Fiat Freemont already a hit, surpasses its 2011 sales goal

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 13, 2011

Due to the unexpected volume of the orders for the Freemont, the Chrysler Group was asked by Fiat S.p.A. to increase its output. The Freemont large minivan was only launched last month but already, about 15,700 dealer orders have been received. Fiat had forecast that it will sell 13,000 Freemonts in 2011 but it has already surpassed this target based on the orders alone. For 2012, the goal is to sell 33,000 Freemonts in Europe.

Next year would mark the first full year of sales in Europe for the Freemont. In addition, the Chrysler facility in Toluca had pledged to produce 3,000 Freemonts monthly. To meet the demand, Chrysler boosted its Freemont production about a third, or an increase of about 4,067 units.

To hit this target, Chrysler’s workforce had to work overtime. Chrysler aims to deliver 4,000 Freemonts each month without adding the cost of overtime. The EU version’s styling is different from that of the U.S. version.

The EU version’s handling and suspension settings were also modified. Powering the Freemont is Fiat’s MultiJet 2 diesel engine, which isn’t offered by Dodge. Fiat was quite aggressive with the Freemont’s pricing. In Italy, the minivan has a starting price of 24,900 euros, which makes it 18% (or 5,600 euros) cheaper than the Fiat Ulysse, which preceded Freemont.

To describe the Fiat Freemont, the simplest would be that it is "All the car you want". This is the statement that the advertising campaign is using as it sums up this model’s multi-faceted soul. It is a vehicle that has everything one needs and it can go wherever, driven by whomever, without any of the compromises. One part of the design that makes it unique is the front end that is muscular and strong with the rear end making use of tail lights that have advanced LEDs. Meanwhile the interior has a contemporary feel with the use of soft touch materials and it even has its dashboard wrapped with chrome elements.

The instrument panel is new with the center console more attractive. It also has an advanced infotainment system that comes with a color 4.3-inch touch screen. With this, all it needs is a simple touch to control a number of vehicle functions like the adjustment of the stereo system and the temperature setting of its three climate-controlled areas. The infotainment system even has unmatched technology like Bluetooth connectivity, AUX socket, USB port, and Radio/CD/MP3.

In addition to the design, what makes the Freemont unique is that it is the first vehicle from Fiat to be manufactured in collaboration with the Chrysler Group. The name itself brings to mind a sense of freedom as the vehicle also gives the feeling that it can meet any situation that life may bring head-on. This is because it was designed to meet the different needs of individuals and families that want a vehicle that can satisfy the intense pace of everyday living as well as one that offers versatility, comfort, and space.

It even comes with its own unique style and it mixes practicality with flexibility. In terms of dimensions, its length is 489 cm with width at 188 cm and height at 169 cm. Due to the 289 cm wheelbase, it results in providing the best space for the interior. Powering the Freemont is the advanced 2.0-liter MultiJet 2 engine that has variable geometry and is paired to a manual gearbox and uses front wheel drive. Two options are available with one having output at 140 HP and the other at 170 HP.

Fiat revealed that the all-wheel drive variant of the Freemont with eventually have the 2.0-liter MultiJet 2 engine with output of 170 HP and the 3.6-liter petrol V6 engine delivering output of 276 HP. Both are paired to automatic gearboxes to give safety and driving comfort.

All of the power units were developed and manufactured by Fiat Powertrain except for the 3.6-liter engine from the Chrysler Group Pentastar line-up that is paired to an automatic gearbox. Diesel engines are offered as well, balancing driving pleasure, performance, and fuel consumption. With these engines, drivability is more than guaranteed, considering that top torque of 350 Nm is available starting from 1,750 rpm and up to 2,500 rpm. This is for the 170 HP version though as the 140 HP unit only allows for as high as 2,000 rpm.

Under a normal drive, which means starting the engine and pressing on until it reaches 4,000 rpm, the torque does not go under 300 Nm. This gives it improved driving pleasure as well as not being able to experience any uncomfortable downshifts. Because of this, the engine becomes more flexible as it manages to deliver not just the maximum top speed but optimum acceleration as well. For the 140 HP model, top speed is at 180 km/h with acceleration time from 0 to 100 km/h at 12.3seconds.

The 170 HP unit on the other hand has acceleration for the same range at 11 seconds with maximum speed of 195 km/h. What this simply means is the Freemont does indeed give a dynamic drive, aside from having a safe one. Speaking of comfort, it is clear the Freemont delivers by looking at the interior. The space offered as well as the ergonomic seats and the high driving position are just a few of the examples. Then there is its luggage area with two compartments as well as a wide array of storage compartments. Its flat load platform has a total capacity of as big as 1,461 liters.

As an analogy, that’s at least 10 suitcases. All around the interior are more than 20 storage compartments, adding extra capacity the same as that of the boot of a city car. Take the front armrest for instance. It is rather deep and thus ensures maximum capacity. In this front armrest is the AUX-in socket, which can be used to charge an iPod. It also comes with a USB port and a 12-volt power socket. As such, you can charge your device, or even listen to music, while making sure that they are hidden from people outside of the vehicle.

Even the passenger seat is convenient as it allows for easy access to compartments located under the cushion. On the second row meanwhile, are two compartments placed beneath the floor mats. One of the many reasons why the Freemont is able to deliver on comfort, versatility, and space is its 7-seater set-up, which is offered as standard. While the third row does indeed have a large space, access is just as easy considering the doors in the rear can open up to 90 degrees.

The Freemont also utilizes a simple and one movement seat slide system. Seats in the third row can easily be folded down and become a load floor resulting in the Freemont having a flat load platform and a 5-seat set-up. However, both the power seat of the front passenger and the second row seats can be folded down. This means that there are around 32 different combinations when it comes to seating. To make sure that visibility is maximized for everyone, the second row is installed a bit higher compared to the first one with the third higher compared to the second.

There is even an advanced child booster system on the second row, guaranteeing that children are seated properly. Its seatbelt geometry was optimized to ensure that comfort, practicality, and protection are enhanced. It is also possible to lift the seats by as much as 102 mm. Indeed, it is no surprise why the Freemont is a vehicle that is regarded as perfect for families.

Topics: fiat, crossover, sales

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