Maruti Suzuki Fronx First Drive Review: Hatchback On Stilts With SUV DNA – Watch Video

Maruti Suzuki, the largest carmaker of India with over 40 percent market share has been the industry leader for 3 decades for a variety of reasons. However, the one thing that works in the favour of the Indo-Japanese brand is their understanding of the mass segment audience, the largest car buyers in India. As per the sales data, half of the cars sold in India belong to the sub Rs 10 lakh segment. Of these halve, Maruti Suzuki eats up a major chunk, with a bouquet of affordable offerings. Joining them is the new Maruti Suzuki Fronx, which is a beefed up version of the popular Baleno premium hatchback.

While the Maruti Suzuki Fronx was first unveiled at the Auto Expo in January 2023 in India, it’s now that the Indian automaker is planning for its launch. The Fronx is aimed to reach young buyers, looking to buy a car that’s not a hatchback or and SUV, but offers pricing of the former and practicality of the latter. Ahead of the launch, we bring you our exclusive and honest review of the Maruti Suzuki Fronx. Read on…

Maruti Suzuki Fronx: Video Review

Maruti Suzuki Fronx: What To Expect?

First things first, the Maruti Suzuki ‘Fronx’ name is getting a lot of mixed reviews on the social media, with some praising it for being peppy, while some calling it too unique for a vehicle. But name aside, the Fronx promises to tap three segments at one go. While it’s a Baleno based crossover that targets the audience of a sub-compact SUV, it will also entice buyers from hatchback as well as compact SUV segments. Also, it’s not a replacement for the S-Cross, but will be sold through NEXA Dealerships.

Maruti Suzuki Fronx: Design

The biggest change in the Maruti Suzuki Fronx as compared to Baleno has to be the design, as this car is a hatchback on stilt with a body kit, roof rails and skid plates. It also gets a new grille, stacked LED DRLs in the cube shape, precision cut alloy wheels and connected LED rear combination light that lends it a very sporty, yet SUV stance. For me, the back angle of the Fronx works the best and despite being the similar size of Baleno, the raised ground clearance and massive wheel arches give it a muscular touch.

Maruti Suzuki Fronx: Cabin & Features

Sitting inside the cabin of the Fronx, you realise how far Maruti Suzuki has come in terms of the cabin design. The Fronx has its heart at the right place and gets a dual tone dark treatment that lends a sporty vibe to the car, but snatches away the sense of roominess. But then, that also differentiates it with the Baleno. The use of wine coloured upholstery adds a rich look to the car, worthy of NEXA dealerships. There’s a free standing 9-inch Smartplay Pro+ infotainment system with Arkamys sound system.

You also get Suzuki connect with 40+ connected car Features, wireless charger, HUD display, which is a segment first and a 360 degree. Practicality wise, the car has the similar space as the Baleno, which means it has enough legroom and headroom at the back seat, and can sit 3 adults. The boot space is rated at 308-litre which is deep enough. What I missed was a sunroof and digital instrument console, but that’s just me getting greedy.

Maruti Suzuki Fronx: Engine & Performance

The Maruti Suzuki Fronx will get two engine options: a 1.2-litre NA petrol unit with options of Manual and AMT gearboxes and a 1.0-litre BoosterJet engine with Manual and Automatic gearbox options. We spent a decent amount of time in the Turbo Auto variant, and also drove the Turbo Manual for a while. The overall driving dynamics impressed me, as in the case of Baleno. It’s a very urban car with a chunky D-cut steering to hold to.

We also did some controlled off-roading and tight manoeuvring in the Fronx to understand the structural stability and found is capable enough. The only problem I see with the car is its mileage. Despite being a Baleno-derived crossover, the Fronx offers a mileage of 22.89 kmpl (AMT). Maruti itself is offering cars with 25 kmpl + average and it might be a turn off for some buyers.

On the positive side though, the engine is super refined, and powerful enough, especially the turbo unit that gets 100 PS and 147 Nm output. The 1.2-litre unit gets 90 PS and 113 NM output, which is decent for a car of this size. The performance is not the best for a turbo motor, but does its job well for an urban dweller.

Maruti Suzuki Fronx: Safety

Safety wise, the Maruti Suzuki Fronx gets 6 Airbags and is based on the HearTECT platform. It also gets Hill Hold Assist, Electronic Stability Control among other things. If this doesn’t make the Global NCAP happy, I am not sure what else will. Maruti maintains that they adhere to all the norms laid out by the Indian government and I see nothing wrong with it.

Maruti Suzuki Fronx: Should You Buy?

The FRONX is Maruti Suzuki’s yet another attempt to establish itself as a premium automaker. In doing so, they have made a car that looks miles apart from other Maruti cars, has a premium cabin and also makes me wonder how well Maruti Suzuki understands the Indian buyer’s driving sensibilities. Should you buy one? Well, it all depends on the pricing, but prima facie, this crossover is good enough to pull you to the showrooms at least.

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