Ahead of its expected September debut, Honda's next-gen Freed people carrier shows up in patent designs.
The current Freed small MPV has been around since 2008, so naturally time has come to be replaced by an all-new model. Latest reports are indicating the second generation will be introduced in Japan this August, but we won’t have to wait that long to check out its design. Here are some very revealing images of the exterior which as you would expect from a family hauler, it’s not exactly exciting.
Compared to the outgoing Jazz/Fit-based model, the new Freed will allegedly be 35 mm longer (at 4,250 mm), 5 mm taller (at 1,710 mm) and will retain the same 1,695 mm width. We imagine most of the stretch will be found in the wheelbase set to grow from the current 2,740 mm. By extending the distance between the two axles, it means the next Freed will have a more spacious interior cabin which is obviously the key selling point of a vehicle in this class.
Some say the naturally-aspirated 1.5-liter gasoline engine will soldier on in the second generation, but will be joined later in the model’s life by a turbocharged three-cylinder, 1.0-liter unit sourced from the 2017 Civic in Euro spec.
There’s also going to be a hybrid version, one that will combine a 1.5-liter with an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery, and a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox. Unlike the first-gen Freed which has an Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system, its replacement will switch to Honda’s Intelligent Dual-Clutch Drive (i-DCD) which will deliver superior performance.
Other details about the hardware are not available at this point, but chances are the new version will once again be based on the Jazz/Fiz, this time on the supermini’s latest generation. It’s worth mentioning the current Honda Freed can be had as a five-seater, a seven-seater with second-row captain’s seats, and also as an eight-seater if you really have a large family. It’s too soon to say whether the new one will continue to be offered with three seating layouts.
An important difference between the first gen and the new version will be the broader availability since Honda reportedly has plans to sell the Freed in China for the first time. If it’s going to happen, most likely the version for that country will be made locally by either the Dongfeng-Honda or Guangzhou-Honda local joint ventures. For the other markets in Asia, Honda will assemble the mini MPV as it does now at home in Japan and also at a plant in Indonesia.