Maruti Suzuki Fronx is a major launch this year and it has one of the best engines from Suzuki, the BoosterJet 1 Liter. It is interesting to see this engine with a coupe SUV so we did a complete test of the vehicle to figure out the mileage, power, and practicality of this engine.
– The only turbocharged engine in Maruti’s Lineup.
– A 5-Speed Manual and a 6-Speed torque converter are on offer.
– Noise, Vibrations, and Harshness are evident, just like in a turbocharged engine.
Let us begin with the elephant in the room, the new turbocharged engine. As per the specifications, the engine is capable of generating 100bhp and 147Nm of Torque. After driving it for around 100KMs we figured out that it actually makes a lot more sense than a 1.5 liter naturally aspirated. The power delivery begins at around 1800RPM and goes all the way to 5000RPM and it also maintains the torque very well. The Fronx actually comes under the category of punchy cars, especially if we talk about its segment. The 5-speed manual also feels like the right transmission for this engine as it gives you a good thrust while driving. However, it’s a 3-cylinder turbo unit, expect it to be a little noisy and harsh as well. There is an evident amount of vibrations especially in idle conditions and with the AC compressor on.
One of the most highlighted features of the Fronx was the option of a proper automatic transmission, however, it felt like a pro version of the AMT. Usually, torque converters are so much better but Maruti is actually struggling to make a responsive AT. We believe a CVT transmission could have been a better option as it is a cheaper and low-maintenance option.
We have also seen CVT in Baleno previously and it was a worthy transmission for sure. However, the option of paddle shifters is a relief as by using them the transmission delay is gone and the engine acts swiftly.
The overall performance of the all-new Maruti Suzuki Fronx is at par but it isn’t enough to beat the turbo petrol of Venue, XUV300, and even Nexon. It is actually comparable to the Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger.
With great power, comes great responsibility as well, the responsibility of breaking. The Fronx has a good bite at the front tires thanks to the disc brakes and the overall braking performance is just good enough. Although, the absence of rear disc brakes is definitely making a difference.
Now comes the major question, the mileage of this new turbo petrol engine. Fortunately, Maruti Suzuki Fronx comes with a smart hybrid system that consists of a small 48v battery which is making a huge difference. Maruti Suzuki is the only manufacturer proving this technology right now which actually helps in real-world driving conditions.
The smart hybrid in Fronx has an Idle start-stop function which cuts off the engine while idling and starts the engine automatically when required via battery power to save fuel. Not just that, there is also Regenerative Braking on offer which charges this small battery while reaccelerating.
This 48V battery also provides additional torque to the engine and the feature is called “Electric Torque Assist during Acceleration”. This capability improves torque delivery without the increase in fuel consumption. In short words, the smart hybrid increase your mileage by 1-2kmpl easily helping the Fronx to go 13-15kms in the city with 1 liter of fuel. On the other hand, driving on the highway will return a mileage of 17 to 19kmpl thanks to the turbocharger.
When it comes to the new Fronx’s performance, the steering wheel is quite nicely weighted and definitely gives you an SUV feel. Although it is a little heavier than the Baleno, it gives you tremendous confidence when traveling at triple-digit speeds. Considering how accurate the wheel is and how connected we felt to it, we also loved the response and input it provided.
Although the headroom was very low, the seating position was excellent between the Baleno and the Brezza, allowing us to comfortably see both sides of the bonnet. For the finest driving experience, raise the seat’s height to the center position. However, due to the floating 9-inch screen and the big IRVM, the view was a little distorted and disturbing to some extent. The ORVMs are well-placed and well-sized to provide a wide view of the rear traffic. Maruti now gives Auto IRVM in almost every vehicle which is highly appreciable.
Comfort & Suspension
The tuning of the suspension and the comfort is very dynamic and balanced, but it would be safe to say that it is stiffer than the Baleno. The Fronx is capable of handling regular-sized potholes and speed-breakers effortlessly and the body roll is also very controlled. This type of suspension provides good confidence while cornering on the high speed and sufficient stability on the expressways too. Unfortunately, there is some suspension noise that can be heard during bigger speed-breakers and potholes which might be a little disturbing.
In contrast, the drive was quite comfortable, all credit goes to the highly padded armrests on both sides and a full-size dead pedal as a footrest. The cushioning of the fabric seats felt up to the mark and is capable of providing a relaxing ride to all the passengers.
Although there are plenty of features on offer here are some of our favorites. There is a Heads Up Display for a more distraction-free drive, we also have a 360-degree camera which adds up to the safety and convenience of enjoying a vehicle. The Hill Hold Assist is being offered right from the base model just like ABS, EBD, ESP, and Dual Airbags.
On the technology side, we have wireless Android auto and Apple car play with the 9″ Smart PlayPro+ Display which comes with a 6-speaker system by Arkayms Surround Sense. Just like the connections with a smartphone is wireless, the charging is too, if your phone supports wireless charging.
The stylish LED DRLs, striking Tri-Reflector LED Headlamps, connected LED Tail Lights and 16″ Precision Cut Alloy Wheels are the reason for sporty and energetic road presence. Moreover, the interior is well-designed and Wecolored
One of the best things about the Fronx is the huge variety of options it has. The Fronx has a total of 10 engine and transmission combinations and then we have a huge variety of colors too. There is a second engine option which is the tried and tested 1.2 Litre K Series Naturally aspirated engine, generating 90PS and 113NM of torque. This engine is available in Sigma, Delta, and Delta+ variants with Sigma having only manual transmission and Delta and Delta+ having manual and 5-speed AMT as an option.
The second engine, the booster jet Turbocharged petrol, generating 100PS and 148NM Torque comes with a 5-speed manual transmission and a 6-speed torque converter. This turbo engine starts from the Delta+ variant in a manual avatar and the Zeta and Alpha variants are offered with manual and automatic transmissions.
Here is the complete set of features and the engine options for your convenience-
Maruti Suzuki Fronx Full Brochure – Click Here to Download
One of the major concerns these days is the safety of the vehicles, unfortunately, a crash test is still pending but here are the safety features on offer. Many safety features are standard across all the variants and some are reserved for the top-end variants like 6 airbags, 360 cameras,s and reverse cameras as well. However, having rear disc brakes could have been a major advantage for the vehicle
Maruti Suzuki Baleno is the most spacious in its category but is it the same as the Maruti Suzuki Fronx? Maruti is providing more than enough space for all the passengers that is for sure. There is plenty of storage space on the center console, in the glove box, and on the doors for all your needs.
For passengers, an ample amount of legroom and headroom is available, however, as far as the rear seats are concerned, they are just wide enough to fit three passengers and their shoulders will collide but it is quite acceptable in this segment. The 308L of boot space also serves your major purpose of traveling with the family for a 2-3 day tour very easily.
Overall, the Maruti Suzuki Fronx is actually a Baleno Pro model with a powerful engine and it completely makes sense. We believe that the Fronx will cater to the needs of a family person who needs the car for regular office commutes and occasional family trips. Interestlight, this torquier turbo engine will add fun to his/her driving experience while cruising in the cities and on the highways.
The right amount of power and the right amount of mileage (because of the smart hybrid system) will make the Fronx a special contender in the big basket of sub-4-Meter compact SUVs. Undoubtedly it will outshine the cars like Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger due to the name of Maruti Suzuki and of course much bigger showroom and service network.
One more reason for beating these cars will be the option of a proper 6-speed torque converter, which is any day better than the Tata Punch’s AMT
The 1-liter turbo manual will attract less taxation and the price should be reasonable considering the features, size, space, and mileage of the car. We hope the car to be priced between Rs 6.99 Lakh to Rs 10.99 Lakh for the top model.