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Honda Freed 1.5 Review: A Familiar and Cost-Effective Solution

The Freed makes it into Category A, albeit as a non-hybrid.
James Wong
James Wong
19 Mar 2023
... the Freed is spacious, offers great visibility for all and is like a car that’s made specifically for Singapore.

What we like:
Super practical for Singapore
What we dislike:
The hybrid is much better to drive

In the past few years, the Freed is recognised as the better driving, more modern alternative to the Toyota Sienta.

Especially when it comes to the hybrid variant, the Freed has a dual-clutch gearbox, versus the CVT in the Sienta Hybrid.

It feels like the tables have turned now in this high COE environment. The Freed Hybrid is firmly in Category B, so Kah Motor has decided to bring in the non-hybrid Freed which sits in Category A and is equipped with a CVT.

Interestingly, the Sienta Hybrid sits in Category A and therefore offers a hybrid drivetrain within the same COE class. However, the Freed has the benefit of being slightly cheaper, especially with its S7 variant. What we have on test here is the more expensive E7 variant.

The Freed is pretty much the same familiar car we know, with very light changes. A nice feature is the rear window blinds. There is a new front grille and better interior materials, but those without a keen eye would not be able to tell.

Built in the style of a minivan, the Freed is spacious, offers great visibility for all and is like a car that’s made specifically for Singapore. It just works so well in our congested environment with tight parking spaces and impatient drivers. There are also 7 seats, however using the last row would severely reduce boot space.

Handling is tiny and neat, while comfort is also decent. Noise levels are a little on the high side, especially when you stretch the 1.5-litre engine. It works industriously to bring the Freed up to speed, but does not like to be hurried. At least it returns decent fuel consumption of around 11-12 km/l during our test. I think with a light foot and more highway driving, an average of around 14-15 km/l if possible.

But mind you, this is still some way off what a hybrid could do. If your priority is to hedge against prolonged high fuel prices, the Freed might not be the car to get. But if you wanted to get the cheapest upfront price and prefer something uncannily familiar, the Freed has got your back.

Photos by James Wong

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