New Baleno-based Suzuki Fronx planned for SA
Besides the 5-door Jimny, Suzuki has a new SUV that is earmarked to join the growing SUV fold in South Africa.
The Fronx is based on the Baleno/Starlet platform and will slot below the new Grand Vitara with its new Crafted Futurism design language, which looks funky if the pictures are to go by.
Spawning a coupe-like design, the new Fronx comes with an imposing front grille, LED head and taillights, plus LED light strips that remind us of the Hyundai Kona. As it's a common practice amongst vehicle manufacturers of late, the rear is fitted with an LED light bar.
Considering buyers looking for more space will eventually choose the Fronx over the Baleno, it's a margin bigger at a length of 3,995 mm and a wheelbase of 2,520 mm, which matches that of the Baleno.
But where does the Fronx fit in the segment? Well, in terms of size, it matches the dimensions of the Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger. For example, the Magnite measures 3,994 mm in length, while the Kiger is marginally shorter at 3,991 mm but with a similar-in-size 2,500 mm wheelbase.
Suzuki has yet to mention the boot space, but it should be in the same regions of 336 and 405 generous litres, like the Magnite and Kiger.
Suzuki didn't detail the exact connectivity levels of the cabin. Still, we're optimistic that it will lean on the side of well-equipped, thanks to a high-definition touchscreen, high-gloss metal touches, plus a heads-up display.
Only two engine options will power the Fronx. First in line is the 1.0-litre turbocharged mild-hybrid engine with 75 kW and 147 Nm paired either with a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission. On the other hand, a 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine can be had with either a 5-speed manual or an AMT transmission. The engine makes 67 kW, and 113 Nm channelled to the front axle.
For the vehicles Suzuki plans to introduce in SA this year, the Fronx is one of three, and as mentioned earlier, it will slot below the Grand Vitara when it touches down on local soil. It will join the local Suzuki SUV range that consists of the Vitara, Vitara Brezza and Jimny.
If you take a closer look at the crossover SUV fold in SA, it has seen significant growth over the past few years as more manufacturers ditch sedans in favour of SUVs. If Suzuki prices the Fronx competitively, it will undoubtedly be a local hit.