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Honda’s New AWD Hybrid Minivan Has Impressively Low Cargo Floor

For many people, a crossover has become the default choice for a family vehicle. However, not everyone has caught the SUV bug, preferring instead the good ol’ minivan. In Japan, Honda is catering to the MPV crowd by launching the new Freed. It slots below the much larger Odyssey we get here in the United States.

The Freed must be one of the best vehicles out there for carrying cargo. We noticed it features an impressively low lift-over height, making it a breeze to load and unload stuff. The distance from the floor to the bottom of the cargo floor is only 13.1 inches compared to the Odyssey’s 24.75 inches. There is another reason why the height of the cargo floor from the ground is so low–to fit a ramp for wheelchair access.

The ramp appears in several images released by Honda Access, a subsidiary offering official accessories. It’s an important asset given Japan’s aging population. According to the United Nations, Japan has the world’s oldest population, based on the proportion of people aged 65 and above. More than 1 in 10 people are now aged 80 or older.

Other Honda JDM minivans such as the N-WGN and Step WGN have also been converted to accommodate a wheelchair. The Freed can also be fitted with a front passenger seat that swings out so that it’s easier for a person with a disability to climb inside.

The new Freed is an interesting minivan for other reasons considering Honda has crammed six seats, all-wheel drive, and a hybrid powertrain in a small package. At only 169.6 inches long, it’s 33.6 inches shorter than the Odyssey. It’s also available with only five seats and a front-wheel-drive configuration without the hybrid bits.

The standard Freed Air will be sold alongside a Freed Crosstar with crossover cues by featuring plastic body cladding. From a folding center table to an interior roof rack, the Freed is like the Swiss army knife of minivans. It’s a lot of car in a compact size, which goes to show you don’t really need that gas-guzzling oversized SUV.

Full technical specifications will be disclosed later this year when the 2024 Honda Freed goes on sale in the Land of the Rising Sun.

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