Advertlets, Advertlets Bloggers, Parties & Events August 23rd, 2010
Recently, I was part of an entourage of Advertlets Bloggers together with Paul Tan and crew to test out the new Honda Freed.
Our day started off at Souled Out, in Sri Hartamas. Bloggers gathered there before our drive, and we had a good breakfast before we set off to Putrajaya.
We’ve put together an awesome video of the trip, check it out. Featuring sound bites from a few familiar faces and an interesting look at the journey:
Motoring journalist and Malaysia’s Jeremy Clarkson Harinder Singh was our guide throughout the trip, together with Paul Tan of Paultan.org.
Each car was outfitted with a walkie talkie for the trip, which was useful in discovering the features of the car and inter vehicle communication (for example – “eh, someone sesat already! turn back!”).
Honda bills the Freed as a “premium 4 seater”. However it technically can fit about 6 people (and 8 if you REALLY squeeze As someone who is used to driving a 1.8 liter car, I’m used to a quick pickup. The acceleration power seems to be in mainly in the lower speeds, tapering off at about 100-120 km/h.
The Honda Freed is powered by a Honda 1.5L i-VTEC engine, and the car had about 165KG of people + cargo at the time of driving. So I would say that the acceleration is okay, I can’t exactly compare it to a sports car but its satisfactory for the vehicle class and the number of people that were in the car.
The dashboard has a blue backlight. Interesting material – it doesn’t seem to be a ‘light’ in the conventional sense, but rather looks like e-ink as in its not glaringly bright but its visible quite clearly, as if it were printed on.
The fuel efficiency meter is also a welcome feature, it actually measures how many kilometers you are getting out of your drive – useful for fine tuning your driving habits to squeeze more distance out of each drop.
There are two major differences in positioning – the gearshift is on the dashboard, and the ‘handbrake’ is on the floor. The second one takes a bit of getting used to, but having the gearshift on the dashboard actually makes quite a bit of sense, it frees up some space for you to either store stuff, or be able to walk through to the back of the Freed. The dual layer dashboard is a good idea, and it does give you quite a bit of room to put stuff. I wish it wasn’t sloped downward though – it would be slightly better at a 90 degree flat angle.
One of the Honda Freed’s selling points is the walkthrough cabin. It’s useful if you have kids and need to crawl to the back and change a diaper, for instance.
The Freed starts from RM112,980. The units involved in this test drive were fitted with a sports kit that included door visors and a tailgate spoiler. If you’re considering the long term cost as well, Honda has helpfully put together preventive maintenance rates and costs per thousand km.
More info can be found here. Overall it was a good trip, bloggers had fun in addition to learning about how to do a test drive. Thanks to Honda’s PR company & Honda Malaysia for giving us this opportunity. Meantime, if you’ll like to check out what the rest of the bloggers in our entourage wrote, check it out: -
(yes, there were lots of us! Advertlets FTW!)