Used car buying guide: Hyundai Santro

    The Santro has long been a popular choice when it comes to small, well-equipped and practical hatchbacks. We help you buy a used one.

    Published On Dec 27, 2021 09:00:00 AM


    GOOD FOR: Space, easy to drive

    LOOK OUT FOR: AMT gearbox, suspension wear

    The new Santro, being reliable and practical, comes across as a good option for a used buy. However, here’s a few things to note before you make the purchase.

    The original Santro was one of the most popular cars in India and it was renowned for its space and practicality and being easy to drive. Hyundai revived the Santro nameplate with the launch of this new model in October 2018.

    The new Santro is powered by an updated version of the older Santro Xing’s Epsilon engine. The 1,066cc, four-cylinder – three valves per cylinder motor – is capable of producing 69hp and 99Nm while running on petrol and 59hp and 84Nm when fuelled by CNG. The petrol versions get either a 5-speed manual or 5-speed AMT gearbox, while the CNG models only get the former.

    The Santro’s ARAI-rated fuel efficiency figures are 20.3kpl for the petrol-manual and petrol-AMT models. On our fuel efficiency runs, the petrol-manual Santro delivered 12.69kpl in town and 19.12kpl out on the highway. The AMT, meanwhile, returned 11kpl and 18.6kpl in our city and highway test loops, respectively. The Santro CNG variants can go 30.5km on a kg of gas (ARAI).

    The new Santro was launched in five trims – D-Lite, Era, Magna, Sportz and Asta. However, only the petrol-manual version was available in all five options at launch. The petrol AMT and CNG models could be had only in mid-spec Magna and Sportz trims.

    However, Hyundai did introduce a top-spec Asta AMT to the Santro’s line-up later. In terms of features, the range-topping Asta comes with a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, rear AC vents, fog lamps, electrically adjustable mirrors, remote locking, rear washer/wiper with defogger, steering-mounted controls, 14-inch steel wheels with wheel covers and power windows all around. Safety features on the Santro Asta include dual airbags, ABS, rear parking sensors, a reverse camera and front seatbelts with a pre-tensioner and load limiter.

    Interior scores well on look and quality; Dana Green Santros get an all-black theme.

    Since it was launched in nine different configurations, choosing the right one for you can be difficult. If you want a car that’s cheaper to run and greener than a regular hatchback, the Santro CNG is the one for you. Otherwise, if your running is majorly in congested city roads, the petrol-AMT is absolutely the one to go for. The petrol manual works well too, but, the AMT gives you that extra convenience for only a marginal difference in fuel economy.

    In terms of variants, it’s best to go for one of the top three trims. The base D-Lite and Era are really barebones and only get a few features. If you are on a budget, it’s best to go for either the Magna or the Sportz trim. The Sportz trim, especially, gets all the features you would need, like the 7-inch touchscreen and electrically adjustable mirrors, among others. However, if budget is not an issue, it’s best to go for the top-spec Asta variants as it gets all the goodies.

    The Santro is a reliable car and is backed by Hyundai’s vast service network in India. The spare parts are relatively inexpensive and easily accessible, which should offer buyers peace of mind.

    Buyer, beware…

    Suspension wear

    Take a test drive and check if the car is crashing excessively through potholes or if it makes squeaking sounds. It’s a sign of worn-out suspension bushings, which will have to be replaced. 

    AMT gearbox

    On a test drive, also check if the car gets off the line without any jerks and that the AMT gearbox shifts smoothly. AMTs are susceptible to early clutch wear and some Santro owners have faced this issue, so it’s best to test it before buying.


    Before making the purchase, it is recommended that you inspect the car’s underbody. The Santro does not come with much underbody protection from the factory, so it’s best to make sure that there isn’t any damage or rust underneath.

    Also worth knowing

    Although it’s rare, some owners have faced issues with the Santro’s touchscreen, so it’s best to ensure that it functions smoothly. Of other things, it’s always advisable to check the condition of consumable parts like the tyres, brake pads and filters before making the purchase.

    How much to spend

    Rs 3.5-5.5 lakh

    Paying anywhere between Rs 3.5 lakh to 5.5 lakh for a used Santro, depending on the engine-gearbox, trim and mileage, represents good value. Demand for Santros in the used market is not high, so there is some room for you to negotiate.

    Would you go in for a used Santro? Or would you choose something else? Let us know in the comments below. 

    Hyundai Santro specifications
    Years produced2018-present
    Price when newRs 3.89 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
    Engine4 cyls, 1066cc, petrol
    Power69hp/59hp (CNG)
    Torque99Nm/84Nm (CNG)
    Boot space235 litres

    Hyundai Cars

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