Maruti Suzuki Fronx long term review, 3,500km report

    The stylish crossover enters our fleet and is immediately put to the test on a 1,300km road trip.

    Published on Oct 22, 2023 08:00:00 AM

    37,656 Views

    Maruti Suzuki Fronx long term review

    Refined and efficient, the Fronx 1.2 made for an ideal road-trip companion.

    Model : Fronx

    Goa might be the ultimate party destination for most but for me, it’s home. While I do visit a couple of times every year as and when my work schedule permits, one trip that’s non-negotiable is during Ganesh Chaturthi. My family has had a tradition for decades now – celebrating the festival by having our own idol for five days.

    So when it came to this year’s visit, I had two options – pay over Rs 15,000 for a return journey by flight, or borrow one of Autocar India’s long-termers. The choice was obvious then, not only in terms of finances but also fun. I’d rather enjoy the road up and down to Goa than sit on a short, boring flight. And you can tell that that was always going to be the case, given that I did the same a few months back on my long-term Suzuki V-Strom SX.

    The Autocar long-term fleet offers an eclectic mix of big SUVs, midsize sedans, small crossovers, manuals, automatics and AMTs. My brief to Rahul was simple, I need something that’s fuel-efficient. That ruled out nearly half the cars and I ended up choosing the Maruti Suzuki Fronx 1.2 with the AMT gearbox, which recently entered our fleet.

    LED headlights have great throw and light up a dark road very effectively.

    Now, I know some of you may scoff at my car of choice, but I’m lucky enough to get to test and drive plenty of fast and fun cars at my job, so I was completely fine with my decision. Not only is it fuel efficient, but there’s so much more to like about the Fronx, as I discovered on my week-long, 1,300km trip.

    Since it was just my sister and I travelling, the Fronx’s boot space wasn’t put to the test, at least not how most would use it. But more on that later. With the tank brimmed and trip meter reset, we set off nice and early. The Fronx’s smooth and refined 1.2 petrol engine made for a relaxed highway cruiser, with barely any NVH entering the cabin. The AMT, too, was smooth enough on the highway, but its shortcomings were exposed when I hit the ghat sections on the drive. Being tuned for efficiency, it would upshift too eagerly, which is not something you want when climbing up steep inclines. So I had to take manual control via the tiptronic function on the gear lever.   

    Comfy and supportive front seats take the pain out of a long road trip.

    Thanks to the rains, the roads along the ghats were broken, but the Fronx dealt with these patches really well, and what’s nice is that it feels really composed on the highway at higher speeds too. A special mention also goes to the seats, which are very comfortable and didn’t leave me with any soreness despite the near-600km drive one way. And to top it all off, it was very fuel-efficient as well, which is just what I’d asked for. On my drive to Goa, where I was holding triple-digit speeds for the most part, the Fronx returned just under 18.5kpl, which is more than you can ask for.

    The efficiency did drop when I used it to run errands in my hometown, but given the narrow roads and steep inclines in my area, it’s expected. And remember the boot space I talked about earlier? Well, I used the Fronx to take the Ganesh idol from our home to the temple before the immersion. And I must say that there were no real issues as the two-foot idol fit comfortably, with the parcel tray taken out. Although, owing to its high lip, it was a challenge to lift the heavy, clay idol and place it into the boot.

    Driver’s seat doesn’t have height adjustment, which isn’t ideal for shorter drivers.

    Shortcomings? Apart from the AMT being a pain to drive in the ghats, another issue I had was the lack of a rear wiper and camera.This made parking tricky, especially since it was raining quite often and the rear windscreen was perpetually covered in muck. Another thing – which didn’t make a difference to me – was the lack of height adjustment for the driver’s seat, which my sister was not happy with. She’s a good deal shorter than me and that made it difficult for her to see over the instrument binnacle. The steering is tilt adjustable though, which alleviated the issue to a certain extent.

    No rear wiper and camera makes parking tricky when the windscreen is dirty.

    All in all, the Fronx made for a good road trip companion and I grew to like it over the week that I spent with it. If it were up to me, I would’ve liked to have the manual as it would have been better suited to the highway and the hills. But on the flipside, the AMT will be at home in the city and I suspect that’s how it’s going to be used for the majority of its time with us. More on how it performs in the city in the next report.

    Also see:

    Maruti Suzuki Fronx 1.2 petrol video review

    Fact FilePetrol AT
    Distance covered3508km
    Price when newRs 9.28 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
    Test economy18.42kpl (highway)
    Maintenance costsNone
    FaultsNone

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