2009 Honda Freed - Click above for high-res image gallery

Here in Tokyo, we were hanging around with some American Honda Motor Co. officials when they got their first up-close look at the Freed. The Freed is a compact minivan/MPV based on Honda's Fit architecture. For reference, the six-seat, three-row Freed is about 15 inches shorter than a Mazda5 and about 4 inches longer than a U.S.-spec Fit.

Freed's third row seats fold up against the sides of its body, leaving a completely flat load floor. At least two U.S. Honda PR people checking out the model loved the idea of offering it Stateside, although they'd be inclined to see two changes. Because of the micro-van's short length, they would drop the third row and move the second row back for more legroom. Additionally, the 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine (the same one used in the U.S. Fit) would also likely be replaced by something a bit larger for the our market – possibly a 1.8-liter or even a 2.0-liter.

The Freed is a certainly an attractive package and could make a good competitor in the burgeoning small MPV segment against the likes of the Mazda5 and the forthcoming Chevrolet Orlando and Ford C-Max. What do you think? Have your say in the poll we're running after the jump. Honda's looking for feedback and would like to hear from you.

Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Honda]

Should Honda bring the Freed to the U.S. market?
Yes. Bring it on! 1 (33.3%)
No, it's too small to be useful. 1 (33.3%)
Maybe if it was just a bit larger... 1 (33.3%)

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