Home Cars & Bikes Fronx brings SUV-coupé style to the people

Fronx brings SUV-coupé style to the people

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Suzuki’s all-new Fronx coupé SUV is a handsome and fuel-efficient vehicle that offers a unique combination of style, quality and value for money.

The so-called “coupé SUV” body style, pioneered by BMW and its X6, has become popular indeed. Not that this design always works, aesthetically. The Audi Q3 Sportback, Audi Q8, Volvo C40 P8 Recharge Twin AWD Ultimate, Haval H6 GT, and Porsche Cayenne coupé pull it off, but Mercedes-Benz and BMW have always struggled with this design. This is odd, because Mercedes had ‘invented’ the four-door sedan coupé, at the turn of the century, in the shape of the CLS – also known (to me) as the Banana Merc.

An exclusive club

Suzuki has a long history of making small to medium-sized SUVs, like the Jimny and Grand Vitara. Now, Suzuki’s brand-new Fronx introduces the coupé SUV shape to the Suzuki line-up. This is welcome news, because the cheapest car in this style and mentioned above is the Haval H6 GT 2.0GDIT 4WD Super Luxury, which goes for R642 550. The second ‘cheapest’ is the Audi Q3 Sportback 35TFSI S line, at a price of R767 700 before optional add-ons. To join Club SUV Coupé is certainly not cheap.

Luckily, Suzuki is coming to the rescue of South African consumers once again, offering its new coupé SUV – call it a crossover coupé if you wish – at a price many local motorists can afford.

This new model was first revealed at the company’s global conference in India in January (2023) this year. At the event, it joined other new models, such as the Suzuki Jimny five-door 4×4 and the family-sized XL6 SUV on stage. The XL6 and five-door Jimny are also destined for South Africa.

‘No compromise’

“With our new Fronx, we want to show South Africans that they do not have to compromise on style, performance and safety when buying in the compact SUV segment,” says Brendon Carpenter of Suzuki Auto South Africa.

“The coupé SUV body style, with its bold front grille and sloping roof line, offers a fresh choice in this market segment, and the K15B 1.5 litre petrol engine promises great performance and low fuel consumption.

Carpenter notes that the Fronx name is derived from two terms. The first is “Frontier” which refers to both the way in which the vehicle crosses a frontier for Suzuki in this market segment and how its design crosses a frontier between SUV and coupé. The second term is “X”, pointing to the crossover nature of the Fronx.

GL or GLX?

Four versions of the Suzuki Fronx are available from launch. They are the Fronx GL in five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission and the more luxurious Fronx GLX with the same choice of manual or automatic transmission.

“We have added all the must-have styling options, such as roof rails, daytime running lights and alloy wheels to all models, regardless of their specification level or price.”

Styling

On the GLX model, the tail lamps are connected by a LED light bar that runs the length of the vehicle.

All model variants have 16” alloy wheels (silver on the GLX), roof rails (again silver on GLX models), a rear roof-mounted spoiler with shark fin antenna and high-mounted daytime running lights. All models also have colour-matched side mirrors with built-in indicators (black mirrors on dual-colour models).

The GLX versions of the Fronx have a chrome-plated trim across the side windows, while all models, in a last nod to the Suzuki SUV line-up, have silver front, side and rear skid plate garnishes.

By the numbers

Before moving inside the cabin, it is worth considering the measurements of the Suzuki Fronx and where it fits into the range.

The five-door Suzuki Fronx measures in at 3.995 metres long and 1.765 metres wide. It rides on a 2.520-metre wheelbase, which ensures that there is more than enough space for five adult occupants in the cabin, Suzuki claims.

By comparison, the recently launched Grand Vitara is 4.345 metres long with a 2.6-metre-long wheelbase. On the other side of the Suzuki SUV spectrum, the Suzuki S-Presso is 3.565-metres long. The Suzuki Fronx has a 170 mm ground clearance and wears 16” alloy wheels shod with 195/60 tyres. All variants have full-sized spare wheels.

Other figures worth noting include the luggage volume, which measures in at 304 litres. The luggage bay grows to 605 litres with the rear seat-back folded forward. All models have a 60:40 split folding rear bench seat. For comparison, the Fronx’s siblings have the following luggage volumes before the rear seat-backs are folded forward: Swift, 268 litres; Baleno, 314 litres; and Vitara Brezza, 328 litres.

Equipment

All versions of the Suzuki Fronx have a leather-clad multi-function steering wheel with buttons for the Bluetooth phone connection, audio controls and cruise control. The steering wheel is adjustable for height, and in GLX models it is also adjustable for reach.

Also included across the range are LED headlights, electric windows front and rear, climate control with rear ventilation, central locking, electric power steering, dual rear-mounted USB charging points, a front-mounted 12V charging socket and a centre console box that doubles as an armrest and storage compartment.

Suzuki says the Fronx range offers luxury vehicle levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) dampening. “This is a feature that can be expected from all future Suzuki models, for a level of quietness and fuss-free driving that is uncommon in this market segment,” it claims.

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For buyers of the GLX model derivatives, Suzuki has added keyless entry with push-button start, wireless phone charging in the centre console, a head-up display, dual vanity mirrors with illumination in the sun visors and additional lighting in the glove compartment and front footwells.

The GLX also benefits from a larger infotainment screen. The GL has a centrally mounted 7” infotainment system that also displays a video feed from the reverse camera. On the GLX, the infotainment screen is 9” in size. Here, the view from the reverse camera is replaced by a 360-degree composite video image from the front-, side- and rear-mounted cameras.

As with most Suzuki models, the infotainment screen offers full Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.

The GLX also has a full colour information screen in the instrument cluster and, in keeping with the silver accents outside, it has silver trim in the cabin and door handles matched with faux leather inserts in the door panels.

Fuel-efficiency

All versions of the Suzuki Fronx are fitted with the group’s K15B engine. In this application, the 1.5 litre four-cylinder petrol engine delivers 77 kW at 6 000 rpm and 138 Nm of torque at 4 400 rpm. The Fronx weighs in at a mere ton, giving it a favourable power-to-weight ratio. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission. The manual version consumes an average of 5.5 litres/100km and the auto 5.7 litres/100km, according to Suzuki.

Underpinning the Fronx is the lightweight yet safe Suzuki HEARTECT platform that offers greater impact protection at a lower weight, Suzuki says. The Fronx has a MacPherson-strut front suspension with ventilated disc brakes and a rear Torsion Beam suspension system with drum brakes.

Safety

All versions of the Fronx range have at least two airbags, ESP (electronic stability programme), hill hold control (HHC), ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), and ISOFIX child seat anchors on both sides of the rear bench seat.

In the GLX, Suzuki has added front side airbags and side curtain airbags as standard equipment. There are six airbags in total. A digital immobiliser and security alarm are also included.

Colours and warranty

Suzuki offers the Fronx with a large catalogue of colours and colour combinations. Arctic White Pearl, Splendid Silver Pearl Metallic, Grandeur Grey Pearl Metallic, Celestial Blue Pearl Metallic, Lucent Orange Pearl Metallic and Bluish Black Pearl are the options.

Every Fronx has a 5-year/200 000 km promotional mechanical warranty and a 4-year/60 000 km service plan. A comprehensive 5-year roadside assistance plan and a 6-year unlimited kilometre anti-corrosion warranty are also included in the purchase price.

Pricing

  • Suzuki Fronx 1.5 GL manual – R279 900
  • Suzuki Fronx 1.5 GL auto – R299 900
  • Suzuki Fronx 1.5 GLX manual – R315 900
  • Suzuki Fronx 1.5 GLX auto – R335 900
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