The 2019 Hyundai Santro will be launched in India soon, and we drove it at Hyundai’s test facility today.
2019 Hyundai Santro Review
Hyundai Santro, the car which started it all for the Korean manufacturer in India. The first tall boy, which soon became a household name in the country. Now, nearly 20 years after it first came out, Hyundai is all set to revive the Santro brand. Codenamed AH2, it is Hyundai’s biggest product this year and promises a lot of segment first features. It will also be the first Hyundai to sport their own homemade AMT transmission. We are at the Hyundai plant in Chennai for an exclusive preview of this upcoming hatchback.
Lets start with the name first. Hyundai had run a contest wherein you could vote for what you wanted this new hatchback to be called. As we predicted, it is now confirmed that it will indeed be called the Santro. The spy shots which had surfaced had not given a clear indication of the proportions but in flesh this car looks fresh and appealing with modern touches.
The front fascia carries the family Hyundai grille on which the fog lamps have been neatly integrated, just below the headlamps. As compared to the previous Santro, the proportions are larger in every dimension. It is now longer, wider and has an increased wheelbase. The structural rigidity has been increased by using high tensile steel. The rear design looks sporty and clean while the sculpted side profile looks sporty. The Santro doesn’t get alloy wheels but it does offer a lot of features to cover that up.
The new Santro gets a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and steering mounted audio controls. Legroom is sufficient in both rows of seats. Rear seat side bolstering has been improved too. The Santro now gets a rear AC vent for faster cabin cooling. Power window switches are placed just behind the gear lever. You also get a reversing camera and rear parking sensors. The wide windows and large glass area gives the cabin a very spacious feel.
Powering the Santro is a 1.1-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine which produces 69 PS of power at 5500 RPM and 99 NM of torque at 4500 RPM. This engine will come mated to a manual and an AMT transmission. The ARAI certified fuel efficiency of this is 20.3 Km/l. The Santro will also come with a factory-fitted CNG kit which has a capacity of 8 kgs. The CNG variant produces less power than its petrol counterpart. The CNG car churns out 59 PS at 5500 RPM and 84 Nm of twisting force at 4500 RPM and delivers a fuel economy of 30.5 km/kg of CNG.
Our drive was very short to be conclusive but it was evident that the engine packs decent amount of grunt. The AMT will certainly be popular as it will offer tremendous amount of practicality. The manual gearbox offers slick shifts with well spaced out ratios. Handling is neutral and the steering centers well. It is difficult to comment on the driving dynamics as our drive was on well surfaced tarmac but we will be coming out with an exhaustive review soon. However, the AMT on the Santro does feel better than the one offered on Maruti cars but for best results, you need to drive it on part throttle.
Hyundai is offering ABS, EBD and driver’s side airbag standard and the top variant will be equipped with dual front airbags. It will come with a 3 yrs/1,00,000 km warranty. The car is set to launch later this month and knowing Hyundai, they should get the pricing spot on. The Santro is back and is all set to repeat the same success story as it did 20 years ago.