There are some marked differences in the interiors of the Honda Freed and Freed Plus.
“The lives of the drivers of these two models and the way they use them are completely different,” Says Honda R&D Center Design Room 1 Studio researcher Takashi Koda. “While further taking components from welfare vehicles, we felt it was important to offer variations for as many drivers as possible.”
The Freed Plus was designed for maximum utility but also with a wheelchair. “We wanted to make it the best of both worlds,” Koda says. On the other hand, the Freed with its three rows of seats doesn’t have this quality, but as Koda says, “It has an interior shape and coloring families would love.”
In order to provide a great family mode, the Freed was giving more sliding room for the second seat, giving it passenger space to rival the Stepwgn. “For example,” says Koda,” if you’re traveling a long distance and you want to stretch out your legs, you can slide the second seat further, or you can make the first row flat and rest your legs on top.”
On the other hand, the floor of the Freed Plus’s cargo space is raised to clear the housing the rear wheels. As a result, nothing more than a single mat could be placed there but now a semi-double can be placed there. “Actually we designed it by making a rough mock-up. We cut up and stuck up cardboard boxes and veneer so that we could experience it ourselves.” About the wheelchair, he said, “Through getting into it ourselves, we could see how to best make it so that it was safe for our customers. For that we made a lot of demo models.”
In this way, the way drivers can relax differs between the Freed Plus and Freed. “First of all, we drew up various ideas, then we built and actually tried them in order to judge what was best,” Koda said.
(Translated by Greg Scott)