Honda Begins Sales in Japan of All-New Freed and Freed+ Compact Minivan
Honda Motor Co., Ltd today began sales in Japan of the all-new Freed and Freed+.
The all-new Freed and Freed+ were developed as a vehicle that any customer can use anytime, anywhere, in any way they want, and on any day of the week. Moreover, the all-new Freed/Freed+ was developed as a compact minivan*1 which further evolves the “just right” concept for which the first-generation Freed was so well received.
Freed with 3-row seating, Freed+ with 2-row seating and the special-needs vehicles are offered with a total of 16 different types to accommodate the diverse needs of customers. This includes the first-ever hybrid 4WD version of a compact minivan model in the market*2 and a hybrid option for a wheelchair-accessible vehicle that have been made available.
A versatile seating arrangement that accommodates various needs and the largest cabin space among all models in the compact minivan class were realized. Moreover, for the Freed+ variation, by introducing an ultra-low floor for the cargo space, the usability of the cargo space was further increased and a flat space that makes it possible to sleep in the vehicle, together with underfloor storage were simultaneously achieved.
Furthermore, model type equipped with the “Honda SENSING” Advanced Driver-Assistive System is available for both Freed and Freed+ variations, offering customers a high sense of confidence.
Hybrid types are equipped with the Honda SPORT HYBRID i-DCD and realize excellent fuel economy of 27.2 km/liter*3 (JC08 mode), which is top-level fuel economy among all minivan models in the market*4 as well as powerful driving even while driving uphill with multiple passengers.
Television commercials for the all-new Freed/Freed+ feature the Japanese fashion model, Yuri Ebihara and comedian/actor Yoshimi Tokui (from the comedy duo, Tutorial) to convey realistic messages about the attractiveness of the all-new Freed to customers in Japan.
Key features of the all-new Freed/Freed+
The distance between the hip point of the first-row and third-row passengers was increased by 90mm, compared to the first-generation Freed, offering a spacious cabin where adult occupants can be seated comfortably on all three rows. Captain seats are adopted for the 3-row/6-seat vehicles, and the sliding distance of the captain seats was increased to a 360 mm “long slide,” an increase of 120 mm compared to the first-generation Freed. Versatile seat arrangements including first and second-row flat mode and second and third-row flat mode are made possible for both 6-seater and 7-seater types.
The width of the walk-through was increased by 50 mm in the first row and 25 mm in the second row, making it easer for occupants to walk through inside the vehicle.
Ease of ingress/egress was improved by increasing the width of the sliding door opening to 665 mm, a 20 mm increase compared to the first-generation Freed, and by lowering the ground height of the step-in by 15 mm to 390 mm.
Driver’s field of vision was significantly expanded by increasing the driver’s upward angle of visibility through the adoption of a windshield form unique to Honda*6.
Forward diagonal visibility was also improved by featuring large-sized front corner windows and front pillars which were made even thinner than those of the first-generation Freed. Improved forward diagonal visibility not only gives the driver more peace of mind but also helps realize an expansive cabin space inside this vehicle. *6
The minimum turning radius of 5.2 m makes it easy to handle this vehicle on narrow roads in urban areas. *6
*6Same for all-new Freed+
The biggest feature of the all-new Freed+ is its cargo space where an ultra-low floor is realized and the ground height of the tailgate opening (FF type) was lowered to 335 mm, a 185 mm lower than that of Freed Spike, making it possible to load tall items.
As for seat arrangements, the 60/40 split rear seats are equipped with a double folding mechanism that allows them to be stored flat.
The functionality to accommodate user(s) sleeping in the vehicle was further advanced. By arranging seats and using a lightweight and high-strength utility board, a flat space large enough for a mattress for a three-quarter bed size (120 cm x 195 cm, known as “semi-double” size in Japan) can be created. Moreover, the space underneath the flat space can be used for storage.
For Freed, the interior was designed under the concept of “Natural Modern Interior.” Striving to realize a relaxing space like a nice resort, seat fabrics which look good and feel good as well as authentic-looking wood-grain panels which generate warm atmosphere are adopted.
For Freed+, the interior was designed under the concept of “Wonder Pack Interior” to express the image of “tools,” which reminds people of the variety of uses for this vehicle. Using a 3D-looking block-pattern seat fabric, high-contrast metal-effect panels and monotone-themed interior colors, interior for Freed+ is expressing unique image different from that of Freed (3-row seating version).
Making the meters thinner and locating them further away enables the driver to check those meters with a small shift of the line of sight, which also improves driver’s frontal visibility.
Depending on the mood of the day, the users can select one of six light color options for both the meters and the climate control which work together. When the user turns up the temperature, the light for the climate control changes to red, and when the user turns down the temperature, the light color changes to blue. This “answer back function” of light for climate control also improves the usability of this vehicle.
Moreover, by locating multiple lights with a sophisticated look in different places inside the vehicle, occupant comfort which is equivalent to that of models in a class above the conventional compact minivan class is being realized.
The exterior was designed under the theme of “Dynamism and Functionality.” While combining dynamism and functionality, values and attractiveness were pursued while positioning this model as a “driver’s car.”
By making the parting lines of the slide rail cover blend unobtrusively into the rear quarter panel, a sense of concentration and unity of the body is emphasized.
As for the treatment of the bottom edge of the tailgate of the Freed+ variation, a parting line between the tailgate and body, which accommodates the ultra-low floor, was established while maintaining the design image of Freed.
Common styling was applied to all types of the all-new Freed/Freed+. Customers can select a type most suitable for their lifestyle from the variations of 16 types.
Gasoline types of the all-new Freed/Freed+ are equipped with a 1.5-liter direct injection DOHC i-VTEC engine and high-efficiency CVT, while hybrid types are equipped with 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle DOHC i-VTEC engine paired with SPORT HYBRID i-DCD (intelligent Dual-Clutch Drive) equipped with one-motor 7-speed DCT. The most appropriate settings for a multiple-passenger ride is applied for both gasoline and hybrid types, balancing driving performance and fuel economy at a high level.
Gasoline types achieved fuel economy of 19.0 km/liter*7, and hybrid types achieved fuel economy of 27.2 km/liter*3, that is top-level fuel economy among all minivan models*4 in the market.
The world’s first*8 neodymium magnet with absolutely no heavy rare earth metals was adopted for the drive motor of hybrid types.
With hybrid types, the IPU (Intelligent Power Unit) was downsized and moved beneath the first-row seats from the previous location beneath the third-row seats, which created extra space in the cabin, making it possible to add a wheelchair-accessible vehicle to the lineup. Moreover, by designing an IPU exclusively for this model, hybrid types equipped with a 4WD system were made possible for the first time*2 among other compact minivan models in the market.
With the smooth driving and electric-controlled differential which resulted from the adoption of the Real-time AWD system, the all-new Freed models have improved run-through performance on snowy roads, offering customers a high sense of confidence.
*7Gasoline type (FF)
*8Research by Honda and Daido Steel Co., Ltd
Chassis and body
The percentage of high tensile strength steel used for the body frame was increased to enhance its rigidity. The body frame is based on the gasoline-powered 3-row seating variation, however, by adopting the “multi-shell frame” structure, it accommodates the body for hybrid types, 2-row seating types and wheelchair-accessible types by replacing a minimum number of parts designed exclusively for each body.
Through the adoption of a high-rigidity rear suspension and liquid-sealed compliance bushing, rigidity and occupant comfort were increased, which enable people to enjoy the fun of driving with greater peace of mind.
Excellent aerodynamic performance, which is at the top-level in the minivan category*9, was achieved by making adjustments to the formative design of the exterior as well as smoothing the airflow around the tires and the bottom face of the body.
A higher level of quiet was also achieved both during acceleration and cruising, realizing a comfortable cabin where occupants can enjoy conversation.
*9Honda internal research
A number of convenience and storage features, such as an instrument panel tray for the front passenger and a storage box built-in to the upper part of the instrument panel, are placed throughout the vehicle.
Smart Entry that features a start switch with a guiding light is a standard feature on all types. Honda Internavi system, which is available for certain types, was made even more convenient than before by adding new functions including connectivity with a smartphone.
Traffic Signal Prediction System (TSPS), a driver-assistive system that utilizes traffic signal information to support safe and smooth driving is available for all types (VICS infrared beacon unit, which is available as a dealer option, is required to use this service.).
Honda SENSING TM
For the greater peace of mind and comfort of the driver, types equipped with the Honda SENSINGTM suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies are available for certain types.
Based on the body of the all-new Freed+, a wheelchair-accessible variation is made available. A wheelchair access ramp with two-tier hinges makes ingress/egress easier for wheelchair users and enhances the usability of this vehicle for everyday use.
In addition to the wheelchair-accessible vehicle, Freed variations with a side lift-up seat and with a passenger lift-up seat are also available for customers to make selections that best accommodate their needs.