Why the new Hyundai Santro will be a big success
Now I am going to stick my neck out and say that the new Hyundai Santro is all set to be a big success. Because-
1) The Santro brand name has a lot going for it. Since the last 20 years, it's a name, which Indian customers have associated with a comfortable, reliable, advanced and affordable hatchback.
2) Having seen and driven the new Santro on the 9th of October, we know that one of its highlights is the space. Its exterior dimensions and footprint on the road are small and compact, but on the inside it's big. In fact the space management and design of the interior is one of the strongest points of the new Santro and will surely go a long way in ensuring its popularity and success.
Step into the new Hyundai Santro, and one of the first things that strike you is how spacious it is. The leg and knee room, shoulder room and head room all appear to be class leading. Actually the headroom must not only be the best in this segment, but is actually better than that available in some mid-size sedans!
3) The looks and styling of the new Santro are appealing. When the original Santro was launched 20 years back, the way it looked was not to everyone's liking. Not only was its tall-boy body design unusual, but even its styling was unconventional and way over the top. It is a credit to the engineering and overall design, that despite the unfavorable looks, the original Santro made such a strong and positive impression on Indian consumers.
But the new Santro faces no such challenges. It's a really well thought of design and the styling and looks will appeal to most, if not all. There nothing not to like in the design and most people will find it to be trendy and cute looking.
The new Santro's profile and the curvature below the front and rear glass also do a good job of concealing the fact that it is a tall boy design. The huge glass area also makes the interiors feel more spacious and the sense of airiness is most welcome.
The fact that the headlights have no grille connecting them or between them, is an unusual styling element that appears to make the bonnet look longer. Thanks to this, the new Santro also ends up looking longer than it actually is. This placement of headlights also draws more attention to the massive grille that is placed below these twin illuminators.
4) The engine is responsive and peppy and the manual gearshift is light and a pleasure to use. The AMT is also user-friendly and shifts up quickly for better fuel efficiency. But the engineers have taken care to ensure the engine does not appear sluggish or slow to respond in anyway. If you are cruising along in 5th gear at speeds around 60 kph and floor the accelerator pedal, the AMT downshifts instantly and drops down not a gear, or even two. Instead, it goes straight from 5th to 2nd gear! And does this far quicker than most drivers would be able to do manually. As a result you get instant response with the Santro rushing forward and making overtaking or passing manoeuvres appear really easy.
5) We drove the new Santro at the Hyundai plant in Sriperumbudur near Chennai on a hot and very humid day. The cars had been toasting on the testrack in the sun for a while, when we got to them. But inside it was nice and cool. The A/C was doing an excellent job of keeping the interior chilled, despite the large glass area and bright sun. The rear seat was also cool due to the rear A/C vent. It's fitted at the back of the front console and its vents are directed upwards for more effective cooling. Hyundai say they have optimized the A/C for better cooling, and having sampled it in really hot conditions, I have to say it works very well and is sure to be appreciated.
6) As expected, the new Hyundai Santro comes packed with features including some seen for the first time in this category. All these are sure to be loved by customers. What I particularly like are some of the bright colours, the lemon green one in particular, which I think is really cool and eye-catching. One of the top variants also comes with some unique styling elements like the seatbelts and trim around the A/C vents, gear-shifter, etc, which are in body colour to make a connection with the outside. The seats also have smart contrast stitching in the body shade. I really love this and am sure there will be enough people attracted to this unique approach to connect the interior styling with the exterior colour of the car.
7) Going by Hyundai's track record and its determination to make the new Santro a big success, it is expected that they will offer it at an attractive price. I am told the introductory cost will be particularly affordable. Given this one should see a big demand for the new Hyundai Santro.
All in all, the new Hyundai Santro has a lot of promise and potential, to be a huge success.
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Team OD | 22 Aug 2019
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