The Indian car market is warmly welcoming numerous MPVs. Recently; a very warm welcome was indeed given to Maruti Ertiga, which actually managed to bag 32000 bookings within a short period of time since its launch. The major reason behind such a big success of Ertiga is smart pricing and presence of diesel engine. Now speculations in the market suggest that Honda might also come up with a new MPV to cope with the loss in sales that happened in last couple of months. This Japanese car brand is quite strong and has the capability to deliver high quality and reliable products. The new MPV from Honda will be called Honda Freed, codenamed ‘2NH’. This MPV by Honda will be based on Honda Jazz hatchback, as Jazz is quite spacious and has the versatility that a MPV longs for. Therefore, we can say that Honda Freed would be an amplified and elongated version of Honda Jazz with more space. On the other hand, Honda Freed is already present in few South East Asian markets. In India, it is expected that the car maker will release this ‘2NH’ with the name of Honda Freed. The launch date is till dicey but rumors suggest that the MPV will step foot in the Indian car market in 2014 and would directly compete with Maruti Ertiga.
Honda is a prominent car brand in India and across the globe. Honda India has kept its faith in providing its consumer more joy and excitement with its cars. This joy and excitement is delivered via making the cars technologically sound and making them capable of delivering high performance on road and off road. Millions and billions of people around the world have responded positively towards Honda’s high spirit of creativeness, innovation and advancement with astonishment and delight. Honda’s fascination for technology is not hidden and this technology obsession has helped Honda to move forwards and make Honda cars a much better and safer performer as compared to other cars in the industry today.
Coming back to Honda Freed, this MPV is globally available in seven and eight seater variants, which stretch out to 4.2 meters in length. Similar to Honda Jazz, even Freed will keep up with the ‘Man Maximum-Machine Minimum’ design strategy of Honda. This design idea of Honda include in roomy interiors with proportionate dimensions. As far as the engine inside Honda Freed is concerned, it might feature 1.5 litre of iVTEC petrol engine. Globally, the MPV doesn’t have any diesel variant. This absence of diesel variant in India might hurt Honda’s revenue here. With the soaring petrol prices, a diesel car variant in India has become a necessity. The power produced by this engine is about 118 BHP at 6600 rpm along with 146 Nm of peak torque at 4800 rpm. This 1.5 litre of petrol engine is coupled with CVT and five speed automatic transmission and same two options are expected to be rolled out in India as well.
Talking about the interiors and features, Honda Freed could be expected to get parking sensors, fog lamps, anti lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution, air conditioner with climate control, rear AC Vents, central locking system, rear defogger, rear wiper, and music system, audio controls mounted on the power steering and power windows. On the whole, Honda Freed or ‘2NH’ seems like a very potential MPV, which has the capability and power to give a tough competition to Maruti Ertiga and be a successful MPV in the Indian car market. It would be certainly interesting to see how the consumers will react to Honda Freed and how it will put itself in front of the very successful Ertiga as Freed is not likely to come in a diesel variant.
Power of Honda Freed
The Honda Freed MPV available in the global markets under the hood holds a 1.5L petrol 4-stroke water cooled SOHC i-VTEC powertrain. Honda’s trademark Programmed Fuel Injection, or PGMFI/PGM-FI, is the fuel supply system which ensures that the right amount of fuel per cylinder is injected based on specific engine data, for internal combustion engines. The 1.5L petrol engine comes mated with the 5 speed automatic transmission gearbox which yields 118 PS of peak power @ 6600 rpm and 146 Nm of torque @ 4800 rpm. Ample amount of torque is produced by the engine to allow a strong, smooth acceleration on both off-road and on-road experience.
Honda Freed Exteriors
Honda Freed is a multi purpose vehicle with seven seater arrangement. The cult character lines flowing throughout the side body, a sporty wide rear spoiler with antenna filling up the aerodynamic quotient, sweeping ahead roofline and small sweeping bonnet with shapely carved rear wheel arch are some of the high points of Honda Freed. From Malaysia to India, Honda might tweak these characters and tailor makes Honda 2NH (right now the code name for Honda’s MPV on the sidelines of Freed) it for Indians. However, heavy makeovers are something we are not expecting from Honda’s design team.
The exteriors of Freed, right now a hit 7 seater in Malaysian market, are charming and families will love to go on a ride in the stylish car. The compact MPV Freed is manufactured with low-floor and low centre of gravity technology so as to create more space, better performance and more usability in the MPV. One step floor design, easy to reach door handle and adjustable door opening steps render ease of access maintaining security. The rear sliding doors open till a width of 600 mm and can be opened with a touch sensor at the driver’s seat or through keyless entry. The smartly designed front doors also have forward-leaning hinge and spacious headroom allowing easy access.
The front of Freed looks cute with slated grille, sharp halogen headlamps and sleek air dam. The MPV is very safe as absorbing shocks is a child’s play for it. Shock absorbing bonnet hinge structure, shock absorbing windshield sill and wiper, sufficient space between hood and engine, shock absorbing bumper and fender protect Freed during collision. 15 inch alloy wheels, electrically operated and folding ORVMs, grab type body color door handles, rear trunk garnish are the other exterior features of Honda Freed.
The length of Honda Freed stands at 4215 mm, its width is 1700 mm and height is 1735 mm. The wheelbase is 2740 mm. The front tread is 1478 mm while the rear tread is 1466 mm. Ground clearance is 165 mm while kerb weight is 1330-1355 kg. Turning circle radius is 5.6 metre.
Honda Freed Interior
This MPV from the stables of Honda was inspired by the open airy light filled café. Honda was mulling to give its customers a feel of high quality spaciousness and friendly environment in the cabin so that the passengers always feel at home and easy whenever they go for a drive in this off-roader. The central console of the car is two layered that gives ample amount of control at driver’s fingertips. Also there is a multi functional information display that shows fuel economy continuously and just with the touch of a button one can switch to see the accumulated distance, trip distance, average fuel consumption as well as the estimated distance you can go before the next petrol top up.
The operating system of the MPV has been intelligently placed around the driver’s seat and is within the reach of the driver and the front seat passenger. The audio and air conditioner control too are placed in the middle of the central console translating into an easy access for both driver and passenger.
Coming to the comfort features the fully automated air conditioning is smartly designed outlets to give you cool driving comfort. The air conditioning ducts are placed at high instrument panel that ensures that the cooling is done for the all three rows. Honda Freed MPV offers the kind of space that is required to meet the varying needs of a family. The larger low floor tailgate enhances the storage space with the height of 1,120mm and with a maximum width of 1,160mm. The enhanced length and width practically can help you keep everything from sports equipment to furniture, and that surely gives you a clue as to how much you can take along if you are taking this MPV for an off-road drive. The third row can be conveniently folded to create more space in the already available ample space the MPV. The headroom and legroom space is enough to give the whole family ample space to sit, relax and be together without crossing each others space. The MPV also offers individual beverage holders and easy to reach storage spaces.
The MPV is designed on one step floor design with easy to reach door handles and the door openings are adjustable that provides smooth and secured openings. The rear sliding doors at both the sides come with an opening space of 600mm making sliding in and getting out of the car easy even in the narrowest Indian streets. The doors can also be operated through touch sensors at the drivers seat and also with the keyless entry remote control system. The safety of the passenger is also kept in mind with the door ajar warning feature.
Honda Freed Engine and Performance
This MPV from the stables of Honda comes powered with a 4-stroke water cooled SOHC i-VTEC with a displacement of 1497cc which is good to churn out 118 PS of peak power @ 6600 rpm and 146 Nm of torque @ 4800 rpm. The fuel supply system of the car is PGM-FI and the bore and stroke of this high powered MPV is 73X 89.4mm. The 1.5L petrol engines power is increased with the 5 speed automatic gearbox. Honda Freed front suspension is strut whereas axle torsion beam is incorporated at the rear end. Honda is currently developing a MPV for India codenamed 2NH which will be spawned on the sidelines of Honda Freed and likely to hold the same 4-stroke water cooled SOHC i-VTEC powertrain.
Honda Freed wheels are15 X 5 1/2J alloy wheels, since the car comes incorporated with alloy wheels which are lighter in weight in comparison to the steel wheels; they save engines energy and give you more torque. The tyre size is 185/65 R 15.
Handling & Safety
Honda Freed safety level takes a new step when the brand even kept the safety of the pedestrian in mind. To reduce the impact on the pedestrian in case of an accident Honda has adorned the MPV with dispersing system that spreads the force of the car during an accident. The front hood of the car comes adorned with impact absorbing design as there is enough space between the hood and the engine that helps to absorb shock during collisions. The hinges and the wipers are also intelligently designed so as to collapse and tear away to reduce the injury. In case of collusion the front air bag will open to protect the head and the neck of driver and the front row passenger. The MPV also features Anti-lock braking system that helps you overcome potentially dangerous situations like wet roads and emergency braking which restores the traction and stability of the car and that works parallel with the Brake Assist system to help you stop instantly with precision and safety.