’s cheap to maintain, affordable, fuel-efficient, and can carry up to 8 passengers. It’s built on the famous Honda Fit platform and is as reliable as its sibling. So why has it not been popular in this market?
The vehicle is intended mainly for the Japanese and Asian markets. Three different versions of the Freed are available: a 5-seater version which features captain’s seats in the second row, a 6-seater version, and a 7-seater version. The Freed also offers wheelchair-accessible models with a side lift-up seat and passenger lift-up seat. It has been in production for two generations, the first-generation known as GB3/GB4 was in production from 2008 – 2016, and the second generation known as GB5 has been in production from 2016 to the present.
The Engine and Transmission
The first generation of Honda Freed is powered by two engine options, an L15B1 1.5L DOHC Earth Dreams i-VTEC I4 that produces an average power of 120 HP (88 kW) at 6,600 rpm and the second one is Honda IMA hybrid system 1.5L LEA SOHC I4. This engine is mated to a 5-speed automatic or a highly efficient CVT transmission that provides smooth acceleration, powerful, exhilarating, and comfortable ride. A hybrid version is also available fitted with a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle DOHC i-VTEC engine paired with an i-DCD (intelligent Dual-Clutch Drive) fitted with one motor 7-speed DCT.
The second generation of the Freed did not vary much by appearances from the previous generation model, only the grille and headlights changed. This model was powered by either a 1.5-liter L15A or L15B Earth Dreams i-VTEC. These engines were attached to a 7-speed CVT transmission. The Honda Freed L15B1 1.5L accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 13.9 sec.
The Freed runs on petrol and the fuel consumption is 12.5 km/L for the 1st generation, and for the Honda Freed Hybrid, fuel consumption is an impressive 21.7 km/L. With most Honda Freed models sporting a fuel tank capacity of 42 liters, you can go quite far before you have to refill again.
Interior & Exterior
The interior of Freed is spacious, comfortable, and an overall enjoyable experience. If you are a car fan, you may notice that Honda provides a richer interior experience even in less expensive models and delivers the Freed with a visually appealing interior despite the generous use of plastic. Similar to other brands, the gearshift is located on the dashboard, which creates more space for the front passenger and the driver, and the Honda Freed also comes with windows and electric mirrors.
The Honda Freed is a roomy car. The flat floor and high roof create a large cabin that feels comfortable to sit in. There’s excellent space on all 3 rows and even tall people will find it enjoyable. The automatic sliding doors on both sides make disembarking and embarking effortless. The front doors are hinged at a 7 degrees angle which creates an extra head-space that aids to avoid accidental knocks.
The Honda Freed has wonderfully clever storage sections that are practical and suitable for storing items such as hand luggage and drinks. There are large door pockets, seven cupholders, a backrest hook, front seat jacket pockets, and a glove box.
With the 3rd row in use, the cargo space is small and can only carry very light luggage. With the 3rd-row seats folded, the cargo space is spacious. When more space is required, the 2nd row and 3rd-row seats can be folded to create quite a large cargo space.
The second-generation Freed received its facelift and was purposely designed to look different, unlike other MPVs with its sleeker and curvier lines. The front section has been upgraded with an angular-edged body-colored grille similar to the new Honda Fit along with redesigned fog lamps. The Freed has medium-sized headlights that blend well into and are level with the body of the vehicle. When comparing the exterior of the Honda Freed against other mini MPV, the design of the Freed is better overall. In the circumstance that you care both about appearances as well as functionality, the Honda Freed is a good option to think through.
The exterior is stylish and designed for an MPV and looks much better than most of its rivals such as the Toyota Sienta. The Freed higher grades come with fog lights and 15-Inch alloy rims while lower grades generally come with 14-inch steel rims.
As with popular MPVs, the Honda Freed’s ground clearance is 6.5 inches which means you will need to be cautious when traversing rougher terrain and speed bumps.
The Honda Freed has many features include safety, entertainment, and other standard features, those features include Shock absorbing frontal structure which keeps the tyres in interaction with the road surface by controlling the rebound of its suspension springs hence the tyres remain in contact with the road, steering, road handling, and braking response will be optimal, helping to keep you safe.
A G-Con technology, a collision safety technology designed by Honda to reduce impact in the event of a car crash. A Shift hold control + Grade logic control works when two-shift algorithms are programmed to step in during certain circumstances to avoid the gear hunting that’s common to conventional automatics when the transmission is in automatic mode. Dual Front SRS Airbags help to protect the front passenger and the driver in a frontal collision. Installed in the right side of the dashboard and the steering wheel hub, they inflate and deflate within a fraction of a second. The Anti-Lock Braking System is used to detect ‘locking’ or when a wheel stops moving and starts to skid when a lock-up is detected, ABS pumps the brakes multiple times in a second.
Others are fuel lid auto-lock safety system, Brake Assist, Smart start, DVD/Navigation, AUX Power, and Captain Seats.
The less-known Honda Freed combines reliability, functionality, aesthetics, and affordability into an MPV that is rare to come across at its price range. Also, the Honda Freed is a competent MPV with an eye-catching design that is definitely a great option to consider.
Originally published Apr 10, 2020, updated Jun 30, 2021