2019 Hyundai Santro Test Drive Review
- Published On: 29 October 2018
- 8 min read
The Hyundai Santro was first introduced in the Indian market in 1998 and now the Korean automaker has brought in the new avatar of the popular tall-boy hatchback.
Korean manufacture Hyundai stepped into the Indian market two decades ago with the Santro. The Santro, a small hatchback car helped Hyundai deepen its foundation in the subcontinent. And now in 2018, the company has launched an all-new avatar of Santro in the market. So, let us see how efficient it is in recreating the success that it had enjoyed before.
Exteriors – The new Santro is shorter in height but wider than the previous car. The front fascia of the car is quite different in styling mainly because of the humongous grille. Whereas, the rear and side silhouettes of the car have an amiable appeal to it. The headlights have a similar design as the old i10, while the fog lamps just sit below it. The black touch on the rear bumper hides away the bulk and gives the car some character. All the variants of the Santro sit on 14-inch steel rims and there is no option for alloy wheels.
Interiors – The dashboard of the new Santro is very ergonomic and it comes with a dual tone black and beige theme. There are some gold accents on the black and beige interior, which give the car a premium feel. However, the green exterior painted Santro comes with an all-black interior with green accents. The logo on the steering wheel should have been chrome treated while the instrument cluster is easily readable and convenient to use.
The car comes with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with FM, Voice Commands and connectivity features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth, however, the car misses out on navigation. This infotainment system is the same unit from the other Hyundai vehicles which comes with navigation. The sound quality of the speakers is decent. The AC of the car is brilliant and comes with vents for rear passengers also. The car comes with a rear parking camera and all four-power windows.
The driver's seat doesn’t come with height adjustment and the steering wheel misses out on tilt adjustment. The large glass area up front enables excellent visibility. The seats of the car are comfortable and provide a good amount of support. But the downside is that all the headrests on the car are fixed. The headroom and shoulder room on the car is good but the knee room gets limited when a tall person sits behind another tall person.
The boot space of the car is limited but it is the shape of the boot that allows accommodating bags with ease. And speaking of the CNG variant, the boot space is next to none. There is some storage space in the centre console. The side door pockets can easily accommodate 1.0-litre bottles. The key of the Santro gets only lock and unlock buttons and misses out on boot unlock button. However, the boot of the car can be opened by pulling the lever or by using the key itself at the rear.
Performance – The all-new Santro gets the engine from the Santro Xing. This 1.1-litre four-cylinder petrol engine produces 69 PS of power and 99 Nm torque. Whereas, the CNG variant gives a little less output of 59 PS of power and 84 Nm of torque. The engine is very refined and silent but sounds loud as the RPMs climb up. The petrol variant of the Santro returns a fuel efficiency of 15-18 km/l while the CNG variant is claimed to offer 30.5 kms/kg.
The engine provides decent low-end performance and there is enough grunt in the mid-range. The power delivery is smooth till the redline. The performance from the engine is enough for city and highway driving. As it isn’t a performance car, the outright acceleration is not present. The 5-speed manual transmission with light clutch has well-matched gear ratios. The AMT offers a smooth feel to the drive but there is some jaunt when there is a change of gears.
Driving Dynamics – The suspension of the new Santro has been set up appropriately for our Indian road conditions. The car passes over potholes with ease and provides a comfortable ride. The car is stable at high speeds and sudden lane changes don’t hinder its composure but the steering is very light and lacks feel. There is a certain amount of body roll in this car and brakes on this hatchback are good when compared with its rivals. However, the car tends to yaw and skid the rear wheels under hard braking from high speeds.
Safety and After Sales Service – The ABS and a driver-side airbag is standard on all the variants and the top trims come with passenger side airbags also. The sales and service network of Hyundai is one of the best in the country.
Verdict – The 2019 Hyundai Santro is a very impressive overall package. The car gets comfortable seats while the engine provides good performance and there are a lot of features on offer. The car is priced slightly higher but it is worth the premium when one considers the overall package offered by Hyundai.