Honda gave the Freed compact minivan its first full model change in 8 years and released the new version on September 16. Although compact, it has three rows of seats. For the new version, there is a 1.5L gasoline version and hybrid version available. For consumers with an active lifestyle, Honda has rebranded the Freed Spike as the Freed + (Freed Plus). The Freed + is a 5-seater with 2 rows of seats.
There are 16 widely different variations that differ in areas such as riding capacity and power train. The price varies from 1,880,000 yen for the 2WD version to 2,656,000 yen. With a monthly sales goal of 6,000 units, Honda Sales and Promotion brand chief Naoyuki Nishibe says, “We set the sales goal to just about match its sales for the first 8 years.”
Advanced orders started in August but by the end of the month, it had already surpassed this goal and reached 7,000. According to Nishibe, “There are many consumers coming to the Freed from other models such as large minivans, Fits, and kei cars. It has a good reputation for its ease of handling and sliding doors.”
At the time of its release 8 years ago, the Freed was the only minivan of this size with 3 rows of seats. However, in July, 2015, Toyota launched the Sienta, which quickly became a rival. The Sienta now sells around 10,000 units per month, so it will be interesting to see how these two will fight for control of the market.
(Translated by Greg Scott)