Honda Freed Real Life Fuel Consumption

Here it is folks, real life consumption of Honda Freed ASEAN edition. One local Indonesian automotive magazine has extensively tested the car fuel consumption on highway and inner city driving. The result is mind boggling, but… Well, here it is…

The magazine test result nets 1 liter for 10-12 Km of inner city driving and 1 liter for 15 Km of highway driving. The fuel used is not mentioned, but safe to assume they use RON 91 92 (thanks Frozen_Heart) grade fuel, as previous road tests are done using RON 91 92. So the million dollar question is… Is it good enough? And the answer is a simple yes.

Mind you that the car is as aerodynamic as brick with slanted front window. No matter how hard Honda engineers try to make the car efficient with the standard 5 gear autobox, the car physiques is it drawback in term of fuel consumption. 1 liter for 10-12 Km of inner city driving is very very very respectable number… Hell, my automatic SX4 hatch barely manages 1:10 on perfect day. But the 1:15 for highway driving? Meh… This is where Freed users pays for its awesome interior space.

The Freed is taller and heavier than the Fit/City while still using the same engine (and detuned). Honda never stated its coefficient drag number for Freed, but let’s say that it’s not very good… And this goes to tall haulers like Elysion, Alphard and Elgrand for which Freed emulates. Wind resistance doesn’t take its toll on slow moving cars, it is when the car goes up to speed that you will feel the resistance. As such, Freed highway mileage suffers by a bit… Just a bit because most 1.5L haulers manages 1:16 at the minimum. To take into retrospect, my SX4 hatch manages 1:16 of highway cruise. This shows that the inclusion of 5 gear autobox on the Freed is a must, if not for the 5th overdrive, the car might be sluggish on slower speed (*cough*like my SX4*cough*).

All in all, the Freed is truly a must have. Tall cabin = very good shoulder and head room, something that few of its competitors manage to give but with a compromise. Although for its roominess Freed users must pay with slightly off highway cruise fuel consumption of its peers, the car still scores very well. Sure there’s that no rear aircon thing, but just turn the AC fan to 2 and put good quality window film.

Honda Freed Hands on Impression

Here it is folks, pictures and witty comments of 2009 Indonesian Honda Freed. The model you’ll be seeing is the baseline version with the uprated rims from the original Japanese Honda Freed and some exclusions to fit with the intended target market price bracket.

Let’s start to take a look from the exterior sides first.

Short nose, highly advanced engineering

Taking the same platform of the Fit/Jazz, the Freed inherit the same “near-zero” hood, because that’s how awesome Honda engineers are, able to create such a compact engine to make a compact and easy to maneuverable car. But one thing you will notice from the outside is…

Smoked headlight for added oomph

Smoked headlight, standard for all model. Nice addition and makes this white over black headlight really nice. Although not as nice as the…

Uprated tires and rims nudge the ground clearance higher

Uprated rim and tires from the original JDM model. Freed JDM models employs 14” rims as standard and 160 mm of ground clearance. Clearly the use of 15” rims by Freed competitors and the necessity to heighten Freed’s original ground clearance for shoddy Indonesian cities roads warrant this upgrade. Freed uses 185/65 tires on 15” rims, which boost Freed’s ground clearance to a healthy 165 mm. Not tall enough, but enough as not to destroy the driving dynamics. Which you want because…

L15 engine although slightly detune

The Freed has the same engine as the Fit/Jazz and City. Notice the same air duct towards the intake of the car positioned near the firewall of the engine bay? That means fresh relatively cool air is fed towards the intake for maximum efficiency at high speed. Even though the power is down from 120ps that of Fit/Jazz and City to 118ps to the Freed, it’s still the most powerful engine for its given capacity (1.5L). Which you want to utilize because…

Side visibility is superb

The driving position is very nice. Although this car doesn’t feature telescopic steering only tilt and there is no height adjustment on the driver seat, good seating position is achievable. Which gives… Nice visibility from driving position to all sides. The A pillar is slanty enough so you can see tall objects on the side and the instrument cluster is nicely positioned just slightly below the front glass, perfect for glancing while driving.

Cheap AC controls, but awesome dash design

Phew… It’s quite hard to write something that continuous, so let’s continue with the usual flow… Interior size wise, the car is adequate for the majority of Asians, although some tall guy including me will need to adjust the seat quite extremely to find the perfect seating position (just slide the seats all the way back). Seating position for second and third row is limited for my “178 cm long in the legs” posture, as my knee will always scrub against something. Not so much for the first row because there are more leg room upfront.

Upholstery is not what I expected, but still nice

I found that the seating position is a bit low, thus I couldn’t find comfortable seating position on second and third row. Bearable on short trips, but not so much for longer ones. Tall people, definitely sits at the first row only.

One thing that I found very satisfying sitting inside the Freed on the second and third row seat is the tall roofline. The tall roofline gives a lot positive feeling psychologically, being that It’s like you’re sitting in a more spacious room. The same thing applies I guess to your house design, low roofline and you will feel that you’re living in a smaller place than if the roofline is higher… It’s psychobable, because you live horizontally not vertically, but it’s real.

Flat floor + sexy legs

There is one minus point for the second row interior, in that, although the captain seat has arm rest, it’s only on the inner side of the interior, and not the outer. In fact, the outer position where the doors are, there are no arm rest and even a crease to put your arm. You can only rest your arm on the inner side of the seat.

Entry point is very accessible

Entering and exiting the car for the second row is very nice for average and tall people. Thanks to the side handles, small size persons (a kid) can just grab on the handle and climb up the footstep, thank goodness the car ground clearance is not too high as to hamper entering and exiting the car. While trying to enter and exit the car, now I realize, having a tall ground clearance have its adverse side effect; because the taller the ground clearance, the taller the entry/exit point is. Imagine your Grandmother have to literally “climb” her way up to your Land Cruiser… Yeah, buy that LC Grandma haters…

Access to the third row seat is through the alley of the second row seat. Which is kind of tight because of the protruding armrest. But given that this is me “not your typical Asian” we are talking, medium size people will be able to pass through the alley with ease.

The third seat as pictured before, folds upward and splits 50/50. I can easily get out from the third row seat when one was folded upward through the rear hatch… Although I didn’t know why you would do that…  The minus point for this folding upward seat is that it won’t allow wide tall objects to be put on the floor, because the seat above it will obstruct the object. Tall slim objects are perfect though.

Final words

The Freed is definitely geared towards average Asians upstart family who wants comfort and entry level luxury. The size is obviously perfect for average size Asians, thanks to its box shaped overall body structure. Legrooms might be tight, but shoulder and head room is ginormous. The second row and third row features reclining seats, because there are lots of space available, and it even still has some space left behind the third row seat.

Honda really did it this time. The car price is dead on, fits perfectly between the Jazz and the City and really seals the image that Honda is premium brand. The local advertisement of Indonesian Honda Freed might be too much on the framing of the target market and less about the car, but it’s okay, Honda Indonesia really nails the premium aspect of the car.

Given the price, the Freed is expensive to say the least. But consider this: Freed emulates to a perfect degree of expensive people movers such as Alphard, Elysion and Elgrand. Because the car chassis and platform (FF) mimics perfectly of its more expensive brethren. Nissan Grand Livina is the closest direct competitor to Freed platform wise, but it sits lower and the roofline is lower. Sure the Nissan Grand Livina has the advantage in driving dynamics, being lower and all, but it won’t easily beat Freed’s spacious interior vertically.

I see that the demographic for Freed is very wide ranging. From 30 to 45, and economic strata of A & B+. From upstart family to just those who started a new life together. Perfect? Not really. Hit the target? 102%

Thanks to Pak. Harris at Autoland Kelapa Gading for putting up with me and the family long after the dealership closing time, and no thanks to Nokia E75 shitty low light pictures.

Freed Is Officially Launched… Price and all

Honda Freed Indonesia is officially launched, and behold the wonderful good news about the car.

The car, as I predicted is priced reasonably starting from Rp. 237 Million and topping out at Rp. 257 Million… I missed the pricing by about Rp. 3 Million as I predicted the car will be priced at Rp. 240 Million and Rp. 260 Million respectively.

The ground clearance, as I predicted also raises for about a good 5 mm, from the original Japanese Freed spec of 160 mm to 165 mm. Thanks to the use of a healthy 15″ rims and tires.

It’s not as tall as I expected, but remember, Toyota Alphard has only 170 mm of ground clearance for its top of the line model. So a 5 mm difference wouldn’t be too much, when Freed bottoms out on a section of road, most likely the Alphard does the same.

The car came exclusively with 7 seater configuration with optional advanced safety mechanism for the top of the line version.

Both version comes with 5 gear automatic transmission featuring Grade Logic Control which holds gears on uphill and downhill roads, shift holding mechanism which… Well, holds the gear when turning, which is nice to have although not necessary when you are not driving fast and furious. Finally, the autobox features torque converter lock up… Which I cannot fully comprehend technically… Suffice to say, Wikipedia article on it says fuel efficiency, so we go with that one.

The main engine power is still 118ps, same with the Japanese domestic model. Powerful but definitely needs RON 92 grade fuel, no thanks to its high compression ratio of 10.4:1. You can still uses lower grade Pertamina Premium fuel, but probably that power would go to waste… So if you want to unleash the full VTEC experience, stick with 92 grade fuel.

The main difference between the entry level and the top of the line Freed is the addition of:

  • Dual SRS Airbag (the entry level doesn’t have any airbag)
  • Front row armrest
  • Convenience hook behind the front seat
  • Sunvisor with vanity mirror
  • Finally, automatic sliding doors

For that much (Rp. 20 Million), the additional feature is actually quite a bargain. Just for that automatic sliding door, I see yuppies community will bought it at volume.

For the Asia Pacific region, this trim line will probably the same for you guys living in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Philippine. So, enjoy it for all your needs 🙂

So that’s that folks, my next family car for sure.

Source:

Honda Freed Indonesia official specification

Guesstimating Indonesia Honda Freed Price

Okay, since I have a lot of unapproved messages and readers asking about the new Honda Freed price in Indonesia, I’m going to one up Honda Indonesia and try to guess the Freed price. Frankly, I didn’t know the price, I have contacts in the “inner circle” but not that kind of inner circle, just friends at the dealership and media, so my best info will be your best info from local auto magazines.

I don’t know much how Honda Indonesia established their product price, but it is safe to assume that the Freed will be priced around Jazz price. Why? Because:

  1. Honda Jazz and Honda Freed are both locally assembled.
  2. Honda Freed is basically a stretch Jazz.
  3. Both car shares the same engine and transmission.

The most expensive Honda Jazz, the RS, is priced at Rp. 221,5 Million. Now taking into account that the Freed is basically a stretched Jazz, the Freed shares most of its inner working with Jazz such as engine, transmission, and even suspension. The latter might be modified to handle Freed extra weight, but it is still the same McPherson Strut front and H-Shaped torsion beam back. So the changes might be just a different absorber and spring size.

So, the extra cost for Honda mostly comes in the form of sheet metal, plastics, and window, given as the Freed is bigger than the Jazz. Also for the automatic sliding door mechanism…

Do mind that Honda Indonesia only assemble the cars here, that’s why we call it CKD (completely knock down). So a lot of contents are still imported. Remember the basic economic equation of orders? When you buy something from period A, you sell it with period A price + margin. So if Honda purchases Freed components then when the dollar is at its highest, it’s not their fault… It’s the forex speculant’s.

So how much do you think the Freed will be priced? Personally, I guess the price will start at Rp. 240 Million, and topping out at Rp. 260 Million. This is actually a very conservative guess because even at Rp. 240 Million, Honda will sell a ton of this car. Because with just a premium of 8% from Jazz RS, you got a bigger capacity car and I see LOTS of Jazz RS running around Indonesia capital.

Why a conservative guess again? Because of the competition. At Rp. 240 Million Indonesian can just buy Toyota Innova, the venerable car of choice in Indonesia; 8 seater, 2L engine, enormous utility, high ground clearance. Then at Rp. 270 Million you can buy yourself an entry level Nissan Serena; 7 seater, 2L engine, bigger than Freed,  same exquisite FF platform. So, Honda Indonesia needs to play its card right. Thankfully, Honda brand equity in Indonesia warrant a price premium, although not much… Pricing the Freed over Nissan Serena level will be suicide, and Honda Indonesia should know better. So that’s why I personally guess the price will not go over Rp. 270 Million.

For trim level I’m guessing that Indonesian Freed will have two trims. The standard and top of the line. With automatic as standard, and the top of the line model featuring automatic sliding doors. The seating capacity will be strictly 7 seater captain seat variant.

With the economy is still in the red and buying capability of the market still low, it’s best for Honda to aim for the top with the Freed. 7 seater cars are synonimous with luxury people movers such as Honda Elysion, Toyota Alphard and Nissan Elgrand. With Freed’s premium pricing strategy, it’s best for Honda Indonesia to target a specific market than to cater to wider demographics.

But still, these are just plain guessing. I’m not affiiliated whatsoever with Honda Indonesia. So, the car is on track to its release date and the car is already booked in many dealers, have you booked yours today?

Newsflash: Freed Receives Very Minor Updates! Wha?

News so flashy it blinds your eyes! Honda Freed has received the best selling minivan status in Japan for 5 straight months from November 2008 to March 2009. Thus, Freed insane popularity in Japan has warrant Honda engineers to mildly refresh the car in a very discreet fashion. Very discreet actually, you cannot see it and it might just count as an addition of a trim level.

First and foremost, the Freed does receives an extra trim level dubbed “just selection”… According to Google effort. However, Yahoo Babel Fish translate the trim level as “jiyasutoserekushiyon”, and if you add some cing-cong language there, then “jiyasuto” is pronounced as “jay-su” or sounds like just and “serekushiyon” is pronounced as “se-rection” or sounds like selection (Japanese words doesn’t have “L”).  So, Google might have the edge here… Or Honda just have something about erection on Freed latest trim.

G Just Selection profile

Anyway, the “Just Selection” trims ads HID as a standard item for the G trim and the G Aero receives standard 15″ aluminum wheel and heated windshield wiper… Get it right folks, heated wiper, not heated windshield, although the heating element is on the windshield. The logic behind this is to make the wiper melts snow particles to reduce tearing effect of the blade on the long run.

You just don’t believe me do you…

As for the price, the standard G is priced at 1.699 Million Yen, while the “Just Selection” is priced at 1.794 Million Yen. A difference of 95K Yen or US$1K, and you get factory warranted HID lights, nice enough. The G Aero “Just Selection” have a different of 132K Yen or US$1.2K  from the basic G Aero… Nice enough, but I don’t think the heated wiper will help non snowing countries.

So a trim level addition? Pfft… Not worth having “minor update” status. Wait! I forgot to mention that all Freed captain seat version now have their second row seat to slide an extra 40mm/4cm, and map lights and grab rails as standard.

Now I wonder if Honda Indonesia will incorporate the above additions for the Freed imminent release… At least the grab rails and extra sliding distance, because both really adds another value towards the car. Safety while entering the car, and extra leg room if needed .

Oh, and for you Indonesian readers, I have some bad news about Freed’s price. I heard news from the street that the price is hovering steady at Rp 270 Million when the Freed launches. Wowza… At that price point you can get a brand new (old gen) Nissan Serena or Toyota Innova for less. But it’s still up in the air as it’s just a word from the street, and who knew… Miracles do come true you know, at least I’ve witnessed a couple.

Source:

Honda of Japan Official Freed Update Page

Officially Official: Honda Freed Is Coming NEXT JUNE!

Well, so much for the hoolabaloo… It seems that today is just the day Honda Indonesia sent out a press release about going to sell the Freed in Indonesia. At least we have a timeframe, it’s June and it’s confirmed the car would be available with i-VTEC engine and 5 speed automatic transmission. No further information is available regarding the car, on whether it will be offered with the 8 seat variant or the 7 seat variant nor would it be avaible in manual transmission.

For the time being, I’m going to write about Freed specification in comparison with its competitors, namely Xenia/Avanza, Grand Livina, APV and Gran Max Luxio.

Officially Official: Honda Freed Is Coming NEXT WEEK!

Oh my… What a delightful turn of event this is… It seems that I mistakenly translate trimester with semester. Last night in a closed session, Honda Indonesia finally unveils its intention to sell Honda Freed in Indonesia and the official launching of the car will be held on 11th of March, next week! Wow! This is actually happening, Indonesia will be the first ASEAN country to sell the Freed… Wait… Actually, if you want to put more emphasis on that, Indonesia will be the first country in the world to produce and sell Freed outside of Japan.

Honda Indonesia is very bold, very very bold if I might add… The Freed target market in Indonesia is already saturated with Daihatsu Xenia and its clone, Toyota Avanza. Then the venerable challenger Nissan Grand Livina. Not counting Suzuki APV and the soon to be released Daihatsu Luxio. But should Honda be afraid? Not really… We are talking Honda here! Where engineers are part magician and voodoo doctors.

The Freed first of all, is a front wheel driven, front engine minivan where its competitors are more or less a crossover between two cars sans the Grand Livina. The Xenia/Avanza is a crossover between MPV and SUV, high ground clearance with front engine, rear wheel driven setup. The Suzuki APV and Daihatsu Luxio origins are semi pick up truck with engine underneath driver seat driving the rear wheel. This doesn’t mean a thing, but when you start to add up the fact that FF cars like the Freed and Grand Livina have ample interior room thanks to the lack of driveshaft running from the front of the car to the back… Then it start to makes sense.

The Freed main competitor will be Nissan Grand Livina with its similar FF drivetrain setup. Size wise, although the Freed is shorter compared to Grand Livina, it has longer wheelbase and is taller, these facts should lead to the Freed having more ample interior room than the Grand Livina… Although it remain to be seen.

The last sentence leaves a lot to be desired, and I smell a comparison is coming! Comeback soon, I’ll prepare a paper comparison between Freed competitors in Indonesia… And to some extent, the ASEAN.

Unofficially Official, Honda Freed IS Coming to Indonesia

Well, according to an interview of a local online media with Honda Indonesia Marketing Director, Mr. Jonfis Fandi that is.

The impromptu information was out in a yearly media gathering held in Jakarta. It is confirmed by the head honcho that the Freed is indeed coming to Indonesia in the 2nd trimester of 2009 (that’s middle of the year), and what’s more, it will be Freed’s debut outside of Japan… Wowza! This backwater country actually got an exclusive debut of THE most waited Honda in 2009! (at least in term of affordability… Hybrid this ain’t)

With the rumors Honda Indonesia is canceling bringing Freed to Indonesia, this is quite a news. Price wise, Honda Indonesia is touting that volatile foreign currency/local exchange rate make them unable to guesstimate the local price for the Freed. Final price will be announced near the actual car launch date. Whatever it is, the price might land between US$2300 to US$25000 considering local Honda City is priced at US$24000 to US$26000. It’s common to price 7 seater MPV below a sedan in some parts of Asia as sedan is considered more luxurious than an MPV.

All I can say, godspeed bringing this car back home Mr. Jonfis. We’ll be waiting with arms wide open… Although I’m keeping my SX4 Crossover.

Honda Freed Complete Review

Honda freed headerWith the ever rising global oil price, Honda finally unveils a minivan to answer the global demand for a people mover which adheres to current global energy crisis. Entering the compact minivan, on 29th of May 2008, Honda of Japan unveils its latest addition to the compact minivan car category, the curiously named Freed. A review from information established on a website might be corny, but you will find a lot of enlightening facts, especially if you can’t read Japanese Kanji. So, a complete paper review based and witty comments from yours truly, after the click. Continue reading

Honda Freed Release Date + New Picture

Straight out of Honda of Japan website, a second teaser picture of the new Honda Freed, a 7-8 seater minivan that is due out at 29th of May… In Japan. There’s not much information yet for the car in question, but with less than a week away from its unveiling… We can wait. Bigger picture complete with the first interior picture + more witty comments after the click.

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