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Old 6th January 2008, 11:30   #1
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Default Ode to my bug-eyed toy -Santro XG.

Car buying can be a very involved affair. Many people go to showrooms sometimes with their heads, sometimes with their hearts and sometimes with their wallet. And some other times with terror that the salesperson will force you to buy one. Manytimes people have already decided on a model and are trying out the others just to prove to themselves how bad the others are. But there are somefolks out there who genuinely test drive vehicles without any bias before purchase.

I happen to be not one of them.

My first purchase was a entirely a "heart" affair. But today we are talking about my second purchase in Bangalore which was a "head" affair.

Need = city car. decent space, decent looks, decent on pocket (read good gas milage), in short everything you need within a decent sum. Unfortunately laws of physics and economics disagrees completely.

Therefore soon enough, a young man wearing neat clothes, shakes hand with me and hands over the keys of an shiny black Santro XG (2005).
I dont believe in car pujas, I dont get the need to put garlands on the grill or lemon to be sqashed by the tires (this is purely a personal bias, I have nothing against folks who does). I talk to my vehicles. So told the bug eyed black beauty to be good to me and take my family home safely.

And it did and how.

Two years of service, 14K kilometers, several highway trips including one to Cochin/Ooty and never a squeak, rattle, break-down, puncture on the move (actually this is hardly a car issue, but still..)

Here is what a Santro can do, in my opinion. Take you from point A to point B, offer a first class city ride, provided the roads are of good quality, the back benchers are decently comfortable. In fact what I noticed the more the weight on the rear seat, the better the ride. Gear shift is very slick and it can easily pull the car in third or fourth gear without having to downshift. A little pressure on the accelerator and the over eager 1.1L tiny motor lunges the car into happy momentum. This of course is subject to how fat your friends or family are. Very smooth and precise steering, the power steering is so over engineered that you dont feel a thing while taking turns. Exterior paint job is great, with wax polish (Turtle) the body used to shine and act like a mirror.

Lets see, in corporate lingo, what is the development need for the Santro (hate to say you suck). Drab grey interiors. Come on, it doesnt cost too much to substitute the carbon black/talc combo with beige pigments on those polypropylene articles. Bumpy ride, man if the roads you travel have not come in contact with what is called a tar-technology, the Santro can give you jolly nice jiggles all around. And if you decide to practice for F1 in the Santro, better make sure that your insurance is all set before making that sharp turn at 60kmpl. Body roll is excessive and pretty scary. Due to the textured surface, the door handles, side rubber and bumber rubber guards retain dust after washing (maybe a hard water issue) giving it a dirty look.

Some more points worth mentioning. Air con is decent. My version had a three level blower knob, which meant that in second position noise was a bit high. The latest Santros come with 4 point adjustment which may be better. A comfortable cruise speed is 70-90kmph. Anything above causes too much noise and vibration. Brakes are decent, once I was driving a full load (5 people and their laptops) and the car in front (about 2 m ahead) stopped abruptly. We were probably doing ~30kmph and to say the least the brakes did the job. Trunk space is decent, can pack-in all the weekend grocery and when needed, a 30 inch suitcase. When we (me and wife) came back from Cochin we folded the rear seats and packed in stools, side tables, lampstands, rugs, blankets, seven pots with plants in them, two wooden speaker units, coconuts, a wine making clay jar and several suitcases. Now isnt that great?

Creature comforts: We had fitted an front arm rest (after-market) that was pretty useful for long rides and had 4 speaker Xplod system with mp3 player.

The ubiquitous and inevitable section on gas mileage: distance from home to office in Bangalore was 4kms. During weekdays Santro (after odometer reading of 6-7k) used to give ~13-14kmpl. Longer weekend city drives 14-15kmpl. Highway 18-19kmpl. These figures came from Shell normal petrol which beyond doubt returned better figures.

Service from Hyundai was great. I used to go to the Whitefield station (actually it is near Brookfield). Good experience with the folks there, mild mannered, knowledgeable and professional. Any kind of minor issues, example mud inside the brake drums, were resolved efficiently. They used to pick the car from office and return in the evening during the service days.

Good stories come to an end. I had to sell the Santro due to relocation issues. I dont really miss the Santro as I drive an Ikon these days, but fond remembrances come by thinking of balmy weekends drives around Bangalore city for two years.
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Old 6th April 2011, 23:17   #2
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Default Re: Ode to my bug-eyed toy -Santro XG.

This will probably be a surprise pop up on your user cp.
It was nice reading your views on the santro. Relate to it as my first purchase was a hatch.
And i too remember those exciting first road trips we took with our first car.
Maybe we shall post nostalgic first car experiences soon.
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Old 14th April 2011, 20:56   #3
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Default Re: Ode to my bug-eyed toy -Santro XG.

Gosh, I didnt know you had unearthed my shame review. This was when I was learning to live with TBHP. Can this review be deleted?
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Old 15th April 2011, 00:32   #4
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Default Re: Ode to my bug-eyed toy -Santro XG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dot View Post
Gosh, I didnt know you had unearthed my shame review. This was when I was learning to live with TBHP. Can this review be deleted?
Now come on @dot, the review is not bad at all. It was a nice trip down memory lane indeed.
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Old 15th April 2011, 13:39   #5
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Default Re: Ode to my bug-eyed toy -Santro XG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdsaab View Post
It was a nice trip down memory lane indeed.
Review on my review: I wish it had a less dramatic start. And a little more on details. Perhaps this is good for the "your-previous-car" thread.

Having said this, I still turn my head when I spot a well maintained Black Santro. Sometimes when spotting a nice Santro I tell my son that baba and mama used to have this when you were in Mama's tummy. Ah, nostalgia! (aka @Guderian)
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