Japanese carmaker Honda is aiming to take on the country’s top-selling MPV Toyota Innova by introducing the Freed MPV in the Indian car market. It will be Honda’s second multi-purpose vehicle and will be launched in 2016 following the Mobilio this year.
Honda Car India will launch the next generation Freed MPV, which is also expected to make its ASEAN markets debut by mid-2014. The company will also launch the Mobilio MPV by festive season, new generation Jazz by early next year and a compact SUV based on Brio by the end of 2015.
Interestingly, Toyota is also working on the next-generation Innova which is speculated to be launched by 2016-17. Launched in 2005, Innova MPV has been Toyota’s most successful vehicle in the Indian car market. In International markets, the Honda Freed available is a bit small in size compared to Innova. Dimensionally, it is 4215mm long, 1700mm wide and 1735 high, and has a wheelbase of 2740mm. The reason to bring a bigger MPV would be a good strategy as this segment only comprises of Innova and there is a huge possibility to capture more market by introducing a good product.
It will be offered in both petrol and diesel fuel options. While the petrol version will get the tried and trusted 15-litre i-VTEC engine producing 116bhp and 145Nm of torque, the oil burner is likely to get the 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine that produces around 118bhp of power. Both engines will be coupled to a five-speed manual transmission gearbox, while the petrol version might also get a CVT gearbox.
Honda Freed MPV will be loaded with several advanced safety features like ABS with EBD and brake assist, dual airbags and others. We expect this model to be priced in the range of Rs. 10-15 lakh.