Hyundai Santro makes a comeback, bookings open at Rs 11,000 in India
Like OVERDRIVE, even Hyundai India turned twenty this year and what a journey it has been for the brand! From commercials featuring a certain South Korean, Mr. Kim, running behind Shah Rukh Khan to convince him to be the brand ambassador, to today when Hyundai actually convinced many Indians out there to embrace the brand, making it the second largest carmaker in the country - Hyundai has come a long way. That journey started with the Santro and it's coming a full circle this year with the launch of its spiritual successor.
Hyundai India claims that they received an overwhelming response for the Hyundai Naamkaran making contest that it had floated for naming this family tallboy hatchback. More than 66 per cent entries suggested the name Santro again. The keywords for the development of the all-new Santro were consumer-centric safety features, a modern tallboy design, new-age connectivity options and a premium and spacious cabin.
On the safety front, the Santro gets ABS and driver side airbag as a standard fit while the Range topping trims get dual airbags. The top Asta trim present at a special media preview, that we attended, was kitted with rear wash, wipe and defogger, a reversing camera plus sensors, touchscreen infotainment, electric mirrors and windows, ORVM mounted blinkers, and front fog lamps. There is no keyless go or climate control on offer, but the Santro features rear AC vents.
The rear seat has a near flat contouring for maximising shoulder space for up to three occupants. It features two squabs for headrests and even the front seats don't get adjustable head restraints. The rear bench isn't split, but is collapsible. The cabin has a black and beige finish in the typical Hyundai style. The touchscreen infotainment system gets Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink and interestingly, the individual switches for the infotainment system are nicely tucked behind a seamless rubber strip (something like a waterproof silicone case for your gadget). Theoretically, that's a nice touch for ensuring longevity of the switches in our dusty conditions.
The exterior design is reminiscent of the erstwhile i10's form. The design is neutral and quite handsome. The face follows the new design theme that is seen on the new-age Hyundai cars, where the cascading grille takes centre stage. On the Santro, there is no grille element connecting the headlight units, making the bonnet look longer than it is. The cascading grille incorporates the fog lamps (rather high up) and this entire fascia has hints of the new design theme seen on the Kona, Santa Fe etc. Hyundai will offer this car in some sporty colours too - the car we sampled had a metallic green and a vibrant blue. As is the norm these days, the bezels around the A/C vents can be specified in the body colour too.
The all-new Santro is powered by a 1.1l four-cylinder petrol engine that produces about 69PS of power at 5,500rpm and 99Nm of torque at 4,500rpm. Hyundai will also offer a factory-fit CNG option with this engine, albeit with an 59PS/84Nm tune. We had a chance to sample the petrol-powered unit, which sounds quite vocal on the outside and has a likeable four-cylinder hum to it. More on the driving impressions in a bit.
The Santro will go up against the likes of the Maruti Suzuki WagonR and Celerio and the Tata Tiago. Hyundai is taking pre-orders for the car starting tomorrow until October 22 for an amount of Rs 11,100. The launch is on October 23.
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