When the Jimny five-door debuted on January 12, 2023, it took center stage and gave people here in the Philippines hope for a more practical version of the beloved mini 4x4. But, sharing in the limelight of the Jimny five-door is the car that could replace the recently discontinued Vitara here in the Philippines. The Suzuki Fronx, a new crossover that stood alongside the Jimny at the 2023 Auto Expo could be the one to fill the SUV role left behind by the Vitara.
Visually, the Fronx looks similar to the Grand Vitara at the front, with its trapezoidal mesh grille and chrome strip at each side of the Suzuki logo. The same goes for the split headlight design where the Daytime Running Lights are placed at the top, while the LED headlights are placed at the corners of the bumper. Other features include square black colored wheel arches, wraparound taillights, and skid plates at the front and back giving the Fronx a more buff look overall.
The Fronx is set to go up against the likes of the Toyota Raize and Kia Stonic. Compared to its would-be rivals, the Fronx is 3995 mm long, 17655 mm wide, and stands 1550 mm tall, making it the right size for that segment.
Inside the Fronx is a pleasantly appointed interior. Its appearance is what you would expect from slightly more expensive models in the market, thanks to faux metal finishes, silver-colored trim pieces, and a dual-tone look. The center of the dashboard is allotted for a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system, underneath it is an automatic climate control system available in high-grade models. A heads-up display, a 360-degree camera, a wireless charging pad, and rear aircon vents can also be found inside the Fronx.
Two power units are available for the Fronx. First is a naturally aspirated, 1.2-liter three-cylinder DualJet K12C with an output of 89 horsepower and 113 nm of torque. Power goes to the driven wheels through either a 5-speed manual gearbox or 5-speed automated manual transmission (AMT) Suzuki calls Auto Gear Shift (AGS).
The second power unit available is a much more powerful 1.0-liter BoosterJet three-cylinder engine that comes with mild hybrid technology. This engine puts out 99 horsepower with 148 nm of torque and can be paired to a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
With these figures, the options of engines and drivetrain, and its size, the Suzuki Fronx is a formidable competitor in the subcompact crossover segment. Will it be an adequate replacement for the Vitara though? We’ll never know unless Suzuki decides to make it available for us here in the Philippines.
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