Let’s kick this review off with the major elephant in the room which is the name of Suzuki’s new compact crossover. The Fronx. Say it out loud. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it? It sounds almost clumsy. But that is where the negatives of this car end. The new Suzuki Fronx must be forgiven its odd name because it excels in everything else.
Rolling In Style
You might think that the Fronx looks familiar, that’s because it has taken a number of its styling cues from its bigger sibling, the Grand Vitara and the new Suzuki Baleno. I don’t often comment on style because I truly believe that each person will hold a different view, but I can confidently say that the Fronx is a very good-looking car. It’s entering a hugely competitive segment with rivals such as the Hyundai Venue, Renault Kiger, Nissan Magnite and Kia Sonet, just to name a few. It has to stand out. And it does.
GL vs GLX
There are two trim levels available, the GL and the GLX, but both are very well specced – so much so that all models have cruise control. But the GLX takes the cake with a host of features that you would not normally find at this price point. It boasts a nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a 360-degree camera, a Head-Up Display, wireless charging, three USB ports, keyless entry and push-button start. The only negative I can say is about the interior colour palette, which sees a mix of black and burgundy. I think it dates the cabin, but as with styling, many might love the look.
Turning The Gears
The Fronx is powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 77 kW of power and 138 Nm of torque. It’s a light car and so that power goes a long way. You can choose between a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. I drove both and I am thrilled to say that it was one of the nicer drives I have experienced in this segment. The auto might frustrate some who would want a few more gears added, but it is mated well to this engine and once you are at cruising speed, you wouldn’t even know it only has four gears. And let’s not forget about the all-important fuel consumption figures, the manual sits at 5.5l/100 km and the auto at 5.7l/100 km. It is easy to achieve these low figures. I got a reading of 6.3l/100 km in the auto.
When it comes to safety, all versions of the Fronx have at least two airbags, an electronic stability programme, hill hold control, ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and ISOFIX child seat anchors on both sides of the rear bench seat. The GLX adds both front-side airbags and side curtain airbags as standard.
Pricing of the Suzuki Fronx
Pricing is where the Fronx really shines. When compared to its rivals, well, there really isn’t much competition. It undercuts just about every model in terms of price or spec…or both! This car will go straight to the top of my recommendation list for anyone shopping in the space between R270 000 and R350 000.
- Suzuki Fronx 1.5 GL 5MT – R279 900
- Suzuki Fronx 1.5 GL 4AT – R299 900
- Suzuki Fronx 1.5 GLX 5MT – R315 900
- Suzuki Fronx 1.5 GLX 4AT – R335 900
Juliet McGuire is South Africa’s leading female motoring journalist. She’s been a motoring journalist for the past 14 years and she is here to help you make an informed decision when buying a car.