After saying goodbye to my Toyota Glanza, I switched to the Maruti Fronx turbo manual which just came to us. It was not a very big change for me per se because the Glanza and Fronx have very similar interiors since both are based on the Baleno, but boy oh boy the driving feel of the Fronx is so different due to the fact that the turbocharged engine isn’t offered on the Baleno/Glanza and it is so good!
I specifically wanted the manual variant because my last few long term test cars have been automatic only and the idea of a small and peppy manual car was getting me excited. On my way home from work the day I got this car, I had so much fun gunning it on whatever empty stretch I could find. The best part about this car is the way it accelerates from standstill to 100 km/hr.
It is quick off the line and even the in-gear acceleration times are very good. The turbo takes a while to spool and once you are in the peak rev band, the Fronx just goes on and on. If you go hard on the throttle right from the start, the car keeps wheel-spinning even in 2nd gear but I guess that’s a little too much. The most amount of fun can be had in short and quick bursts of acceleration.
I’ve done around 800 kms on the Fronx in the last 1 month and the fuel efficiency is hovering around the 12.5 km/l mark which I think is fair enough in Mumbai. The clutch is very light and the gear shifts also feel slick. The car has that peculiar 3-cylinder hum though. The tyres on the Fronx are much grippier than those on the Baleno/Glanza and the slightly extra ground clearance helps. The suspension so far has been performing its job of tackling potholes really well.
The Fronx has a nice touchscreen but the wireless Apple CarPlay is a bit iffy. The sound quality is also okay, and there surely is a lot of room for improvement especially considering how much the Fronx costs. I am a fan of the front seats. I really like the lumbar and under-thigh support offered here. Dare I say, it is better than my 4th gen Honda City. However, The vehicle could have done with better quality upholstery for sure.
I don’t use the HUD of the Fronx at all but the 360-view cameras have been useful on a lot of occasions. Just last evening when I was returning home, there were a few street dogs and their puppies on the road adjacent to my building and the puppies were carelessly running across the road and a little too close to my car for comfort. I didn’t want to take any chances so I slowed down to crawling speeds, turned on the front camera and proceeded ahead only when the way was clear.
I haven’t yet travelled in the car with a full load of passengers and their luggage but this month I attended way too many weddings back-to-back and the Fronx’s boot and rear seat were home to all my belongings and outfits. It is now the last weekend of 2023 and as I write this, I’m sitting next to the car on a beach reading a new book. Happy new year everyone.