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Old 29th January 2006, 22:48   #1
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Smile Santro Xing 21,000 Kms review

I bought my Santro in February 02 after a lot of contemplating. But surprisingly this car wasn’t the obvious choice. I decided on this car by elimination of the following cars.

Palio. too big, heavy feel and Fiat
Indica. too crude, lack of fit an finish.
Alto vx. small,
Zen old body shell design, plus we already had one
Wagon R. the fact that my family didn’t like its height.

So Santro XS model it was.


Now on to the review.


EXTERIOR
The car has a nice pleasing overall appearance. The headlights and esp. the tail lights are well designed. Side profile isn’t too good, as the car does come out feeling very tall.

Rest not much to talk about, as I’m sure everyone has seen the car.


INTERIOR
1.
The interior plastics are definitely of a better quality than comparable cars. However, some of the pieces of plastics have an unfinished edge… not that they can cut you or any thing, but they just look bad.

2.
The instrument cluster is nice and legible, though I wish it had a tachometer.

3.
The steering wheel has a nice feel to hold. And on the XS model it is leather wrapped. But it becomes very Slippery due to even a tiny bit of moisture.

4.
The air vents look cool and function well but you can’t close them. The ac knob (fan blower setting) works well, but it isn’t lighted so you can’t see the fan speed when its dark (you will think I’m nitpicking, but it irks me)

5.
The RVM are big and provide a good view. But I wish it they were powered (at least on this model and at least the left one)

6.
The seatbelts are not height adjustable, so they tend to chafe the neck of a short person. The seat fabrics are nice and rich; however the seats themselves are too hard.
The rear seat feels awful (good thing I drive)
PS: I don’t know why, but the lower models have better and softer seats. My cuz sister had the XG model, and its seats felt just right

7.
The boot size is pretty good for a car of this car too.
And so is the overall space. Though the rear legroom is a tad less.


ENGINE and PERFORMANCE

1.
The car has a 1.1l engine, which is more than adequate city driving. it has ample low end torque to make life easy at low rpms(as compared to a zen)

2.
The gearshifts are crisp and light. The clutch is also light, though it kinda at one point of releasing it, suddenly kicks up.

3.
The engine is very noisy for all the shove it can manage (it’s still peppy). And mark my words… IT’L NEVER PUT A GRIN ON YOUR FACE LIKE A ZEN CAN.

4.
With the AC on, the performance does take a hit. Still manageable in the city, but enough to render it handicapped for highway use.

PS: this is my feeling. Don’t hold it too much against the car

5.
The car maxes out around 150
And runs in each gear to around
1st 40
2nd 75
3rd 115
4th 148
5th You must be kidding.

6.
Overall – a peppy car.


RIDE and HANDLING and BRAKING

1.
Owing to the tall design of the car, Hyundai had put stiffer springs to contain the body roll. Add to this the lower profile tyres… the ride quality has gone for a toss.
It feels bumpy (esp. at the rear), crashes into holes with a loud thud.
PS; its not so much a case of being bad, as it is a case of not being good.
And call me crazy but I put in 2 psi more in the tires, just cause I like to feel the road
bumps

2.
This car was never meant for enthusiasts. And it shows that at every corner. It rolls quite a lot, and the tyres screech while turning (ahem.. when faster than normal).

But still the feel through the steering is nice. And if one drives normally (like I do when with parents) there is nothing much to complain about. ;-)

3.
To start off.. the pedal is way over-servoed. And it’s very easy to lock up the brakes (if you are new).
But once you get used to it. It actually seems like a boon.
Overall, nice brakes.


FUEL ECONOMY

Can’t say much here, cause my driving style is very very erratic. But the worst I’ve got is 10.5kmpl (when I have a lead foot n I use the accelerator as a foot rest)

On an avg I get 12-13kmpl(AC and NON AC)

The best I’ve got is around 15(WITH AC)

Btw my driving is a mix of highway and city in 50 50 ratio.


GROUSES

First and Foremost.. this is an absolutely loveable car… but it isn’t perfect.
  • The seats in XS model are too hard
  • The cup holders are not too god for what they’re meant for.
  • The air vents can’t be closed.
  • The seat belts aren’t height adjustable.
  • The rear power window switches are behind the handbrake(I mean ***)
  • Steering wheel leather is very slippery(the engg. musta have been stoned when they chose it)
  • REST I CAN’T REMEMBER(BUT THEY ARE THERE)
GROUSES WITH THE DEALER and QUALITY and OWNERSHIP

Sadly the car did give its fair share of teething troubles, from
  • Severe pulling to left
  • A stubborn gearshift refusing to go to second without a fight.
  • A horn so so tight you needed to take mind of driving and consciously press it to get it to sound.
  • A clunking noise when it went over bad roads.
  • A steering wheel fixed off centre.
  • The factory approved security system, failing every month(btw its still not working)
My dealer was MGF(Delhi). And in short “polite, a wise-ass and sadly incompetent”
It took me over 6 trips to them to get things solved. And in fact a letter to the GM.

They gave all weird answers to avoid solving the issues
1. “let the car run for 2k and the gears will get soft”
2. “u have a leather wrapped wheel and the horn will be tight”
3. “the road is banked so it goes that way”
4. etc etc

After all this fiasco, the car has never bothered me in any way. And I’m really happy with it in the long run.


CONCLUSION
Overall a very good car, mainly city focused. Light and easy to use. Easily maneuverable(though being able to see the bonnet is a distant dream of mine).
Good quality interiors. Decent space. Fuel economy with the class in which it is.


Yes sure there are issues. Some bother me, and ones that don’t may be ones that bother you.



Q: BUT WUD I BUY THIS CAR AGAIN????
A: YES I WOULD.



Q: But would I buy it if I knew if I’d still have the same issues, same initial problems, but a better dealer ;-).
A: I STIL WOULD.




Try Adding a lil XING to your life. ;-)

Last edited by Fuelled : 29th January 2006 at 22:50.
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Old 30th January 2006, 01:10   #2
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hey, that was an honest review....

Quote:
Q: BUT WUD I BUY THIS CAR AGAIN????
A: YES I WOULD.
I have a wagon R, and somehow I am convinced that its a little better than Santro.... but given an option I wouldn't buy it again, I'd rather get a Santro.. I think one needs a change. And maybe the other car comes out to be much better!

Anyways my car has done about 60k kms... . but it isn't ageing!
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Old 30th January 2006, 12:21   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuelled
5.
The car maxes out around 150
And runs in each gear to around
1st 40
2nd 75
3rd 115
4th 148
5th You must be kidding.
Nice review and so very true in all departments (I have similar experience with my Xing XS).
I am just not comfortable with these readings...its more of dragging your Xing way beyond its limits and it actually starts crying
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Old 30th January 2006, 12:44   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vishaltanksale
Nice review and so very true in all departments (I have similar experience with my Xing XS).
I am just not comfortable with these readings...its more of dragging your Xing way beyond its limits and it actually starts crying

I found the older Santro (zipdrive) starting to cry after 90kmph...which is not the case with wagonR.... is xing ERLx any better??
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Old 30th January 2006, 15:04   #5
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  • Severe pulling to left - Mine pulls to the right tho' not too severe (again the guys at Modi hyundai in bombay haven't been able to fix it yet).
  • A stubborn gearshift refusing to go to second without a fight. - exactly!!!
no other problems with the car yet...it has run 8900 kms. they could have done a better job with the suspensions though. and yes, a tachometer would have been great!!!
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Old 30th January 2006, 15:33   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dceite
I found the older Santro (zipdrive) starting to cry after 90kmph...which is not the case with wagonR.... is xing ERLx any better??
hey dceite, i think the context here is that the top speeds quoted for each gear are a bit too much

the santro - older or the xing, has absolutely no problems going beyong 90 or 100 kmph. i have taken mine to beyond 120 kmph, where due to its small engine, its does start to beg for mercy, but never below 100.

maybe the car you drove had some problem ...
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Old 30th January 2006, 18:06   #7
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The Old Santro Type I or OHS could easily manage 140 with 2 people on board and being light od fuel as well. It took some efforts but it did it with wind flowing in the right direction.

Here is a pic which satya had posted long time back.

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Old 30th January 2006, 18:16   #8
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hehe ..yeah this was in a friends santro when i had done about 2500kms in 3 days ...the stock bridgestone tires just sukk ...but trying driving one with 175/60r13 and the whole drive changes
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Old 30th January 2006, 18:33   #9
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Nice Review. As a Xing owner I agree with most of the points, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuelled
I bought my Santro in February 02 after a lot of contemplating. But surprisingly this car wasn’t the obvious choice. I decided on this car by elimination of the following cars.
Are you sure about the date Feb 2002, the Santro Xing was launched in May 2003. I remember because we booked it within a month of the launch in June 2003.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuelled
4th 148
5th You must be kidding.
148 in 4th, you are kidding.

Last edited by Samurai : 30th January 2006 at 18:34.
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Old 30th January 2006, 18:37   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedsatya
hehe ..yeah this was in a friends santro when i had done about 2500kms in 3 days ...the stock bridgestone tires just sukk ...but trying driving one with 175/60r13 and the whole drive changes
And i remeber your comment after driving that : "I will never drive a Santro Again"
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Old 30th January 2006, 20:07   #11
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Quote:
I have a wagon R, and somehow I am convinced that its a little better than Santro....
maybe it is. i cant say cos i havent driven the wagon r alot. but i do think it has a bit more power.


Quote:
I am just not comfortable with these readings...its more of dragging your Xing way beyond its limits and it actually starts crying
sure its dragging the car beyond what it wants to go. it starts whining at around 120 only.
but then i've mentioned the top speeds, not the maximum comfortable speed in each gear.


Quote:
The Old Santro Type I or OHS could easily manage 140 with 2 people on board and being light od fuel as well. It took some efforts but it did it with wind flowing in the right direction.
i drive alone. but even wid a full fuel load it reaches 145ish briefly.


Quote:
Are you sure about the date Feb 2002, the Santro Xing was launched in May 2003. I remember because we booked it within a month of the launch in June 2003
thanx man for correcting me. . i picked up the RC of my other car.
my car is registered jan 2004.

Quote:
148 in 4th, you are kidding.
ok i'l get the pic of the speedo. i reach that speed everyday. BLESS the desesrted stretch of road i travel by each day.
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Old 30th January 2006, 20:53   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuelled
ok i'l get the pic of the speedo. i reach that speed everyday. BLESS the desesrted stretch of road i travel by each day.
Interesting, although Delhi roads are good for those speeds but where do u find space with so much traffic to achieve such speeds on regular basis....
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Old 2nd June 2006, 06:15   #13
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@Samurai.
I know its like dragging an old horse but this is the only post i ever created ;-)
But did 161-162(NO KIDDING) in my santro(all stock) at the last t-bhp delhi meet. Did 167 also but that was by slipsteaming a VTEC.


And for updating my review-

1) Noises from the left front suspension/wheel well, more like stress noise than clunking.
2) Tyres all shot(not surprisingly). But all seem to have been running major negative camber(Surprising, cause I service it every 2 months and in between when the alignment or balancing feels off)
3) Car now pulls right. But i've given up by now.
4) Engine seems free-er than before, revs harder accelerates better. Most probably cause I shifted to 91 octane
5) Cigarette lighter failed. Attributed to bad roads


Still a loveable car. But i'm kinda tired of it.
If only parents were cooperating. I'd be writing an initial impression

Last edited by Fuelled : 2nd June 2006 at 06:22.
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Old 2nd June 2006, 10:55   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuelled
2.
The instrument cluster is nice and legible, though I wish it had a tachometer.

3.
The steering wheel has a nice feel to hold. And on the XS model it is leather wrapped. But it becomes very Slippery due to even a tiny bit of moisture.

4.
The air vents look cool and function well but you canít close them. The ac knob (fan blower setting) works well, but it isnít lighted so you canít see the fan speed when its dark (you will think Iím nitpicking, but it irks me)

5.
The RVM are big and provide a good view. But I wish it they were powered (at least on this model and at least the left one)

6.
The seatbelts are not height adjustable, so they tend to chafe the neck of a short person. The seat fabrics are nice and rich; however the seats themselves are too hard.
The rear seat feels awful (good thing I drive)
PS: I donít know why, but the lower models have better and softer seats. My cuz sister had the XG model, and its seats felt just right

7.
The boot size is pretty good for a car of this car too.
And so is the overall space. Though the rear legroom is a tad less.

So True ! The biggest thing lacking is a tacho.

Quote:
ENGINE and PERFORMANCE

1.
The car has a 1.1l engine, which is more than adequate city driving. it has ample low end torque to make life easy at low rpms(as compared to a zen)

2.
The gearshifts are crisp and light. The clutch is also light, though it kinda at one point of releasing it, suddenly kicks up.

3.
The engine is very noisy for all the shove it can manage (itís still peppy). And mark my wordsÖ ITíL NEVER PUT A GRIN ON YOUR FACE LIKE A ZEN CAN.
Yes the Car feels very disconnected, ZEN on the other hand loves to be thrown around.

Quote:
4.
With the AC on, the performance does take a hit. Still manageable in the city, but enough to render it handicapped for highway use.
Yep Anything above 100kmph with AC is asking the engine to scream its lungs out.
Quote:
RIDE and HANDLING and BRAKING
2.
This car was never meant for enthusiasts. And it shows that at every corner. It rolls quite a lot, and the tyres screech while turning (ahem.. when faster than normal).

But still the feel through the steering is nice. And if one drives normally (like I do when with parents) there is nothing much to complain about. ;-)

3.
To start off.. the pedal is way over-servoed. And itís very easy to lock up the brakes (if you are new).
But once you get used to it. It actually seems like a boon.
Overall, nice brakes.
Xing feels much better when 175/60 potenzas no screeching and confident turning in.
Quote:
GROUSES

First and Foremost.. this is an absolutely loveable carÖ but it isnít perfect.
  • The seats in XS model are too hard
  • The cup holders are not too god for what theyíre meant for.
  • The air vents canít be closed.
  • The seat belts arenít height adjustable.
  • The rear power window switches are behind the handbrake(I mean ***)
  • Steering wheel leather is very slippery(the engg. musta have been stoned when they chose it)
  • REST I CANíT REMEMBER(BUT THEY ARE THERE)
My first car with my own money is this Xing XS that i drive. Luckily i didn't have as many problems with the car and dealer when i bought it in Jan 2k4. But yes i wasn't really satisfied with the big panel gaps on the body, lousy lousy lousy dealership, The amount of bookings these guys get is just too much of them to take care of each customer properly. But this is still better than the TATA dealership that had a "GOVT OFFICE" attitude.

My Grouses

1. very noisy engine
2. Awkwardly positioned accelerator pedal, long drives = pain in the ankle
3. Mine isn't the eLRX model, so there are 3 steps on the AC blower, Position 2 isn't enough and 3 is way too much, need something in between
4. Crappy A$$ !!! the service centers just never do the job properly


Likes

1. Overall excellent VFM
2. Car neevr gives up
3. pretty peppy, i've got 150kmph with full tank petrol + a friend + 10+kg SUbwoofer box
4. and i think the car looks good with OEM spoiler + my chrome alloys and fat rubber.
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Old 2nd June 2006, 11:25   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuelled
@Samurai.
I know its like dragging an old horse but this is the only post i ever created ;-)
But did 161-162(NO KIDDING) in my santro(all stock) at the last t-bhp delhi meet. Did 167 also but that was by slipsteaming a VTEC. [...]
I can believe that-- did you reach 160+ on 4th gear? My Santro ZipDrive (1 lit) crosses 155 kph (5th gear, speedo) on slightly downward slopes of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway quite routinely. So a Xing should do better. I am not sure exactly what is the top speed on level ground -- seems to vary from 135 to 145 kph (5th gear, speedo) in different conditions. Haven't really tried full throttle on fourth gear as the engine seems strained at speeds above 90kph. But it seems quite smooth in 5th gear at full throttle. The ZipDrive I think has a much lower peak rpm as compared to Xing, so I think that may be the reason for the engine sounding less strained.
Regards, rks
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