For Hyundai to call its new hatchback ‘Santro’ is a present of nice confidence from the Korean model, and it’s not onerous to see why. The Santro was its first automotive in India, and one which’s received a robust place within the Indian individuals’s hearts and minds. Furthermore, it was the primary strong mass-market various to the may of Maruti Suzuki – contemporary in design, excessive on high quality, great on house and, but, moderately good worth. It set the template for all Hyundais that may observe. The opposite factor that resounded with Indian patrons was the time period Hyundai coined – ‘tall boy’, which went on to signify not simply the Santro, however the entire section of vehicles, just like the WagonR, which used their top to maximise house. That’s some legacy, however the Santro was finally outdated by the i10 and the Grand i10, which had been greater and higher. In its closing Santro Xing avatar, it lived on in decrease segments (you’ll nonetheless see a whole lot of them operating the streets of Mumbai as taxis) however was given the axe on the finish of 2014.
So profitable the Santro was that it reached 1.86 million households globally and 1.32 million in India. Hyundai is basically aiming to attain excessive numbers with this new hatchback, therefore the corporate has invested Rs 700 crores or roughly 100 million USD in direction of this new mission.
The all-new Santro’s construction makes use of 63% superior excessive tensile metal and excessive tensile metal, which not solely ensures ample rigidity, however retains a test on the kerb weight too, which is within the sub-1-ton area, within the whereabouts of the Celerio, however decrease than the Tata Tiago. This automotive is 45mm longer and 120mm wider than the older Santro and it sits on a 20mm longer wheelbase too. Many anticipated a return to that tall-boy silhouette, however that’s not fairly what’s occurred. Positive, it’s tall, giving it a stance extra akin to the Grand i10 – which is sensible, because it shares its (K1) platform with the Grand i10. The look, too, is so much just like the Grand i10, with angular, swept-back headlamps mounted excessive up and Hyundai’s new ‘cascading’ grille beneath.
The grille, nonetheless, extends even wider and encompasses the high-mounted fog lamps too which makes it look disproportionately giant. The automotive’s designer, Sangyup Lee, says the grille is partly useful (for higher cooling in our circumstances) and partly to provide the face some drama. Frankly, it’s a bit too dramatic for sometimes conservative finances automotive purchaser however then the Santro’s oddball styling was much more radical and that didn’t deter individuals from shopping for one.
There’s a few of this deliberate drama on the facet within the type of boomerang creases over the entrance wheel arch, and that over the rear wheel arch, which add some taste to the facet profile and make the automotive seem visually squat . One other fascinating element is the shoulder line that dips down on the rear door (Lee says this was so as to add a component of fashion in addition to enhance the glass space), resulting in a set of small and easy tail-lamps. What livens issues up, nonetheless, is the blacked-out part within the base of the bumper, mimicking a diffuser, that homes the rear reflectors. Total, it appears like a fairly upmarket design, as do most Hyundais, however there are indicators that the Santro has been designed to a price For one, the rear door body varies in thickness across the quarter glass and, whereas its periphery is clean, its inside edge could be very sharp. It stands out like a sore thumb on an in any other case sleek-looking automotive. Extra apparent are the finances trying flip sort door handles which hark again to the unique Santro. A push-pull design deal with (which even the Celerio has) feels extra premium and may have been thought of as that is the primary level of contact with the automotive
What’s it like inside?
For its value and section, the way in which Hyundai has chosen to spec the brand new Santro is vastly spectacular. There’s a wow-factor the second you step contained in the cabin, and that’s primarily as a result of sense of high quality it exudes for a finances automotive. The twin-tone beige and black dashboard (on the Asta trim stage ) boasts of excessive ranges of fit-finish and feels a lot nicer and airier than the all-black theme. The piece-de-resistance is the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s loaded with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and features very slickly. The infotainment display screen doubles up as a reversing digicam within the top-spec Asta variants, which by the way in which can be found solely with the guide transmission. To the precise of the steering column are buttons to power-adjust the surface mirrors (themselves with LED flip indicators in-built). A number of bits just like the buttons on the steering and the stalks are carried over from the Grand i10 and that’s no dangerous factor as high quality is top-notch. The dials are crisp and seem very sporty with the speedo needle resting at a zero-degree angle, and there’s an in depth MID too displaying helpful info common gas economic system, common velocity and distance to empty, aside from the journey pc knowledge. The air-con management knobs are a bit sticky however like the remainder of the switchgear really feel hardwearing and chunky. The uninteresting gold end on the accents surrounding the steering wheel, gear lever, AC vents and door handles appears elegant while the sporty trying spherical facet air-vents resemble these on some Mercedes fashions, is one other upmarket contact.
Most of the cost-saving efforts are refined and largely inconsequential, just like the Hyundai emblem on the steering completed in gray plastic, not chrome, the uncovered screws inside the inside door grabs, and the truth that there are solely two parking sensors on the rear. There are some lacking options which can be a bit inconvenient, like no top adjustment for the entrance seats and seatbelts, the shortage of any adjustment for the steering, and the truth that there is no such thing as a exterior launch for the tailgate. You want the important thing to open the boot or attain for the lever within the driver’s footwell. And at last, it’s issues just like the mounted headrests, entrance and rear, the shortage of a door lock/unlock button, and missed alternative for extra stowage house subsequent to the handbrake, which vary from annoying to a bit unsafe. Even the position of the facility window switches positioned beneath the gear console is a measure to save lots of prices, and it’s inconvenient that these aren’t back-lit. for all its speak of security, Hyundai discriminates in opposition to these on a finances with solely a single airbag, It’s the pricier Asta model that will get two entrance airbags.
The long-lasting tall and slender proportions aren’t fairly there anymore however that doesn’t imply the brand new Santro is low on inside room. Fairly the opposite, in reality. This new automotive is bigger in each dimension in comparison with the older automotive, save for headroom after all. Customers will find it irresistible for ease of ingress and its tall seating place.
The entrance seats do remind you of those within the Eon, nonetheless. They’re slim, once more with mounted headrests, however they’ve nearly sufficient contours to let you get comfy. Solely broader passengers may discover them missing in shoulder help. Nevertheless, the shortage of top adjustment for the driving force’s seat and no adjustment for the steering means tall drivers in particulawill discover the seating place awkward – the seat is simply too excessive and the steering too low. What’s good although is the visibility all spherical, due to the tall glass space and low window line.
The quantity of leg, head- and even shoulder room within the again seat is basically spectacular for a automotive of this dimension. The again seat is flat and bench-like which is nice if you wish to sit three abreast and we significantly appreciated the beneficiant beneath thigh help that’s been constructed together with a excessive ‘hip’ level. All of it provides as much as making the again seat one of the crucial comfy round. Hyundai has thrown one over the competitors by slipping a rear air-con vents within the Santro, a section first. The air-con itself is probably one of the best at school and chills the cabin quickly, regardless of the massive glass space.
There could also be just one cupholder within the entrance however in any other case there’s an enormous quantity of storage within the cabin. The cubbyholes within the centre console are very helpful, there’s a decently sized glovebox as effectively however what we significantly appreciated is the very sensible and helpful shelf with a rubberized end to carry your telephone and different unfastened objects, which that you must commonly entry. Every door will get a full-size bottle holder and the parcel shelf too has sufficient depth to carry odds and ends. The boot has a really excessive loading lip, however is par for the category; you could possibly in all probability get one medium-size suitcase and some small smooth baggage in there.
What’s it wish to drive?
Although the platform is new-generation, the engine will not be. It’s not the 1.Zero-litre (Kappa II) engine from the Eon, however as an alternative, is similar 1.1-litre Epsilon engine (G4HG) that was within the previous Santro Xing and within the authentic i10. And that is probably for price causes, because the Kappa II engine, although a cylinder down on the Epsilon, makes use of 4 valves per cylinder and variable valve timing. On this newest state, the 1.1 Epsilon makes 69hp and 99Nm (virtually the identical because the 1.Zero Kappa engine), which is on par with Maruti’s 1.Zero-litre Okay10 engine, however decrease than Tata’s 1.2-litre Revotron. The 20.3kpl ARAI-rated gas economic system determine is decrease than each rival engines, though it’s the identical whether or not you go for a guide or an AMT in your new Santro. That’s proper, you possibly can have this automotive with a 5-speed AMT – Hyundai’s first-ever try at one.
Hearth the engine and also you’; instantly admire the refinement of this engine. Vibrations are virtually non-existent at idle and on the transfer. The engine is fairly responsive and similar to the Santro, it’s a zippy automotive to drive round city. Driveability and a robust mid-range is that this engine’s forte and also you don’t want to vary gears that usually which makes it fairly user-friendly to drive. And even once you do need to row the stubby gear lever its hardly a chore. The sunshine clutch and gearshift is easy to function.
These used who driving in greater gears at decrease revs will love the truth that efficiency is out there from as little as 1000rpm and it stays robust all through the midrange. It’s solely once you cross the 5000rpm mark does it are likely to sound a bit strained and coarse. This engine doesn’t wish to be revved and feels greatest within the decrease reaches of the facility band. Although energy supply is essentially seamless you possibly can really feel gentle flat spots which might be blamed on engine calibration that has been tuned for future BSVI rules.
Coming to the automated guide transmission (AMT), that is Hyundai’s first in-house developed AMT and it’s an excellent first effort. The large pauses between gearshifts, a basic stream of an AMT, have been smoothened out however no eradicated. In comparison with a traditional automated transmission, the shifts are nonetheless gradual particularly between first and second gear. Flex your proper foot, and the AMT is fast to reply by shifting down a gear too. Nevertheless, all’s not excellent, and there are occasions when the AMT holds revs for greater than required as much as 4500-5000rpm, making the engine sound strained. Flat-out it should maintain revs until 6200rpm. What’s good is that there’s a Tiptronic mode current to shift gears manually.
Experience consolation is without doubt one of the highlights of this new Santro. It takes on dangerous roads very competently and absorbs bumps with a way of maturity. It is just the sharp bumps that filter via. Even the dynamics are very sorted of this automotive and it will probably confidently take corners with out feeling unsettled or unnerving. The steering, typical of a metropolis automotive, is gentle but very constant in its behaviour. It isn’t bristling with suggestions, however you’re all the time conscious of what’s taking place on the entrance finish. The turning radius is tight and manoeuvring this automotive via site visitors is easy. The one small situation we had is that whereas taking U-turns although, the steering doesn’t self-centre simply and wishes driver enter to deliver the wheel again to the straight forward place. painting a sticky attribute, and requires some inputs to re-centre.
Ought to i purchase one?
To place the brand new Santro into perspective, it’s first essential to recollect, how a lot the market has grown because the authentic Santro. That is now not an entry-level automotive, because the Santro Xing till it was discontinuated in 2014. This isn’t a rival to the Maruti Alto or Renault Kwid both, because the Eon was conceived to be. This isn’t a alternative for the previous Santro, however actually the alternative for the discontinued i10 and its up squarely in opposition to the Celerio and Wagon R and Tiago.
Because it’s not a full-on premium hatchback, you possibly can see the place Hyundai has made some compromises to maintain prices in test. Aside from an old-generation engine, there’s a raft of smaller cost-cutting measures however these aren’t actually deal breakers. As a substitute, what the Santro brings is a sure wow issue which has been severely missing on this section.
The design is daring, its vastly spacious for its dimension and sophistication and above all its been lavished with options and gear by no means seen earlier than within the finances hatchback section. The well-designed touchscreen is, after all, the grasp stroke, however there’s additionally stuff just like the rear digicam and sensors that make you are feeling you’ve gone a section greater. At a value of Rs three.90-5.45 lakh (ex-showroom, India) for the petrol model (CNG prices further), the brand new Santro, particularly the pricer automatics, could appear costly but it surely provides you your cash’s price. Despite the fact that it could have shed that tallboy look of the unique automotive’s, it’s clear this new Santro embodies the identical core values