The Maruti Suzuki Fronx will arguably be the brand’s most important new launch this year – it’s based on the familiar Baleno hatchback, has the practicalities of a high-riding crossover and has also got the looks with a coupe-like roofline. Importantly, the Fronx brings back a turbo-petrol engine to Maruti’s line-up after a gap of three years, since the Baleno RS was discontinued.
So, ahead of its launch in the coming days, here are five things you should know about the Maruti Suzuki Fronx.
Also: Maruti Suzuki Fronx review: Return of the Boosterjet
Maruti Suzuki Fronx video review
Maruti Suzuki Fronx: first coupe-like crossover
The Fronx is not the first high-riding compact crossover in our market, but what distinguishes it from its rivals, and even its own stablemate – the Brezza – is its coupe-like roofline. The rest of the design is heavily inspired by the larger Grand Vitara, and that’s not a bad thing. The Fronx combines typical SUV design traits such as thick body cladding with faux skid plates, flared wheel arches, and a high ground clearance with an elegant coupe-like silhouette rather well.
Maruti Suzuki Fronx: familiar under the skin
While the design is a differentiating factor, the Fronx is quite familiar under its skin. It's based on the same Heartect platform as the Baleno and has an identical wheelbase, although the Fronx is 5mm longer, 20mm wider and 50mm taller. Maruti has also tweaked the suspension set-up to allow for longer travel in keeping the positioning of the car.
Maruti Suzuki Fronx: familiar on the inside too
That the Fronx is based on the Baleno is most apparent on the inside. Both models share an identical dashboard design, only set apart by slight differences in colours and textures. The Fronx also borrows its entire equipment list from the Baleno, which means it will be equally well-specced; although the variant-wise split will be different, as the Fronx has one additional trim. How the coupe-like roofline affects interior headroom is something we'll have to wait to find out.
Maruti Suzuki Fronx: first of more with turbo-petrol engine
The 100hp, 1.0-litre, three-cylinder Boosterjet engine is the same that was offered with the Baleno RS but has now been updated to meet the latest emissions regulations. This engine will come mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. Following the Fronx, this engine will also be making its way under the hood of a few more Maruti models.
On duty will also be Maruti’s tried-and-tested 90hp, 1.2-litre K-Series engine mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed AMT gearbox. Recently, Maruti revealed fuel efficiency figures of all powertrains – the 1.2-litre unit returns a claimed 21.79kpl and 22.89kpl with the manual and AMT gearboxes, respectively; the 1.0-litre unit returns a claimed 21.5kpl with the manual gearbox and 20.01kpl with the automatic.
Maruti Suzuki Fronx: unique among its rivals
As mentioned above, the Fronx is the only coupe-crossover in the compact segment, and as such, does not have a direct rival. With an expected price of Rs 8 lakh-Rs 11 lakh (ex-showroom), it will sit in a sweet spot in the compact SUV segment with the likes of the Renault Kiger and Nissan Magnite on one side and the Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Maruti Brezza and Tata Nexon at the slightly more premium end.
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