We review Suzuki’s new compact crossover: The Fronx

The Suzuki Fronx is a new compact crossover, joining the competition against Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, and Renault. Developed from the Baleno, it features off-road design touches like added height, robust tyres, cladding, and bold bumpers. Wondering why the name Fronx? It’s a clever play on the words ‘frontier’ and ‘crossover’. 

The Fronx falls just shy of 4 metres in length, sporting a 2.5-metre wheelbase. For reference, the pricier Grand Vitara measures 4.3 metres long with a 2.6-metre wheelbase. The Fronx is built on Suzuki's lightweight Heartect architecture, also used in the Swift and Baleno hatchbacks, featuring MacPherson-strut front suspension and a rear torsion beam.


You'll find a pair of trim options: GL and GLX. Both are driven by a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre 4-cylinder gasoline engine. This particular setup delivers 77 kW along with 138 Nm of torque. Buyers have the freedom to select from a 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic version.

The manual and automatic transmissions perfectly synchronise with the engine's performance, though supplementary gear in the 4-speed automatic could be appreciated. 

Suzuki states a fuel efficiency of 5.5l/100 km for the manual and 5.7l/100 km for the automatic transmission. 

Within our style-conscious culture, perhaps the most crucial characteristic is its design. The B-segment crossover aims to integrate SUV-coupé elements to attract attention on the road. Its inclined roof line and unique grille create a solid initial impact. The amalgamation of LED daytime running lights and rear lights doesn't just boost visibility at night but also contributes a welcomed hint of individuality.

Every variant features 16-inch alloy wheels, black components on the GL, and silver on the GLX. Furthermore, all versions showcase colour-coordinated side mirrors that incorporate indicators.

The interior draws inspiration from the Baleno, featuring a similarly styled spacious dashboard, central stack, and instrument cluster. However, what sets the Fronx apart is its use of a burgundy-silver-black colour palette, departing from the Baleno's navy blue-silver-black scheme. The central stack remains simple, hosting the Infotainment touchscreen: 7 inches for the base variant and 9 inches for the GLX. 

Toggle switches and climate controls in button form are conveniently positioned. While the 7-inch infotainment display in GL might exhibit occasional lethargy, it gets the job done. In contrast, the 9-inch screen offers an enhanced user experience.  

Across every variant of Fronx, you'll find a nicely textured, flat-bottom multifunction steering wheel that provides a pleasing tactile experience. The wheel's thickness suits even those with larger hands. Instances of dashboard glare under intense lighting conditions are somewhat present, but this issue can be mitigated by using a dashboard mat. 

GLX models come equipped with additional features such as a 360-degree camera, an automatically dimming rearview mirror, a heads-up display, keyless entry that's complemented by a start button, convenient wireless charging, and thoughtful interior courtesy lighting.

Starting at R279,900 for the GL manual and reaching R335,900 for the GLX auto, the Fronx presents a strong argument in terms of value, catering to budget-minded South African buyers. (Prices correct at time of publication.) With an attractive exterior, robust interior, and practical space, this compact crossover emerges as a formidable player in the industry, also paving the way for Suzuki to unveil the XL6 and the 5-door Jimny within this calendar year.

Looking for a new car? Before buying a new car, it’s important to do online research. The MotorHappy blog is a good place to start – we review SA’s newest cars every month.

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