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Old 14th July 2021, 03:58   #196
Tgo
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Default Re: Hyundai Santro : Official Review - Replacing Grandma's Car

A step down isn’t always a step back.


For as long as I can remember, our house has always been a 2-car garage. One that my dad used which was also assigned road trip duties and the other was the beater which was primarily driven by my grandmother. Their usage summary over the years, looks like this:

90’s | Dad - Omni ( 97,000 km) | Grandma - Omni (~ 43,000 km)
00’s | Dad - Qualis (215,000 km) | Grandma - Snatro Xing (27,000 km)
10’s | Dad - Duster (202,000 km)| Grandma - Figo Petrol (37,800 km)
2015 | I bought the Duster AWD
2020 | My brother bought the Nexon
If one excludes these newer additions which are stationed outside my home town, the garage still retains its 2-car status, even with my grandmother turning 80 next month.


T-8 days - Shots fired

Hyundai Santro : Official Review-1.jpg

It was almost a week ago that the Figo was sent-in for a service. One which was long overdue. The major complaint was that the AC was not cooling. Ford guys were quick in picking up and delivering the car within 2 days. The bill came up to an amount which is safe to say was at least two times higher than its last insurance premium. With the car pushing 11 years of age and the dents and dings it had picked up, it seemed like a burden to get it back in pristine condition. So with the basic service done, my dad had already convinced my grandma to think of replacing it with some newer car, possibly an automatic.

T-7 days - 5 Lac doesn’t cut the cake anymore
He relayed the intention to me late in the evening while I was going to call it a day. I look up the prices of cars available in the 5 Lac (ex-showroom) price bracket. Find out that the 5 Lac (on-road) price bracket in which the Figo was bought back in 2010 has a lot of new and not-likeable cars in it (based on their sales figures and appeal). Eg. Kwid, Redigo, Triber, Alto, S-presso, Celerio
Realization 1 - 7 lac is the new 5 lac after a decade with the Figo
T-6 days - Is this becoming the next case of revenge buying
I scour through cars in the 5-10 Lac segment. Eg. Polo, Magnite, Kiger, WagonR, Grand i10 Nios, Tiago. Some appeal with their features and some feel like the sensible thing to do. With lots of confusion, and an overload of segment-first features, I realize I cannot make a decision in just one day.
Realization 2 - Grandma doesn’t care about being segment first anymore.
Realization 3 - Over the years her driving may reduce further and the cars considered should have good resale value in the 5-year time frame.

T-5 days - Lets pool-in and go electric
Discuss with my brother and plant the seed to go electric. According to the devised plan, we need to convince dad to pool in and get a car to be shared between him and grandma. They both decide the days when they get the car for their needs. I travel home and pitch the Idea to Dad (stating section 80EEb rebate and reduced running costs due to installed rooftop solar PV micro plants at both our houses etc.)
Realization 4 - A well informed dad isn’t going to dive into EVs yet, even though being really impressed with the TD of the Nexon EV last year.

T-4 days - Mass market king comes for a TD after almost 2 decades
The list is down to 3 serious contenders:
Santro Asta AMT - doesn’t sell well (Why?)
Tiago ZXA+ AMT - has poor resale
WagonR ZXI AMT - can’t go wrong, can it?
The Wagon-R comes in for a TD. Grandma drives it. Finds the brakes too sensitive. Has no problems adhering to the rule of keeping the left arm and leg paralyzed. There is too much room inside. The visibility is great. TD done in 15 minutes. Discuss with dad about the gear shift quality and he admits there is some delay in shifting but it wasn’t jerky as such, just a bit slow and mainly because you have nothing to do while changing gears so you go ahead and press the throttle further anyway. I couldn’t take the TD. Discussed with grandma separately and told her the key take-aways - comfortable seating posture, better ingress and egress, smaller dimensions, better visibility etc., to most of which she seemed to agree.

Maruti guy sends us a quotation. Is uncertain of the expected price hike. States a 2-4 week waiting period of ZXI AMT. The next lower (VXI) trim comes with a smaller 1.0 Ltr 3 cylinder engine and misses out on the passenger airbag. Paltry discounts on offer. 1.40 Lac quoted for the old car in exchange.

Tata showroom closest to us did not answer the phone. Hopeless.

Hyundai was no less with their chat bot and phone numbers which one cannot connect to if dialing from a landline. The closest Hyundai showroom is owned by a 2nd contact of my dad. Was a breeze from there on.

T-3 days - What can one do on a Sunday?
Managed to get the Santro AMT Magna for a test drive. Grandma might have been a bit nostalgic but she masked it really well. Was eager to learn the controls. Managed to drive the short route easily. No hiccups or misguided search for the gear/clutch lever. In between she stopped and said I want to check the reverse too. Did a 3 Point turn. Drove back home. Touched a few surfaces, asked a few questions. Looked around, in the boot, the engine bay and then walked inside leaving my dad and I to discuss other points.

Hyundai Santro : Official Review-2a.jpg

I drive it with 4 adults on-board. Totally floored by the look and feel of the interior plastics. Even the monochromatic audio system display with warm amber lighting on the Magna variant looked quite nice. The top of the steering was hindering the line of sight to the speedo but pushing the seat back a bit solved that problem too. The dials looked swell. The gear position indicator was backlit. The doors felt heavy, heavier than the old Santro / i10 at least. Seats were comfortable. Visibility outside was as expected. With four on board, creep function worked well on level surfaces. The rear bobbed up and down on sharp bumps only. Manual mode felt unnecessary. Slight roll back on incline was understandable and manageable. Something one shouldn’t expect an AT car to deal with on its own (being reasonable here when migrating from a MT car without hill hold). The Steering felt magically light even when the engine wasn't running.

We come back home and discuss the price. As usual, we ask for the top-end Asta trim pricing. The sales guys suggest the Magna trim. We ask remind him that we need 2 airbags at least (... well that’s the most on offer here). He suggests going for the Sportz trim as in comparison to Asta, we would only lose on:
  • Rear windshield Wash-Wipe and defogger
  • Vanity mirror on passenger sun visor
  • Eco-coating on the AC evaporator core (cooling coil)
  • Chrome grill surround on the front bumper

Done Deal. We ask for ready stock colours. White, Silver and Gray was available. White okayed by grandma.

Figo needed to be sold off. While we were on the test drive, the used car surveyor had worked up a low quote on the Figo which after putting our foot down was brought up to 1.60 Lac. Fair price I would say.

Hyundai Santro : Official Review-2.jpg

We visit the showroom as they arranged the Sportz trim for display from the stock-yard. We like what we see. Discuss the price, discounts and offers:
5K - Corp/Retd. Service person
10K - Exchange bonus
15K - July 2021 Offer by Hyundai
15K - Discount on insurance
8K - when you know the Boss offer
Considering add-ons such as Extended Warranty till 5th year/100K km, Essential Accessories, Zero-Dep insurance, Shield Of Trust package and deducting all discounts and value of old car the final On-road price for the Santro Sportz AMT was INR 5,01,000/-.

T-2 Days - Monday, here, take our money

Hyundai Santro : Official Review-3.jpg

The Hyundai used car (H-promise) guy comes home and gets the paperwork (a collection rather, nicely arranged in the form of a booklet) for the old car signed. We renew the PUC certificate, fish out the original printed-on-paper RC, insurance papers and place them in the glove box along with the original owner’s manuals. Drive the car around the block, fill up the washer tank, top up the tyre pressure. Remove personal belongings. Unpair and delete all devices from the audio system. Put in a cancellation request for the fastag. Removed the windshield ID sticker of our residential colony. Put both the keys in the same key ring and parked the car in the drive-way. It was now to be driven one last time to the showroom where it meets its replacement.

The sales guy comes home to collect the cheque for the new car. He gets on the phone with the Boss who states the final amount to be written on the cheque. Pleasantries exchanged. Paperwork gets signed for the registration work. I go to the showroom to look at the seat cover options and finalize them.

T-1 Day - Number allotted, car prepared for delivery
We wanted to get 6162 but the rules now made it a poor financial decision. However, the allotted number was a rearrangement of the same digits - 6621, by pure coincidence. A message is sent to the sales guy to ensure the following before delivery:
- clean carpets,
- Install all accessories as part of the kit except for steering cover,
- removal of all protective plastic films from the interior trims,
- not to use polish on dashboard,
- not to install dealer advertisement sticker on the exterior,
- not to stick any idol / perfume on the dashboard
- Installation of registration mark sticker on passenger side top corner of windshield
Hyundai Santro : Official Review-4.jpg

The guy promptly sent us a picture with all installations done as per instructions by the evening.

T-7 hours - Thoughts as I type this report late at night.
I have gone through multiple sources to gather information (print and video) on the Santro. I was quite puzzled to see the low sales numbers this car is doing. Was even told it was a mediocre product. I was skeptical about losing on the cabin space in comparison to the Figo we were replacing. Here are some thoughts on the theme - Taking a step down isn’t always taking a step back.:
  • Proof is in the pudding - I never considered the Santro thinking it was a big step back when replacing the Figo
  • Decade old cars are no match to current cars from even a segment or two below in many aspects.
  • For the elderly, tallboy designs offer really unparalleled practicality and comfort over short runs
  • A smaller, underpowered car is okay when there is no need to carry passengers or luggage. Since my grandfather passed away, there is no requirement to have extra space for a wheelchair and a caretaker
  • It is good to simplify things as you age. Drop out some features (intermittent wiper speeds, rear wash-wipe, keyless entry and go etc) in this case.
  • An AMT gearbox rather than being an irritation might actually help my grandmother regain the confidence she lost by not driving too often in the past year and dealing with ever more crowded streets
  • Look, Touch and Feel of the interiors, if done well, is a big differentiating factor.
  • Even the cheaper cars with thin door panels come with intrusion prevention bracing in the doors
  • The biggest pat on the back TATA deserves is for pricing spares and components for its new range realistically and passing on the benefit of localized sourcing to its customers even though they do not manufacture at a scale even remotely close to MSIL. Tata cars have really affordable components. I have spent many hours scanning through OEM parts catalogues on boodmo and verifying this.
Hope this car serves us well for the next 10 years.

Last edited by Tgo : 14th July 2021 at 04:20.
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Old 14th July 2021, 11:30   #197
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Default Re: Hyundai Santro : Official Review - Replacing Grandma's Car

Bliss to read such good content, Congrats on you purchase, pleasantly surprised and i am in awe for i have never seen or heard of an 80 year old person driving (touchwood), God bless and happy miles with your new car, i have had the experience of driving the car for a few days when my uncle left it with us, it is a no nonsense car in city barring the few AMT shortcomings everyone is aware of.

[/quote]The biggest pat on the back TATA deserves is for pricing spares and components for its new range realistically and passing on the benefit of localized sourcing to its customers even though they do not manufacture at a scale even remotely close to MSIL. Tata cars have really affordable components. I have spent many hours scanning through OEM parts catalogues on boodmo and verifying this.[/list][/indent]
Hope this car serves us well for the next 10 years.[/quote]

I think you meant HYUNDAI here
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Old 14th July 2021, 11:32   #198
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Default Re: Hyundai Santro : Official Review

Congratulations Tgo on the New Car in the Family !!
Its good to see that Santro in its current Avataar is so practical and you've chosen it for your GrandMa. I had taken a test drive of the AMT version when it was launched and It was smoother than the Dzire's AMT IIRC.
Loved the way you mentioned the last moments of the Figo before handing it over.
I used to live in Jaipur some 15 years back and it used to be a driver friendly city with wide and jam free roads but things have changed for worse as I hear it from my friends but not as bad as cities like Kolkata/Bangalore.
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Old 14th July 2021, 12:45   #199
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Default Re: Hyundai Santro : Official Review

A good decision in my opinion. Santro AMT is a great car in its segment and might have done even better if they would have priced its variants more smartly. Magna AMT with added dual airbags and day/night IRVMs would have been a great competitor to Wagon R AMT. Sportz AMT gets a bit pricier as spending a few more gets you Nios Magna AMT which is a much better car in all aspects.

I had finalised Wagon R Vxi(O) AMT between the 2 options as my decision tilted more towards AMT reliability in the long run as Hyundai was new to this technology in India. It was more of a brain winning the battle between brain and heart. Still love the Santro a lot for the refined ride and interior quality!
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Old 14th July 2021, 17:07   #200
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Default Re: Hyundai Santro : Official Review

Although it is quite rarely or the lack of it, that we hear folks buying a car for a 80 year old family member, I must appreciate this effort. There is a trend of taking away independence of senior citizens when they are still capable. I say let them enjoy while they can. We too will be in their shoes one day.

I would have gone for the variant with the rear wipe/wash though. But then there are other cars/members at home, so I guess it's fine. Although I am no fan of AMTs, have read that the ones in Hyundai are perfectly tuned. Wishing your grandma a pleasant driving experience.
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Old 14th July 2021, 17:42   #201
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Default Re: Hyundai Santro : Official Review - Replacing Grandma's Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tgo View Post
even with my grandmother turning 80 next month.
I am not sure how much private you/your family are but can we please please please have some pictures of your grandmother on driver's seat. She might be a normal mom/grandmother for you but she is a legend for us and worth celebrating! We certainly don't get to see such amazing sheros every other day.

PS: Congratulations on the Car!
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Old 14th July 2021, 17:50   #202
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Default Re: Hyundai Santro : Official Review

For once, I was more glued to the intended owner rather than the car itself. More power to your family!!!!
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Old 14th July 2021, 22:56   #203
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Default Re: Hyundai Santro : Official Review

Hyundai Santro : Official Review-ckfh4512.jpg
Many thanks to you all for the good wishes for the owner and appreciating the write-up.

The car has been delivered and it is parked in the drive for now. Have a few guests at home and will surely try to get a picture while going on a drive with her soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M.Dua View Post
Quote:
The biggest pat on the back TATA deserves is for pricing spares and components for its new range realistically and passing on the benefit of localized sourcing to its customers even though they do not manufacture at a scale even remotely close to MSIL. Tata cars have really affordable components.
I think you meant HYUNDAI here
No, there's no mistake here, I meant TATA Motors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HooghlyBoy View Post
I used to live in Jaipur some 15 years back and it used to be a driver friendly city with wide and jam free roads but things have changed for worse as I hear it from my friends but not as bad as cities like Kolkata/Bangalore.
It is still manageable. Best part is you can time the commute and your errands in the afternoon. A time which many avoid going out due to the heat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick Avi View Post
Nios Magna AMT which is a much better car in all aspects.
In our case the outward visibility and the compact dimensions which are easy to judge was the priority. Surely, the Nios is a better car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackDay View Post
Although it is quite rarely or the lack of it, that we hear folks buying a car for a 80 year old family member, I must appreciate this effort. There is a trend of taking away independence of senior citizens when they are still capable. I say let them enjoy while they can. We too will be in their shoes one day.
Absolutely second that. With the next two requests, I am surely going to convey everyone's good wishes for encouragement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaghuVis View Post
I am not sure how much private you/your family are but can we please please please have some pictures of your grandmother on driver's seat.
Will comply soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by headbanger View Post
For once, I was more glued to the intended owner rather than the car itself.
Will try to compile her driving journey and do justice.
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Old 15th July 2021, 02:18   #204
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Default Re: Hyundai Santro : Official Review

Kudos to your grandma for continuing to drive independently, and to you for making a purchase decision centered around her preferences.
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Old 16th September 2021, 22:37   #205
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Default Re: Hyundai Santro : Official Review

A trusted birdie chirps that Hyundai India might axe the Santro from it's lineup by the end of Q1 2022.

No word yet on it's replacement in the Hyundai India lineup. Will update as soon as I hear more on this.
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Old 17th September 2021, 05:42   #206
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Default Re: Hyundai Santro : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenAvi View Post
A trusted birdie chirps that Hyundai India might axe the Santro from it's lineup by the end of Q1 2022.

No word yet on it's replacement in the Hyundai India lineup. Will update as soon as I hear more on this.
Possible. I was hunting for a small hatch for my in-laws and booked the Santro AMT. Availability is limited, and color choices are down to 4. Sure signs of an impending axing.

Unfortunate because it is a fantastic car (seemed perfect in my particular use case- city runabout for old drivers) , but then most people prefer buying the WagonR over the Santro
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Old 1st December 2021, 15:57   #207
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Default Re: Hyundai Santro : Official Review

As per the Hyundai India website, They released the new brochure for Santro.

It is still unclear,
a. If AMT is available only in Sportz Variant
b. Or AMT is available in Magna, Sportz, and Asta Variant

Santro Variant :

Name:  Santro_Varients.JPG
Views: 30
Size:  22.8 KB

Santro brochure remarks :

Name:  Santro_AMT.JPG
Views: 28
Size:  22.0 KB

Rear A/C Vents are available in Sportz and Asta Variant. They removed from the Magna Variant

Santro Rear A/C Vent Feature:

Name:  Santro_Rear_AC.JPG
Views: 32
Size:  17.3 KB

Santro Colors:

Hyundai Santro : Official Review-santro_colours.jpg

It is available in 5 colors,
1. Imperial Beige
2. Typhoon Silver
3. Polar white
4. Titan Grey
5. Fiery Red.

Era Trim will be offered in Polar white & Titan Grey Only.

Santro Brochure:

SANTRO_Hatchback_brochure.pdf
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