Hyundai stepped into India with the original Santro in 1998 and has been even since churning out some competent and capable cars spanned across various segments. If it only had been for Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai would have been the biggest car manufacturer in India which speaks of the distance they have come since the last 20 years. Hyundai has revived the Santro moniker after a long abeyance of 3 years and these are some of the things that have changed drastically between all these years.
The biggest and the most substantial change is to the design language of both the cars; older Santro showcasing Hyundai’s past days with boxy designs like the Accent and the Elantra while the new car follows the omnipresent Fluidic design language. The tall boyish design is evident in the new car which was one of the old car’s strong design aspects. There is no similarity whatsoever between the two cars; the new Santro looks more like the Grand i10. The design of the new car is a stark contrast to the old car from every single angle. The side profile and the rear have no similar design elements except for the fender creases, but in a subtler way. The new Hyundai Santro will also feature alloy wheels on the top-spec variants while the entry-level model will get steel wheels.
The interiors of the new Santro shares similarities with that of the Grand i10’s. The old Santro initially came with all-black interiors which were given a breath of fresh air with the facelifted Santro Xing in 2003. The new car will have class leading space and upmarket interiors to match today’s dense competition.
Features and Safety
Segment-first features like 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and rear AC vents will debut with the New Santro. The previous Santro used an old-school single-DIN audio unit with AUX and USB connectivity (in the later models only). The new Santro will come with dual front airbags, ABS and EBD. Driver side airbag will be standard, unlike the old Santro.
Engine and Gearbox
Sitting under the hood of the new Santro is a 1.1-litre, 4-cylinder petrol which makes 69 PS of power and 99 Nm of torque. The old Santro’s Epsilon 1.1-litre, 4-cylinder petrol made 63 PS and 98 Nm of torque. The new Santro will be available with the choice of a manual or an AMT transmission making it the first Hyundai model in India to be available with an AMT gearbox. The original Santro was a peppy car with adequate power and torque figures for a hatchback even by towards standards. Dynamics was a weak spot of the old car as was with every other old Hyundai.
The new Santro will be a more rounded car with much improved features and safety but can it reignite the same fire set by the old one? I guess we’ll have to wait a bit more for that while the car is set to be officially launched on October 23rd.