Maruti Suzuki showcased the new Fronx at the 2023 Auto Expo and gathered a lot of attention to the car. With the new model reaching various Nexa showrooms, interest in the new model has definitely increased too. But what is the Fronx? Is it a raised Baleno or more than that? We drove the car around Goa to find out.
Maruti Suzuki Fronx looks fresh
With the sub-4m size with decent proportions, the Fronx sure looks fresh in the market. The front end looks heavily inspired by the new Grand Vitara. The sloping coupe-like roof of the Fronx gives it a coupe-crossover look and the rear with arrow-shaped split tail lamps and a connecting lightbar looks the most interesting. The new Fronx definitely gets looks interesting on the roads.
The car comes with a separate headlamp cluster at the front and dual-function LED DRLs that also work as turn indicators. There are roof rails and massive skid plates at the rear. The front comes with a wide plastic skid board. Overall, some may mistake the new Fronx for the Grand Vitara at first glance, especially because both are relatively new cars. To check out the car’s exterior thoroughly, make sure that you watch the full video.
Gets a familiar cabin
The cabin is quite similar to the Baleno. It gets a layered dashboard with a 9.0-inch SmartPlay Plus infotainment system in the middle. The infotainment system works very well and comes with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There is a wireless charger too, which means you can truly remain wireless in the car while enjoying the SmartPhone’s features on the screen. There are 30+ features for Suzuki Connect as well.
The driver gets a familiar flat-bottom three-spoke steering wheel and the instrument cluster is also like the Baleno. There are two pods with a digital MID. There is a lot of information available on the MID and there is the HUD too, which shows much vital information on the go.
There is a separate display for the climate control system and two cup holders. The front passengers also get the adjustable armrest that gets a small space under it. The front seats are well-cushioned and get a good amount of side bolsters. The driver seat comes with adjustable height adjustment as well.
The rear gets ample space, especially knee room and leg room. However, the coupe-like design leaves little room for the head of tall people. Check out the rear headroom of the new Fronx in the video. Maruti Suzuki has not provided an armrest just like the Baleno. However, you do get 60:40 split seats.
Talking about the split seats, the boot space is ample and it measures 308 litres. It is about 10 litres less than the Baleno due to the roofline. However, there is a massive amount of loading lip and it is quite deep as well. There is a lamp in the boot though, which will be useful while loading or unloading luggage at night.
Gets a new engine
Maruti Suzuki does not offer diesel engines anymore. The 1.2-litre petrol engine is available with the car and it is a well-known engine and has been around for quite a while now. With the Fronx, though, the turbo-petrol three-cylinder engine makes a comeback. The 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine produces a maximum power of 100 PS and a peak torque of 147 Nm. It is available with a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters. We only drove the 1.0-litre Boosterjet with the manual transmission variant so we will only talk about it.
The engine was initially available with the Baleno RS and made a comeback with a few changes. It is a very well-balanced engine and has negligible vibrations, even at idle. But it is a bit throaty and at times when you accelerate hard, you may hear a splutter from the exhaust.
The low end of the turbo-petrol is decent and by the time it crosses 1,800 rpm, it becomes truly alive. The new engine makes it fun to throw the car around. However, the typical Maruti Suzuki steering wheel will keep you from truly enjoying the performance. The steering wheel is not very precise but you get used to it.
Also, you get reworked suspension compared to the Baleno, especially because the car is now heavier by 30 kg and has a raised ground clearance. Just like any other car with a high ground clearance, the Fronx does have ample body roll but the suspension is tuned to be well-balanced for comfort and handling. It will satisfy most car buyers.
The automatic variant gets hill hold but the top-end variant powered by any engine or transmission comes with six airbags as standard. The car also comes with a 360-degree camera system and we did driving in reverse using only the 360-degree camera. Check out the video to see how it works.
Should you buy one?
Well, the Maruti Suzuki Fronx will bridge the gap between the Baleno and the Grand Vitara. It definitely is a lucrative product for people who want a car with high ground clearance but don’t have the budget for the Grand Vitara. It is spacious, powerful and loaded with features minus the sunroof (which does attract a lot of people).
However, the price still remains a mystery. In our opinion, Maruti Suzuki will put a price tag of around Rs 14 lakh, on-road for the top-end variant. Which will be enticing for many but do you think that will be a good price point? Do let us know in the comments below.