Welcome to Mumbai also known as the city of dreams, where being practical is absolutely important to sustain yourself in this huge city. Likewise, on the road, it will be difficult to keep your happiness and convenience in check if your mode of transport isn’t practical. Keeping that picture in mind, Hyundai has brought in a practical car that will enthral a first-time car buyer to explore the unexplored places within Mumbai and at the same time share the happiness with their loved ones. The name’s Santro, Hyundai Santro! That’s right, the legend has made a comeback, but does it live up to its potential? Let’s find out!
When you look at the new Santro, it has transformed into something that I would have imagined it to be in the current generation. It has got beautiful boomerang shaped curves on the front and the rear fenders. First glance at the exterior and you recognize that it resembles Hyundai’s Eon and Grand i10. Also, if you look at the new Santro from the front it looks like a cute smiling baby elephant face and the same design can be seen, inside the cabin, on the centre console.
I drove the Asta variant of the new Santro, which is the top variant. It houses the same 1.1-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 68bhp at 5,500rpm and 99Nm of torque at 4,500rpm, which is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. There is an option to choose between manual and automatic transmission as well. The automatic transmission is available in two variants, the Magna and the Sportz variant.
In a city like Mumbai where getting stuck in traffic has become a part of one’s routine, the new Santro’s 1.1-litre petrol engine responded swiftly in bumper-bumper city traffic which did not feel short on power. It is backed by a slick-shifting manual gearbox that also makes driving in city traffic effortless, and for someone who is tired of shifting gears in traffic, the automatic gearbox is the best bet. Getting stuck in traffic meant that the clutch and brakes were going to be engaged many times, ultimately, increasing its fuel consumption rate. However, the new Santro with air conditioning switched on, was giving an average of close to 15.2kmpl in city traffic and on the highway it maintained a consistent average of 18.7kmpl. And pit stops at the fuel station will be quite low as the Santro has a fuel tank capacity of 35 litres, therefore, no hassles for a quick getaway outside the city. Meanwhile, while driving on the bad city roads also meant that potholes and bumps were going to be your regular troublemakers in the journey, but the ride quality was such that it never felt like that my back was going to break. The front and the rear passengers too had no complaints with its ride quality.
There is sufficient leg room for rear passengers and enough headroom for a 6 feet 4 inches tall person as well. It really lives up to its tall-boy design. All the four doors have pocket holders capable of fitting a one-litre water bottle. Above the glove box, there is a storage space where you can, ideally, keep your mobile phone. Another touch by Hyundai is the placement of power window switches, it is just under the gear-shift knob which for new drivers will be easy to adapt to but for someone who is used to the usual positioning of the power window switches on the driver’s side door handle, will take time to adjust to its positioning.
Finding a parking spot in Mumbai is close to winning a lottery and with Santro’s first-in-class rear parking camera with audio which makes parking in tight spots an easy affair, that is if you are lucky enough to find one. The picture quality on the 7″ touchscreen is clear in the day as well as in the night. While reversing, the reverse lights help in illuminating the display and provides a good surround view. However, the adaptive lines are missing from the rear parking camera. The AV system works seamlessly, is easy to understand, and isn’t anything fancy. It does the job well with minimalistic features, the infotainment system supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the screen touch responses are quite responsive and lag was never experienced. The steering mounted Audio and Voice controls are just convenient to use. Audio quality out of the four speakers is just amazing. One unique design that catches everyone’s attention is the design of the front air conditioning vents which is inspired by the propellers of an aircraft. There are vents at the rear which ensure that the rear passengers’ comfort isn’t overlooked. As we all know, that we are striving to keep our country clean by not littering on the road and by segregating our wet and dry wastes. The new Santro has taken a small initiative by providing a small Can which they call it the “Swachh Can,” for us to not litter on the road when one doesn’t find a dustbin. It’s now our responsibility to use the Swachh Can to its best use.
Safety is also Hyundai’s number one priority as ABS with EBD and Driver’s side airbag comes standard on the new Santro. The Asta variant has dual front airbags and in the CNG fitted variant, one will get a fire extinguisher. Quite handy for any sort of situation. For long weekend drives, the Santro has enough space for a family of four’s luggage as the boot’s storing capacity measures up to 235 litres and if that is not sufficient for you the Santro has rear folding seats to increase the size of your boot. Perfect for a family outing!
If I were someone who has recently learnt to drive a car and wants to buy a new car, I’d definitely go ahead and book the new Santro, as it offers me everything I’d want to have in a car, right from technology, comfort, safety, and storage. It handles like a charm and wouldn’t let you down! It gives you the early confidence that you would need driving in this huge city. It’s safe to say now that the legend has arrived at your doorstep and it has come with a bundle full of joy and comfort!