Maruti Suzuki Fronx long term review, 8,500km report

    Fourth report: A quick break out of town reveals new facets of the Fronx.

    Published on Jun 21, 2024 07:00:00 AM


    Model : Fronx

    In all the months I’ve had the Fronx, I somehow never managed to fit in a long, out-of-town drive. A weekend trip to a farm stay near Pune finally gave the Fronx the opportunity to stretch its legs. The drive was easygoing because that’s how the Fronx rolls. Its 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine is tuned to give its best at lower speeds, which you’d typically experience in the city. Out on the highway, the engine and AMT gearbox got the Fronx up to speed in, well, a relaxed manner. It’s fine, really, but that feeling of having more power in reserve just isn’t there. The climb up the Lonavala Ghat only highlighted this. The punchier Fronx Turbo with the Boosterjet engine is worth a look if you frequent highways often. 

    AMT brings in convenience but you have to adapt your driving style to get the best out of it.

    Also, I wish the cabin was quieter. It isn’t something I noted in the city, but tyre noise did raise decibel levels considerably over the Mumbai-Pune expressway. Props to the AC, though, which put up a valiant fight against the oppressive heat outside. The AC is quick to cool the cabin and maintains the temperature without the need to fiddle with settings or blower speed. Remarkable as ever was the fuel efficiency. I saw a real-time economy readout of 18kpl!

    In the city or out on the highway, fuel economy has been a highlight.

    The highway journey did draw my attention to some missing features, though. These are items available on the Fronx Turbo (sold in higher Zeta and Alpha trims) but not on the Fronx 1.2 that’s on offer in lower Sigma, Delta and Delta+ forms. Cruise control, for instance, was missed on the highway, and I’m generally not comfortable with no rear wash/wipe— monsoons or not. I now believe wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay should only be offered on cars with wireless phone charging, too. As convenient as the feature is (Maruti’s 7-inch touchscreen is quick to connect), wireless screen projection really saps the phone’s battery. And if you’re not paying attention, you’ll reach your destination with a depleted battery—not what you’d want when all the details of your stay and point of contact are on your mobile. Note to self: always keep a USB wire handy. 

    Thankfully, this was just a weekend getaway, and cabin bags were all that we had. Airport runs in the Fronx have proven to be a test of strength. The high loading lip required some might to load a large suitcase in. Luggage space, however, is good for a car this size.

    Luggage room is good but high lip makes loading/unloading a task.

    There’s nothing new to report about life back in the city. It’s a car that feels at home in the daily grind and doesn’t ask too much of you. The engine is peppy enough, and adopting a relaxed driving style makes the AMT gearbox do its job well. I’ve learned to live around its quirks. For one, the steep climb out of my basement parking has the gearbox aggressively downshifting to first, and switching to manual mode helps. AMT gearboxes, in general, aren’t as good as other automatics and require you to adapt to their quirks.

    I only experienced the rear seat once over a short hop for lunch. And yup, I, too, sat on the seat belt only to realise it when it was time to belt up. You see, the Fronx oddly lacks load sensors at the back, which means the seat belt reminders buzz for 90 seconds every time you start the car, irrespective of whether the seats are occupied. The workaround is to keep the rear seat belts clipped in at all times. I have had to play the role of seat-belt reminder when my passengers get in. My other pet peeve was the absence of a front seat height-adjust feature—again offered only on the Fronx Turbo. I just couldn’t find the ideal driving position. 

    Even a year after its launch, the Fronx continues to draw eyeballs, with Autocar India’s bike editor, Rishaad Mody, being the latest to praise it. “It looks like a mini Urus,” he remarked. Heck, I still give the car a second look now and then. Pride of ownership? The Fronx ticks that box for sure.

      Even a year after launch, the chunky and squat Fronx grabs attention.

    In the last report, I mentioned a temperamental left rear window. Call it good vibes or whatever, the issue seems to have resolved itself. Nothing else has worked itself loose or malfunctioned over the 8,500km the Fronx has clocked.  

    So, after a good few months of living with the Fronx, is it a car I’d recommend? Some things could be better, sure, but my answer would be a strong yes.

    Also see:

    Maruti Suzuki Fronx long term review; 7,000km report

    Maruti Suzuki Fronx long term review, 5,000km report

    Fact FilePetrol AT
    Distance covered8,504km
    Price when newRs 9.27 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai)
    Price nowRs 9.23 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai)
    Test economy16.9kpl (highway)
    Previous ReportMarch 2024, December 2023, October 2023

    Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.


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