A Fiat for families: Freemont
Fiat Australia have launched the new Freemont, perhaps the most obvious result of the marriage of Chrysler and Fiat to date. You don’t have to look too closely to see that the chunky Freemont is based on the another car in the Chrysler/Fiat stable the good old Dodge Journey. The outwardly visible changes from the Journey are limited to badges, wheels, grille and trim but under the skin more changes are afoot. Out go the six cylinder petrol and old VW sourced diesel and in comes the 2.4-litre four cylinder petrol and the excellent MultiJet II 2.0 litre diesel, also a four pot.
The new Freemont petrol will be available in three versions called Base, Urban and Lounge and it will feature a six-speed automatic transmission. The diesel will only be available as the Urban version and with a six-speed manual transmission only. As standard the car comes as a five seater but for $1500 it can be specced as a full seven seater making it a very useful soccer-mom truckster.
Interestingly Fiat are calling the new car a SUV rather than a people mover. This is despite the Freemont being front wheel drive only and offering minimal off-road clearance. But whatever the segment it is sure to occupy the bottom rungs of the pricing ladder coming in as it does at a mere $27,000 driveaway (petrol Freemont Base).
Our verdict prior to driving one is that the new Fiat Freemont makes a surprisingly lot of sense. It’s big, rugged looking (some may even say handsome) has seven seat option and relatively frugal four cylinder engines and carries an evocative European badge. We want one!