One teaser picture and a bucket load of gossip, that’s right, Honda is bringing out what seems to be an all new entry level 7 seater in Japan at least, this end of May. As it is right now there are only speculations and idle chatter. More comparison pictures and witty comments after the click. Now with pictures from Winding Road.com, it’s official, the car has a two tier dash!
Well, I found this news from Honda of Japan website a teaser picture of a new car from Honda that has three row seating… And it looks to me that this car is a small version of Honda StepWGN. However, looking at the interior, it seems… How to say this without ruining my Honda fanboy image…. Ah crap, it looks cheap! Not expensive and elegant like StepWGN. The Japanese texts indicate that this car is configurable to seat 5, 7 or 8. But the teaser picture definitely shows a 7 seater with pilot seat configuration, therefore it is clear that it can’t be converted to an 8 seater.
The car will be available for test drive (in Japan) starting 30th May, and lasting to July 25th. The car can be delivered to the applicants if they met the criteria set by Honda… If Google translates it right, applicants gets basically a loaner car if the test drive application is approved. A loaned test drive car? I’M IN! If I’m in Japan…
Now let’s take a look at the in depth analysis.
Honda Freed Teaser Picture
First of all, let’s have a look at the dashboard, nothing fancy but it does indicate a trademark MPV style dashboard from previous Honda’s. So the fact that this car will look like a mom’s car, well it is. Check out some dashboard pictures of Honda’s other MPV cars.
Honda Mobilio Interior
Honda Odyssey Interior
Honda StepWGN Interior
See the big picture? Yup, they all have the transmission stick at the dashboard, and this is a trademark of Honda’s SUV and MPV. Wait, I said it’s the trademark of Honda’s SUV AND MPV, so why the conclusion for MPV? Well, if you look closely at the quality and coloring of the teaser picture, it again shows a trademark Honda styling. Whereby all Honda upscale products features a two tone coloring for the interior, give or take the seating cloth material also available in two tone trim. The entry level product will always feature a mono tone interior color, a no brainer to indicate which Honda is more expensive just by looking its interior color/s (Japanese model). Now what is the current entry level for Honda products, aside from the Keii cars? It’s the Fit, and… Dum dum dum, the Mobilio and its uber brother the Mobilio Spike.
The Mobilios are literally twins although not siamese, and to a certain degree a close cousin to the Fit, they all shares Honda Fit compact global platform. They have their gas tanks underneath the front drivers/passenger, uses the same L series engine, and features a similar ULTRa seat configuration just like the Fit, although the Mobilio version features a tumble 2nd row seat and then a fold flat 3rd row seat. Yup, a 3rd row seat, the Mobilio is currently Honda’s cheapest entry level with 3 row seating. There’s a cheap midship engine car that has 3 row seating from Honda as well, but it’s for commercial use.
Honda Mobilio… A short wheelbase, and 7 seats, makes one dorky looking car.
Given that Mobilio, Mobilio Spike and the Fit shares a platform, it will be more economically viable for Honda to introduce an updated version of said cars to achieve economies of scale. After all, both Mobilio are due for their redesign, they are as old as Fit itself, introduced in 2001 for Mobilio and 2002 for the Spike. With that I conclude that Honda Freed is an updated versio of Mobilio, not anywhere near even Fit RS level. Then again, just take a look at Honda Freed teaser picture and Honda Mobilio interior… Same concept, a sliding door, cheap interior, no frills dashboard, and Honda Mobilio is due for a redesign following Honda Fit’s redesign.
So following its Mobilio footsteps, probably this car will feature Honda’s latest L15 i-VTEC engine producing 120ps. With that much space, definitely there’s more weight and the new small i-VTEC is the rightest engine of them all. CVT? Probably given with Honda’s mad obsession with fuel economy, and like any other Honda of Japan cars, it will have 4WD option.
One thing I dislike about Honda Mobilio is that how dorky looking it is… The low ground clearance and high roof line creates a cavernous interior and that’s a given… But just look at it, it’s not hip, it’s not classy, it’s just… Lanky. At least the new Honda Fit that the Freed is probably based on has a more sharper angles, so the new Freed will probably look less dorky than the Mobilio.
Watch out for this space, it will be updated soon as new pictures emerges.
Egad! Not even one minute that I googled Honda Freed, it turns out that Windingroad.com already has pictures of the new Honda Freed. Here’s the pictures, a scanned picture from an article.
When windingroad post this pictures, they might stumbled upon an exclusive. The first picture showing the front and back of the car might be fakes… You know how good people with Photoshop this days, but look at the interior picture!!! Compare it with the official teaser picture… It’s THE SAME! Look carefully at the automatic lever and A/C knob position. And the reason the steering column body is so long is because the car has two tier dash like the Civic! Windingroad has an exclusive here! (well they took it from a French website) The article also confirms my speculation, the car is a 1.5L 120ps with CVT transmission… Wow… When I’m right… I’m right…. Now I’m going to hit myself on the head repeatedly because I didn’t bother to check around the internet first before making this blog entry… Off to sleep now. Still didn’t know though if this car is going to replace the Mobilio.
All pictures are taken from Honda of Japan website.