The original Hyundai Santro was synonymous with practicality, ease of use and efficiency. Does the new, second-gen car live up to the legendary name?
True to the title of a book that chronicles the first years of its existence, the original Santro really was a car that built a company. A quirky-looking car from an unknown Korean manufacturer (Hyundai was a lightweight in the automotive world in 1998) should have faded into oblivion. But, in reality, things couldn’t have turned out better. The Santro was a runaway success and quickly established Hyundai as a household name in India. The ‘tall boy’ set the foundation for Hyundai’s meteoric growth and today the Korean carmaker is India’s second largest.
In the 16 years it was on sale, the original Santro sold a whopping 1.32 million units in our market. And now, after a gap of four years, there’s a new Santro in town to take the story forward. The first signs of big success are there, with the new model managing to get 32,000 bookings within a month of launch. Now, if Hyundai can hold on to all those bookings that will be an even greater achievement because the new Santro is not exactly a budget hatchback as the original was.
Prices start at Rs 3.89 lakh and top off at a fairly substantial Rs 5.64 lakh (ex-showroom, India). But do note, the prices will see an upward revision after the first 50,000 bookings. In effect, the Santro’s positioning is more i10 than Eon.
Hyundai calls it a ‘modern tall boy’ but shape is quite conventional.
On offer are a petrol-manual, a petrol-AMT (Hyundai’s first-ever AMT) and a CNG-manual. We’re going to put both gearbox versions of the petrol Santro under the scanner to tell you if it delivers on everything that matters.