mReview: 2023 Honda Freed - True Cost of Freedom

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Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1678939963904 Freed FeaturedWant a compact Honda MPV but prefer the support of an authorised dealer? Here’s some good news - the Honda Freed is now available through official distributor Kah Motors!

And it has to bring the practicality big guns, if it is to make a dent in the sales of its closest Japanese competitor in the Toyota Sienta. The recipe for both vehicles is fairly similar, with both occupying a similar footprint, having very similar power levels and of course, both being seven seaters.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1678939975367 Freed 02Despite the similarities in the basic formulation, there are actually several rather distinct differences in the end user experience.

Master Class in Practicality

What you’d want in a car like the Freed is a cabin that is infinitely configurable. And it does that very well, with a third row that can be rapidly folded up to create some additional storage space. Need even more? The 60/40 second row can also be reconfigured (flipped up), for almost minivan-like levels of cargo capacity.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1678939987736 Freed 12It is also very adept at ferrying passengers. The boxy nature of its body shell creates ample head and shoulder room, so front and middle row passengers will have no issues making themselves comfortable even on longer journeys. Sliding doors and large apertures make ingress and egress a proper doddle.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1678939998955 Freed 09Third row space is less ideal, though even adults will have no problem sitting here on shorter journeys. If more room is needed, you can actually slide the middle row forwards to create more knee room. Aside from the obvious issue of space, ventilation can also be a problem, since there are no vents in the rear of the vehicle.

Inoffensive Styling

This Freed may be the first officially imported iteration of its generation to our shores, but it most certainly isn’t the first version of this particular Freed. In fact, this second generation Freed dates back to 2016, with Honda then releasing a facelift in 2019.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1678940012062 Freed 07The updates are mostly cosmetic, with revisions to its front fascia bringing it in line with the new Jazz, as well as lighter coloured trim in the cabin. You wouldn’t call it the most exciting car on the road visually, but that isn’t the goal of the Freed.

Think about its target market - it needs to appeal visually to the family man, so it just has to look smart yet inoffensive. It does that very well, with very sparing use of chrome contrast trim pieces and clean cut lines to break up its boxy silhouette.

On The Go

When puttering around tight city streets, the large windscreen and heavily assisted electrical power steering makes for excellent manoeuvrability. At these speeds, you aren’t really stressing the 1.5 litre four pot, so it actually is fairly tame and quiet.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1678940028272 Freed 04And truthfully, it is within the confines of the city that the Freed excels. The powertrain combination properly groans when you ask it to rapidly deploy all 129 of its horsepowers. When you do finally carry some momentum, it most certainly isn’t as composed as some of its rivals, the result of its comfort-oriented suspension.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1678940088080 Freed 08Front bite also appears to be less available than in the other Japanese compact MPV, so you’d most definitely not want to chuck this car quickly into a sequence of corners. Still, let’s remind ourselves that compact MPVs are not meant to appeal to yobbos craving dynamism behind the wheel. These are cars designed to serve the needs of a growing family, and for that, the Freed does an admirable job.

Freedom, Practically

You shouldn’t be looking at MPVs if you’re looking for a sporty and engaging drive. Cars that fit that bill typically lack the space, configurability and daily-ability offered by compact MPVs like the Freed.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1678940044795 Freed 05These cars are designed to shuttle a small family, and all of their belongings, around in comfort and efficiency. What they give up in driving engagement, they more than make up for on the spatial and practicality front.

The Freed creates much-needed competition to ensure Toyota doesn’t rest on its Sienta laurels. Additional options for the car buyer and fierce competition between automakers can really only be a good thing for the end user!

Honda Freed 1.5 E7 Specifications
Price: $$72,999 (w/o COE)  VES Band: B
Naturally Aspirated Inline 4
1.5 litre
129 bhp, 155 Nm
Driven Wheels:
16.9 km/L
14 s (estimated)
Top Speed:
Fuel Tank Capacity:
36 L
4,266 mm x 1,694 mm x 1,711 mm
2,740 mm
Cargo Capacity:

Photo Credits: ACube Creative (@weareacube)

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