• Oct 24th 2009 at 9:05AM
  • 63
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! 536 (75.4%)
No, it's too small to be useful. 82 (11.5%)
Maybe if it was just a bit larger... 93 (13.1%)

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd rather see the Honda Stream than the Freed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Third row seats are pretty bad in big vehicles. I am sure they have a whole new level of pointlessness here.

      How about dropping that 1.8L and a 6speed manual in the Honda Fit. That I could handle.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yep, bring it on.
      • 5 Years Ago
      No thanks.

      The Mazda 5 at least has a little bit of style. It may be a family vehicle, but if there was no H badge who would buy one? Also to wizards of hiding 3rd row seats should be able to do a lot better than that. Folding seats up like that was ok in the 80's but now we should have the ability to fold them into the floor or at least be able to remove them.

      Try a little harder Honda.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like it, but it might be a bit small for us. We only have two kids, but with the double stroller and the occasional driving vacation, not sure if everything would fit. What about the JDM Odyssey? Or the Stream? But, no, we're getting that stupid Crosstour...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm with several of the above posters-- it's not different enough from the Fit. I've got a Saab 9-5 wagon which is great, but I need a bit more space for work. I tried the Mazda5, and it's not enough of a gain, the R-Class is way too long and wide as a Lambo, the Caravan/T&C/Roudork is too big and cheaply made (but Stow-n-go is absolutely brilliant!). -So my point is that there isn't a great small minivan. The good ones are all huge, the 5 meets some part of the market- so Honda, skip this one and bring something that's a skoosh bigger than the 5 with fold-in-the-floor seats and some lux options like sunroof, heated seats..
        • 5 Years Ago
        That'd be the JDM Odyssey.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not bad. I'd make the 3rd row and option, so I could option it out.

      I could see this stealing Scion sales from the empty nester crowd too. Smaller, practical, seating if you need it, etc...
      • 5 Years Ago
      It looks fantastic, just don't let the American design teams mess with it. In fact, have the Americans tell the Japanese what they're looking for and let them do the "modifications".

      Its too bad we don't have an acura version of the Fit, although I guess that would mean putting a snout on it and beating it with the ugly stick....So never mind.

      We would buy one if it came over almost like it is.

      • 5 Years Ago
      The past five years or so have seen all manufacturers jumping on board the hideous looking SUV bandwagon with their bizarro kinked c-pillars that in no way flow with the design of the vehicle. The Acuras have nasty c-pillars as well as the Mitsubishi Outlander, the Nissans, RAV4, etc, but this Freed MPV is the ultimate spawn of nastiness in the c-pillar region. Could someone please design a c-pillar with curves that flow with the rest of the vehicle design? No sudden kinks, folds, sharp edges that don't flow with the rest of the vehicle design statement?

      • 5 Years Ago
      I own a Mazda 5 and a Nissan Cube. Both are great, but neither is exactly what I was looking for. The Freed sounds like it would be in the middle, just right. I'd keep the third row, since there are times when I'm carrying kids. I'd make sure, though, that the seat tracks for the second row let you push it way back when the third row is folded up.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why hasn't xuchaoxio322's post been removed? What a douche!...
        • 5 Years Ago
        If you're gonna change the rims you should change the hubs and spokes as well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They should just leave it as is and bring it over, reducing seating to two rows makes this pretty moot. Plus three rows and more nimble than the mazda would put it in a nice niche space
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Honda PR peeps forgot to add one more to the changes for a US Freed...aesthetically.

        Bigger rims
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think most people on Autoblog are more interested in Type-Rs than mini-minivans, but this looks decent and seems practical. I say there's little reason to NOT bring a North American version over, since the market's starting to warm up.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they're gonna bring anything, bring the Stream. That one's a hot MPV and would fit nicely in the lineup.
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