Next Car Pty Ltd 
Australia's Easy Reading New Car News Journal

Australia's Easy Reading New Car News

Home | News | Road Tests



www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)

No traffic hold-ups in Glen Rowan (Victoria) as the team drove by the Ned Kelly statue.

www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)

www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)

www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)

www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)

www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)

www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)

Fiat Freemont road test

by Stephen Walker

27th October, 2013

Home > Road Tests > Fiat


Related stories:
Fiat Freemont arrives in Australia
10th April, 2013
Fiat Freemont is a new journey
24th January, 2011


Chrysler Group's majority shareholding is owned by Fiat S.p.A., so a natural progression of this industry alignment would be for the combined group to share resources. Such a course has been followed over recent years with several models having benefited from this process.

An obvious result of this collaboritive approach is the Jeep Grand Cherokee having a Fiat diesel as a powertrain option.

Another is the sharing of the Dodge Journey to make, with some changes, the Fiat Freemont. These two multi-purpose SUV-like front-wheel drive wagons are fairly large but easy to manage as we determined.

The Freemont is made in Mexico alongside the Journey. Whilst the Freemont has been available in Europe since 2011, local availability has only been since April this year.

Test Car particulars

Our drive car was the Fiat Freemont Lounge - the top-of-the-line model. This version comes fitted with a 2.4 litre four-cylinder petrol-fuelled engine and automatic transmission as standard. The drive car was coloured Indomito Black, one of ten colours on offer for this American designed, Italian badged, Mexican made vehicle.

Other variants

Fiat Freemont comes in three versions - Freemont, Freemont Urban, Freemont Lounge - each with the 2.4 litre petrol and auto. The mid-spec Urban is also available with a 125 kW 2-litre diesel engine coupled to a manual transmission.

Each model can be optioned with the "Flexible Seating Group" which includes a three-row seating arrangement for seven occupants.

Prices*

Excellent value is a core element of the surprising Fiat Freemont. Prices begin at $25,990*, whilst the top-of-the-line model, the Freemont Lounge is priced from $30,300*.

These prices should satisfy many a buyer because the car offers exceptional spaciousness and good driving qualities.

Specifications

The petrol engine is Fiat's own 2.4 litre petrol-fuelled in-line four-cylinder unit which produces 125kW of power at 6,000rpm and 220Nm of torque at 4,500rpm. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with the petrol engine.

As mentioned, a diesel is also available.

The Freemont is a front-wheel drive car, featuring 4-wheel disc brakes, 4-wheel independent suspension and power assisted rank and pinion steering.

Nineteen inch wheels are standard with the Lounge model, seventeen inch with other variants. The spare wheel is one of those "compact wheels" offering temporary mobility in the event of a tyre issue.

Driving the Fiat Freemont (petrol)

In a sense the Freemont was a surprising drive. On paper you may suspect that there would be insufficient power from a 2.4-litre four to move such a large car along at an acceptable pace, especially 'off the line'. But not so, each of our team members who drove the Fiat Freemont was surprised by the suitable acceleration. Likewise, this car is quite easy to manage despite its bulk. Like an SUV, the Freemont won't handle like a small sedan but the driving dynamics are quite good for this type of vehicle. Once again, all four of us found the driving task a pleasant experience even bordering on rewarding because we were always comfortable - even during some long distance driving (eg Melbourne to Albury and Henty to Melbourne).

Rain was a feature of the weather for several hundred kilometres and we found that the Fiat Freemont did not inspire confidence at 100 km/h on curvy "B" and "C" roads in Victoria (just like other MPVs and SUVs). This situation is easy to manage by reducing the vehicle speed to ensure the safety for all road users by simply driving to conditions.

We managed to cover some 1,074 kms with the Freemont, mostly on the highway because we astutely organised a trip from Melbourne to Henty (NSW) for the annual Henty Machinery Field Days to coincide with our road test timing.

Living with the Fiat Freemont (petrol)

Many aspects contribute to the comfort levels in the Fiat Freemont. With wide opening doors, the Freemont is an easy car to enter and depart, with the seat height set quite suitably for those with an average build. The leather trim on the top-of-the-line model is available in three shades - black on the test car. Seating was comfortable and with four on board for almost all of our travelling we all concluded that the comfort was quite good.

With a spacious interior, there no complaints from any passengers. The decent legroom in the rear, the Freemont is suitable for five adults.

Connectivity and Infotainment

The Freemont Lounge comes fully equipped featuring USB and AUX-IN inputs; Uconnect phone with Bluetooth audio streaming; 8.4" touch-screen CD/MP3 radio with DVD/SD player (rear screen available in an optional package); Satellite navigation; Alpine audio system with subwoofer and 368 watt amplifier; audio controls on the steering wheel.

Safety

Each Freemont includes Electronic Stability Control (ESC) + Hill Holder + Rollover Mitigation; Side airbags, Side curtain airbags; Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) and Active front head restraints as standard equipment.

A rear parking assistance camera is always welcome as an aid for drivers, particularly on large vehicles. One is standard on the Urban and Lounge versions of the Freemont.

Amongst Freemonts, only the diesel version has an ANCAP crash test rating - which is four stars.

Fuel and emissions

The fuel consumption rating for the 2.4 litre four cylinder petrol engine is 9.8 litres/100 km on the 'combined cycle'.

The fuel tank capacity is a handy 77.6 litres.

CO2 emissions are rated at 233 grammes per kilometre (combined cycle).

Dimensions

Length: 4,910 mm
Width: 1,878 mm
Height: 1,751 mm (with roof bars)
Wheelbase: 2,890 mm
Weight: 1,874 kg (tare)
Boot capacity: 784 litres (to roof) - 5 seater model with rear seats upright.

Conclusion

There is no hiding the fact that the Fiat Freemont is a delightful vehicle, well suited to the task of offering considerable space and a decent drive experience. It's also well equipped as I discovered with the test car. But the real thrill with the Fiat Freemont is the value!



NOTE: * Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as on-road costs). Additionally, please note that all prices, fees and charges are subject to change without notice, as are the specifications.


E&OE



More Fiat News ..... here

Top of page

ROAD RAMBLINGS 
CLICK FOR DETAILS

Hear Chris Goodsell
Talk Motoring On
Radio & Internet
..... more


Next Car Pty Ltd 
Australia's Easy Reading New Car News Journal


About | Car Clubs | Home | News | Road Ramblings | Road Tests | Subscribe | Top Drive


  2013   All rights reserved.   Next Car Pty. Ltd.