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Old 19th August 2008, 01:34   #1
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Thumbs up Hyundai Santro Xing: Farewell after 3+ years

I took delivery of a brand new shiny black Hyundai Santro Xing XG on June 4th 2005. This was my first ever new car. I had owned an old Santro (99 model) prior to this, but opted to go for Hyundai's exchange offer and upgrade to a new and more reliable car.
A shade over 3 years and 21,000 kms later I realize that buying this car was one of the best decisions I have taken in my life. This has hands-down been the most reliable and trouble-free car that I have owned. The time has come, though, to sell the car and move onto other options. Taking this decision was very tough, as I am very attached to the car, and don't have a single complaint against it. I have maintained the car meticulously, and it still looks brand new, inside-out.

So here's a detailed ownership review of my Santro, broken down into the major characteristics of the car:

Performance:
Not exactly a criteria associated with an economy hatch, but anyone who has driven a Santro will vouch for its peppy and spirited engine, which is equal to most in city conditions. Great low-end torque, and decent mid range performance. Runs out of steam a bit after the 120 mark, but that's not a speed you drive at in the city. Doesn't mean that it's found wanting on the highway... I've cruised at 130+ comfortably, and even gone beyond 160 kph (speedo indicated). For the sceptics, there's a pic of the speedo at 160 in my gallery, clicked by Team BHPian planet_rocker
A special word about the gear shift - it has a really good feel to it. Very precise, short throws that make this car a pleasure to drive!

Handling, Ride, Manoeuverability:
The first thing I did after taking delivery of the car was to change the tyres from the stock 155/70/13 to 165/65/13. Got myself Goodyear Eagle GA Plus tubeless tyres along with Aura alloys. This was the single best modification I did to the car. Whereas a Santro on stock tyres feels vague and light, especially at high speeds, my car felt rock steady even at the above-mentioned speeds. Goodyear doesn't have a good reputation on this forum, but I really have had no reasons to complain!
The ride was not particularly cushy, as the Santro's suspension is a bit on the stiffer side. So you do feel the bumps and potholes, but nothing that unbearable either. I have a bad back, so if I can live with it, anyone can!
Manoeuverability is great - this is a true city car. Glides in and out of traffic with ease, and parking is never a problem. Basically, a breeze to drive.

Fuel Efficiency:
One of the main parameters when you buy a car, especially one in this segment. I am not a big fusspot when it comes to FE... am happy as long as it is respectable. Over the years I got approximately 13 kms to a litre in the city, with about 75% A.C. Add a couple of kpl for the highway. Good enough for me.

Interiors, Comfort, Accessories:
The interiors aren't the best in the world, but a few basic changes can make a world of difference. I fitted red & black combo art leather seats along with a leather wrapped steering and the boring, plasticky interiors started looking pretty smart!
The head and leg room are more than sufficient. I am 6'1" and have never felt deprived in these departments. However, the car is on the narrower side, so chances are that you will brush against your co-passenger from time to time (sometimes a good thing!!).
Back seat comfort isn't something I am really qualified to write about since I spent all of my time in the front. But I did get the feeling that people tend to get a little cramped in the back of the car. 3 adults will struggle, especially with the front seats pushed back.
The airconditioner is very effective, and I've had to turn down the fan speed to 1 after a bit on most occasions. The exceptions to this case were when the car was parked out in the hot summer sun... the A/C took a while to chill things down then, but this is something that any car (especially black ones) will face.

The Xing XG variant was the second from the top after the XS. There were a few additional accessories that the XS got, but those were easily fitted outside at a fraction of the cost. The XG came with central locking, power windows (front 2), power steering, rear washer & wiper, and internally adjustable ORVMs. The additional things I fitted over a period of time:
Fog lights, cigar lighter, spoiler, window tints, chrome exhaust tip.

ICE:
The car came with no ICE whatsoever. When I started off, I had very little knowledge about car audio. At that time, I was not a frequent visitor of the Team BHP ICE section! However, with whatever little I knew, I put together a budget system which consisted of:

- Pioneer DEH-P4790MP Head unit (CD/MP3/Radio)
- Pioneer Front Coaxials in stock locations (salvaged from my old car)
- Rear Coaxials in stock locations. Local maal, cleverly branded "Rockford"!

Down the line, I upgraded the rear speakers to MA Audio coaxials which made a world of a difference to the sound, and further augmented it with a Sumooko active sub, which added a punch to the setup. The ICE was rear-dominated and hardly audiophilic, but it sounded pretty damn nice to me!

Modifications:
This is the part where I got introduced to Team BHP and the seeds of modding a car were sown in my brain! I made two mods of note to the car, apart from the tyres.
- K&N conical performance filter with custom intake pipe
- OWS Iridium spark plugs

The plugs were handy to have, and while they didn't make any appreciable difference in performance, they did eliminate any sluggishness, especially after cold starts. I was very happy with the K&N filter. It added a very nice growl to the engine note, which made the driving experience more fun! And while I don't have any dyno charts to prove it, the car did seem a tad faster and more responsive with the filter in place. Some may say it's all in the head, but hey... the point is to enjoy your ride, right? For the record though, I haven't been outrun by any other Santro to date, and have given some more powerful cars a bit of a heartburn. To me, that's proof enough!

A.S.S Experience:
Hyundai has one of the widest A.S.S networks in the country, and their service is generally good. I've never really had any reason to complain, and have been a satisfied Hyundai customer overall. I've never had to get any major repair work done, mechanical or otherwise - just the normal scheduled servicings with minor fixes here and there. Like I mentioned right at the start, this car has been a rock... very, very reliable.

In Conclusion:
The Santro has served me tirelessly and faithfully. It's been my workhorse for the past few years, and during my Lancer restoration project, it was this car's clinical reliability that kept me sane. My other car, let's just say, took a bit of time to settle down...lol! It's primarily been a city dweller, but has done a few long distance stints too, like the one to Santiniketan with some other Team BHPians. It's ploughed through flooded streets with bonnet-level water when buses and trucks were stalling by the wayside. It has seen many fond moments with friends and family, and has seen some not so pleasant ones as well.
I am selling the car because I need the money to finance my next automotive venture, and also because this is the optimum time to sell. The resale value is decent at the moment but this will obviously reduce down the line. I do not want to sell her at a pittance. I hope the person who buys the Santro takes care of her as much as I did.

I call this car my "Baby", and it really pains me to part with her. It's hard for most to understand or appreciate the bonding between a man and his car, but I believe this forum has people who do. Apologies for the long post and to those who've read this far, my thanks.

Goodbye Baby. I will really miss you.
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Old 19th August 2008, 01:40   #2
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Default Santro pics - 1

Some pics of the Santro...

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Hyundai Santro Xing: Farewell after 3+ years-santro_speedo_2.jpg

Last edited by razor4077 : 19th August 2008 at 01:49.
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Old 19th August 2008, 01:55   #3
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Default Santro pics - 2

Some pics taken during the Team BHP trip to Santiniketan...

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Hyundai Santro Xing: Farewell after 3+ years-santro8.jpg

Hyundai Santro Xing: Farewell after 3+ years-santro9.jpg
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Old 19th August 2008, 01:58   #4
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Hey Razor, that was a neat description of the car. I am sure you would be getting PM's from some asking you how much you are selling this for.

Now the questions is WHAT is your next ride ?? Tell me its a Getz CRDi
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Old 19th August 2008, 02:11   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by senindra View Post
Hey Razor, that was a neat description of the car. I am sure you would be getting PM's from some asking you how much you are selling this for.

Now the questions is WHAT is your next ride ?? Tell me its a Getz CRDi
Hey Indra,
I'd actually already put this up for sale in the Classifieds section:
Team-BHP Classifieds - 2005 Santro Xing XG - Powered by PhotoPost Classifieds

As for the next ride, watch this space... will be posting an update soon
And nope, not a Getz CRDi. Loved the engine, but I wasn't too impressed by its handling characteristics and the glaring lack of safety equipment (ABS, rear discs, air bags), even as options. IMHO, these are very important in a car as fast as the CRDi.
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Old 19th August 2008, 02:14   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razor4077 View Post
Loved the engine, but I wasn't too impressed by its handling characteristics and the glaring lack of safety equipment (ABS, rear discs, air bags), even as options. IMHO, these are very important in a car as fast as the CRDi.
True, very true. However something just keeps pulling me to that car. I had decided and n-e-a-r-l-y booked a Swift VDi ABS but it just might now be the Getz CRDi though. Well let me not go off-topic here. Will watch this space for your new ride.
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Old 19th August 2008, 06:21   #7
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I could see the love you had with the machine, black beauty. Well maintained.
Now, time to wait for your updates on the next car
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Old 19th August 2008, 10:34   #8
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Razor, that's a good parting review of a car. I had a santro xing for 5 years and as you mentioned, it performed admirably well, and ran tirelessly and faithfully.
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Old 19th August 2008, 10:56   #9
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Goodbye Santro. Have a nice life ahead. Let me just say that this was one of the best maintained Santro I've ever seen.

Now, hello.....
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Old 19th August 2008, 11:48   #10
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Goodbye Black Beauty - i fell in love with this when we went for a drive to Santiniketan - this car was the Best maintained santro i have ever come across. i am sure the car went in good hands.

the pics of the car at santiniketan came out quite well

Farewell again, Black Beauty
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Old 19th August 2008, 12:14   #11
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That is a beautiful black Xing XG. We have an XL in the family... love it so far.
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Old 19th August 2008, 12:15   #12
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This is probably the first and last Santro that I liked. (FYI I hate Hyundai like anything) I had probably got a ride in this car more than anyone in this forum. One incident I wont forget is when the car was turned into a small motor boat on the water logged roads of Sector V(Kolkata IT Hub). I don't know how it survived that day. IMHO, I think its probably faster than Phoenix
Now its time for a change. So lets welcome the beast (oops I think I dropped a hint). But Razor, I think you need a babe soon, because the next one cant be called "My Baby"...lol
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Old 19th August 2008, 12:34   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrooooooom View Post
This is probably the first and last Santro that I liked. (FYI I hate Hyundai like anything) I had probably got a ride in this car more than anyone in this forum. One incident I wont forget is when the car was turned into a small motor boat on the water logged roads of Sector V(Kolkata IT Hub). I don't know how it survived that day. IMHO, I think its probably faster than Phoenix
Now its time for a change. So lets welcome the beast (oops I think I dropped a hint). But Razor, I think you need a babe soon, because the next one cant be called "My Baby"...lol

Correctoo. "My Beast...." is a better description !
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Old 19th August 2008, 15:04   #14
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Just a curiosity question - why do people delete/wipe out their registration number on the car images while posting? Is there some security angle to it ? I hope this is not seriously OT.
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Old 19th August 2008, 15:22   #15
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sudipto da,

here is the simple rule:

if you have clicked a pic of a car without taking permission of the owner - you should hide / mask the registration number for security, privacy, etc.

as in these cases (santro pics - 1 & 2), the registration numbers were masked when the pics were uploaded.

if you see my gallery/garage pics you will see that i have not masked the registration numbers. but there is one guy @ O_rkut who has been stealing pics of my Palio GTX from my album and uploading them back in his album - even after repeated warnings, he has not deleted them...
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