Are we now entering an era of international badge engineering? Possibly, but let's hope it's done better than the Roger Smith-led GM days. Fiat has released official pictures of their new Dodge Journey-based seven seat CUV, called the Freemont. It will be built alongside the Journey and the US-spec 500 at Chrysler's Toluca plant in Mexico. From what we can tell, the Freemont has only received minor changes from the Journey, that include new bumpers and front grille along with LED taillights.
The Freemont could end up replacing the Fiat Multipa, which hasn't been replaced due to Fiat's spending freeze. In other words, Fiat is getting a new model that's costing them very little. Fortunately, the Journey received a major refresh for 2011 that includes a significantly upgraded interior that Fiat has further enhanced with more soft-grade materials. There's also a revised center console and instrument panel. Fiat is also adapting the Freemont to suit the European taste for diesel engines by offering two versions of their 2.0-liter Multijet turbodiesel with either 138 or 168 hp and mated to a manual gearbox.
Four-wheel drive will be offered later on along with Chrysler's new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. The Freemont will make its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.