Dodge Journey-based Fiat Freemont will debut in Geneva
Dodge Journey-based Fiat Freemont will debut in Geneva
Chrysler has had plenty of partnerships over the years, and as odd as it may have seemed in the beginning, the tie-in with Fiat arguably makes more sense than any of those past pairings. Chrysler doesn't have much of a presence overseas, and Fiat doesn't in North America. Putting them together, then, could be the perfect formula for global success. The Fiat 500 is coming to North America, and while we've been hearing about Chrysler vehicles being sent to Europe for quite some time now, this is the first actual proof.
The vehicle you see here will be unveiled at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show as the Fiat Freemont. Look familiar? That's because it's essentially the Dodge Journey with a different badge on the nose. Otherwise it's essentially the same vehicle, produced alongside the Journey at the same plant in Toluca, Mexico.
The only major difference to speak of is under the hood, where Fiat's own 2.0-liter MultiJet turbo diesel engines (with 140 or 170 horsepower) will be offered with front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox initially. All-wheel drive, an automatic transmission and Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 will be offered shorly after the initial launch.
The next Geneva motor show will host the debut of the new Fiat Freemont, which will go on sale in the second half of 2011.
The Freemont built on the base of the Dodge Journey, is the first Fiat vehicle to come out of the partnership with the Chrysler Group. It will be produced in the Mexican plant of Toluca, where the 500 is produced for the US market.
The very name conjures up a sense of freedom, the pleasure of life in the open air, of adventure and the possibility of facing any situation that arises in daily life with equanimity.
The Fiat Freemont is in fact a 'factotum vehicle' designed to meet the diverse needs of families and those seeking a spacious, comfortable and versatile vehicle to cater for the frenetic pace of everyday life or weekend leisure time.
The vehicle combines flexibility and practicality with its own distinctive and original style. The dimensions (length of 489 cm, width of 188 cm and height of 172 cm) guarantee outstanding interior roominess, aided by the best wheelbase in its category (289 cm).
The Fiat Freemont guarantees maximum roominess, comfort and versatility due to its 7 standard seats with a genuine third row of roomy seats that is easily accessible because the doors open to 90°. The seats of the third row may be folded down with one simple movement to disappear completely below the floor and create a regular load platform. The seats of the second row are fitted higher than those at the front while the third row is raised in relation to the second allowing all occupants maximum visibility.
The second row can also be fitted with the innovative child booster system: booster seats are used to make sure that children on board are sitting correctly, optimising the seatbelt geometry and guaranteeing greater protection, practicality and comfort.
On-board comfort is also assured by a high driving position, new roomy and ergonomic seats, a host of storage compartments, a generous luggage area with two compartments and a flat load platform for an overall capacity of up to 1461 litres.
The vehicle's very individual design includes muscular, decisive lines that are expressed in a front end with brand new bumpers and grille. The rear end has been redesigned with the adoption of a new bumper and LED tail lights.
The all-new passenger compartment features an up-to-date design and soft touch materials. Features include a wrap-around dashboard with chrome elements, a brand-new instrument panel, a strikingly good-looking central console and an innovative infotainment system with a large colour touchscreen.
To simplify the selection and purchase process, only two outfits will be provided that are aimed at different customer types. The equipment level for both outfits is extremely comprehensive and all the main content items comply with the 'Fiat fair price' strategy.
Both outfits will offer 7 seats, triple-zone automatic climate control system, keyless entry system, cruise control, advanced trip computer, tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), fog lights and touchscreen radio with colour screen and controls on the steering wheel. The more metropolitan version will include 17" alloys, touchscreen radio with 8.4" screen, SD card and DVD reader, Bluetooth system, rear parking sensors, fold-down door mirrors, automatic headlight activation, darkened rear windows and roof bars.
The Freemont will have front wheel drive with turbo diesel power units (140 HP or 170 HP 2.0 MultiJet) combined with a manual gearbox. Later, the vehicle will also be available in 4x4 versions with 170 HP 2.0 MultiJet and 276 HP 3.6 petrol V6 engines, both with automatic transmissions. With the exception of the powerful 3.6 litre unit from the Chrysler Group Pentastar family and its automatic transmission, all power units are produced and developed by FPT- Fiat PowerTrain.
The vehicle's dynamic performances have also been improved with the aid of Fiat engineering, which has developed and introduced a special suspension and steering configuration for greater accuracy and directness. Driving comfort is further guaranteed by significant improvements to passenger compartment soundproofing.
Safety is top level with 7 airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Hill-Holder and electronic roll mitigation (ERM) as standard on all vehicles.
This is definitely going to improve the perception of American Cars in Europe....
Actually, the Dodge Journey (and to an extent the Caliber) have sold pretty well in Europe, particularly in Germany.
The Journey stands out for being great value for money, large and spacious as well as comfortable. Those are some of its main selling points. You're getting a lot of car for little money. It's main rivals, cars like the Renault Scenic for example, I believe, are a bit smaller and priced about the same or higher.
Other than that, American cars don't sell well in Europe because they frankly have not adapted to the needs of the average European shopper. Plus, there's the perception that American cars are pretty fuel-inefficient with their overpowered and large motors. It doesn't help that Cadillac only sold one relatively fuel-efficient car in Europe: the awful BLS (most people saw through it and just went with a Saab 9-3) whereas the SRX was only offered with a gas-guzzling V6 and V8: no diesels.
Chevrolet (rebadged Daewoos) are doing pretty well, though, amongst the budget-minded folks of Europe. The Spark, Aveo and the large Epica are pretty common sights everywhere in Germany and the KBA sales and registration office confirms their "popularity" as well.
-My car: '09 BMW 118d Automatic / '98 Volkswagen Golf 1.6 SR Automatic
-My sister: '06 Lexus IS250
-My old folks: '08 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4
- Glossy black front grille, 19" alloy rims and mirror covers . Black headlight frames
- Standard automatic three-zone climate control, cruise control, leather upholstery and heated seats, rear parking sensors, 8.4" touch screen satellite navigation system with maps together with DVD player and SD slot
- On sale from the first quarter of 2014
Fiat has chosen Frankfurt to present an important addition to the Freemont range - the brand new Black Code trim level - which from the beginning of 2014 will contribute to consolidating the already excellent commercial results which have been achieved thus far. Over two years of sales, the first Fiat to spring from the partnership with Chrysler Group has collected over 52,000 registrations across Europe, ranking sixth in its category in Europe in 2012. In Italy, the Freemont has been the leader of its segment for two years running (July 2011 - July 2013), and is the vehicle with the 7th highest number of units sold.
Available in FWD and AWD, the Black Code version is the top of the Freemont family range in terms of both content and style. With a unique, exclusive design, the new version offers brand new gloss black detailing, evident on the front grille, the mirror fairings and the exclusive 19" alloy rims. The front headlight frames are also black, enhancing the vehicle's appearance even further. The interior truly has been designed to enhance comfort and travelling pleasure, and features automatic three-zone climate control system, cruise control, leather upholstery and heated seats (the driver's seat is also electrically adjustable), as well as keyless entry/go system, rear parking sensors and electrically folding rear-view mirrors.
With its strong, decisive look and full equipment, the Black Code trim level offers the cream of state-of-the-art infotainment devices as standard. There's an 8.4" touch screen satellite navigation system with maps together with DVD player and SD slot, Bluetooth connection, rear parking camera and a Premium sound system with 6 premium speakers, 368-W amplifier and subwoofer. All of this certainly makes for a unique and exclusive version.
The Fiat Freemont Black Code is the ideal solution for customers who want a family car which still allows them to express their personality. The new version is equipped with a 2.0 MultiJet II 170 HP engine, with FWD and manual gearbox or AWD and automatic transmission, and the AWD 280 HP 3.6 litre petrol engine with automatic transmission.
The Black Code version is a cut above the rest, for a model which has been designed to meet the needs of modern families and those seeking a spacious, comfortable and versatile vehicle to cater for the frenetic pace of everyday life or for their weekend leisure time. The Fiat Freemont further completes the model's offer, reconfirming its position as "All the cars you want". Its multifarious soul has led it to win over new customer types from other segments - station wagon, minivan and crossover - combining flexibility and functionality with a distinctive, original style. With all this and more, all trim levels and engine versions are very competitively priced.
The Fiat Freemont range comprises 4 trim levels (Freemont, Urban, Lounge and Black Code), two drive systems (front-wheel or active 'on demand' AWD), two transmissions (manual or automatic, both with 6 speeds) and four engine versions: 2.0 MultiJet II 16v with 140 HP or 170 HP and 170 HP 2.4-litre and 280 HP 3.6-litre petrol engines, the latter part of the Chrysler Group's Pentastar family.
AWD versions always come with 6-speed automatic transmission that ensures excellent performance together with precise and quiet operation, for ultimate comfort and satisfaction at the wheel.