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The Maruti Suzuki Fronx may be a master stroke by the leading Indian car-maker. Take the popular Baleno, resuscitate the old RS turbo-engine, strap on some go-harder parts, and place it in one of the most bustling segments. We get “Fronxed” in Goa.

Maruti Suzuki Fronx

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

Google throws up a very interesting search result from drlogy.com. “Fronx” is a boy dog name. And it gets more interesting. It has a destiny number of “5”, a “heart’s desire” number of “6” and a personality number of “8”. I don’t know what those mean, but it certainly felt like an attempt to pique my interest.

Now that we’ve got the “front of the Bronx”-like name out of the way, the Maruti Suzuki Fronx is a very attractive car to look at. It has a four-door-coupé-SUV-like vibe that seems somewhat shrunken but remains just as attractive. The Baleno that it is based on is a pretty car too. It has more than a few modern touches and piercing LED daytime lamps that make it stand out of the crowd. What Maruti Suzuki have done is build further on a winning formula.

Maruti Suzuki Fronx offroad

The Fronx is indeed a great looking car. In fact, I always maintained that the Baleno (the new hatchback, not the old 1.6 sedan) is a looker and a nice car to be in. Great cabin and features. Not so great to drive, on account of the steering feel and responsiveness being akin to that of riding a tranquillised horse. Yet the new Fronx builds on that with a refreshing take on the compact car—what the company refers to as “the shape of new”, which sounds a lot like an overplayed pop song from that red-headed bloke, but I digress.

Maruti Suzuki Fronx – Design and Style

The Maruti Suzuki Fronx is a sub-four-metre offering—yes, the car may be new but it must conform to seemingly pointless norms which attempt to define the “small car”—at 3,995 millimetres long. That makes it five millimetres longer than the Baleno. It’s also 10 mm wider per side, at 1,765 mm wide, and 50 mm higher, on account of the 20-mm higher ground clearance, the higher profile tyres (195/60 on 16-inch rims), and the roof-rails. It’s also a little heavier.

Maruti Suzuki Fronx lights

Unlike the Baleno and its headlight cluster which integrates the main beams and LED daytime lights in one unit, the Maruti Suzuki Fronx gets split lighting, like the larger Grand Vitara‘s, with a trio of daytime lights up top and separate headlight clusters: one high and two low. The buff look comes courtesy a new front grille, thick chrome strip across, front and rear skid-plates, and side-skirts finished in matte silver, which also accentuate its ride height. The sloping roof side profile is probably the highlight, although not as pronounced as an X6’s, it seems like a downsized Cayenne Coupé; strictly in terms of shape, of course. The tail-light clusters are connected by a light bar, most recently seen on the Hyundai Venue, and the three-part layout continues here too. No doubt, this is a sharp-looking car.

Maruti Suzuki Fronx – Interior and Equipment

Maruti Suzuki Fronx interior

The cabin is quite similar to the larger Grand Vitara’s, with a two-tone dashboard and seats as well as a large flat-bottomed steering wheel. The ergonomics are great and controls fall into grasp easily. Space is more than adequate and there is a spacious feel to the cabin. Even the rear seats have plenty of occupant room. One point to note is that occupants taller than six feet will have a tighter fit. The boot is also quite voluminous with 308 litres of luggage capacity.

The centre touchscreen is now the larger nine-inch unit, at least in this top-level “Alpha” trim; lower variants get the seven-inch unit. A nice touch is a standard safety suite comprising stability control and hill-hold (three seconds), five three-point seatbelts, reverse parking sensors and an electric rear defogger, day/night mirror, plus dual front airbags with the Zeta and Alpha trims getting six airbags. This Alpha trim also gets a reverse camera with guidelines and a 360° view camera as well as a head-up display. With its space and equipment, versatility, then, is a given. But how does it behave on the road?

Maruti Suzuki Fronx touchscreen

More on page 2 >

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez

 

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