2019 Hyundai Santro Test Drive
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2019 Hyundai Santro Review

Car Tested: 2019 Hyundai Santro; Road Test No.1015 Test Location: Bhubaneswar

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 4.60 – Rs. 6.45 lakhs

The Santro is back with a bang, comes in a new avatar and offers a ton of new features

Hyundai entered the Indian market 20 years back with the first ever Santro and the tall-boy was a runaway success for the Korean automaker and it played a significant role in making the brand what it is. The Santro was discontinued few years back but now the company has brought in the the hatchback in an all-new avatar. Is the new Hyundai Santro capable of recreating the magic that the old car had? Time to find out.

Motor Quest: The new Hyundai Santro is based on a new K1 platform and comes with many mechanical and cosmetic changes. It is also very upmarket now and comes with features that are usually found in cars a segment above.

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The styling is a toned down version of the Grand i10

Exteriors – The new Hyundai Santro is a bit shorter than the older car, but it is wider now. It continues to have a tall-boy stance but I’m afraid not many people like the styling of the car, which honestly, looks a bit quirky especially from the front. The rear of the Santro is relatively better looking while the side profile has a pleasant design. The headlamps look similar to the units that were found on the old i10 while the grille is just too big. The fog lamps have been positioned just below the headlamps. The rear bumper comes with a black applique which hides some bulk and also keeps the rear design away from monotony. The vehicle doesn’t get alloy wheels on any variant, instead it comes with 14-inch steel rims.

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Fit and finish levels in the cabin are supreme compared to rivals

Interiors – The dashboard gets a very nice design which is not only ergonomic but also very well laid out and user friendly. There’s a dual tone colour theme with black and beige colours. However, the green coloured Santro comes with all-black interiors with green accents and I think this looks very dope and should have been offered on the blue colour as well. The regular black/beige theme interiors get champagne gold accents which also lend a premium appeal. The steering wheel is good to hold but the Hyundai logo on the wheel is blacked out and there’s no chrome badging. The instrument cluster is also fairly simple and convenient to use.

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The touchscreen comes from the elder Hyundai siblings

The interiors are spacious, high on quality and loaded with features

On the equipment front, the 2019 Hyundai Santro comes equipped with a 7-inch infotainment system with a touchscreen that gets features like FM, Voice Commands, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth connectivity. However, it misses out on navigation. Interesting thing to note is that this infotainment system is the same one that is offered on the Santro’s bigger siblings like the Grand i10, Elite i20, Verna and Creta (however these cars get navigation too). The sound quality from the speakers is quite good and most customers won’t really feel the need for an upgrade. The Santro comes with manual AC, with rear AC vents and cooling performance is brilliant. It also comes with a reverse camera which adds convenience, even though the car is actually quite small without the need for a camera. The power window switches are positioned below the gear lever and while the positioning is still fine, the sad part is that the switches aren’t backlit hence you may have some trouble using them in the dark.

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The rear seats offer good support and the cabin feels roomy

The driving position is set high, with no height adjustment for the driver’s seat. In fact, even the steering wheel doesn’t get tilt adjust. The seating position is actually good for this car because the large glass area enables excellent outward visibility. However, for really tall people, the steering wheel kind of hinders visibility of the instrument cluster but it isn’t very bothersome. The front seats are good on comfort, they offer good support too. Same is the case with the rear seat which is high on comfort. However, the backrest angle at the rear is slightly more reclined than what you’d normally expect. Head room and shoulder room are very good both at the front and rear. With a 6-feet tall person sitting at the front, another similarly heighted person can easily sit at the rear, but knee room gets a tad bit limited in this case.

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The boot is accommodating and offers average space to keep luggage

The boot of the Santro isn’t very large, in fact cargo capacity is limited. However, it has been shaped nicely and that helps keep bags easily. In the CNG variant the boot space is negligible. Talking about storage spaces, all 4 doors come with large bottle holders along with space to keep small things. The centre console also houses a storage space where you can keep your mobile phone, wallet, etc. The glovebox is medium in size. The Santro doesn’t get a smart key, it gets a regular key with lock/unlock buttons integrated. It doesn’t get a boot unlock button though, so if you want to open the boot you need to pull the lever inside the cabin or insert the key in the boot lid lock because the boot lid doesn’t get a button.