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Fronx is proof why Suzuki is big news in South Africa

There’s very good reason why Suzuki has emerged as a major force in the South African new car market. Now the country’s third biggest carmaker, the upstart has even outsold mighty Volkswagen on occasion this year. And it’s all down to great product at the right time. And of that, this latest Fronx is beyond solid evidence.

Jumping on the mushrooming coupé SUV bandwagon, and Suzuki’s first of that kind, the standout Fronx really looks the part. It’s kind of a mini Honda HR-V, which is a good thing. Just that Honda must wish that it sold HR-Vs like this. The Fronx of course has that advantage of price. It’s as keen as hell.


Meet Fronx. The Frontier Crossover

So what’s with that name? Well its derived from Frontier. Something Suzuki reckons it crosses, and X for crossover. Fronx shares its latest Suzuki Crafted Futurism DNA with Grand Vitara and Baleno. It blends that latest Suzuki grille with dual-layer DRL headlamps, 16” alloys in bold creased metal and polycarbonate wheel arches and that swooping coupé roofline.

Talking about that roof, it sports both rails and a tailgate spoiler as well as a shark fin antenna on top. And there’s front, side, and rear skid plate garnish at the bottom. The pert rear end is particularly pleasing with its almost non-existent overhang and a full width LED taillight bar. Completes a cocky stance.

With an SUV like 170 mm ground clearance at just under four metres long and 1.76 m tall, riding on a 2.52 m wheelbase, Fronx fits five adults with ease. The 304 litre boot has a full-sized 16” spare wheel and 195/60 tyre under it and grows to 605 litres with the 60:40 split rear bench seat stowed.


A comfortable and spacious Suzuki cabin

Step into the spacious silver and faux leather trimmed cabin to find a cheeky and fully understandable 9” CarPlay, Auto and Bluetooth central infotainment system. It includes a 360-degree composite camera reversing video and is supported by wireless phone charging and a 12V charging socket up front. And dual rear USB charging points.

Controlled in part by the leather-clad height and reach adjustable multi-function electric power steering wheel, Fronx has colour information screen instrumentation and heads-up display. There are power windows all round, central locking, auto climate control, rear-seat ventilation, and an armrest centre console box.

Other niceties include keyless entry with push-button start, dual lit sun visor vanity mirrors and lit glove compartment and footwells. Not immediately apparent, this little Suzuki also benefits luxury vehicle sound dampening. To deliver cabin quietness levels uncommon to this market segment.


Fronx is perky, agile, and economical

Suzuki’s perky and fuel-efficient 77 kW 138 Nm 1.5 litre four-cylinder K15B petrol engine and lightweight 1,010 kg kerb mass endow it with an impressive power-to-weight ratio. Ours had the five-speed manual gearbox driving the front axle, which made it even more engaging. And one has to say, our Fronx also delivered a pleasing set of performance test results. And it’s super frugal too.

A cheerful car to drive, Fronx impressed in every driving respect. It sounds good, feels good and is quiet and confident on the road. Push it and it is agile and dynamic, too. Much of that has to do with Suzuki’s lightweight Heartect platform, which is also safer. Fronx packs MacPherson-strut front and torsion beam rear suspension, with rack-and-pinion steering.

Talking safety, there’s ABS anti-skid and EBD ventilated front disc braking and electronic stability control. Add front, front side airbags and side curtain Isofix anchors. Security is by digital immobiliser and security alarm, by the way. Peace of mind is also part of the deal thanks to a massive 5-year and 200,000 km warranty and a 4-year/60 000 km service plan.


Fronx. Another great reason to be cheerful

Getting back to the gist of this one, this splendid new Fronx is another very good reason for Suzuki to be cheerful. Let alone, for owners and prospective buyers to be cheerful about Suzuki. Best of all, this is just one of many new small Suzukis that are destined to become super successful, for very good reason.

Based on that, we see no end to this little carmaker continuing to make huge inroads into the South African market. Suzuki is simply selling the right cars at the right time. And at the right price too. This splendid little Fronx is just another fine arrow for that bow. Expect it to bullseye. – Michele Lupini

Images & testing: Giordano Lupini

ROAD TESTED: Suzuki Fronx 1.5 GLE manual
77 kW 138 Nm 1.5 litre petrol
5-speed manual FWD
0-60 km/h:        4.37 sec
0-100 km/h:       9.56 sec
0-120 km/h:       14.86 sec
400m:             16.7 sec @ 135 km/h
80-120 km/h:      6.65 sec
120-160 km/h:     12.05 sec
VMax:             175 km/h
Fuel:             5.5 l/100 km
CO2:              129 g/km
Range:            675 km
Warranty/Service: 5y 200K/4y 60K km
LIST PRICE:       R315K
RATED:            9
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