Celebrations blasting into the new year with the Suzuki Fronx

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Celebrations blasting into the new year with the Suzuki Fronx

Last Christmas, buoyed by Wham, my family and I headed for Margate on the south coast of KwaZulu Natal in the new Suzuki Fronx. 

As that iconic jam by the legendary George Michael blasted on the speakers, we headed excitedly on the N3, stopping for biltong and other munchies. 

This holiday was all about family, good food, great music and memories to be made. 

It made the journey that much sweeter to have the delightful long-termer, the funky Suzuki Fronx. Our trusty steed took us safely on our five-hour trip to Durban and another two hours to Margate—a seven-hour ride in total.

Eventually, we arrived at our gorgeous holiday retreat overlooking the beach. Our trusty steed served us well. Achieving a frugal 6.2l/100km on our road trip, claimed consumption is 5.5l/100km. Since it was a small tank, we had to fill it twice. I already filled it to the brim before the journey began.  

A few things changed for me relating to the drive. I wasn't quite ecstatic when I first sampled the Fronx a few months back; however, I grew to like it in my second attempt. 

The adage, absence makes the heart grow fonder, is best suited for this instance. In my previous review, a qualm for me was it lacked power, and the high revs bothered me at the time due to the 4-speed automatic gearbox, which I felt needed an extra gear and still do. 

But my perspective shifted: the 1.5l naturally aspirated motor proved sufficient and economical. It had enough brute force to move when needed during the overtaking process. 

Pushing out a fair 77kw and 138Nm of torque was enough; however, where I found the chink in its armour. It has a tinny feel. As trucks pass, the Fronx seems slightly flustered, almost weak at the knees like on a first date. This is where the German counterparts shine. My brother Brenwin Naidu had the Volkswagen T-Cross as his long-termer, similar in stature to the Fronx. But sturdier in presence. There's more substance to the T-Cross. It has that solid German and premium feel. Of course, if you want to pay an additional R 200,000 for the T-Cross, then the budget-friendly Fronx. 

I had the top-spec GLX variant. Pricing starts at R279,900 for the GL model. The fancier GLX costs R315,900. Add R20,000 to both if you want a four-speed automatic over the five-speed manual. 

Of course, the name was weird, but the car looked attractive and had curb appeal. On looks alone, it scores. Suzuki took it up a notch and provided a fresh perspective on their brand, offering something different in the form of a sleek crossover Coupé silhouette. 

It always reminded me of a Baleno. But this one is grown-up and raised in a stance of about 170mm. The front fascia also had dials like its bigger brother, the Grand Vitara.

Delving into its handsome looks, it is trendy. Our GLX model boasted LED daytime running headlights, giving it extra zest and smartness. We glided over the bumpy road conditions along the way. Our test unit came with 16-inch alloy wheels coated in a black finish wrapped in high-profile tyres. 

The appreciation for the coupé-like design stood out like a sore thumb. The design had to be my favourite thing about the Fronx, but the boot space was not one to write home about. It measures about 304l. With all the rear seats down, one can achieve 604l. 

The luggage space was tight since it was just my loving parents, Edwin, Brenda, and me. We had to use the backseat, diminishing the possibility of having another two occupants as my poor mom had to get cosy with all the suitcases in the back. 

Behind the wheel on long journeys, It was perfect. Boasting a few modern amenities and a lovely minimalistic set-up made the Fronx a comfortable cabin. 

The GLX model features electric windows front and back, keyless entry, push-button start, climate control, wireless charging, a head-up display, and a nine-inch infotainment system, which is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible.

Regarding driving assistance systems, it had a reverse camera and a 360-degree surround view of the vehicle, which I still fail to see the point of; however, the front camera came into clutch for manoeuvring into tight parking spaces.

The safety package is noteworthy; the GLX model had six airbags and cruise control. All models have ABS braking and stability control.

While the Fronx demonstrates commendable capabilities, it could benefit from subtle refinements and enhancements. Nevertheless, it offers excellent value, making it a strong contender for the brand's top-selling position in 2024. As the preference for the Coupé aesthetic and mid-sized SUVs continues to grow, the Suzuki Fronx remains an appealing choice, particularly for budget-conscious buyers.



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