Hyundai Santro : Official Review
The Hyundai Santro is on sale in India at a price of between Rs. 3.90 - 5.65 lakhs (ex-Delhi).
What you'll like:
• Excellent quality & refinement. Truly impressive for this class of car
• Smart, practical & well-designed cabin with a chilling air-con & nice audio system
• 4-cylinder goodness in a segment full of 3-cylinders
• AMT with electric actuators is easily the best-in-class; this is the most sorted AMT in India
• Suspension offers a compliant ride & neutral handling
• Features such as the touchscreen head-unit, reversing camera, rear air-con & more
• Hyundai's fuss-free ownership experience & excellent after-sales service
What you won't:
• Pricey! Top variants are undeniably expensive
• Quirky front-end styling will polarize opinions
• AMT unavailable in the Asta variant with dual airbags. Also, it’s not as smooth as a regular AT
• Missing equipment – no alloy wheels, a fixed steering position & useless rear headrests!
• Rear seat is better suited to 2 adults rather than 3
• After dealer discounts, the superior Grand i10’s price is too close
Hyundai first introduced the Santro back in 1998. With its tallboy design, it appealed to those who wanted more interior space than the cars available then, like say a Maruti Zen. However, enthusiasts were put off by its ugly looks and uninspiring driving dynamics. Even so, it managed to garner enough customers to become a very successful model. The Santro was easy to drive, peppy, spacious and had far better quality than the Marutis. Worldwide, Hyundai claims to have garnered 1.86 million customers (out of which 1.32 million are in India). What more, when the city of Mumbai decided to retire its Premier Padmini cabs, the Santro became the weapon of choice for cabbies. That says a lot about its robustness. We have seen Santros with well over 50,000 km on the odo and still being rattle-free. Try that in a Maruti Swift.
Despite reasonably healthy demand, Hyundai stopped production of the Santro towards the end of 2014 because it needed the 4,000 / month production capacity for its more modern cars. Now however, the company has decided to reintroduce the brand with a brand new hatchback. The launch of the car comes exactly 20 years after the first Santro rolled out on Indian roads. Here, Hyundai is being clever. The “Santro” name is sure to make an emotional connect with Indians, which is likely to help sales. Check out these ads and a Team-BHP discussion on the same:
Like the old car, the new Santro competes in the B1-hatchback segment, which has a formidable competitor in the Maruti WagonR. This tallboy has been the undisputed leader, regularly selling ~11,000 units month after month. Maruti’s Celerio has also been a fairly successful model, and then there’s the Tata Tiago, which is arguably the best equipped car in the segment. The i10, which had replaced the Santro as the cheapest B-segment Hyundai, was discontinued in 2017. With Hyundai having no real offering in the B1 segment, the Santro’s importance is obvious.
With prices starting at Rs. 3.90 lakh for the base D-Lite variant, the Santro undercuts its main rivals – the WagonR and Celerio. However, the Tiago and slow-selling Datsun GO manage to retail at a lower price point. To ensure that the Santro sells well, Hyundai has given it a plethora of equipment, including many first-in-segment features. The company is offering a standard warranty of 3 years / 1 lakh km and 3 years of roadside assistance too. Hyundai also claims that the Santro has the lowest cost of maintenance in the segment (claimed average annual service cost = Rs. 2,276 for 5 years / 50,000 km) and offers same day service delivery as well as service at your doorstep.
Like most other cars in the B1 segment, the Santro is powered by a petrol engine. There is no diesel option available. The Tata Tiago remains the only car in the segment to offer one. However, the Santro's petrol powerplant is a 1.1L, 4-cylinder unit - the only 4-pot and surely the most refined motor in the segment. It comes with a choice of a 5-speed MT or an AMT automatic. For those who want lower running costs, a factory-fitted CNG variant is available.
Hyundai claims that the new Santro, which was developed in Hyderabad & Chennai, will be sold only in India, at least for now. The car has made a good start to its innings. In just over a month since the car was launched, Hyundai claimed it had 38,500 bookings. Our sales charts show the car has been selling an average of 8,200 units / month, but it's still early days yet to pass any sort of judgement.
The new Santro is built on the K1 platform, which we believe is derived from the Grand i10's platform. Following Hyundai's new "Dynamic Tension" design language, it looks like an evolution of the i10 rather than the old Santro. The car has a distinct i10 vibe to it. Coming to dimensions, it is 45 mm longer and 120 mm wider than the older car. Its wheelbase of 2,400 mm is 20 mm longer too. However, at 1,590 mm, its height is 30 mm lesser than the old car.
As we have come to expect of Hyundai, the paint quality and build are impressive at this price point, while the panel gaps are even. Even the gaps around the bonnet and boot aren't much wider than in other areas (manufacturers usually goof up here). The doors have some weight to them as well, while the bonnet is on the heavier side for a car of this segment. There is some flex on the front fenders and doors when pressed with a thumb though. The flex is much lesser on the bonnet, hatch and rear fenders.
Coming to safety, the body of the Santro is developed with 19% Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) + 44% High Strength Steel (HSS). Hyundai claims this increases the stiffness & structural rigidity. All we can say is, the only safety talk that counts is the NCAP rating and we'll hold our opinion until the car is crash-tested. The Asta variant is equipped with dual airbags, ABS with EBD, speed sensing door locks and an impact sensing auto door unlock system. Hyundai claims that the Santro is pedestrian protection-compliant, and also with frontal and side collision norms. CNG cars (Magna and Sportz variants) come with fire extinguishers. Like most new cars, the Santro is equipped with an audible speed warning system.
Though not as radical as the Santro was in '98, the front end is a "love it or hate it" affair. Huge bumper with massive cascade grille reminds us of some Peugeot cars. The look may or may not grow on you. We liked the minimal use of chrome:
Well-sculpted hatch and somewhat rounded look make the new Santro's rear less boxy looking than the old car's. Tail-lamps are modern and bumper stretches all the way up to them. Tail-pipe is not that visible:
i10 vibe is very obvious. Viewed from the side, the Santro certainly doesn't look like a conventional tall boy. Strong, boomerang character lines help make the design interesting. However, those who prefer clean designs are likely to be put off. Except for the slim inserts in the ORVMs, there is no use of chrome anywhere:
Hyundai surely went for a "different" design to make the Santro stand out in the sea of hatchbacks. Measuring 3,610 mm in length and 1,645 mm in width, the new Santro is longer and wider than the WagonR and Celerio, but falls short of the Tiago. Its height of 1,560 mm and wheelbase of 2,400 mm are overshadowed by the WagonR and Celerio respectively:
Viewed from the rear three-quarter, notice the continuity of the boomerang arch on the rear door and fender, with the gentle bulge on the hatch. Overall look is premium and not "cheap hatchback":
Large, sweptback headlamp clusters look a lot like the i10's:
A close look at the chrome detailing of the headlamp cluster:
With all the lights in action. There are no follow-me-home or lead me to vehicle functions provided:
Trapezoidal foglamps are uniquely placed right below the headlamps. They provide adequate illumination:
Black, XXL sized cascade grille is W-I-D-E with five horizontal slats and a chrome border. It is sure to polarise opinions. Hyundai logo is on top & that panel is actually part of the bumper piece!
Single horn disc is visible through an opening in the upper corner of the grille. Tow-hook cap, located below it, is opened by turning it anti-clockwise:
Front bumper gets a wind deflector below:
Sadly, no underbody protection at all! Not even a 300-rupee plastic cover below the engine. This is unacceptable for Indian road conditions - Hyundai should know better:
Bonnet has two very prominent creases:
Wiper spindles are concealed under the bonnet...
...as are the windshield washers:
Both windshield washers squirt out effective sprays (rather than jets) of water. The big wipers have a good sweep. However, they don't come on automatically when the washer is used; you have to start them manually:
Shut lines are tight & uniform all over the car:
Body-coloured ORVMs get integrated blinkers & subtle chrome inserts. They can be adjusted electrically. Like other cars in this segment, electric folding is not available:
Body-coloured flap-based door handles look horribly outdated in 2018. We thought these were already passé! Possibly a throwback to the first car they had launched here? Keyhole is present only on the driver's side:
Glass area is fairly generous and there's enough light entering the cabin. None of the pillars is blackened. C-pillar isn't excessively thick:
Window line dips at the rear. While it looks weird, it does aid all-round visibility:
Wheel arches are prominent. Boomerang arch extends across the front fender:
Another character line runs lower across the doors:
Rear wheel arches are prominent as well, with a very strong character line above:
Sportz and Asta variants get 14" steel rims shod with 165/70 section "Made in Indonesia" Hankook tyres and plastic wheel covers. No alloy wheels on any variant. Wheel-tyre combo does a good job of filling up the wheel arches. Lower variants get 155/80 section tyres on 13" rims:
Rear tyres get aero flaps ahead of them:
Ribbed roof to increase rigidity and minimize material weight:
Stubby antenna sits at the front of the roof. This is a first-in-segment feature:
Hatch gets a neatly integrated spoiler. HMSL is located inside the car, rather than on the spoiler. Notice how the spoiler is shaped to gel with the shape of the roof:
Windshield washer sticks out in an unpleasant manner. Could have been better integrated:
Shockingly, only the Asta variant gets a rear washer/wiper. It really looks sad to us that rear wash & wipe is missing on the other variants which get a driver airbag & ABS! Come on, Hyundai:
Straight-forward halogen tail-lamps:
With all the lights in action:
Curvy hatch features crease lines and shutlines that merge well with the body:
Asta variant gets a reversing camera, which sticks out in a weird / ugly manner. Simple keyhole below it looks so outdated, but then, it's the case with many cars from the segment:
In 1998, "Hyundai" was stamped onto the car as no one knew about the brand. Today, the slanted H logo is enough. Like the front, the rear bumper gets cuts and creases. It also has a cutout at the top for lifting the hatch. Two reverse parking sensors are provided. A large black insert breaks the visual monotony. Still, IMHO, the rear bumper is too big & ungainly:
Both parking sensors are placed towards the middle area of the bumper. Slim reflectors provided on both ends:
Rear suspension uses a coupled torsion beam axle. Unladen ground clearance is rated at 165 mm. Notice the rear towing point located in the center:
With the boss of the segment. The Santro is certainly less boxy than the WagonR and far more contemporary looking. New WagonR is coming soon:
With its old namesake. There is almost no resemblance between the two:
With the car it replaced. More than the old Santro, the new car looks like an evolution of the i10:
Interior - Front
The front doors open and shut in a two-stage action. While the Santro is a small hatchback, its doors do not feel flimsy like those seen in some other Asian cars from this segment. While there is no European car like "thud" when you shut them, they feel sturdy enough for a budget hatchback. The doors open wide enough and the running board isn't too fat either. While the floor of the car is not high, the roof is sufficiently tall to allow easy ingress & egress (although not as easy as the original Santro). Once inside, the Santro has healthy legroom & headroom at the front. Compared to the old Santro, the new car gains 62 mm and 95 mm leg and shoulder room respectively.
The glass area is generous and there is enough light entering the cabin to keep occupants from feeling claustrophobic. The use of beige on the dashboard, doorpads, seats, pillars and roof helps matters. Do note that the Diana Green Magna, Sportz and Asta variants gets an optional black cabin with green highlights.
The dashboard is functional + contemporary and looks great. It has a beige & black theme with champagne gold inserts. While the lower part of the dashboard is beige, the carpets and floor mats are black. This is cleverly thought out for dusty Indian conditions.
As expected for this segment, the plastics on the dashboard are all hard. The quality of the plastics is certainly better than that of the Santro's main rivals in the segment though. In fact, it is better than some vehicles from a segment above! Every part is well-finished and one is hard-pressed to find rough edges or ill-fitted bits anywhere. Maruti should spend some time in the new Santro and learn a few things. Ergonomically, the cabin is well laid out and all controls are easy to find and reach. The switchgear feels tactile and good to operate with no cost-cutting evident anywhere. The feel, quality and finish of the buttons & switches is excellent for this segment. When it comes to interior quality, without a doubt, the Santro is the benchmark in the B1 segment.
Black & beige dashboard is logically laid out and looks smart. The entire cabin is practical, user-friendly and equipped with likeable features. Ergonomics are spot on:
Seating position is nice & you have a clear view of the road ahead:
A-pillars are not excessively thick and do not cause blind spots. Lateral view and all-round visibility are good:
Length of the dashboard from where it starts till the windscreen is fairly long:
Steering wheel gets champagne gold inserts and thumb contours. The lack of a chrome Hyundai logo makes that area look cheap. Steering is slightly bigger than you'd expect in an entry-level car, but it's a user-friendly size and feels great to hold and operate. Horn pad is large and easy to reach / press - you don't need to stretch your thumb. Totally sucks that the steering does not get tilt adjustment. It's fixed. Strange, considering the cheaper Eon had this feature. We didn't expect this kind of cost-cutting from Hyundai in an area that offers so much utility:
Volume control for the infotainment system is on the left spoke. Mute button provided as well. Buttons for operating the MID are placed on the right spoke (the arrow buttons double up as "track change" controls). All buttons are big and well-sized:
Voice control and telephony buttons are located below:
Instrument cluster is easy to read with a tachometer on the left & speedometer in the center. It's simple, yet smart looking :thumbs up. A 2.5" MID (standard on all variants) in located on the right. Meters are backlit in white - very classy. Tachometer is marked till 8,000 rpm. Notice the chequered detailing inside the speedometer dial and the orange line around the MID:
Needles point down at their rest position (seen in some sports cars). Again, we really love this instrument console:
Ugly stalk for resetting the trip meter juts out from the bottom:
MID shows the odometer, two trip meters and a digital fuel gauge. No temperature gauge has been provided; we really miss one:
Other readouts include average and instant fuel consumption, distance-to-empty counter...
...the average speed and driving time:
Whenever any door is opened (not the hatch or bonnet though), the MID displays the odometer reading & the general "door ajar warning lamp" comes on (specific open door not shown). A service reminder as well as a low fuel indicator have been provided too:
Stalks exude quality! As has been mentioned before, the quality of plastics is truly commendable for this segment. Left stalk controls the functions for the front and rear wipers, whereas the right stalk controls the headlamps and front foglamp. Criticism? The wipers don't come on automatically when you use the windscreen washers!!! No intermittent wipers either:
Ribbed detailing for a better grip:
As you'd expect in this segment, there's no engine start button. You get a standard keyhole without illumination:
Snazzy side air-conditioner vents have a "propeller" design - influenced by the Mercedes A-Class? These vents don't have air volume controllers and cannot be shut. We love the dotted detailing on their console too:
Switches for the electrically-adjustable ORVMs and headlamp leveler are below. At least the buttons should have been in black; these will look dirty soon:
OBD port at the base of the fusebox. Unlike some other Hyundai cars, the fuse box does not get a Master 'On / Off' switch:
Long and slim bonnet release lever is well-finished and feels sturdily built:
Boot and fuel flap release levers are placed conventionally on the floor. Notice how the floor mat is cut to ensure that it doesn’t foul with them:
Like the dashboard, the doorpads get a beige + black colour theme, although its inverted with a beige top and a black bottom. Black bottom is essential to ensure that your shoes don't mess things up. What is disappointing is that there is a little movement of the doorpad when the windows are rolled down or up. Power window switches aren't located here (they are placed between the front seats). Notice how the doorpad is shaped to accommodate the corner of the dashboard:
Door handles are finished in champagne gold. What is really cool is that the Santro not only has auto-locking doors, but if you try to unlock the door at speed, it will resist & lock the door back. Notice the ugly, black screw that stands out like a sore thumb. No central locking / unlocking button; it's all linked to this locking knob:
Armrest on the doorpad is short, but at the perfect height if you want to rest your elbow on long drives:
Doorpad can hold a 1-liter bottle, and other knick-knacks:
Door sills aren't too wide, which means lesser effort is needed to move your feet in & out of the car. While there are no scuff plates provided, you do get "Santro" branded floor mats:
Front seats are upholstered in fabric and Rexine. They are contoured and wide enough to suit most drivers. Under-thigh and lower back support offered is sufficient. The seats could have been firmer though, which would have made them more suitable for longer drives:
Like other cars in the segment (except the Tiago), the headrests are fixed. They are soft and placed at a good height, making them comfortable + protective for even taller drivers:
Lever to recline the seat feels sturdy and durable. Height adjustment for the driver's seat is not available in any variant:
For fore & aft adjustment, the front seats get a metal lever with a plastic handle:
Fore & aft travel range is enough to accommodate tall & short drivers alike:
A close look at the fabric and Rexine upholstery pattern...
...as well as the contrast stitching:
Seatbelts are not height-adjustable. However, they are placed at a comfortable height and will suit most occupants. In the Asta variant, they get pretensioners & load limiters. Considering that the lesser variants have a driver airbag & ABS, this should have been standard IMHO:
While there is no dead pedal, there is enough space to the left of the clutch to rest your left foot:
ORVMs are lifted from the Grand i10. They are wide and offer a good view of things behind. While they can be electrically adjusted, they are not electrically foldable:
IRVM is wide enough to cover the entire rear windshield. C-pillars do restrict visibility though:
IRVM of the Magna, Sportz and Asta has a manual day / night adjuster (D-Lite and Era trims get nothing):
Rear windscreen is par for the course in terms of hatchbacks. Well-sized windscreen is a good thing. Again, the C-pillars do limit rearward visibility while parking:
Center fascia is modern-looking and logically designed, with the gear lever mounted on it. It sports champagne gold inserts around the air-conditioner vents, on the knobs of the infotainment system and around the gear lever. Hyundai calls it "elephant inspired" :D:
7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system sits right on top of the center fascia. It features Bluetooth and USB connectivity, and further supports Android Auto, Apple CarPlay & MirrorLink. The head unit controls below the display are finished in a strip of rubber for tactile feedback. Functions of the ICE are covered in a separate post later in the review.
It's flanked by a pair of air-con vents with a champagne gold surround. The center vents can be shut by moving the flow direction controller to the extreme left (for both the vents):
Climate control is not available on any variant. Instead, you get a manual HVAC unit. These rotary dials look rather basic - wish Hyundai had spiced their look up to match the rest of the cabin. The manual slider for the fresh air and recirculation modes looks even more outdated. The blower has four speeds. It is silent on level 1, audible on level 2, gets louder on level 3 and very loud on level 4. Hyundai claims to have used a 135cc compressor and it shows. The cooling is very effective. Hyundai has also equipped the Santro with Eco Coating, a technology that is claimed to eliminate odour from the air-conditioner. We have seen this feature in the Verna.
Large buttons for the hazard light, rear defogger and air-con compressor are easy to operate without taking your eyes off the road while driving:
12V power outlet is offered across all variants, except the entry level D-Lite, while a USB port is offered in the Magna AMT and higher variants. The 12V power outlet gets a plastic cover. The USB port can be used to connect your smartphone to the entertainment system as well as for charging purposes. USB port is backlit, making it easy to locate at night:
Storage space at the base of the center fascia is able to hold a 5.5" smartphone. My 6" phone could not sit flat though - it would stay angled. Nope, that is NOT a rubberised base:
Aircraft-like switches for the power windows are located below the gear console. They look stylish and are of good quality, but the positioning will take getting used to. We didn't find any reason to complain. The switches are not illuminated and one has to hunt for them in the dark:
Bird's eye view of the handbrake console & its storage areas:
Small storage space at the front of the console is useful for keeping small objects (e.g. coins):
Single cupholder with a dotted pattern on its plastic base:
From March 2018, Hyundai began providing portable dustbins in all their cars. In the Santro, the bin can be placed in the cupholder. It is fairly deep and can easily swallow toffee wrappers, small papers, pins and other items you want to discard. We found this to be an incredibly useful add-on :thumbs up:
The dustbin has a rubberised coating on its body to prevent it from rattling when placed in the cupholder:
Along with the dual-tone colour theme, strong creases and a shallow storage space keep things from getting boring on the passenger’s side:
Storage area above the glovebox to keep smaller articles. It can easily hold a 6" smartphone and more:
Glovebox is medium-sized. Don't miss the rubber bushes that aid damping and prevent the lid from rattling:
Depression on top of the dashboard to place your favourite deity. Hyundai claims that based on the market surveys it had undertaken, this was a requirement put forth by women:
No roof bezel at the front. Hence, the Bluetooth mic is positioned above the driver on the roof liner:
Sunvisors are economy-grade in design, but they don’t feel too flimsy. Driver-side unit gets a flap to hold tickets:
Passenger-side sunvisor has a vanity mirror, but no cover or light:
Asta variant gets dual front airbags. All other variants have a driver's airbag as standard:
As is usually the case with Hyundai, things are neat and tidy even in places where most people won’t look. There are no loose wires or cables dangling anywhere. Here is a look under the dashboard in the driver's footwell...
...and in the passenger's:
Interior - Rear
The Santro's rear doors open in a two-stage action. They open sufficiently wide. The high roof of the car along with the comfortable floor height makes ingress easy. At the same time, the seat is placed at a comfortable height, which means you don’t have to sit down in it (although it's not as easy as the old Santro or the WagonR):
Fair gap between the B-pillar and seat makes it easier to step in & out. Door sill is not very wide either, which means occupants do not have to swing their feet much:
Like the front doorpads, these have a black & beige theme. The rear speakers are housed in them. Armrest is long enough:
Unlike the front doorpads, the rear ones hold switches for the power windows. Now you see why we don't complain about the front power window controls? Basically, every occupant has his window control within an arm's length:
Door pockets can hold a 1-liter bottle and some odd items:
2 adults and a child at the most will be able to sit comfortably here. This isn't a place for 3 adults. The seat base and backrest are largely flat with no contours to speak of:
Both side occupants get small & fixed headrests (useless for tall folks). Nothing for the middle passenger though:
Legroom is adequate (although not as much as the WagonR); two six-footers can actually manage to sit one behind the other! Hyundai claims that the new Santro has 16 mm more legroom and 95 mm of additional shoulder room in the rear compared to the old Santro:
The seatbacks are not scooped out, but they are soft. Even if the rear seat occupants' knees touch them, they will not feel uncomfortable:
If the front seats are moved all the way back, my knees touched the seatback. However, it is soft, so it does not hurt. With the front seat in my driving position, I have about 3 inches of knee room to spare (I'm 5'10"). With the front seat in the full forward position, the knee room is around 10 inches. Additionally, there is space below the front seats which allows you to slide your feet under them:
Front seatbacks are upholstered in carpet material at the bottom where the legs of the rear passengers might touch them. Well thought out:
As mentioned before, the rear seat is at a comfortable height and offers decent under thigh support. The backrest is comfortably angled as well and headroom is good. At 5'10", I had 2.5" of clearance. Overall space is healthy. Main complaint = the headrests are too small. For taller folk, they don't offer support nor protection from whiplash injuries:
Window is large and allows a good deal of light to enter the cabin. Notice the kink at the bottom; short passengers will appreciate it:
Rear window can be rolled down all the way:
No seatback pockets for storage:
Fixed grab handles above each passenger door. No coat hooks provided:
I found the seatbelts to be placed on the higher side. Shorter users might find them cutting across their throats:
Slot to park the seatbelt when the seat is being folded down:
Single cabin lamp is located right above the seatbacks of the front seat. If only one lamp is provided, this is exactly where we'd like it to be so that it can serve both rows (unlike a single lamp placed above the IRVM):
The Santro is the first car in the B1 segment to get rear air-conditioner vents. Amazing how features that start with the 1-crore cars slowly make their way down the food chain. Except the base D-Lite, all variants get these as standard. Like the front vents, they come with a champagne gold insert around them. While there is only one common air volume controller, their direction can be adjusted individually. Air flow can be completely stopped too. The air-conditioner is very effective with a good amount of air coming out of the vents. Next to this console, don’t miss the tiny upholstered flaps intended to cover the uneven bits of the front seat:
Floor hump is about 2 inches high. While not too tall, it is wide - about 4 inches. Still, this coupled with the rear air-con means the middle passenger will prefer to put his feet on either side of the hump:
235 liters of boot space is identical to the Celerio's and more than that of the outgoing WagonR. However, it falls short of the Tiago's 242 liters:
Usable space is good enough to accommodate small to medium-size bags. No boot lamp provided:
Asta, Sportz and Magna CNG variants get a parcel tray, which is recessed to prevent things from rolling off. However, it is very narrow. While it comes with a couple of rubber bump stops to prevent rattles, the tray does not get strings to attach it to the hatch & move up / down automatically:
Very little (if any) gap between the rear seat and parcel tray. Watch and learn, Honda:
For increasing luggage space, the rear seat can be folded down. Pull this strap up to unlock the seatback and fold it (there's another strap on the other side):
A look at the rear seat with the seatback folded down (doesn't go completely flat though). While every variant gets a folding rear seat, none have a 60:40 split folding option. IMHO, the pricey top variant should have gotten it:
Loading lip is high and one will have to make an extra effort to load luggage. The boot opening is wide though, making things easier. The loading lip does not have any cladding and the weld marks are clearly visible:
Hatch gets a partial cover to hide the mechanical bits:
As you'd expect in a car of this class, there is no rubber beading around the rear windshield:
Sportz and Asta variants get a rear defogger:
Hole to slide your finger in and lift the boot floor up:
Jack is stowed away neatly inside the spare wheel:
Spare is a 13" silver steel rim with a 155/80 section tyre (i.e. the lower variant's tyre size) and comes with a 120 km/h limit. Should have had a full-size spare. Also notice that the spare is from Ceat (the other tyres were Hankooks):
All tools, including the jack, are stored in bags. Nothing is kept lose:
Pouch for the warning triangle gets three Velcro strips that cling onto the boot floor and prevent it from sliding:
The Sportz and Asta variants get a 7-inch touchscreen entertainment system with 4 speakers. Connectivity is through Bluetooth, USB and AUX. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink are supported as well. A CD player is missing & rightly so (who uses CDs today?). Navigation is through Android Auto, while voice recognition can be used through Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. The touchscreen serves as a screen for the reversing camera (Asta only) as well. It has no lag and the visibility is satisfactory. However, under direct sunlight, it does get hampered. Screen resolution and clarity are impressive for a car in this segment. Physical buttons have been provided for those who prefer using them over a touch interface.
7-inch ICE is placed at the upper edge of the dashboard - this means that the driver does not have to look too far down to glance at the screen. The system is easy to operate:
Music is played through 4 speakers – one on each front door...
...and one on each rear door. Notice how the funky detailing around the grille is similar to that of the side air-conditioner vents. Rear speakers are provided in the Sportz and Asta variants only:
The system displays this warning each time you start the system. Don't worry, it will disappear on its own after a while if you don't take any action:
You can have a split screen to display both - the clock as well as the media being played:
Media, including music + images + videos, can be played through a variety of sources:
A variety of settings can be altered to suit the user's preferences. Additionally, the display can be switched off from this screen (for night driving). To bring it back to life, simply touch the screen again:
The sound quality is very good for an OEM system of a B1-segment hatchback. It's far superior to what Maruti will offer you at the same price or higher. The distortion is very well-controlled, even at high volume. This is typical Hyundai. They don't count their pennies:
While reversing, the system can automatically lower the volume if the user wishes. One can even define the max volume level on start up:
Has speed-sensitive volume too:
The sound can be optimised to suit just the driver or all seats:
The user can set the brightness individually for the day / night modes:
Smartphone pairing via Bluetooth is very easy. But remember, it cannot be done when the car is on the move. You can also give connection priority to your own phone:
The infotainment system offers support for Android Auto, MirrorLink and Apple CarPlay. For running any of these features, your smartphone must be connected to the system by a USB cable:
Choose the type of clock you want as a screensaver:
Telephone clarity is impressive. One can transfer a call from the system to the phone (for privacy):
You can add apps in your preferred sequence to the custom menu, or remove them with drag-and-drop actions:
We love Android Auto & Apple CarPlay:
Navigation through Google Maps is obviously superb:
Satellite view also available:
Google Maps helps in getting real-time traffic updates on the screen. One can choose the route he wishes to avoid:
You know this car is made only for India when you see just two language options:
The custom button can be set up to quickly access any function of your choice:
Touchscreen doubles up as a display for the rear view camera. No adaptive guidelines at this price (period). As we have seen earlier, there are 2 rear parking sensors provided as well. Camera quality is fair:
In the dark, the camera quality is just average:
Owners can download the Hyundai iBlue Remote App on their smartphones, connect it to the ICE via Bluetooth and use their phones as a remote control. Might be useful for those on the back seat:
You can select the music source, adjust the volume, equalizer & more:
A glance at the other functions provided by the app:
Driving the 1.1L Petrol MT
4-cylinder petrol is a USP in a segment full of 3-cylinders. This is a major advantage. However, do note that the new WagonR's middle & top variants get the sweet 1.2L K-Series (which is better than the Santro's 1.1L engine). Maruti pulled off a masterstroke there:
The Santro petrol draws power from the same 1,086cc, 4-cylinder, 12 valve Epsilon engine (codenamed G4HG) that did duty in the previous gen Santro. This is an old-school motor with a cast iron block (no aluminum) and 3 valves / cylinder (not 4). The engine, however, comes with variable valve timing tech and has been tweaked to produce 68 BHP @ 5,500 rpm and 99 Nm of torque @ 4,500 rpm – the same specs as that of the old i10. Hyundai claims that the engine can be made to meet the upcoming BS-VI emission norms when they are enforced in 2020. We think they chose this engine over the 1.2L to differentiate the car from the Grand i10. They probably didn't expect economy-minded Maruti to bring the 1.2L to the WagonR.
With a kerb weight of merely 870-910 kilos, the Santro has a power-to-weight ratio of 78 BHP / ton and torque-to-weight ratio of 114 Nm / ton. Both these figures overshadow its main competitor in the B1 segment - the outgoing WagonR, but fall short of the Tiago and the new WagonR's 1.2L.
To start the engine, you need to press the clutch first. You can hear the engine cranking on start up as there is no insulation under the bonnet or on the firewall. The refinement of the engine at idle is very good. One big advantage is that it's a 4-cylinder unit. Most of the competition offers 3-cylinder units. The Hyundai engine is much more refined - vastly superior compared to the Maruti K10 unit, but not the new WagonR's 1.2L K-Series.
The 1.1L motor feels adequate in the city. Throttle response is good and the Santro moves off from a standstill easily, offering decent driveability. No owner will complain. However, the engine's bottom end is just okay. It's not got the sheer low-end torque or that peppy nature of the original Santro. I think the old Santro also had shorter gearing - it was the king of driveability. The new Santro does pass the 2nd-gear speed breaker test, but just about. Off the blocks, the Santro feels adequately quick. Keeping up with swift traffic is not much trouble for the 1.1L petrol. But yes, if you need to close a gap quickly, you will need to shift down. With its small size, light steering + controls, good frontal visibility and sorted ergonomics, the Santro makes for a competent urban runabout.
Take the Santro out on the open road and one immediately knows that the car is more suited to urban surroundings (like all hatchbacks from this segment, I might add). While the 1.1L unit offers linear power delivery and will be a supportive companion on your highway / expressway runs, performance isn't effortless. You need to revv the motor if you want to make rapid progress. The engine feels responsive above 2,250 rpm and revvs till 6,800 rpm. Acceleration is not strong beyond 5,500 rpm, with power tapering off then. Plus, the 1.1L engine does not sound sweet at high revvs and enthusiasts will not enjoy pushing it hard. Better to just cruise instead. In 5th gear, the car sees 80 km/h @ 2,300 rpm, while 100 km/h is seen @ 2,900 rpm. Being an economy hatchback, I wouldn't cruise at a speed higher than this, even on the best of expressways. While there is sufficient power available in the mid range, it’s best to shift down a gear or two while overtaking on single lane highways to bring the motor in the meat of its power band.
The clutch is light and effortless. Its travel range is short as well. The gearbox is smooth to operate with short throws. The small gear lever is ergonomically positioned and is a pleasure to use.
The Santro petrol has an ARAI rating of 20.3 km/l, which is slightly lower than the WagonR's figure of 20.51 km/l and the Datsun GO's 20.63 km/l. However, it is way off the Celerio's 23.1 km/l or the Tiago's class-leading 23.84 km/l, making it the thirstiest car in the segment. This is probably down to the 4-pot motor compared to the 3-cylinder units of the others. Triple-cylinder motors are inherently more efficient than 4-pots.
All variants get ABS + EBD and an acoustic speed warning - a beep sounds once every two minutes when you cross 80 km/h. Past 120 km/h, this beep is continuous.
Coming to NVH levels, the Santro does very well at slow speeds and around town. The engine is barely audible at city revs. On the highway, NVH levels are as you would expect in a hatchback of this segment. Tyre noise is there and at speeds above 80 km/h, road and wind noise start creeping into the cabin too. Nothing is excessive, but it's "busy".
1.1L motor uses a cast iron block. Airbox sits right on top of the engine:
No insulation sheet under the bonnet:
Small engine bay is filled up well by the 1.1L motor:
No underbody protection. You can see the ground below clearly:
Absolutely no insulation provided on the firewall:
So neatly organised. We like Hyundai's attention-to-detail in the little things:
You get a tweezer to pick the fuses too:
Black gear knob with a leather boot. It is nice to hold and smooth to shift. A silver / chrome outline would've added some character here. Hyundai should realise that "basic" doesn't suit its brand image:
MID has a gearshift indicator. Newbies will appreciate. It shows which gear you should shift to in order to obtain the best fuel economy. As an example, if you are in 2nd and revving hard, it will tell you to shift straight to 4th! The indicator has a nice big font for the gear number that's easy to read:
Driving the 1.1L Petrol AMT
AMT's engine bay appears more filled up comparatively:
Apart from the 5-speed manual transmission, the 1.1L petrol engine can be had with a 5-speed automated manual transmission (AMT), which Hyundai calls "Smart Auto". This AMT unit is in-house developed and available only on the Magna and Sportz (mid) variants at present. This is the first time that Hyundai has used an AMT anywhere in the world. It claims that the final testing of the engine - AMT combination was done over a distance of 7,750 km covering various landscapes and road types in India. The company also claims to have tested it at an altitude of 2,084 m and a max speed of 150 km/h.
Allow me to summarise the review for you. As you would have guessed from many of our AMT reports, we hate the gearbox for its jerky nature. However, I can tell you that Hyundai has done a fantastic job with the AMT! It is much, much smoother than the AMTs we've seen from Maruti & Tata. I wouldn't buy any Maruti / Tata AMT from this segment or the one above. However, I would certainly buy a Santro AMT if I was in the market. Is Hyundai's AMT as smooth as a torque-convertor AT or CVT? No way. Is the jerkiness in Hyundai's AMT a deal-breaker? Nope. Do the pros outweigh the cons? Yes. Main reason why Hyundai has upped the game = in the Santro, Hyundai has used electric actuators instead of hydraulic ones (like others do). The company claims that electric actuators are faster to respond than hydraulic units and smoothen the gearshifts. We believe it. Click here to read what an Ignis AMT owner thinks of the Santro AMT!
The AMT mechanism is a simple bolt-on job and it uses the Santro MT's existing gearbox. It’s pretty straightforward in the way it works. Mechanically, the AMT gearbox is identical to the Santro’s manual transmission. What's different is how the clutch is operated and how the gears are shifted. In the manual, the driver is responsible for these tasks. With AMTs, actuators located in the engine bay operate the clutch and shift gears. There's no clutch pedal, and zero driver input is required for shifting gears, making it exactly like a conventional automatic to drive. Simply put, the mechanical functions of operating the clutch and gear lever have moved from inside the cabin to the engine bay. To know more about AMTs & how they work, click here.
AMTs, as we know, are cheaper to build than proper automatic gearboxes (torque converters, dual clutches, CVTs). This has allowed Hyundai to price the Santro AMT reasonably compared to conventional automatics. However, with the Magna variant priced at Rs. 5.19 lakh and the Sportz at Rs. 5.47 lakh, the Santro is more expensive than its main competitors. Compared to the MT, the Santro AMT carries a premium of Rs. 47,000 (Sportz) - Rs 61,000 (the lower Magna). This premium is a little higher than what Maruti charges for its AMTs, yet the smoother nature makes it absolutely worth it. Why is the premium on the Magna higher? It's because the Magna AMT gets a 2-DIN music system, steering-mounted audio controls, micro antenna and front speakers (Magna MT doesn't).
The AMT has the standard N, R, D and M positions. There is no 'P' (park) mode like in a conventional AT. To start the car, the gear shifter has to be in N (neutral) position and the driver's foot has to be on the brake pedal. It is only when these conditions are met that the engine will crank. Again, to engage D or R modes, the brake pedal needs to be pressed. 10 beeps are heard if you put the car in D or R without pressing the brake. A warning sign flashes above the MID as well.
The Santro AMT has no problem rolling off from a standstill. Throttle response when starting off is decent. The AMT functions like a regular automatic gearbox and it results in a stress-free drive. Additionally, putting the car in D / M mode and releasing the brake pedal will result in the Santro creeping forward without any accelerator input. In bumper to bumper traffic, you can drive the car with only one pedal (i.e. the brake). On releasing the brake, the car doesn’t move forward immediately. It takes just over a second to move. Without any throttle input, the car will crawl at ~7 km/h. It can even crawl over a speed-breaker without any throttle input. In R, it creeps backward at 3 km/h (speed has sensibly been kept lower here).
In general, cruising along with urban traffic is easy. With the electric actuators, the gearbox is quicker and smoother shifting than other AMT units (note: incomparable to torque-converters though). Driving in regular traffic, this one is among the best AMT units we have used as it isn't excessively jerky like the others. Of course, things aren't butter-smooth either, but keeping in mind the entry level segment and the expectations therein, it's fine. The jerkiness isn't a deal-breaker & we were actually pleasantly surprised! You have got to really commend Hyundai's quality. The regular AMTs that Maruti, Tata, etc have adopted are so jerky. Clearly, that didn’t fit in with the values of "Brand Hyundai".
The gearbox's operation is silent too. It's only when the driver gets aggressive with the throttle that things get jerkier, resulting in your head swaying back & forth. Even then, it's a lot less jerky compared to Maruti's AMT. To sum it up, if you've experienced a torque-converter or dual-clutch automatic before, you're not likely to be impressed. On the other hand, if you are new to the world of automatics or have used other entry-level AMTs, acceptability will be easier.
While every upshift in the lower gears is felt, the shifting in higher gears is smoother. You could even try this old trick with AMTs = when accelerating up to speed, let off the accelerator at intervals. The AMT will seize that opportunity to upshift, making things smoother.
On the open road, the AMT is much more at ease with a relaxed driving style than an aggressive one. It works well for a driver who prefers to build up speed gradually. With a light foot, the transmission is also smoother. Driving in D mode is good on the highway as long as you are happy to cruise. The Santro AMT sees 100 km/h in 5th gear at 2,900 rpm, which is identical to the MT.
Put your foot hard down and the engine revs to 6,100 rpm before the transmission shifts up - that's way before the redline starts! Too early IMHO. What is noticeable is the way the revs jump up when the driver slams the throttle, before the transmission shifts down. The shift is not close to being as quick as a conventional AT. That said, the response time is not as slow as competing AMTs either. It is quite acceptable for a budget hatchback. Still, I would recommend using manual mode for overtaking at speed or on narrower highways.
The AMT isn't impressive on hilly roads. On a climb, there are times when the transmission gets confused and shifts up when you don’t want it to. Also, because its tuned for efficiency, you'll see it pick a higher ratio than you prefer. If you stop on an incline, yes, rollback is very much there. Use the handbrake for the sake of safety & your clutch.
The car comes equipped with a 'manual mode' that can be engaged by moving the gear shifter to D, and then to the right. Push the shifter up to upshift and pull it down to downshift (just the way we like it). M mode comes in handy when one wants to overtake quickly. While the response time is far from instant, it's not annoyingly long either. M mode is useful to bring the engine into its powerband before an overtaking maneuver & also during the actual overtaking (to prevent the AMT from an unintentional or slow upshift while you're overtaking). Of course, even in M mode, the transmission upshifts if the engine revs to >6,000 rpm & it will downshift on its own if the revs drop below 1,000 rpm. The transmission will not allow you to upshift if it finds the revs too low or downshift if it finds the resultant revs to be too high.
The manual mode allows surprisingly good engine braking, down to 2nd and even 1st gear :D. It's not too conservatively tuned. Driving downhill, M mode aids engine braking which in turn, reduces the workload on the braking hardware. There is a small but acceptable gap between the time you tap the gear lever and the gearshift actually happening.
At 20.3 km/l, the ARAI rating of the AMT is identical to the MT's. AMTs are more fuel-efficient than conventional ATs; just as well as the budget hatchback customer is most sensitive to fuel economy. The NVH levels are generally identical to the MT, except in situations where the engine revs unnecessarily (e.g. under kickdown).
"Smart Auto" badge on the front right fender is the only differentiator from the outside:
In-house developed AMT sits low in the engine bay (on the left of the engine block). Notice the "KIA" marking on the unit. Such markings appear on various parts of the car, denoting that part sharing between Hyundai and Kia India is going to pick up:
Transmission control unit for the electronic gear + clutch actuators is located in front of the battery:
Classy AMT gear lever is similar in design to other Hyundai ATs. Gloss black, with a thin silver border. Looks & feels upmarket (unlike the MT's basic gear shifter):
Unlike Maruti's AMT, this one has an "unlock" button. Good for safety. Gear lever comes with a leather boot as well:
Shift to the right for 'manual mode'. Move it up for upshifts & vice versa. While R is denoted in red, N, D & M are backlit in blue:
No clutch pedal means more space in the footwell. Sadly, the AMT does not get a dead pedal either. That sucks. A comfortable dead pedal is most important in an AT. Why not give the idle left foot a comfortable place to rest?
Basic instructions for newbies are printed on the driver's sunvisor:
One needs to press the brake with the gear shifter in "N" position for the engine to crank. Similarly, to shift between D, N and R, you need to put your foot on the brake. This warning light reminds you whenever you need to press the B-pedal:
Use of the handbrake is strongly recommended whenever you make a hill start in an AMT. Preserves the clutch & prevents roll-back:
AMT's MID gets a gear indicator. The "D" next to the "1" denotes "automatic" mode, while only the single digit denotes "manual" mode (we wish it said "M1" as is the accepted standard). Currently selected gear is shown in both, automatic & manual modes. The transmission allows you to shift up to 2nd gear even when the car is standing still; might be useful when starting off on a super slippery surface:
Ride & Handling
The Santro comes with a McPherson strut suspension setup at the front and a coupled torsion beam setup at the rear. As is becoming the trend now among mass market hatchbacks, even this B1 segment car offers compliant ride quality. Hatchbacks with a bumpy ride simply won't sell today. Customers' preferences are now toward comfort. This car also has a comfy suspension and it's not bumpy / choppy like the original Santro was. Even at the rear, bumps are not jarring for occupants. However, we cannot call the ride plush. As is the case with budget cars, the suspension hardware is basic in nature & the big bumps come in sharp. That soft rear can get bouncy & wallowy on undulating highways too (no problem at city speeds though). The suspension is overall silent in operation most of the time and it's only while tackling large potholes that you hear it working.
In terms of high speed stability, the Santro is neutral. Its behaviour is safe and predictable. The car is more of a cruiser & you should leave your enthusiast inclinations at the door. We would anyway recommend keeping ~100 km/h as the max cruising speed on the expressway. Can't advise anything over that in this class of car. In the area of handling, grip levels are good and the car changes direction easily. While it is a tall hatchback, body roll is controlled and the overall road manners are fair. The car behaves as you expect of a family hatchback. The 165/70 R14 Hankook Kinergy Eco2 tyres provide decent grip, although we would recommend an upsize to 175 or 185 tyres if you intend to hit the open road frequently.
The electric power steering is one-finger light during parking and city speeds. This makes it a very easy car to drive in urban situations. Some might feel the steering is too light though and you get no feedback at all; it’s pretty much dead like a video game steering. The mass market will like it, petrol-heads won't. At higher speeds, the EPS does weigh up acceptably, although it is sensitive. You must always hold it firmly with both hands on the steering wheel.
The Santro's turning radius of 4.78m is wider than the WagonR's 4.6m (old Santro was just 4.4m). Ground clearance is rated at 165 mm. That's at par with most of the other cars in the segment, but not quite as good as the Tata Tiago (170 mm). Still, during the period of time we had the Santro, we encountered no problems over large speed breakers.
ABS is standard on all variants & the braking is par for the course. Under hard braking, the car stops in a straight line, sans any drama. The brakes do their job well enough. The pedal has a short travel before the brakes bite and some might feel they are over-servoed though.
• The car that brought Hyundai to the masses is back! The previous generation was launched in 1998, produced until 2014 and found 1.32 million homes.
• BHPian Naveen.Raju's better half got a preview of the car as a part of Hyundai's market study/research. They got a lot of points spot on :thumbs up.
• The Santro was internally codenamed as the AH2 by Hyundai. Designed & developed by Hyundai’s R&D centers located at Hyderabad & Chennai, with inputs from Korea of course. Built at the company's Chennai plant with 90% localisation. Hyundai has invested Rs. 700 crore in the development and manufacturing of the Santro.
• If Hyundai offers this car in the taxi segment (they surely will in the future), they will probably have a good number of sales because "brand Santro" has a strong following among cabbies.
• If you want to know the story behind the original Santro & Hyundai's India entry, buy this book. Book rating = strictly average. Feeling nostalgic? Check some ads out here.
• IMHO, instead of buying the top variant of the Santro, better you get the superior Grand i10. Check out the discussion on this page.
• Hyundai says that about 40% of the initial 30,000+ bookings were received for the AMT variant. Shows that the Indian market is gradually inching towards automatic variants.
• The Santro is the first car from Hyundai to feature a factory-fitted CNG kit. Previously, the CNG kits were installed by 3rd-party vendors. CNG variant produces 58 BHP @ 5,500 rpm and 84 Nm @ 4,500 rpm. It's not available with the AMT box. Only in the Magna and Sportz trims.
• Fuel tank capacity = 35 liters. The CNG variant gets a 60L CNG tank installed in the boot. The petrol engine has an ARAI-certified FE of 20.3 km/l, whereas the CNG variant has a rating of 30.48 km/kg.
• A fire extinguisher is offered in the CNG variants. Kudos to Hyundai for that!
• The Santro comes with a 3 year / 1,00,000 km warranty and a 3 year RSA program. Hyundai claims that the Santro offers the lowest cost of maintenance among its peers (claimed average yearly service cost = Rs. 2,276 for 5 years / 50,000 km).
• First service (checkup) at 1,500 km / 2 months, second at 10,000 km / 12 months, and thereon every 10k km / 1 year. First 3 services are labour-free.
• Hyundai offers a 5-year extended warranty on its other cars, expect the same on the Santro too. Highly recommended (Related Link).
• The single OEM horn is too weak & timid. Wish Hyundai had given it a proper dual-tone horn. How much more would it cost anyway? This single horn suits a Nano, not a Santro.
• The base D-Lite variant does not get an air conditioner! Taxi variant?
• Hyundai has not revealed any plans to sell the Santro in other countries. However, South Africa seems to be awaiting its arrival sometime in 2019, where it is likely to be called the Atos (source).
• The Hyundai Santro e-brochure can be viewed here - Attachment 1837219.
• Disclaimer : Hyundai invited Team-BHP for the Santro test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.
The Smaller yet Significant Things
Apart from the Imperial Beige colour of our test car, the Santro is available in 6 other shades. Here, it is seen in Polar White…
...and Diana Green. The other colours include Typhoon Silver, Stardust and Fiery Red (I really want to meet the guy who thinks up these wacko names :)):
With the Diana Green exterior colour, you can opt for black interiors with green highlights. Many people will find it funky:
The steering wheel gets a gunmetal insert instead of gold:
At the front, green inserts are located around the air vents, ICE control knobs...
...side air-con vents...
...and gear lever console:
The door pads are all-black as well:
Door handles are finished in an awesome shiny black:
Rear passengers get some green love too!
Seat upholstery is black with funky white + yellow hexagons and contrasting white stitching:
A look at the rear seat:
Even the front seatbelts are yellow in colour! While the rest of the interior is unlikely to get dirty, the seatbelts will get soiled easily. We wish these were kept in black:
Like some other Hyundai cars, the Santro doesn't get any labeling on the flap or fuel cap indicating the car's diet. The fuel cap lacks even that 10-rupee string that keeps it attached to the base! The flap does get a slot to park it though. Notice the area on the top left where the CNG version would have its filler:
Yep, the ORVMs are India-friendly and will move the other way if a biker side-swipes them:
Front wheel wells get partial cladding:
No wheel well cladding at the rear. Drive over a gravelly road and you'll hear stones & pebbles hitting against the bare metal:
35L fuel tank size is at par with other cars in the segment:
Halogen headlamps do a good job (by segment standards) of lighting up the road ahead:
With the high beam engaged, the throw is impressive:
Recommended tyre pressure is 35 PSI all-round, which is on the higher side. To boost fuel efficiency, perhaps?
Rubber beading is soft and of good quality. It appears well-fitted (as is usually the case with Hyundais):
Driver's floor mat comes with a single hook to stop it from sliding around & messing with the pedals:
Fabric lining on the sides of the front seats to conceal the mechanical metal bits below:
Cupholder on the center console has a removable cover - useful if you need a little more storage space, or while cleaning:
All interior switches (except the power window switches) are backlit in orange (camera is showing it as yellow :)):
Plate with VIN & engine number is stuck on the passenger-side B-pillar:
VIN is very lightly engraved on a beam. A cut-out in the carpet reveals it. A flap would have ensured dirt doesn’t seep into the area between the carpet and the floor:
Infotainment system warns you about the battery being discharged when it is used with the engine off:
Old-fashioned key with remote locking / unlocking. It must be remembered that Tata provides a flippy key with the Tiago:
Lots of part sharing between Hyundai and Kia models is evident. Kia has long begun developing its vendor base in India:
Raise the rear seatbase and you get access to the low pressure fuel pump inside the fuel tank. No rough edges or unfinished panels visible even in areas hidden from plain sight! Terrifically clean, tidy & detail-oriented approach:
Re: Hyundai Santro : Official Review
Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Official Reviews. Thanks for sharing, guys!
A budget hatchback that doesn’t feel cheap – the quality & product all-roundedness are remarkable! This is a rare Team-BHP review where the list of “likes” runs longer than the “dislikes”. And even there, two of the dislike points are to do with the price, while two more are to do with the variants / features. Tells you a lot about how sorted the actual car is. With this impressive AMT (I say this as someone who hates AMTs), Hyundai has shown Maruti & Tata how it’s done. The AMTs of those 2 manufacturers feel lame & 20-years too old compared to the Santro’s.
Things couldn’t be any better for customers in this segment. Here is the new Santro & coming up soon is the new WagonR. Maruti really pulled off a masterstroke with the WagonR’s 1.2L offering though (we broke the scoop :D). I’m sure Hyundai totally didn’t expect economy-minded Maruti to do that. Would one choose the car with better quality (Santro) or the better engine (WagonR)? That’s a tough one, especially for an engine-minded guy like me.
I think Hyundai is able to deliver this quality as the Indian subsidiary is privately owned. Compare the Santro side-by-side with the WagonR and you’ll immediately know who is answerable to its Indian public investors – Maruti’s eye is clearly on the bottom line. The WagonR feels way too cheap in comparison and if pictures of the next-gen car are anything to go by, it’s lost the interior battle to Hyundai before launch itself.
Anyone considering the Santro’s higher variants should definitely pick the Grand i10 instead. The price difference is hardly anything in EMI terms. Of course, if you are economy-minded and want an AT, then go for the Santro AMT as it’s a lot more fuel efficient than the Grand i10’s torque-converter AT.
Re: Hyundai Santro : Official Review
Except for 70mm smile on the face, and the unnecessary boomerang window line - I think this is an excellent sorted product from Hyundai. Infact, going through the pictures - it shocked me how much of an improvement it feels compared to my Hyundai Xcent SX(o) in some of the interior finishes - and that is saying something because the Xcent was a good product when it comes to quality and a segment above to start with! A bit surprised and disappointed reading about the okay'ish drivability of the 1.1L motor - which was one of the best points of the old Santro. Since the basic block remains the same as the old one - could be the modern emission norms taking it's toll here?
And great news regarding the AMT! Most people including me criticised Hyundai when they announced the decision to go with an AMT (Not only in the Santro, but in all segments below the i20 in the future) - but they have proved their engineering prowess! Maruti and TATA should go back to Magneti Marelli and ask them to learn from Hyundai how it's done! :uncontrol
The rumour of a new Santro has been going on long enough - I think it really has shaken Maruti Suzuki. WagonR started it's life against the Santro as a derivative of the Alto platform, but is now a taller and cheaper Ignis instead - with the Heartect Platform and the 1.2L engine. Trust Hyundai to bring out the best in Maruti Suzuki!
Re: Hyundai Santro : Official Review
I don't think Santro is pricey. The pricing is bang against Celerio and the Wagon R might be just few thousands cheaper. I was recently checking out the hatchback space and oh boy its really crowded. For every 10-20K increase in budget the option you get is plenty. The reason why premium hatchbacks like i20/Baleno outsell i10/celerio is simply because one can upgrade by just paying a minimal premium of 20-40K!
Back to Santro, biggest downer for me is unavailability of AMT in Asta variant/Sportz missing driver airbag and rear wiper.
Re: Hyundai Santro : Official Review
As expected; 5 star review !
The earlier Santro succeeded because of the radically different approach taken by Hyundai when the masses were completely at the disposal of Maruti.
The market has matured since then and I doubt if it is going to be easier for Hyundai to reach the 1.32 million mark this time around. Yes given the merits of the product, it can certainly give Tiago & Tigor a tough time and bring in say 5 - 7 k numbers per month after stabilization and that too because of the "Santro" brand recall.
Nonetheless, its quite appreciative of Hyundai to get a footfall from the "first time buyers" once again with this launch.
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