2024 Honda Freed launched in Japan – third-gen gets fresh new design; 1.5L NA and hybrid; from RM74k

2024 Honda Freed launched in Japan – third-gen gets fresh new design; 1.5L NA and hybrid; from RM74k

The third-generation Honda Freed has gone on sale in market, a few weeks after the redesigned mini MPV made its debut. Priced between 2.508 million and 3,437,500 yen (about RM74k and RM101k), the latest Freed is available in two versions, namely the Air with a simpler design and the Crosstar that adds rugged crossover elements.

Customers will also get to choose from two powertrains, with the first featuring a L15D 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated inline-four petrol engine making 118 PS (117 hp or 87 kW) at 6,600 rpm and 142 Nm of torque at 4,300 rpm. This DOHC i-VTEC mill is paired with a CVT that drives the front wheels, with all-wheel drive being an option.

The alternative powertrain is Honda’s e:HEV dual-motor system with a LEB 1.5 litre NA inline-four petrol engine that delivers 106 PS (105 hp or 78 kW) from 6,000 to 6,400 rpm and 127 Nm from 4,500 to 5,000 rpm. The engine primarily acts as a generator for a 48-Ah lithium-ion battery, which then powers a front-mounted electric motor rated at 123 PS (121 hp or 90 kW) and 253 Nm to drive the wheels.

At higher speeds, the engine can also be clutched in via to directly drive the wheels as it is more efficient to do so. Hybrid variants are also offered with all-wheel drive, which adds an Intelligent Power Unit (IPU) and a second electric motor to the single-speed electric CVT to drive the rear wheels when needed. Honda claims a WLTC-rated fuel consumption of 25 km/l for the hybrid variants, while the pure petrol-powered cars provide 16.2 km/l.

In terms of size, the all-new Freed is slightly larger than its predecessor, measuring in at 4,310 mm long, 1,695-1,720 mm wide and 1,755-1,780 mm tall, but the wheelbase remains unchanged at 2,740 mm.

Design-wise, the MPV appears to be inspired by the second-generation Crossroad with a blockier design. The rakish bonnet of the previous model is now flatter and there’s now a more upright face, the latter featuring trapezoidal-shaped headlamps with two dotted lines for daytime running lights above the main headlamps.

The “grille” between the headlamps is closed off and sits above small air intake slits and a larger opening in the lower apron. Along the sides, prominent creases originating from the tip of the headlamps run through the door handles and into the rails of the sliding rear doors, with further creases seen around the wheel arches.

Around back, the previous two-piece taillights that encroach into the tailgate are now gone, replaced with vertically-oriented clusters with a large pixelated look. The lighting setup is identical for both versions of the Freed, but the Crosstar gets unique design touches to mark it out as the more adventurous of the two.

Unique to the Crosstar is a textured “grille” insert as well as a wider “mouth” that merges both sets of air intakes. This version also gets black plastic body cladding that goes all the way to the rear bumper, which gains a faux skid plate.

The extensive redesign extends to the interior that gets a fresh dashboard that is reminiscent of what you see in the latest N-Box. Gone is the old car’s high-mounted instrument cluster, which has now been replaced with a digital display ahead of a two-spoke steering wheel.

There’s also a large, fabric-covered trim piece that wraps around the central infotainment touchscreen, with a section of the trim on the passenger-side being an additional storage compartment big enough for a tissue box. The fabric used inside the cabin is described by Honda as being designed to be water and oil resistant, which is handy for those with messy kids.

Meanwhile, the air vents that were previously on either side of the infotainment screen is now placed together underneath. As with the previous Freed, vehicle controls are placed high up and close to the driver, freeing up space below in case the driver needs to shuffle between the front seats. The novel shelf with storage cubbies also makes a return here.

For the Air, customers can choose between six- (2+2+2 layout) or seven-seat (2+3+2 layout) configurations, but the Crosstar can only be had with either five or six seats. The rearmost seats can be folded up against the wall if not in use while the rear bench in seven-seat models can be folded down in a 60:40 split, providing owners with plenty of seat setups.

It’s worth mentioning the Crosstar with five seats is unique in that is has a boot area tailored for outdoor activities with features such as a modular cargo space, utility mounting points, a pegboard and a lamp that illuminates the area below the tailgate when opened.

The Freed comes standard with Honda Sensing in Japan, which includes functions such as autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and more. There are also plenty of exterior colours, interior themes and wheels to go along with dealer options in the form of styling kits – Superior Style for the Air and Active-Tough Style for the Crosstar.

Also available are disability-friendly versions of the Freed that come with an extendable ramp in the boot for loading wheelchairs and a front passenger seat that pivots outwards for easier ingress and egress.

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Gerard Lye

Originating from the corporate world with a background in finance and economics, Gerard’s strong love for cars led him to take the plunge into the automotive media industry. It was only then did he realise that there are more things to a car than just horsepower count.

 

Comments

  • tricycle on Jun 27, 2024 at 2:33 pm

    Beautiful.

    If only Honda can put 1.0L turbo like the one in the Almera, it would be “funner”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12
    • Dah Menang Semua on Jun 27, 2024 at 4:59 pm

      When HM going to assemble here?
      No need to wait for TCM Serena

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Sohai on Jun 27, 2024 at 8:31 pm

      When bring in ckd malaysia? Because this will be hot sales!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • please come to Malaysia

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1
  • Bossku on Jun 27, 2024 at 3:29 pm

    Please bring it to Malaysia!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
  • alibaba on Jun 27, 2024 at 3:48 pm

    meanwhile, someone will charge EXTRA TAX becoz it’s a Honda

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  • Malaysia ? when ? hmmm, okay, forget it

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • Foo Hor Kiow on Jun 27, 2024 at 4:49 pm

    Love my old Freed sold it and bought a MPV of other manufacturer. If Honda bring this in, I’ll be the first to buy it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • please bring to Malaysia

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Disability-friendly versions is a good option for Honda to gain additional market, especially family who need to take care elder member, and to those who need medical assistance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Simon on Jun 28, 2024 at 8:09 am

    Will Honda Malaysia launch this model… Just the right size for small family

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Matchy on Jun 28, 2024 at 8:36 am

    Looks like Volkswagen Transporter/Multivan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • ZamZam on Jun 28, 2024 at 8:43 am

    Can compete and compared to Nissan NV200 1.6L
    This one is smaller and short 4.3m one

    Dulu Freed is damn sempit, knee touching seats all the way

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Thanks to P1/P2

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • komarad on Jul 02, 2024 at 9:03 am

    should have waku-waku door…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2
 

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