Fiat Freemont 7 Seat: Long-Term Road Test Update
So, we’ve had our silver Fiat Freemont Base 7 Seater for a few weeks now and it’s time to report on how its going. Here is the first of our long-term road test updates.
What We Like
So far we like pretty much everything! The Freemont drives very well for a chunky, high riding 7 seater. The handling is very good with minimal body roll and great grip. The suspension provides a good compromise between comfort and precision, we think that the 17 inch wheels of our base model are marginally better suited to Aussie roads than the 19 inchers found on the Lounge and Crossroad editions.
We had reservations about the bulk of the car, the high-shouldered nature of the cabin and the view this affords. But we have pretty quickly become accustomed to this and it’s being thrown around with increasing amounts of ease. We’re even finding parking far easier then expected.
Another huge plus point must be the seating. Up front the seats are very comfortable and supportive. In the middle row we love the fact that they slide back and forward and can be reclined. The 60/40 split in the middle row bench means that you can have two seats set at one forward/aft position and recline angle and the other seat set up differently – everyone is happy. The other feature of the middle row that I have to praise is the built in booster seat. This is a very similar idea to the integrated boosters found in Volvo’s XC90 in that the base can flip up and provide a higher seat height for smaller children. This makes the positioning of the seat belts much better on the child’s shoulders as well as providing them with a better view. We think that Fiat should be commended for having this safety feature available on all models in the Freemont range. To be honest we find it odd that Fiat don’t make more of it, we consider integrated booster seats to be a genuine selling point especially at this price level.
And then we have the third row in the boot. I’m very pleased to report that these are proper, comfortable seats with reasonable leg room and not just kids-only jump seats. With the middle row slid as far forward as it will go the leg room was acceptable for adults although the floor height at the back means your knees stick up somewhat. The ultimate proof of the comfort of the the third row of seats is that we no longer hear complaints from our kids and their friends when they’re told to jump in the back.
The sheer size of the payload when all the seats, other than the driver’s seat, are folded flat is another noteworthy point. The way the car can swallow awkwardly shamed loads makes the Freemont the ideal car for trips to Ikea!
What We Don’t Like
As mentioned above, there’s not much to dislike so far about this car. One problem that we’ve encountered is really down to the spec of our particular car and not a fault per se: we really miss a rear view camera. This is most problematic when reversing uphill – something we do on a daily basis as we exit our driveway. The Freemont’s rear window is small and high mounted meaning that the view backwards can be great of the neighbourhood trees and less so of joggers and dog-walkers!
Another demerit point is the car’s thirst. We’d previously driven the diesel and we knew that the petrol variant was always going to drink more heavily but even so we have been disappointed. The built in computer indicates an average of a whopping 15 litres per hundred in our first 1000 kilometres – ouch. In mitigation it should be said that we have done precisely zero highway kilometres since taking delivery so we will report back on the thirst issue when our motoring has become more varied.
What Went Wrong
Very happy to report that nothing has gone wrong with the Freemont, not even a rattle or squeak. The chunky Fiat appears to be very well screwed together and solid.
Long-Term Road Test Report Card
- Car: Fiat Freemont Base 7 Seater
- Time In ItalianCar Fleet: 17 months
- Kilometres Since Last Long-Term Test Update: 1000 kms
- Average Fuel Economy: 15 l/100l
- Costs: $0