Thursday, January 31, 2013

TIME TO FREED! HONDA MALAYSIA DEBUTS THE NEW FREED IN MALAYSIA.

Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd today introduced the New Freed in Malaysia. This Best Urban MPV adopts Honda’s innovative technology that offers spaciousness, stylish design, advanced features and quality. The New Freed enhances both driver’s and passengers’ comfort with its practicality, improved features, interior and exterior design. These transformations make the improved version of Freed an even ideal car for young professional urban families, who aspire for a quality lifestyle.
Honda Malaysia Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Yoichiro Ueno said, “We are pleased to introduce the New Freed, which is a product that maximizes the joy of driving for Malaysian motorists. The latest Freed is a Completely Build-Up (CBU) unit from Indonesia. To-date, Honda Malaysia has sold over 2,500 units of Freed since its launch.”

The transformed Freed features a number of enhancements that cater to young professional urban families or professionals who appreciate spending time with family and friends, and also enjoy outdoor living. It comes with 5-speed auto transmission powered by 1.5L i-VTEC engine that promises fuel efficiency with lower gravity and stable run.

Providing premium comfort to both driver and passengers, the Grade E Freed is equipped with plush leather seats while the introduction of armrest on both sides are available in both Grade E and Grade S. The driver’s seat height adjuster further emphasizes comfort based on individual preference. The extraordinary feature of the Freed is its unique flat floor design for passengers to move easily in the car. Cargo loading and unloading is also made more convenient with the low tailgate opening.

Other features of the New Freed are as follow:

Exterior
Interior
Utility
·      Chrome Front Grille
·      Chrome Rear License Plate Garnish
·      Stylish Front Bumper
·      Sporty 15” Alloy Wheels
·      Dual Layer Dashboard with Chrome Plating
·      New Coloured Multi Layer Meter Cluster

·      Automatic Sliding Doors with Remote Control*
·      Walkthrough Cabin
·      Third Row Foldable Seats




Safety features that are available in this stylish Honda Freed MPV: dual front SRS airbags, 6-Star Japanese New Car Assessment Program (JNCAP), G-Force Control Technology (G-Con), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) and Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS).

The New Honda Freed family car comes in two variants: Grade S and Grade E. The Grade S is available in Brilliant White Pearl, Polished Metal Metallic and Crystal Black Pearl, whereas Grade E comes in Brilliant White Pearl.

Honda Malaysia offers 5 years or sixty (60) months warranty with unlimited mileage, from the date of registration. This unlimited mileage warranty is applicable only when regular preventive maintenance is performed as per required intervals. Customers are also entitled to a Free Service Coupon (FSC) to enjoy up to six times of free labour charge during service. The FSC coupon is applicable for the 1,000km; 10,000km; 30,000km; 50,000km; 70,000km and 90,000km mileage service.

The Best Urban MPV Honda Freed offers a complete package of premium comfort, spacious cabin and best utility for the best quality travel experiences to owners. The on-the-road price of Freed S is RM 99,800 and Freed E is priced at RM 113,500.

It is time to Freed! Customers can test drive and place their booking for this latest Best Urban MPV at any authorized Honda dealers nationwide. For more information, please call Honda Toll Free number at 1-800-88-2020, or log on to www.honda.com.my.

12 comments:

FiSHChan said...

Wong, have you tested a Freed? How does it drive.

I have no problem with the design, it is probably spacious and roomy with small exterior size and good for the target market.

The thing is, the engine. On the Fit and City sedan, it is probably adequate, but on the Freed, seems to me too heavy body. Maybe I am wrong. A 1.5 IMA would probably solve this, but any chances to see this?

TOVA said...

Hi Chan,

I only drove the original (pre-MMC) Freed during the media drive. 'Power'-wise, it was OK. The Freed is not that much heavier than the Jazz and City so it is not as if the car struggles to go anywhere. Again of course, we need to drive the Freed according to it's design purpose, i.e. as a people mover with MPV+SUV capabilities, and not as a 'hot-hatch' like what many Kenari drivers seems to do.

The trend with Honda nowadays is no more media drive events for simple MMC's like this. Those events are expensive to run and it is just simple business strategy of cutting cost by stopping unnecessary expenditure. However I suspect they will provide cars for media to borrow for review and I do intend to get one for in depth review unlike the original pre-MMC version where I dilly-dallied until I missed the window.

If you are already on our TOVA facebook page, we will post there once I get the car from HMSB.

FiSHChan said...

Well, good if it is no heavier than the Jazz/City but then again if thes is a 'people mover' as you say, then I suspect using as it is intended will probably tax the engine. Using my City as example, heavy loaded the engine and that agreesive AT lockup is really showing, but I don't usually load up my car, plus currently i have small family so it is totally not a problem.

In a Freed however, especially utility and therefore need a bit low-torque, to carry say more people + stuff in a bigger family (of 5 or 6? can it carry 6? not famiiar with the Freed at all) then some help there, like a hybrid version with IMA and CVT may solve that?

Or do you think it is totally not an issue at all perhaps they have retuned the engine?

Sorry so many questions, just curious about the car.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wong,

Sorry if this is off topic, but was hoping you have any news when Honda plans to release the 2013 Accord in Asia...Sales guy here in Manila is telling me that the earliest would be March...but most likely some time in Q2...

Also, based on your experience with Honda's marketing strategy...do you think we will ever see a Touring trim level? Or the most we can hope for is a 3.5L EX-L?

Appreciate if you can share any info. Thanks so much!

Butch

TOVA said...

Hi Chan,
Actually I don't feel as if the engine was retuned when it was carried over to the Freed. The Freed is sufficient for Malaysian style driving conditions. In truth there are tons of cars of lesser performance and lesser safety prying our roads and whom drive like they can't die. So the Freed is plenty sufficient to take care of itself on our roads generally. In terms of handling, it is quite Honda-like which means its handling is quite OK. Other than that, it is a typical modern Honda, competent for everyday use but not an enthusiast vehicle.

TOVA said...

Hi Butch,
My understanding for Malaysia is the same, either end of this quarter or early next for the new 9G Accord. It is definitely coming this year. But the CR-V needs to be launched first. So we will see two very closely spaced launches, of very good well accepted models : CR-V, then Accord. As for the 3.5l Accord, it all depends on the individual country and the respective office's impression of the market potential. Honda Malaysia used to market the 3.0/3.5l Accords from 7G onwards but recently removed it from their line-up. Reason is the cost of over RM200k puts it into competition with the 'continental cars' like BMW, Merc, Audi, etc and unfortunately in Malaysia, the Honda brand do not hold up well against those, regardless of the actual worth of the models. So it depends on your country, how the Honda brand holds up to the German competitors.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Wong for the quick reply! Appreciate it. Ah, so MY hasn't gotten the Thai made CRVs yet huh? In Manila, HCPI released them last December, and now discounting the remaining stock of Japan made CRVs imported earlier. Yes, I noticed that due to the exchange rate, the 3.5L variant wasn't released there. But you guys are spoiled with so many other great models =) while PH is such a small market =(

My sales guy said that most likely, knowing how conservative HCPI is, they won't release the Touring variant...Right now, the 8th Gen 3.5L sells at roughly 154k RM here. But now discounted to only 119k RM since they are getting rid of the old 2012 stock.

For the Philippines, the speculation is only a new Accord before end of Q2...and possibly the 3rd Gen Jazz by end of year? Other than that, not much to look forward to from Honda.

Thanks again Wong! =)



FiSHChan said...

Speaking of the new CRV- the new Mazda CX5 is really stealing the CRV sales, they already launched here (or at least I think they did, since I see many of those on the road now)

Why does it take so long for the new CRV to be released, yet this two are released more or less around the same time for the US market.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chan,

Not sure why the CX5 was delayed there...Here, it was released while Mazda was still under Ford. Now that Berjaya is running the Philippine Sales, their 1st release is expected to be the new 6 sometime in Q2.

As for sales, here, the new CRV still outnumbers the CX5...at least judging from the units I see on the road. This, despite the fact the CX5 is cheaper than the CRV. I think its because the CRV here still has a "better image"...and looks bigger/more spacious then the CX5.

IIRC, the CRV was released Dec 2011 in the US. With Thai Factory still not fully online, HCPI decided to import 2 variants of the CRV from Japan. Despite the high tax cost, they sold quite well...700-1000 units in 2-3 months IIRC. Not 100% sure, but I think only the Philippines decided to do this, as websites from Taiwan, Thailand, MY, and Australia were still selling the old CRV then. I think after the Philippines, Taiwan got the CRV a few months later...

Regards,
Butch

Anonymous said...

To add...Japan made CRVs started selling here around April/May of 2012...

TOVA said...

Hi guys,
Yes, during the media event with Honda Malaysia yesterday night, I asked a rather pointed question about the slow launching of new models. With the internet and social media nowadays, there is really no way for Honda to hide the fact that a model is already replaced. So how can they try to continue selling an old model to informed people ? Their explanation for the CR-V and Accord is that the delay was due to the Thailand flood and they would have launch earlier.

The Accord, even for Malaysia, is slated to come only in the 2nd half of this year. The CR-V however, will be launched very soon, right after the MMC CR-Z in fact.

For Malaysia, there will be a third CKD model which I suspect will be the Brio. Very quietly, the Malaysia government has opened up our local market and since 2009, manufacturers are in full control of the pricing of their cars, they no longer have to get approval from MITI and thus there is truly no more price protection for Proton and Perodua. As a result, the suggestion is that selling a Honda at the 50-60k price range is feasible nowadays as the government cannot force manufacturers to artificially raise the price like a few years ago. This is why Mitsubishi can sell their new Mirage at such an incredible price.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Wong for the update! Looks like my 17 year old 96 Accord (@244,000 kms) will soldier on for a few more months before I hand it down to my nephew =)

As for the CRZ, I doubt we will ever see it here in Manila...Although the Govt recently approved the Alternative Fuel Act...I am skeptical how fast, if ever, HCPI will bring in the Insight or CRZ to do battle with the Prius and Prius C here.

Regards,
Butch

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