First Test-drive with the All New Honda Freed!

hondafreedIt was an amazing morning that day, in fact, one of the few morning I enjoyed waking up to, as I drove myself to Souled Out, Hartamas eager to test drive Honda‘s latest car, dubbed the Freed. Of course I was just as excited meeting Paul Tan again of PaulTan.org fame, the automotive blogger, a friend of mine I rarely get to meet! Yes, it was going to be a really awesome day indeed!

Yeap, it was thanks to Advertlets this time for the opportunity. Looks like its looking to be a real competitor to Nuffnang!

As you all know I own a Honda CRV and I’ve always admired their cars. If I have to put them into 3 words, I’d say the cars emphasizes on comfort, safety and stability! So it’s when I heard that the Freed was their all new model to come to town, I thought to myself, HEY, that’s an MPV model that I wouldn’t mind getting ONLY if the price is right, of course!

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The Freed is an MPV, though take note that it's not a full-sized one. Still comfortable, nevertheless

After we were served breakfast and briefed by the host of Driven – a Malaysian-based motoring TV programHarvinder Singh, on how to review a car as we drive it all the way to Putrajaya’s Lakeside and back,  we couldn’t even resist getting straight into the car and formed our team of 4.

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Our team consists of 3 heavy weight adults and 1 lovely woman, quite a challenge really!

Our group – Number 8, the last car of the entourage – consisted of Wilson from PlacesAndFoods.com, Khairul the Lawyer of kruel-legalcat.blogspot.com, the beautiful Esther of YourEsty.com and yours truly. During the journey we were told to:

1. Take photographs of the features of the car

2. Use the Polaroid to capture moments we want remembered – THIS WAS NEAT!! We had so much fun 😀

3. Take note of the handling, the jerks, the stability, the feel and the comfort while driving and also as a passenger.

On a side note, take a look at the picture above: yeap, the gearbox is located on the bottom dashboard and not as part of the steering wheel nor at the bottom. Coupled with the driver’s armrest, it becomes so easy to rest your hands upon it. Thumbs up!

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I know this is nothing but sometimes most cars forget the most basic useful functionalities, like this hook here

I was a passenger for most of the journey and only drove till the end. So while I was seated, I felt the seats were comfortable as with any Honda cars you’ve seen. One thing to note as well is that you have an empty space in between seats so that you can go from front to back without having to get out of the car!

Also noted was the use of petrol from Mont Kiara to our first stop in between there and Putrajaya – it came up to only 8.5km per litre for a 80kmh journey.

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The car at side view, see how wide the open door spaces are!

After being seated for about 20 minutes, these are what I noted:

1. Driving through pot holes aren’t as jerky as other MPV cars I’ve used (can’t really compare with sedans can we?)

2. Cornering was solidly stable at decent speeds, while response was firm and quick (as a passenger)

3. Picking up at a slope with 3 heavyweight adults and one slim pretty girl (LOL) was amazingly powerful, even with the 1.5 litre engine :/

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View from the back. Oh, yes, those doors are automated!

One of the only problems I encountered during the journey was the temperature of the car from the back. At first we had the air con set to the minimum to conserve petrol, but then we realised that there was no air slots at the back. We did enquire this to one of the Honda representatives and they said  that since it wasn’t a medium or full-sized MPV, that was not really needed. If we wanted to, they added, we can turn on the feet blower which DOES reach the back. In the end, it wasn’t really bad la, especially when we blasted it away after not being able to take it haha!

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Looking good eh! Take note at the side mirror being placed nearer to driver's seat

The shape I guess is a little different from most MPVs especially at the front. We found out later that the safety ratingfor this car is 6 stars, with the front of the car being able to reduce the energy of collision should an accident happen. This really saves lives of others who may be involved even without their own doing ie carelessness of other drivers. Kudos to that Honda, safety first!

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Blinkers on the large side mirrors

We soon arrived safely at Putrajaya, all 8 Honda Freed cars in a large convoy. It was really fun, especially with us communicating via walkie-talkies and even encountered the BMW convoys while on the way. Thrilling and exciting, I might add 😀

Oh and during the journey I was tweeting live (follow me at @spinzer for more such updated!) and somebody did ask me to check the decibel measurements to show how silent the car is at idle, at 80km/h and at  110km/h. I have the results here with me:

Idle: 40dcb
80 km/h: 50dcb
110km/h: 70dcb

I guess that’s good enough eh, cause that’s Honda engine for you.

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Harvinder Singh telling us to basically camwhore with anything and everything! 😛

Finally we got to rest a little and allow our cameras to go lose. Some did some crazy stuff while others went and tested the Freed’s great turning capabilities!

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Eric Yong wanted to take a picture of how the automated door senses blockage and immediately opens again without causing injuries

While I could have showed you awesome pictures in this blog, I’d rather invite you to visit my other fellow test drivers’ blog to view theirs. It’s awesome really!

Advertlets’ – http://www.advertlets.com/weblog/2010/08/02/389/
Paul Tan’s – http://paultan.org/2010/04/22/honda-freed-premium-compact-mpv-launched-rm112980/
Missy Cheerio’s – http://www.missycheerio.com/day-out-with-the-new-honda-freed/

And more to come!

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The Honda Freed's backside... Nice to be free, eh? 😉

Paul and Missy Cheerio! (I didn't put mine cause we looked so bad in my photo :P)

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An inside look under the hood

Our group photo at Putrajaya, Lakeside!

Honda Freed car specifications. Which you all need to know.

4 Seater + Style
– Automatic Dual Sliding Doors with Remote Control for easy access
– Forward Tilting Hinge Front Door to avoid accidental knocks
– Easy Access and Low Tail Gate Opening for easy loading and easy access
– One Step Low Floor with Grip Assist for elderly and handicapped easy access

4 Seater + Technology
– High Rigidity Structure for better handling and stability on the road
– Suspension System with front McPherson Strut & rear H-Shape Torsion Beam
– Small Turning Radius of 5.2m
– Active Lock-Up System
– 5 speed AT and Drive by Wire

4 Seater + Space
– Walkthrough Cabin with a 200mm walkway for easy access
– Big Cargo Capacity
– 3rd Row Foldable Seats that folds up in 3 steps easily
– Flat Roof and Flat Floor creates more head room and cabin space

4 Seater + Observation
– Tilt Steering for different driver’s needs
– Multi Layer Meter Cluster display all necessary information
– Double DIN Stereo System with radio, MP3, CD Player + USB and AUX for iPod and other digital media players
– Foot Parking Brake

4 Seater + Safety
– JNCAP (Japan New Car Assessment Program) Rating at the highest of 6 Stars
– Dual Front SRS Airbags
– ABS: Anti-lock Braking System
– EBD: Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
– BA: Brake Assist
– Fuel Lid Auto Lock Safety System prevents the sliding door from opening fully when the fuel lid is open
– Shift Hold Control + Grade Logic Control
– G-Force Control (G-CON) Technology

4 Seater + Utilities
– Backrest Hook
– Glove Box
– Glove Box Card Holder
– Front Seat Back Pocket
– Illuminated Centre Tray
– Large Door Pockets
– Cup Holders – Total of 7!

4 Seater + Accessories (Optional Items)
– Tail Gate Spoiler
– Fog Lights
– Door Visors
– Cargo Tray
– Child Seat
– GPS Navigation

For more information, visit Honda Malaysia at http://www.honda.com.my or visit their Honda Freed site at http://www.honda.com.my/freed/overview/

Our final group picture with the Honda team - Made possible thanks to Honda Malaysia and Advertlets

So what do you think of the Honda Freed “premium compact MPV” after all that? They were my honest views on it, and while I do not profess to be a professional car reviewer, at least I can say as a lifestyle guy, the MPV is a practical approach especially if I have a family with me, especially with the price tag on it. What is it you ask?

RM112,980

That’s right.

This should summarize it all 😉

Thanks for reading my first ever car review. Do ask me any further questions in the comments below 😉

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spinzer

He is an avid blogger at Spinzer.uS and lives 24/7 on Twitter by the moniker @spinzer. Left Investment Banking to pursue the unleashing of Malaysian Gen-Y's hidden talents by founding the EYE (Empowering Youth Endeavors) Project. He co-founded the Young Corporate Malaysians and assists RandomAlphabets in his spare time. He plans to build a socially good empire out of his social media consultancy outfit called SocialGrooves.com in a bid to turn the world into a better place by 2020.

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