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The Hyundai Santro

11 years ago Hyundai Motor India Limited launched its hatchback model, the ‘Santro’. And, since 1999, this car has grown to be one of the market leaders in India’s ‘B’ segment of cars. Though India was happy with the Santro, Hyundai was not too happy keeping the car as is for too long. So, to give it a new look, the car maker decided to give the Santro a facelift. The car was titivated in 2003 and christened as Xing. At the moment Santro carries a new look and a new 1.1 eRLX Epsilon engine.

If one has to describe the Santro in a sentence, it is a reliable and well-equipped car with advanced technology and generous space that also offers value for money. The Hyundai Santro is indeed an exceptional package that allures Indians with its wavy, boxy shape. The car sits tall and is a great favourite as an ideal small family car.

India houses eight variants of the Santro; XK Non AC, GL, GLS, GL LPG, GLS LPG, XK Non AC CNG, GL CNG and GLS CNG. These eight variants come in 8 peppy colours: Crystal White, Black Diamond, Sleek Silver, Electric Red, Dark Grey, Silky Beige, Berry Red and Sparkle Blue.

Under the hood is a Hyundai eRLX Epsilon motor, displacing 1,086 cc that delivers 62 bhp at 5,500 rpm and maximum torque of 96 Nm at 4,000 rpm. The Santro is an ideal example for ‘high performance delivered’. With the ‘active intelligence’ eRLX technology that powers the engine, the Santro delivers improved performance and fuel economy. This engine is mated to a quick and responsive 5-speed manual transmission with overdrive. The GLS variant flaunts the 4-speed automatic transmission that is best suited for city travellers.

The Hyundai Santro is lively and handles well. With a short wheelbase turning is no pain for the Santro no matter how less the surrounding space is. The new car flaunts the best-in-class McPherson Strut suspension in front and 3-link offset coil springs at the back. So, there’s no harsh message sent out to the car occupants’ back even when the car is jumping over humps. The car is small, but the tyres are big to ensure there’s no slippage.

The new grille adds an elegant personality to the Santro’s image. The chrome inserts and the re-designed cool front fenders further accentuate this personality. The new chic rounded headlamps with embedded indicators are simply cool. The back of the Santro too carries refurbished brighter tail lights, a stylish body coloured bumper and an athletic rear spoiler for better aerodynamics. The new pull type grab handles and the dazzling wheels with full wheel cover give the car a fulsome appearance.

The Santro’s interiors look rich and are very spacious too. The interiors of the Santro are similar to that of the i20. The Tallboy design of the new car gives occupants a lot of leg, head and elbow-space. The seats offer great thigh and back support too.