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Photos By Chinmay Kulkarni

Back in 2017, when NEXA was relatively new, Maruti Suzuki launched an RS variant of their much-loved hatchback, the Baleno, which was powered by the 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine. I had a brief go at it, and boy, I was left impressed with the amount of punch it offered. This was at a time when the concept of a three-cylinder turbo petrol mill was relatively new. However, it faced setbacks during the BS6 emission norms phase, only to make a triumphant comeback last year with the Maruti Suzuki Fronx.

Anyway, back then, I missed out on the opportunity to experience the Fronx firsthand. But fate seemed determined to rectify that oversight when, unexpectedly, a Fronx appeared at our office doorstep. To my excitement, it was the turbo MT variant, the one I had been eager to test. Without a blink, I seized the keys, before any of my colleagues could beat me to it.

Aimed with the motive to test this compact SUV, I left my living quarters on a rather early Wednesday morning and reached the Lavasa ghats to push the Fronx at the corners and it put a nice wide grin on my face. It’s remarkable to think that just a year ago, the Fronx made its debut, and since then, it has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity, surpassing the milestone of a lakh units sold. What exactly is responsible for its success—its pleasing performance, its undeniable charm? Who knows.

Fronx Tirth (6)

The Fronx’s true magic lies beneath its bonnet. The impressive 1-litre K-Series turbo Boosterjet engine is capable of churning out a formidable 99 bhp and 15 kgm of torque. Paired with the smooth-shifting 5-speed manual gearbox, driving this powerhouse is an absolute delight. For those who prefer an even more effortless experience, there’s also the option of a seamless 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, a feature I have yet to experience but eagerly anticipate trying out.

While the interior may seem familiar, it is sufficiently modern

Step into the Fronx, and you’ll immediately be enveloped in a sense of familiarity and convenience that’s known with the Maruti Suzuki family. This compact SUV is equipped with what we know as modern features, including a Heads-up Display, a 360-degree camera, and a nine-inch Smart Play Pro+ infotainment system complete with an ARKAMYS stereo system. One of the standout features for me is Maruti’s user-friendly infotainment system—it’s effortlessly easy to navigate, with a responsive touchscreen interface. Plus, the added convenience of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity is a game-changer, a feature that even many luxury manufacturers overlook, which I completely fail to understand why.

Fronx Tirth

The seating, both in the front and rear, provides ample back support and is quite comfortable overall. Rear legroom is also generous, ensuring that four adults can sit in relative comfort. Additionally, the 308-litre boot offers sufficient space for luggage, and there are quite a few cubby holes scattered around for your knick-knacks.

As soon as I hit the expressway with the Fronx, it became evident that its suspension had been finely tuned to prioritize comfort. However, the real fun began when I veered off the smooth tarmac and onto a rugged, unpaved dust patch. Suddenly, the Fronx felt more grounded and less prone to floating. Once I started playing in the dust, it didn’t faze this compact SUV, thanks in part to its 190 mm ground clearance coming into play.

The Fronx can play the role of an average daily driver and then something that can inject a healthy dose of excitement into your weekdays and weekends alike. Whether you’re navigating through your daily commute or craving an adrenaline rush on your day off, the Fronx is more than capable of delivering the goods.

After that exhilarating session, the car wore a coat of dust and grime, but my mind was refreshingly clear. It’s amazing how a fun-filled morning can simply involve you hitting the road, carving through corners, skidding on gravel, and kicking up dust—all on a weekday morning. And to top it off, enjoying a plate of Puneri Misal along the way. Pure bliss!