2023 Honda Freed Review: Freed To Choose

CarBuyer Team
Honda Freed 2023 Singapore

Honda’s non-hybrid small MPV still has plenty to offer in the face of stiff competition from the Toyota Sienta in Singapore

2023 Honda Freed E7

Launched: January 2023 – Price: S$72,999 with VES and without Cat A COE
Five-door, small MPV, seven-seats
130hp, 1.5-litre petrol engine, VES B, 5.9L/100km

Roomy, extra flexible interior
Drives and rides well
Easy to manage, efficient

No active safety systems
No electrification


Honda’s Freed is finally…freed. It’s finally available as an official Honda model (i.e. not a parallel import), which along with its inherently practical nature, mean it’s on top of the list for small MPVs buyers here alongside its key rival, the Toyota Sienta.

The car makes its official debut here at the Singapore Motorshow 2023, but CarBuyer was the first to reveal its quiet return to the Lion City, way back in August ‘22.

The Freed has had a surprisingly unfree history, at least officially – the first-gen launched here in 2009, but was quickly replaced by the less popular made-in-Indonesia Honda Mobilio. The second-gen Freed debuted everywhere else in 2019, and it’s the facelift of this generation that we’re seeing here.

Honda Freed 2023 Singapore

Judging by the huge response to the return of the official Freed we saw in terms of views and social media engagement, it’s a car that Singapore buyers are keenly interested in – so read on for our verdict.

Design and Appearance

Honda Freed Singapore 2023

It’s objective, of course, but in our opinion styling is where the Freed scores points. With MPVs you can either go two ways: Go totally van-like, or style it like a not-van. The Sienta leans into the former, and it’s enough to prompt people to comment on it in our YouTube review. But remember that anger breeds more social media engagement, so all the quietly okay with van-ness people are out there.

The Freed takes the cutes-y face of the Honda Jazz and makes it a bit more robotic, and while a small MPV will never enrich your soul as you gaze back at it during a sunset, it’s presentable and modern at least. The rake of the windscreen also makes it look more hatchback-esque than overly boxy.

Interior and Features

Honda Freed Singapore 2023

The Freed doesn’t pack a huge amount of features, by this we mean equipment and niceties, but this is very normal for an MPV as its feature-set revolves around seats and cargo flexibility, which we detail in the next segment.

The driver’s display is a conventional one, it’s horizontally-oriented and suits the purpose well – it’s situated near the windscreen for good visibility. The 9.0-inch infotainment system is, like the HR-V, a Alpine ‘semi-OEM’ system, so it’s not quite as nice nor sharp as the original Honda one we saw in the Jazz hatchback. But it does work well, thanks to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality. The higher spec E7 model driven here has six-speakers, rather than the S7’s four.

Honda Freed Singapore 2023

We’ll talk about small storage spaces here before moving onto the meat of the experience. There are numerous places to stash your stuff: A horizontal locker style cubby just above the steering wheel, a cup holder and pull-out shelf under the gear shifter, another open stow space above the glovebox, and so on. The sheer number of little nooks and crannies available in the Freed to store your barang barang is simply astonishing.

Space and Practicality

Honda Freed Singapore 2023

If you’ve never experienced a Japanese MPV before, the Freed has space and practicality that totally belies its size, thanks in part to the styling that hides its boxy, van-like nature. For that reason, the Freed will be beloved to families on a budget, either those with small children or the aged to ferry around.

Sliding doors are the first part of the equation – as the higher-spec S7 variant, this has two sliding doors instead of one. You can open them remotely, via the door handles (pull once), or buttons in the cockpit. This, plus the low floor, lets passengers enter the Freed with a whole lot of freedom, with little stooping, or stepping up/over/in. It’s so easy, it’s the utter, polar opposite of entering a sports car. Large windows and a tall roof make the car feel spacious, and legroom is decent (and adjustable, as explained below).

Honda Freed Singapore 2023

A mainstream Honda wouldn’t be a Honda without an extremely clever, and useful, seating system, and the Freed has one of the cleverest we’ve experienced to date.

It does all the usual seven-seater tricks: a movable second row that can be adjusted for backrest angle, so if you have large passengers, for instance, you can kick this row back for more space. Conversely, if you have to fill the third row, you can move the second row forward for more human-worthy space behind.

Honda Freed Singapore 2023

Entering it is easy, thanks to the auto-tumble second row. Life there is ok, you could fit Real Adults there for short jaunts. The only real drawback is the lack of second-row aircon vents, which means you need to crank up the aircon in front on hot days.

Honda Freed Singapore 2023

It also juggles people and cargo well. Like the Sienta, the rear seats fold up and outwards, while the second row tumbles forwards, as mentioned, to show a cavernous interior cargo space. Honda doesn’t quote a figure, but it’ll easily swallow two bicycles. One of us used the car when moving house, and found that there was more than enough space in the Freed to accommodate all sizes of boxes big and small.

Honda Freed Singapore 2023

As with all small MPVs, you would have trouble carrying seven people and their baggage, but in and around the city, a load of seven is surprisingly do-able, while five will fit with leg and head comfort, though with a bit of shoulder squeezing. 

Honda Freed Singapore 2023

The Freed also goes the extra mile with interior flexibility – you can rearrange the seats by folding the second row almost flat for a lounge-like experience, or you can alternatively fold the first row flat for a similar experience. 

Page 2: Driving Experience, Competitors and Pricing, Conclusion

Pages: 1 2


5 door 7 seat Freed honda MPV

About the Author

CarBuyer Team

CarBuyer Singapore brings the most relevant, accurate and useful car news to Singaporeans in both print and online formats.

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